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Space Invaders

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A major international touring exhibition about the emerging generation of UK architects currently extending and redefining their discipline, featuring the work of David Adjaye, atopia, Block, dECOi, de Rijke Marsh Morgan (dRMM), East, FAT, Foreign Office Architects (FOA), General Lighting and Power (GLP), Klein Dytham architecture (KDa), muf, Piercy Conner, softroom, S333 and Urban Salon.

Schemes both commissioned and speculative responding to and deepening the blurring of public and private space reveal strategies for generating new spatial propositions at every conceivable scale, from the micro level of the temporary installation to the macro scale of the urban masterplan. The combined skills of architecture, landscape design and urbanism are set alongside and in some cases fused with interdisciplinary experimentation, applying tactics from the visual arts and interactive design. New tools, mechanisms and industrial processes from outside the field are helping to generate proto-phenomena of the new culture of architecture. Changing needs for hybrid building-landscapes, streetscapes and other urban and ex-urban environments (like the Green Belt) may also admit new short term, ambient or reuseable possibilities. Synthesising social and physical conditions, mixing functions and addressing changing lifestyles, the exhibitors' desire to communicate ideas about culture in the here and now has surpassed the idea of eternal value in architecture.

Highlights include Foreign Office Architects' paradigmatic Yokohama International Port Terminal; the Elektra House in East London by David Adjaye; muf's Hypocaust building in St Albans; new designs for affordable housing by Piercy Conner; the interactive project Aegis, a real time dynamic surface for cultural buildings, designed by the multi-disciplinary practice dECOi (Paris/Boston); and KDa's projects in Tokyo hybridising public space and retail culture. The growing convergence of architecture, landscape and urbanism is exemplified by the work of S333 (Amsterdam and London), for instance Schots 1 and 2 at CiBoGa, Groningen in the Netherlands. Public art projects include FAT's New Civic project for central London.

A documentary film, directed by Milk with a series of in-depth interviews with the directors of each practice by Lucy Bullivant was made as part of the exhibition to provide an exploratory journey into the architects' worlds, transiting through many of their recent projects, some while on site, and existing environments that have been an inspiration to their work.

Tour dates: 2001-2003
Venues:
Experimentadesign, Galeria Central Tejo, Lisbon, Portugal
Museum of Architecture, Tallinn, Estonia
Fragner Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic
Williamson Gallery, Los Angeles
TN Probe, Tokyo
Espaço Cultural dos Correios, Rio, Brazil

Client: Art Architecture and Design Department, the British Council, London
Curators: Lucy Bullivant and Pedro Gadanho
Exhibition manager: Lucy Swift
Exhibition design: Urban Salon
Graphic design: bump
Video direction: Elliott Chaffer, Milk

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