Friday, 18 June 2010

On Weathering
I have recently read a book called On Weathering: The Life of Buildings in Time, by Mohsen Mostafavi and David Leatherbarrow. It suggests that rather than viewing weathering on buildings as being a negative thing, it can instead be viewed as a positive thing which adds to and enhances buildings.

I am interested in the idea that through weathering a building will take on the qualities of the place it is situated, an idea that clearly links in with ideas to do with local distinctiveness. The various markings formed through exposure and the layers that are revealed through erosion; allow one to recollect earlier stages in the history of the building.

As I start to think more about nature versus the built environment, I am interested in the idea of surface modification as showing the rightful claim nature has over the built environment, reminding us that buildings are in fact made out of matter making the earth their fabric.


  1. Good that you got round to reading it. The book made me think about the opportunities of innevitabilities. Really rather cheerful, despite first appearances!

    I'm sure you're aware of it, but when i think of how to capitalise on the inescapable decay of buildings and objects, Robert Smithson's Partially Buried Woodshed pretty much sums it up as far as I'm concerned - like a small dirt-y Pompei. It's also really interesting when you consider the ideas you were talking about, with regards to building and making as essentially rearticulation and moulding of the existing.

    You should have done architecture, mate

    p.s. the G is for Gardham

  2. Hey Gardham,

    Only just logged in to read this. Thanks again for the recommendation - only took me a couple of years to get round to reading it! Yeah I read up on Smithson as soon as I came across Partially Buried Woodshed and you're right, it fits in very well with aspects I'm exploring at the moment.

    You say I should have done architecture but I wonder if indeed you should have done art!

    Plus I did have a crack at it on my foundation course but I'm just too messy for little models...

  3. "You say I should have done architecture but I wonder if indeed you should have done art!"

    haha. recent events may prove you correct on that comment!

  4. I think when I realised nature will rapidly overtake everything we build I felt better, like I didn't have to be so ANTI-synthetic all the time (not that I don't still hate overconsumption!).

    This obsession we seem to have with building shiny new structures reminds me of the impossible goals some people set themselves to make their houses perfectly "clean", i.e. devoid of character. It leaves you empty inside, the satisfaction is fleeting and how are we ever going to grow old gracefully and accept peoples physical imperfections if we can't accept erosion on a sodding building?