Industrial Space 3 at Central Saint Martins 2022 degree show
2022, Square archway made of aluminium OPTI® Trilite® 200 Series Triangular Truss base, and timber tiling batten frame,
clad in Tyvek® FireCurb® breather membrane and Ambex® Surface Protection sheets

Industrial Space 3

Industrial Space 3 fades into the existing architecture of the CSM building. It resembles a construction site and implies there is new architecture to be added to CSM. I observed the audience reaction (or lack thereof) to this piece, especially during the first two open evenings wherein most attendees were students or in a creative industry. There seemed to be little attention paid to it at all. I had forecasted this a month earlier- when in my dissertation I used research into Brutalism and High-Tech architecture styles to explore peoples’ determination of value.

In the ethics of Brutalism laid out by the Smithsons, the honesty of construction and of construction materials was paramount to (at least the beginning of) the movement. In High-Tech the presentation of pure Maths and Engineering through the use of industrial and mass-produced materials and elements was not disrespected, but it never grew into the cultural zeitgeist as did Brutalism. High-Tech’s use of industrial archetypes was too relatable to subconscious feelings of “construction”/“unfinished”/“warehouse”/“factory” and was therefore all to easy to be dismissed without nuance.

As the son of an Architect, I am not unaware of buildings during construction and destruction. I find these transient stages to be the more interesting and unappreciated phases of a building’s life cycle.

So, why did attendees not notice my work? Why do we only see a building until after its completion? Why is discussion about a building’s construction or destruction only ever a prefix to what will be the “completed thing”? In this time of bland, stagnant and repetitive buildings with little design quality, Industrial Space 3 attempts to bring the keen-eyed’s attention to the value of the industrial aesthetic, to the value of honest materials and the purely functional design of the construction phase.