Sunday, 25 May 2014

Sexy services

No, not an ad for a virtual massage parlour.  Just a pointer to the latest pleasurable read by Dan Hill, former futurist at Arup, peripatetic leadership person at SITRA Finland, Fabrica Italy and now Future Cities Catapult in Britain.  The only place the guy stays still is on the City of Sound, and that blog only exists as electrons milling around the world at the speed of light.

So it shouldn't be surprising that this time, his opinion piece on Dezeen, about architecture, is actually about the tangled web of building services - or about the well tempered environment that they could produce, if only we would untangle our preconceived ideas about an architecture that does stand still.
I'm always amazed how Hill shamelessly spins out a small collection of insights into athletic prose of allusions and innuendo, ten times as long as the text necessary to say what he needs.  But that's the point.  He does have the insights, and he does massage the message, instead of bludgeoning us with imperatives.  So how does he do it this time?

A throw-back to Rayner Banham, and a fast forward to the Nest, that fancy thermostat spawned from Apple and bought for a gazillion dollars by Google.  A discourse on district heating, terrace housing as an apartment tower on its side, scratching beneath  the DIY home improvement surface of the 21st century to the antiquated boilers of Edwardian London, cajoling us to consider that a lot more of architecture needs to get updated than both architects, and the society we serve, are willing to contemplate.

He touches on government incentives, the real estate market's simplistic marketing, the energy efficiency of the building stock, whether we want Google peering into our heating habits, and as usual, makes sure we understand that he is a voracious reader.  No point me putting it are better off reading his article, that me writing a review so you can pretend you did.

Read Dan Hill on 
"We need a Prouvé of plumbing, a Rogers of rewiring, an Utzon of U-values"

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