Brief Encounter / JACK SELF
responding to Gabriela
What do you think is a good exhibition of architecture / architectural exhibition? Could you name some example, or some general principle, something you consider relevant?
An architectural exhibition is not the same as an exhibition about architecture. Weirdly, very few architects or exhibition designers understand the difference. The latter is when architecture gets presented through very standard modes also common to the world of art: maquettes, models, photographs, components and drawings. The problem is that you cannot understand a space when a building is shown in miniature. On a pedestal, a building becomes a sculpture. The main challenge is to make an exhibition that has architectural qualities – which means, finding a way to help someone understand a spatial relationship. It is not easy, but that must be the aim of every architectural exhibition in my opinion.
Jack Self (1987) is an architect and writer based in London. He did his Master at AA Undergraduate School. He is director of the REAL foundation and Editor-in-Chief of Real Review (“Britain´s foremost contemporary culture magazine” ) which was award-winning and was featured in the Design Museum´s 2017 Design of the Year Awards. He is also contributing editor at the Architectural Review, and has written for numerous publications like The Guardian, 032c, New Philosopher, e-flux,… He published several books RealEstates: Life without Debt (Bedford Press, 2014), Home Economics (2016), Mies in London (2018). In 2016 co-curated (with Shumi Bose and Finn Williams) the exhibition Home Economics at British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
Brief Encounter* is a short and quick format that aims to reveal relationships between individuals, different professions, etc. By avoiding a more complex interview, it aims to recall the immediacy, the lightness of a single, acute, direct but essential question. A brief encounter of two people, a chance to ask someone about something related to their professional interest at a given time, publicly. A meeting framed by the extent of a single question and the virtual space of MAG D A.
* Brief Encounter comes from the 40´s movie by David Lean, about a chance meeting of two random people at a railway station.