Monday, 12 April 2010

Southern Illinois University

Picked up by a giant American boat car to sail down their wonderful highways however Alba’s GPS took us through St Louis East apparently this is the South’s equivalent of Detroit but I’m advised that they are hoping for great things there some time in the next century or two then down to Carbondale what a delightful town. The next day we met Peter Smith, the man in charge of the Architects department and the builder of the famed ‘Walts’ Diner. ‘Walts’ Diner is a cardboard copy of a fifty’s diner including a Wurlitzer and fifty’s cockroaches. With the wonderful exception that it is built to 1.5 times actual, that makes it pretty cool and pretty big and is very popular with their basketball players. Of course Alba’s and I are a bit titchery. This was great fun with an education edge making students aware of space and time. It took 85 students a month of hard work to do. I gave my talk to an architecturally based audience. Although for many centuries embroidery has been a part of architecture, something about the engineering structures of embroidery as well as the aesthetic visual pleasures it invokes. However it has not been a part of 20th and 21st century curriculum in spite of such luminaries as Charles Rennie MacIntosh William Morris and Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson. I do think it went down well and we had some converts, they were quite excited about the possibility of embroidering concrete a project we did with University of Ulster.

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