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Review of the Year 2011: June

Posted by James Cartwright,

“The month began on a fine warm note, but the weather gradually became more unsettled with showers and long spells of rain” (source: BBC). Says it all really. June had sunshine, sure, but mostly it had rain. Thankfully while it poured outside we were busy spiriting you away to sunnier places…

June was a pretty sad time for lovers of both high-street furniture retailers and design legend, Terence Conran. Witnessing the demise of Habitat was a sure sign that the recession was indeed dragging limply on and that even a nice laminate bedside table couldn’t fix it. A golden Olympic torch on the other hand, did a pretty good job of making us think about competitive sports instead, which was nice. The other nice gold thing about June happened in a Somerset field. That outfit, that performance and that bottom had us all grinning cheekily until the end of the month. Thanks B!

On the website we were startled to discover that it’s possible to levitate in Japan, Italy gets all the best sunbathing weather and tiny little anarchic schoolchildren are the perfect formula for one heck of a music video. We also marveled at the inventiveness of Sam Bompass and his culinary delights at our On […] talks series.

My 2011: Assemble

One of June’s standout projects was undoubtedly Assemble’s Folly for a Flyover, a spectacular architectural intervention and cinematic event beneath the A12 in Hackney. We may be more than a little biased owing to some involvement on the film side of things, but you can’t argue with the greatness of any project involving 10,000 timber bricks. So how did the rest of Assemble’s year pan out?

What was the best thing you saw in 2011?

The Royal Wedding – surely the best thing anyone saw in 2011?

Who would you give a Best Person of 2011 award to?

Steve Tomlinson OPLC – Steve has endured multiple trials, persisting against unreasonable odds in his attempts to encourage progression in our current projects, being generally accepting of our frequently erratic administrative abilities and endless delays to the programme. And it’s not many people in the position of client who would turn up at our site, decide that without his assistance we would never be ready to open on time, and get on his hands and knees to hammer in half the Folly’s terrazzo terrace until four in the morning. For all these efforts and more, Steve is certainly a worthy man of 2011!

An honourable mention must go to Alex Cartwright, champion volunteer for his stoic endurance in the face of endlessly repetitive construction-related tasks.

What was the most memorable thing that happened to you?

Suffering an attempted group arrested whilst trying to rig a three phase electricity connection over a canal using four row boats, a container, nine pallets and a scaffolding tower.

Were you in any (metaphorical/not metaphorical) fights this year? Did you win?

There are quite a few of us, so we spend a good deal of our time fighting amongst ourselves, in the end usually just to agree to the initial suggestion after an extensive period of deliberation. Once the decision has been made, or in a great many cases delayed, everyone involved usually thinks that they had won. Perhaps that is the key to successful collaboration…

What would you take from 2011 and give to 2012?

Ten thousand timber bricks.

What were you doing in June?

Most of us were contemplating the troublesome question about whether we should be going back to architecture school, often swinging wildly between positions both for and against, played out under a motorway undercroft. A summer well-spent, on reflection.

(Top image from Jonathan Zawada)

Jc

Posted by James Cartwright

James started out as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our two editors. He oversees Printed Pages magazine and content wise has a special interest in graphic design and illustration. He also runs our online shop Company of Parrots and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.

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