Space Invaders
Noriyuki Tajima, architect in AXIS, 104, July/August 2003

'Although far removed from the stoic structuralism of the British masters and the strength and refinement of their work, this new stance faces squarly today's social realities and is building a new identity that 'invades' cities and spaces. When I spoke with Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture (KDa) we discussed the fact that our way of thinking closely resembled the approaches of the various other architects based in London. Mark and I have both been working in Tokyo for over ten years now. We felt a deep sense of empathy with their stance and its attempt to honestly construct an original identity in a domain that cuts across media, information, commercialism and the provisional. This is presumably a reflection of the similarity among the world's cities; the social realities therein are becoming synchronous with little difference among them.'

John McGee, Metropolis, Japan's No. 1 English magazine
28 March 2003

'Architecture is traditionally an old man's game. Space Invaders, a travelling exhibition of fifteen design firms organized by the British Council shows that some of the best contemporary British architects are not old, traditional, or necessarily men. And some of the firms are not even based in the UK... KDa's La Fôret front entrance design in just down the street in Harajuku. Foreign Office Architects' recently opened Yokohama International Port Terminal is a bit further away, but symbolic of the grand success some of these firms can produce when given the opportunity.'

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Jonathan Glancey, The Guardian, London
20 August 2001

'It is hard to escape the feeling that all too many architects have their eye off the ball as far as day-to-day to building is concerned, and are lost in intersticial worlds where fashion rather than construction rules the architectural roots. To be fair, several of the British Council's pet architects are well aware of the problem of being grouped together like the latest teen pop sensation. Not only are most of them well into their 30s, but they know the dangers of being seen as hip in a world where solid values count for more. From here to eternity: it's time today's bright young things stopped playing with computers and made buildings that will last.'

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Marcia Jardim, Director General, Institute of Architects of Brazil

'Beautiful and important, interesting not only for architects but designers in general.'

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Siiri Valner, Areen magazine, Estonia

'Space Invaders has made us associate the UK with something fresh, open and fun. The curators' work is enjoyable, with a strongly subjective approach preferred to an official one. Pop music - that is how young British architecture presents itself - fashion, advertising graphics, an endless number of urban lifestyles all mixed into a light cocktail. The architects are as yet small practices, but influential players in contemporary city culture, as well as the producers and reproducers of it.'

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Ingrid Lillemägi, Sirp magazine, Estonia

'Young British architects have invaded the whole of the venue, filling it with colour and playfulness. This generation uses modern and pop packaging to get across an approach that is actually completely responsible. Despite the light and playful appearance of the exhibition, most of the architects involved have strong theoretical backgrounds. If you want to be heard or seen in today's world which is so overloaded with information, you inevitably depend on attractive packaging.'

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The cultural events website, October 2002, Los Angeles, USA

'Alienation and cultural displacement are facts of life for the young directors of space featured in Space Invaders: Emerging British Architecture. This touring show features work by fifteen of the UK's brightest younger architectural firms, known for their willingness to cross disciplines and borders to incorporate graphic design, advertising and the visual arts into their projects. The layout of the exhibition consists of groupings of easily transportable, backlit display cases, designed to highlight the diverse interests and personalities of the individual practices and their sense of spontaneity and mobility. A series of video interviews with each director personalizes their work and aids the viewer in navigating the dense packaging of drawings, sketches, visualizations, CAD images, video clips and models condensed into the display boxes. Along with documentation of recent projects, ranging from London hair salons to port terminals in Yokohama, are statements of each firm's architectural philosophy, summed up in this motto from KDa: 'The failed utopias of the 20th century are the playgrounds of the 21st.'

Michael da Costa, Space is the Place: Space Invaders, new British architecture
in: Art & Architecture, no. 56, 2002

'This is a show that defies traditional architectural practice and is full of rough edges, unanswered questions and quirky visual jokes. The audience are encouraged to experience it in their own way, navigating the various video installations, models and glass showcases with no predetermined path... Most curators are not capable of this skill. There is a lack of ego here, which allows the audience to openly and directly engage with the work.'

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