Tutorials # 8

Beaux Arts Comes to Sheffield

The workshop on elevations demanded a very particular spatial arrangement for the teaching. Desks in a row, tutor on high, talk of proportions – just as it used to be in the good old days.

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Instruction # 15

Oblique Strategy Number 5

For Tuesday 6th May

LOOK AT THE ORDER THAT YOU DO THINGS

Instruction #14

Oblique Strategy Number 4

For Monday 5th May

USE SOMETHING NEARBY AS A MODEL

(could not have made it up better myself)

Instruction # 13

Oblique Strategy Number 3

For Sunday 4th May

IS THE STYLE RIGHT?

(a question of pressing concern for budding architects)

Instruction # 12

Oblique Strategy Number 2

for 3rd May

OPENLY RESIST CHANGE

(so that is a day off then)

Tutorials # 7

Elevations: A Workshop

Drawing elevations is a much neglected virtue; as the computer allows the idea of frontality and composition to be dissolved in a parametric blur, the visual contribution of the building as elevation is decreased. But there are still some very old fashioned things to be learnt from elevations; they do act as an signal of what someone might perceive, not in terms of formal composition and geometrical rules, but as the basis of a view that might just be glimpsed in passing. To this end we will have a workshop on elevations, starting at 12.00 on Wednesday 7 May in the studio. Bring paper, pencils, rulers and straight edges. This is so damn normative that it is quite cool. Mostly for sixth years, but fifth years welcome if they might find it useful.

Instruction # 11

Oblique Strategy Number 1

Oblique strategies is the game/instruction pack that was evolved by the musician Brian Eno and the artist Peter Schmidt. Originally it came as a deck of cards, from which one would select at random. The resulting instruction was intended as a prompt in the creative process, and could be applied across many disciplines. The Oblique Strategies have assumed cult status, with the inevitable website devoted to them. They are now available as a widget for the Mac desktop, and it is this version that we will be using.

Every day for the next five days, I will press the widget button and come up with a random instruction. I will not cheat! I will post this on this site, and you should take this as a prompt for action for the next day. The instructions sometimes feel restrictive, but are actually liberating in this. They will not radically alter your direction, but may allow you to see the project in a new light. It may result in a tiny adjustment, or may just gently push you in a more productive manner. Try to work with the instruction for at least an hour, just to see what comes out of it. Keep going if it is productive. The idea, of course, is to provide an alternative to the linear method of most projects.

And so, here is the first Oblique Strategy for Friday 2nd May

MAGNIFY THE MOST DIFFICULT DETAILS

(isn’t that just great!)