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Note: This blog is no longer active - please visit my new site at HAT Projects where you will find our new blog!

Monday, February 05, 2007
Croydon charrette
There's something rather sad about this little blog set up as part of Will Alsop's commission to 'vision' Croydon. The local press have been somewhat lionising his commitment to 'personally attend' workshops with local people and his no-prisoners approach to design. But look at the sketches here and it is rather depressing to see nothing that really strikes me as visionary. As always, ask people what they want and they will respond with cliches; some cafes, a whole street of restaurants, an office building with reflecting glass wall, water features. As always, the ones that betray an architect's or urban designer's hand are far worse than the amateur ones - my favourite being the mysterious sketch of coloured onion domes, and the massive multicoloured meteor explosion that dwarfs a purple splodge labelled 'London', at the edge of the page.

The blog is an interesting attempt to get the process out there but - maybe its the fact that they haven't bothered to jazz up the boring template, or that someone can't actually really use html that well. It's just a little bit mournful. A shame, because I like Alsop's energy even if I don't think he is the people's champion as much as he sometimes claims. Big ideas and big design win out. But to get the slightest bit of debate going is good. I just wish it was more evident on the website; and sadly, that may be a reflection on the true value of the process, behind all the pazazz.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point - but I think it's really positive that Alsop's are doing it at all. It's unusual to have any sort of transparency in these processes.

Why don't you leave your comment on the Croydon Alsop blog and they might respond? Surely that's the most appropriate place to make critical comments about their process?

10:12 am  

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