The Danger

I think I am somehow unintentionally amusing no matter what I do. I presented my thoughts on making a paper version of Facebook, in which I would draw and model and just exploit in general all the functions of a site I don't know, in order to open up a conversation of time and absurdity. My teacher laughed. I laughed, perhaps after realising just how weird such a presentation would be. Everything has to be analogue. In the end, it seems like I'm doing Facebook at least partially as my recon anyway, but for that matter, I need to research more thoroughly the history and manifestation of the Bata Shoe Factory, which is my primary reference.

I enjoy working on my own again. I hope I can find tasks, when I enter my professional career, that allow me a great deal of freedom. I'm not a people-person, I'm an idea-person, and although I try to communicate my ideas to the public, I seem to fail often, partially because I'm not good with clarity, although it is something I work on, something I want to improve. We will never be perfect, but it would be a shame to admit that we are not capable of being perfect, indeed, a waste of effort and time. If you don't aspire to be legendary, you have no right to wish to become a legend.

I hope to finish the communist manifesto tonight, and with it, some readings on my aforementioned shoe factory. I already think I'm doing well, I managed to rise at nine this morning, first time in a month. But I'm not content until I rise when I wake up (usually 7:30, after going to bed at 00:30). I do my drawings, and I enjoy them finding their stride in their own context. They are not perfect, but they can become perfect, or rather, at some point in time, I hope to be able to make the perfect, from start to finish. The most important thing is: you cannot let your ambitions of perfection stop you from falling short of perfection. Michelangelo is still in my veins.

Pic: Victoria & Albert Museum, the street up towards the entrance.


The purpose of always being clear

An atlas session on Monday, lots of cut, print and place, which seemed more useful in retrospect, more as an introduction of a way of working and an ethos of the unit, than for our immediate project. Still think it would've been more useful later during the year, when our projects have evolved into something that makes it urgent for us to find links and opportunities to grow and diversify in. But, in all, I learned something from it, and therefore, it was good.

I should've enjoyed the seminar more if I could only learn how to express my ideas in a way that makes others understand them intuitively, much the same as I do when I form them in my mind. I know that not many of you are reading my texts, but that's okay. They will have a future, or rather, my writing itself, the process, will have its future. I grow, I learn. And I have at least one good idea about the recon which I want to pursue. But, again, who knows if it is a good idea if only you understand it?

Rain in London, some half-an-hour in the bus from Tottenham Court Road. I almost always sit in the same seat, because the bus is rarely crowded at the stops where I get on and off. I buy the same things in the same stores, and slowly, a theory of being finds its expression within me. I don't mean to reject the things I do not understand, rather I prefer to reject that which I understand all too easily. Hence, a work like the Communist Manifesto, however historical, finds an interesting balance between the two. My evening reads are becoming stranger and stranger ...

Pic: Passenger on the bus from Belfast.


For the right reasons ...

A walk to fill up stocks in the fridge which is buzzing sleepily in the kitchen, passing by the fish monger, the post office, the restaurants, and the endless arrays of mini-super-markets with inspiring middle-eastern names. Tomorrow (today, as of one minute ago) I will give the last touch to a diagram slash drawing that explains why everyone should've chosen Facebook or the Lingotto as their precedents. I wonder if I did a bad job at selling them, or if it was a bad decision anyhow to put them on the list ... but perhaps, students in general just become attached to that which they've already been commanded to study.

On Tuesday, we will have an atlas session with my unit, putting all that we have on the wall for finding quirky and interesting connections, effectively building our world of contexts through interpretation, and in which we will later embed our own projects, as islands in the stream, Bee Gees-style. I'm not so much a cut-and-copy person or designer, but it might be fun. I think of it as an opportunity to use my imagination, just like I got everything wrong in our recon project selection (3 points, about the same as last year). Whatever one makes, it has to be made with some seasoning of optimism.

Only a couple of weeks until my family comes to visit me in London. My mother turns sixty, so we will have good dinners, good talks, good sightseeing, and the customary handing-over of my winter coat, which was too thick to fit in my luggage. I wonder how intense school will be around that time. I don't have a jury until November, followed in December by our unit trip, at least. But, in the end, school is as busy as we make it.

Pic: my hood, Edgware Road, on an overcast October day.


Autumn is Grey (I should take more photos)

Some days are good, some are bad. Today, after rising as usual in the morning, I felt worse than a bag of potatoes, so I went to bed again, and didn't get up until 1:30 in the afternoon, after which I had a shower and a belated breakfast. Why is it that I need to feel so bad in the morning? Everything is good in the evening, I don't think I've had a bad evening in months, but the mornings ... oh, well, I have no choice but to endure them, and not complain too much. Complaints get you nowhere, my grandfather used to say. And in the end, it is not in the hands of God to decide what we should do - we have to decide that for ourselves.

Research, research, research, and, in-between, some APP (Architectural Professional Practice) lectures, teaching us the proper conduct as professionals in the field. I actually don't find it as boring as other people in my year do, it is a nice contrast to the studio work, and it is another facet of architectural culture which we need to address, as well. If you want to build, you have to remember that what you build becomes a part of greater society, and therefore you have a responsibility towards that world, as well. It's strange to think, but I'm graduating soon. I know I will, I don't fear the future, but I feel, during the past decade, that I've changed so much that it would be nice to actually have a normal job, with normal tasks, normal working hours, and time to mull over your decisions.

I try to make friends, but it is not easy. I like people, but they can overwhelm me at times. It's not their fault, it is just me being a bit dramatic (or perhaps "sensitive" is the right word). On Friday, the school's having a birthday party (for the school itself), with impro-theatre, free drinks and speeches, and strange rocks (made out of 1st years - yes, "out of", not "by"). It will be good. I doubt I will stay there for the party, though. I'd rather escape to my books at home - and my writings of course.

Pic: Pool of water on Kjugekull, Sweden.


The Green Wall Cliché

Birthday parties at home, with lasagna and a cake of such sweetness that it makes E-Girls jealous. I continue writing my poems/philosophical investigations, while I flex my google muscles for "research." We have the Fiat Lingotto Factory in Turin, which I've always had a soft spot for. Given its scale and its ingenious rooftop racetrack, it was *way* ahead of its time. Austere like Corb's later Unité d'Habitations, conceptual like a co-programmatic project from the early 2000s, and surrounded by so many myths the story of The Italian Job is just one gem in a quarry of quirky information. Our other recon project is Facebook, something I can understand, but is hard to do, especially considering it is so pervasive to our present culture that everyone can (and will) relate to it, whatever recon you do about it. But maybe that is its charm.

I drink so much juice these days, I think I'm going to suffer from a vitamin C overdose soon. But it all depends on the situation. At least I'm back to cooking real food again, even if it's only meatballs. My project is my project, so one shouldn't think too hard whether "is this good?", "will they like this?", "where am I going?", "why did I choose this?" and so on. After school, we will be on our own, so better practice that independence already in 5th year. Tomorrow's more research, and, if I have the time in between all the writing, I will try to finish my latest drawing, a Gothic city out of wood. We'll see.


No more Merleau-Ponty

Complementary courses introduction tomorrow at ten, so I will go to bed soon. One phenomenal project has ended (if you excuse the double entendre), and another one is beginning. The term begins with research, to find as much as possible about factories, or rather, the factories offered by our teacher's scavenging of identity and commodity-producing institutions of any kind. I like that juxtaposition. One could say that, in our unit, we are desperately architectural but naughtily artistic. Sometimes, we don't even propose anything. Sometimes architecture is just a reproduction (if a bit strangely so).

My flatmate is surprised I can go on for such a long time without eating. I usually eat a large breakfast, and then nothing until 6 in the evening, when I have dinner, and then usually, I drink some juice and have a sandwich just before bed at midnight. For some reason, I'm able to sustain my weight regardless of what I'm eating. In Sweden, this summer, I happily ate as much as I could - breakfast, dinner, fika, and so on. It didn't change anything. Sometimes I believe my body is more cunning than me in extracting means of nutrition from the world.

If doubt is the only way in which we can be certain, that is, certain of being in doubt, then is truth formed in the doubting itself, or after the doubting has failed? Is doubt the hero or the villain? Sometimes, I think that I think a bit too much, but I'm practicing speaking as well. And drawing, of course. Hopefully I'll have a new drawing posted here at the beginning of next week. We'll see.

Pic: Window dressing in the West End.


Corridor Adventures

Early in the morning, albeit almost oversleeping, due to an optimistic snooze-mentality. At 8:40 the queue was already extending into the stairwell, not that it matters in which order one hands in the unit choices, but somehow, it felt reassuring to be there in good time. The break between 9 and 12, when the interview times were posted, was spent drawing in the library, little houses with cute decorations and nostalgic doors and windows. On the list, I was stated as third in line to be interviewed, a good spot, I thought, so I went to the unit space already to wait. Then my teacher Natasha arrived, and since I was the only one there, she invited me to be the first. It went well, we had a good chat about rules and the breaking of rules, of unit expectations as well as those of the students. In the end, my place was confirmed in ten minutes. It wouldn't surprise me if I was the first one to have his spot assured.

But it would be all too boring to go home to rest, so I spent the remainder of the day chatting with others waiting for their verdict, trying to memorise the names of the new students (as well as those returning who I, regrettably, had forgotten). It's always embarrassing to know that you don't know, but that is also a challenge, to admit the same. A silent idiot will be an idiot forever, but an idiot who dares to ask will only remain an idiot until he receives an answer. Now, the day is over, I will write my customary poems, and go to Sainsbury's to fill up the stocks in the fridge. The night is clear, and the stars in the windows of Lebanese restaurants are lit. London: today you were at your best.

We use our ideals to hold on, for in knowing what we're doing, what we're daring, what we *are*, is the best knowledge one can bring into the world. I'm still being challenged, and I think I want to continue to be challenged, for as long as we trust in that which cannot be erased, we will do fine. A gift is only a burden if you haven't yet figured out how to live with it.


School Starts!

It's been a long summer ... almost too long, I'd say, but, on the other hand, I've done what I enjoy doing, and that includes many fika breaks with Japanese lessons in my headphones. Tomorrow's wake-up time is eight, which I usually wake up at, anyway, and then I will be at the AA by 9:30, to partake in the unit introductions, which will turn to interviews the day after. I'm not nervous now, as I write this, but I'm sure I'll be when tomorrow's here, but it is a good nervousness, because it spurs you to action. After all, thought without action is as useless as action without thought, which is something I'm learning down the difficult path ...

I like it that the AA can accommodate so many different interests, so many different students spread out over different teachers. It's hard to say what the AA *is* these days, as I view it from the inside, so to speak; when I was in Lund, my stereotyped vision of the AA was an infection of parametricism, coupled with gimmicky stunts. But the truth of this school is, that it is so diverse that you will always find something that contradicts the definition you've just given of the school. Sometimes, I'm not even sure we're here to make architecture, but there are units which address that as well.

I miss my girl, and I know that she misses me. We have been patient, and with every new talk, we grow closer. We understand each other, we talk of all things, we share our lives and sweet words. It is nice to have a direction, to know what I will do when I graduate, besides getting a job. But now is not the time to think of a far future. Sometimes, it's enough just to think of the next day, the next morning. And one should never forget to be grateful for the day that went by (even if it handed you lemons).

Pic: back-side of St. Paul's.


Bookbinding and coffee breaks

A short trip to school to print some necessary documents for the registration taking place on Monday, along with the unit presentations. It's fifth year now, and yet, I don't feel particularly worried about my project-to-be. I'm more confident now with taking risks, and to push in the direction I find essential for my path of interests, not the path towards a standard "good AA-project." Of course, everyone wants to be recognised for their work, and appreciated for their effort, but self-confidence built on external praise will only lead to one thing: people pleasing. I don't want to go the other way and be an asshole, though. Perhaps this is the balance we all aspire to in school, that between listening and speaking, agreeing and refuting ... either way, I'd rather be capable of giving love than to be loved.

Listening to the new Aphex Twin-album, which I'm contemplating to buy on vinyl, despite not having access to a turntable here in London. It will be one of the first things I will buy for my future home, a stereo an an SL-1200. Not every track on this new album fits in my collection of sound experiments, though, but then again, none of the tracks from Porter Robinson's "Worlds" or Charisma.com's "DIStopping" fits there, either, so I'm just happy to have it on my hard-drive to play whenever the evening falls. Music is still important in my life, albeit collecting music is not so much, anymore. I feel like I've lost track of quite a few artists from the past three years, but it doesn't matter so much. If the masses still dig Nicki Minaj, I'm happy to be an outsider.

I still haven't unpacked my books, but today, I found a couple of folded paper cranes in a portfolio (a real portfolio) which I had not opened since I moved. I will put the cranes in my window, where they can prepare to fly away to worlds hitherto unseen. It's strange to know that a letter can travel to places you've never been to. Next time I will send myself with it.

Pic: St. Paul's cathedral, from Ludgate Hill (where Citybinders are).


Marble Arch Fountain

When I was ten, my first reaction whenever I learnt of something new, was to draw it. When there was a collection of parameters associated with the world which I had just witnessed, my response was to mimic its structure by means of the facade drawing, or the section. I drew with rulers, circle templates, and french curves. Nowadays, my same reaction has become to write. But it also reminds me of how our means of collecting information necessarily affects the world that we see; if I write, I will perceive the world in words. If I draw, I will disregard language and focus on the visual gesture of the item pictured.

These days, I'm approaching the end of my writing project, and I can begin to look upon the world as an image (or even a sound) again, but I will not abandon writing completely. I leave writing out of the question until I've found the description that gives meaning to writing, and to what I see in the world.

School starts in only a few days now. I've been counting down to the introduction day for quite some time now, and I believe that I need something to stimulate me when I have overdosed on philosophy. I love architecture. I don't want to rid myself of it, but so many things of architecture are not to love, things that leave me cold. What is there in an image that can form an argument? Is a project without an argument necessarily an architecture devoid of cultural content? These are the questions I hope to address in school this year to follow. Tomorrow I will pick up my book from the bookbinders. I hope it will be just as yellow as I've pictured it to be.

So many things we can be, so many things to do, but the most important thing remains: to be yourself, and to change yourself in your being in any given moment.


To Do What One Loves

We don't know what may come out of love. It might be nothing, or it might be so many things, that we spend the rest of our lives exploring what these things may be. I try to recall the moments when I was the most happy in architecture school, and it almost always boils down to an architecture theory course, where my philosophical urge, the friendship of thought, could come out without feeling ashamed that I was thinking of all these things, and considered them more important than myself. When I am gone, my books will be here for me, and if I'm lucky, I will have a book to describe who I was, for those coming after me. But I don't need publication, I only need survival. As long as my work is present, as long as it doesn't disappear, neither can I.

Today was the launch of "Little Worlds", the book I've been talking about in earlier blog posts. The place was full when I arrived at 6:30, late because I made the unsound decision to take the bus all the way, during rush-hour. There was free wine, free beer, and lots of familiar faces to meet again. I think, as long as I can remain honest, I will do alright. Perfection, when it comes by, is more beautiful than my life. A good book may matter more than the world, and yet, the book wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the world. The thought of certain things, the way the thought strings these things together, is more beautiful than the things in themselves. When the evening had long since fallen, I took the bus back to my home, and now I'm here, contemplating the things that ought to be contemplated.

Love is like a hole from which we see no other escape but to dig deeper.


White Curtains

Took a walk around the city, seeing as October is soon here and the leaves will not stay on the trees forever. Passed by the Paddington flyover, arrived at the venerable old Marble Arch, and had to make the decision between going into Hyde Park or wrestling with shoppers on Oxford Street. It picked the first. Speaker's Corner was full of agitators and their supporters/antipathists, but then the seas of grass opened up for me, and I arrived at the Serpentine in the mood for a coffee. However, I settled on just feasting with my eyes, since my economy is not as sumptuous as I would like it to be.

Later, I decided to just do what I did in Japan, in Tokyo, and everywhere else I've gone: I decided to drift, in pure Situationist fashion. When you have to make decisions at every corner, which are essentially non-decisions since the only judgemental faculty you bring up is that of intuition, of a hunch. After another hour of just passing by random stores and cafés, of which the Rolls-Royce and Victoria's Secret flagship stores were two, I suddenly found myself stepping into familiar territory again, when I emerged from Hanover Square right into the midst of Regent Street, from which I took the 98 back to Edgware Road.

The evening was spent on reading more Merleau-Ponty, frying meatballs and drinking juice drinks. Tomorrow, I will go to citybinders to hand in the prints for my book which will be bound and ready at the end of the week, should everything go as I hope it will. That's right, only one week left until school starts, and I'm anxious to get going. It is not without certain warm feelings that I remember every late evening in the studio, drawing or modelling or writing, with a sort of belonging. It's a second home to me, only that I'm not, unlike Lund, allowed to stay there for the night.

Pic: church in Mayfair.


The Fight

Any ideal that you don't have to fight for in order to reach is not an ideal worth reaching. The days turned slightly colder, slightly more wet, when the clouds open up to thunder and rain in the early morning, which I slept through. Forgot to take my medicine yesterday evening, and hence woke up early, tormented by the most strange of dreams. I wish school would start, so I could leave my books behind, and I wish for a good day tomorrow, so I can go to Hyde Park for my customary cup of coffee and carrot cake. Some things we do easily, others require more attention, stamina and determination, but in time, these will become easy as well.

A man will arrive early tomorrow morning to put the carpet into place in the staircase, but I will sleep, most likely. I wish I could sleep less, or at least, that I didn't spend all this time in bed, like I did this afternoon, but with every new revelation I think I'm coming closer and closer to the life I want to live - the life I can live, with all my problems and deficiencies. Men are singing in the streets, it is football evening, as usual, and the old men sitting at the pub downstairs come to life, if only for the brief moment it takes to smoke a cigarette.

This week was Design Festival in London, and I feel slightly embarrassed for not taking advantage of it. But to tell the truth, I'm not very interested in form. I don't think contemporary mainstream design is particularly good. If it was this kind of architecture I wanted to make, I'd never have leaved Sweden. The school is a much more interesting place than the world outside of it. It wouldn't surprise me if I stayed in school, if I made a home there, even long after my graduation. The question is which school I will stay at, where, and for what reason. Wonders of the future are here for us to see, when it is time ...

Pic: Office block in Oita, Japan.


The Same Time

Now is usually the time when I start preparing to go home from school, nearing ten in the evening at my second home, and I would jump on the Central Line to take me to Bond Street (which is now closed due to refurbishment) and then further on to Willesden Green, my hold home. I should be grateful for this day, because it will never come again, despite that our days repeat themselves over and over again - and that is their beauty. Tomorrow, I will print my portfolio and then go on reading more books before handing in the prints for binding on Monday morning. It feels nice to be able to simply jump on the tube at Marble Arch and go to St. Paul's in, what, 12 minutes, maybe? I'm spoilt here in my new home, I know it.

The days may change, as does the year, but we can take pride in knowing that the croissants will still find their place on the shelf. One day, I will no longer be here in London, but people will still go to the Moroccan restaurants, feast on smoke and spices, and there will be those who eat these croissants in the morning, rushing to their new studies at the AA, or anywhere else, and I will have graduated. This time in my life will be over, and a new time will begin in its stead. If we could do a certain thing in the past, it means that we were once this person, and are still able to be it. But perhaps we want to rush forward into what we haven't yet become, and be relieved of such obligations as time.

Socialising with my neighbours on the streets-in-the-air, Smithson-style yet 150 years early. People go out to have a smoke, to go to Tesco, to hurry down the street to the pub, where one can meet up with the football lads over a pint or two. I will continue to read my book, and write, because that's what I like, that's what I've overcome - the fear that follows everything we don't know everything about, which is nothing. Wish me luck tomorrow.

Pic: Street view from Edgware Road.


Kuiper Belt

As we look into the sky, wondering what word would perfectly describe this sky, the sky disappears into darkness, and the stars which we up until now have only thought of as imaginary, will no longer be hidden. We don't know what the day was until it is gone, and we are forced to live the day without knowing why, without the day telling us in any way what it is it demands of us. For all that I write, I feel like I accomplish nothing, I just produce nothingness, and the nothingness is not to be kept; the drawings are stowed away, and will not see anything other than in the moment I open the portfolio to add another image, one that died, one that was finished.

What I wish for is just the permanence of not being able to worry, to do things without being forced to consider all the catastrophes that may arise from a case of not being able to do a certain thing. The thing I lack is strength, so I should do all things which give me strength. The days are still hard, but not so dark. And now, as I've written this, night has fallen and the mopeds race by. The world was not made for a man to reject the world, altogether, hence the man who leaves early has hurried on into a world where he is accepted.

If we are faced with a world in which no answers are given, not even for the questions which are most urgent, then what is our choice? To attempt to answer them? Perhaps the most honest answer to such a question is: I don't know yet, but I am determined to know it. A mind can easily see patterns, but that same mind has not yet known when the pattern never fails.


Two New Permanent Guests

Days in London are so warm, and lends themselves well to a walk down the street, to the fishmonger and the bank, past the slightly embarrassing Nokia ads and the many shisha-bars, where people relax even in the face of a busy street. Everything happens in London. Next week, I'm invited to the launch of "Little Worlds", a book edited by my teacher (which I also spoke of in an earlier blog post). I think it'll be fun, meeting people of all kinds, talking about everything and nothing that relates to architecture and life. The school is quiet, but excellence awaits us if we seize the opportunity. I am going to spend most of my time reading the unit briefs for this year. I wonder somehow though if I'm not more inclined to choose units based on the teachers that drive them, the people behind the briefs, so to speak, rather than the briefs themselves.

I miss my girl, and for what I know, she misses me as well. It's no fun to be so far away from each other, even though I trust her completely and know that she's faithful to me. We will stay together, I'm sure of it. I know I can't find someone else who is as faithful as her, and who makes me feel so appreciated, and, well, loved. Love is a strange thing. It burns you, it thrills you, it consumes all your thoughts, it gives you the whole world, and we want more of it, everyday. I'm looking at her photo in my window, and I'm thinking, how much haven't we've been through together, how much do we not know of each other, and yet so far apart. But not for long, I hope. Not for long.

Pic: Garden near Andrarum coffee cottage.


Sunday Funday

I have to be the one I've become, and become the one I can no longer be. I have to dedicate my life to the thought behind the action, eventually claiming the fact that the thought itself is more worth than the action it is related to, for one's being in the world is decided by how we are, not what we do, or perhaps, not so much who we try so hard to be, who we dress up in order to convey, but rather the person that refrains from doing certain things, and these things are what makes us "us." Somehow, the world of words always seemed more interesting to me than the world as it actually was, and it seems like my drawings have to become subordinated to the theory which launched them, that is, the drawing continues the theoretical project beyond the confines of words, in that the drawing begins where the text ends, and simultaneously, the text begins where the drawing ends.

Two Spanish girls are moving into the room next to me. Not students, they're both looking for a job. I wonder how easy (or hard) it is to find a job in London, for people flock to the epicentre like vultures to a refugee lorry that has run out of diesel. It is still my dream to live and work in Japan, but I wonder, perhaps one can have minor dreams on the way there, perhaps one can begin to make a life with what one already has. London is not my city of dreams, but it is a city, and there's life happening in it, there are the walks along the Thames and the markets on the streets, where fishmongers try to outbid each other in the competition for customers. I'm always waiting for you, as much as I think you are waiting for me. Are we both too afraid to move?

I'm reading my book, slowly and steadily. If I was made for reading, the things that result from this activity of reading may be displayed as my purpose. The moon looks at me through its bone-white eye, and I help my flatmates to carry wardrobes down the stairs. Routinely dinners at 6, with all-veg pasta and another day of not leaving the house, if only to talk to you, to live in my mind, and to adventure out on the change of oneself, the one thing that is the hardest to move, since it always moves with us.

Pic: My garden, Kristianstad.


Days Go By

Look ahead. Look into the day, the night, the moment. It is us. It is what we are. A new book project: "Phenomenology of Perception", borrowed from the library today. Will replace "The Seduction of Place" by Joseph Rykwert as soon as it is finished. I refuse to not finish a book which I've begun, much the same as my commendation in the RIBA competition implied. Took hardly 20 minutes to go to school today, since I travelled early in the afternoon, in as minimal traffic as traffic in London can be. Whenever I wake up, I always ask myself: how am I going to accomplish anything today? But then, somehow, I end up accomplishing something anyway. No drawing for a while, as I bury myself in a cave of books. When I was 6, I buried myself in Christmas presents. We don't change much, do we?

The washing machine sings in the kitchen, my flatmates offer me pasta of many colours, of which "squid-black" is one. Good thing I didn't eat on my way home. Took the bus back from Tottenham Court Road, 30 minutes this time, but I did travel during the rush-hour. On Monday it will be two weeks until school starts. Invitation for design week drop into my inbox, another Zaha-thingy in the neighbourhood, this time in the V&A. If she regrets not having built enough in London, she sure is making up for that lack quickly. I wonder what would happen if we built not only in money, but also in time, in voluntary effort. Churches of the past were built on collaboration, you built your way into heaven, so to speak. Now all people want to build for is a new BMW.

Election time in Sweden. I don't vote. I don't care. I believe one should either give it all, or nothing. If one is not willing to become an activist, one shouldn't be allowed to vote. Scotland referendum votes in the UK, who knows where things will end. Power has a face; it is not the people. It is those who were given the power to be someone. All who want to be can also become.

Pic: Hot chocolate break in Ronneby.


If everyday is the same ...

... we at least know exactly what to make out of it. And if we know exactly what to do, we can repeat it tomorrow, on Kant's philosopher's walk, when we fill up our fridge, shop the same groceries, but vary ourselves in the choice of juice, the most hardcore choice we can make. My doctor told me when we met last time that it was good for me to have stability in my life, to live according to a schedule, although life in improvisation might be more exciting. I have written my architectural poems nearly everyday for 1½ years now, and I don't seem to be able to slow down.

Yesterday in the library, I made the friendship of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, who I will continue to read tomorrow, in the library. He works in the phenomenological tradition, which is far more exciting in terms of philosophy than what it is in architecture (Zumthor, go home). Today was a day of clouds, and of noise from the road running all the way down to Hilton. I miss my girl, and wish she was here with me, but I'll have to wait, to be patient. The best things are those which are worth waiting for.

Everyday the same, and that's what we like about it. The seasons change, little by little, but they change back to where they were before, long after we've started to miss them. My rooms is still a mess, but it is an organised mess, where my books act as door stoppers, and I get lost in the details of Dogma's plans, exquisite reactions to an architecture of the Funny Form by becoming even more formal. Perhaps form itself is the only thing that can save a profession in crisis, even though architecture itself is more popular than ever. Who knows? My only comment here is that I find Dogma's own projects more daring and challenging than the work made by their students, but that's inevitable. Students are students because they are students. I'm not writing nearly as good as Maurice, Jean-Paul or Martin, but I'm working on it. I'm learning.

Pic: Fredensborg Park, the path from the bay to the castle.


Keep Searching for the God Phrase

Perhaps the knowledge of what one is doing is more important than the principle behind that same doing, but, who knows, perhaps there will also be a day when all these wanderings will be left behind, when I no longer need to motivate myself, when I'm able and allowed to do exactly what I enjoy to do, and sometimes, we need to force ourselves forward in order to reach that coveted place which we picture will be the place where we finally settle down and act precisely with the ambition of remaining who we are, what we've been, and what we are meant to become.

Went to school today to read and to write, and I managed to do both for nearly four hours, after which the library closed and it was time to go home. Stopped by Wasabi to have sushi for dinner, even though I had meatballs prepared at home - they will have to wait for tomorrow. The wind is strong, Edgware road is as busy as ever, and the buses shuttle by in their pursuit for Oxford Street. I make of London what London can offer me, even if it's just a casual stroll with the camera in my hand, shooting a bit here and there, training my eye and my instincts. The smell of hookahs in little Lebanon and the house boats in little Venice are all on my doorstep. Segregation at its most admirable.


100% Zaha

It's fun just to walk around with your camera, photographing whatever curiosity you meet on your way. This year's Serpentine Pavilion was ugly, and from the project description I've read, the architect has succeeded in making a shoddy structure raised on arbitrary rocks. Quite an accomplishment, or, not really, considering that one can make something ugly with ease, while something of beauty comes with talent. Honestly, I liked Zaha's more permanent pavilion better - at least the workmanship was impeccable, and I did enjoy the interior, and I both question and applaud the decision to design absolutely *everything* in a building. It's a bit like autocracy. The question is: is the notion of the good tyrant even possible?

Had a fika next to the Serpentine, a carrot cake that was richer than I expected, so, I'm glad I didn't order hot chocolate to go with it. To be able to walk to Hyde Park in 20 minutes is quite amazing, and it will probably take the same time to go to Regent's Park, where I've only been once, but perhaps should go once more. But now, it's time to go to school, to bring together one's ideas in one portfolio that is killin' it.

The night is falling. The day is turning around the world, to begin somewhere else, in your home. Some people like to talk, others like to listen. Some are wallflowers, some want all of the attention. You have to give them what they want. The flow of events never stops turning, the possibility of yet another new idea, even better, is as alluring as ever. The man who does not know what he cannot make will eventually go on doing absolutely *everything.*

New Place!

When you live your life in the flow, there's nothing stopping you. Went from one home (in Willesden) to another (in Westminster), and even though the room is smaller, the welcome was warm and tasty. Had dinner with my new flatmates, lentils mixes with other lentils and the good company of people you can already call your friends. Tomorrow, I will be taking a walk around the neighbourhood, finding my way to new stores and reaching Hyde Park in ten (optimistic) minutes. It was good to finally unpack one's luggage as well, some of the stuff shouldn't have been stored there for this long. I'm not tired, I feel quite upbeat, and happy to be able to start over from zero again, even though we never do. If I can only keep the flow next to me in the times to come ...

I can't see Big Ben from my window, the way I could see Wembley Arena from my road to Sainsbury's. But it doesn't matter. I like it here. My window is facing south, and the house itself is (apparently) over 200 years old. I still look on Gumtree for fun for other places to live, perhaps to conclude, in good spirits, that I got the best that the city had to offer. I'm finding a bit of a romantic connection with my room, finally I have my artist's loft in the middle of the city, up with a view and a good table to sit and work by, computer-stuff or pencil-stuff. Here I can relax, here is my castle (as long as I pay the rent). Maybe I'm wasting money, but it's a fun waste, for that matter.

Still the trouble of deciding where to put all the books ... when I move to Japan, I wonder how I will get the books there. Will FedEx help? Will you help? Or should I sell all the books? That would be like killing a part of yourself. I have a very nostalgic relationship to all my books, even though I never read the same book twice. Time to bring out the camera again, and to enjoy the weather. (Will post photos when the sun rises.)



I'm not that much of an adventurer, any longer. And still, I plan to move across half the world in order to gain happiness. Many battles have been fought up until now, and many are still ahead of me. The room on Edgware Road turned out to be very good, so I'm moving there, tomorrow night. I will be within walking distance to Hyde Park, or about half-an-hour by foot to my school. It's great. I love it. Should I ever fall into the mode of adventuring again, I have the adventure right on my doorstep.

Sometimes I think I don't make much of a difference, but perhaps, the joy is not always in just being there, in speaking or listening, but rather, in being comfortable with being the one you are. When you forget about who you're trying to be, you can be yourself, look at your face in the mirror and say: this is me, and this is who I am comfortable at being. I wonder what I should do with all my writings. I write them because I enjoy them, I write them because I have time and strength to write. I suppose the choice that I have is between emptiness and meaning, although, as a haiku writer would say, isn't all particularly empty when we begin to dissect it? You cannot study a living being in its death, therefore, you cannot understand an author through his text.

I suppose what I'm looking for most of all is not necessarily fame, nor admiration, nor love, no, it is discovery. I would like to be discovered. To be seen just as I am, and with all the problems that make up my being, and appreciated for that fact. But, in our world of increasing fame and means of attaining fame, discovery approaches you only to abandon you in the next moment. And no-one will remember that you still are, that you're still making what you're making, that you're still writing and drawing and playing and all. Like a TV show that's been dragging on for far too long, we find ourselves having become caricatures of ourselves. But no-one will know.

Until next story, see you on the other side of the night.


Tomorrow: To Edgware Road

No Brick Lane room for me, yet, but I have three more viewings to attend, and hopefully one of them will be the perfect place for me to stay. One is a bit pricey, but might be worth it, given that I don't have to pay for the zone 2 Oyster card fee. We'll see. It's good to wake up early in the morning and have something to do. I need it, knowing myself. One always has to make the best choice one can make, with the knowledge one has in that particular moment. We cannot fault ourselves for not being what we can not yet be.

Right now, I'm looking more at location than the quality of the room, I think. Maybe I've fallen for that property market cliché, that it is not what you live in, but where you live, that makes the difference. But I have no need to be posh or artsy just for the sake of it, I just want to live at a location where things are happening. I want to know that I can encounter interesting things by just exiting my flat. Too bad I'm not very rich, else I would've rented a room near school, but oh, what difference does it make? I'm not a money-man, and I doubt I will ever become a money-maker, although one should be wary of predicting the future. It might just turn out alright.

One last year, before I graduate. One final push, before I know if I'm entitled to become an architect or not, if I can make it in the real world, if I have any talent, or if it was just pure chance that brought me here. I wish I could doubt less, and proclaim more, but the only reason I don't speak is because I truly don't know. Perhaps we have to make our decisions anyway, and do the best with what we have.

Pic: Chocolate ball from Kivik.


Central Line

Had a good day today. Went out to have a look at a possible new room to stay in, owned by a dodgy middle-aged man and with another, Japanese girl having just moved in, who was going to study fine arts at the Central St. Martin's. Good stuff. The flat itself was quite shabby, but the location perfect, just a stone's throw from Brick Lane and a ten minute walk to Bethnal Green tube station. I will know tomorrow night whether I'm offered the room, but I just enjoy travelling around London and meeting all these strange people everywhere who let me into their home. London itself is quite dodgy, if you don't mind me saying so. But most of all, I must say that I'm very happy to have stayed for two years in this room I'm now going to leave. The location might be a bit off-centre, but the room and all the amenities are really great. Willesden, good work!

Once I've got my new place settled down, I'm going to go to the school to sit in the library and draw and write and read and stuff. Now is the time to just enjoy what you're doing, for approaching October, I know I won't have much time to do anything but working, working, working. This, in a sense, is also what one should enjoy. Even though I'm basically paying someone to push me to produce things, if you're not doing what you enjoy when you're in school, you're doing something wrong. The AA doesn't teach you to do what it thinks is the best way to do it, but accepts that it is the input from the students that is the school's most valuable asset. Still haven't decided which unit to choose, though. We'll see during presentation day.

Cornish pastries and apple/raspberry juice, paired with nights of beef, mornings of yoghurt without cereals, and fikas of snacks from Sainsbury's. The greatest joy of life is to be able to share it with someone that you love more than you love life itself.

Pic: Pizza from the Road's End.



What drives a man? Can it even be said, or does it lose every reality
in the moment it is said to be a certain thing, value, purpose or goal?

The moon looks at me through the window. The rain falls over a garden which I only see from the inside of the kitchen. Can the moon be without shadow, if we say, that the entire night that surrounds it, is shadow in itself? If the rain is not heard, and if it is not felt, does it matter for anyone, is anyone capable of knowing what it means to the world to rain?

Sometimes, you simply have to accept that things take time. Time is what I have, while time is what slips away through the cracks of every alarm bell that rings, too early in the morning for conscience to have awoken. If this is as good as I'm supposed to feel, if this is how far I'm able to reach, how come I always keep on looking for something else, someone, a deity perhaps? If all we can accomplish, is a momentary disturbance in the field of thoughts, of time itself, then is all that I'm aiming for terribly big in one case, but terribly small in another? A man who helps another man will have done something great for that man. Is that not enough? Is the sheer scale of an action what determines the greatness of a man?

Men are their actions, yes.
There is no difference to the impact
of an action, only the difference
of perception. To the universe
we are all infinitely small.



Saw a show about stammers on Channel 4. For a man to not be able to speak when he wants to, would that be akin to being an architect without hands? One has to do what one can with the means that one has been given, and be happy with that, but one should also remember that one is in the power of becoming something else than what one is today. I had a moment this morning when I was thinking: "how stupid am I not for sacrificing all this money on an education?", but then I was reassured by those close to me. I'm not a man of much money, I'm only happy I could take this loan and do my best with it, to be in London, a big city, even though I hardly leave my room - and to be happy with that. I suppose happiness is a thing one can wish for, and search for, but one that comes to you when you don't expect it.

Saw one of Diploma 6's students on dezeen earlier today. I didn't know he had made a film, and although some things were a bit quirky, I liked the colours. The project itself is a bit ... I don't know, experimental just for the sake of being experimental, but I'm not a philistine, it is better than what I did last year. Had another of those moments of sudden realisation earlier this afternoon, when I was supposed to go to the RIBA party but instead stayed home to write and read, and it was the realisation that we don't apply architecture to the facets of life which don't have anything to do with architecture in order to become architects, but it is rather the opposite. When we bring into architectural design what has nothing to do with architecture as it is, we become architects. Perhaps, to be an architect is the ultimate end of a journey which we have to hitchhike with all kinds non-architectural along the way.

I'm not an architect yet.
I wonder if I'll ever be.

Pic: Smoker in Fitzrovia.


The meaningful wins over the meaningless

In London again, with polite showers decorating the sky in mid-grey, so that we are reminded of which city we spend our days in. Cooking chicken with wholegrain pasta and a big dose of vegetables, while we contemplate the Notting Hill carnival from afar. A cheerful email from the AArchitecture editors made the morning a bit brighter, although I still grasp for reasons to rise from the bed. It will be better when the library opens, I think, so I have somewhere to go during the day. Now, I'm making the days go by with the latest AA Files, and some evening lectures streamed from the school website.

How was your summer? Mine was good. Hot at times, slightly more chilly at others, but good, it was good. Strange to think that I've got less than a year now left before I graduate. It will be ten years since I first did the test that earned me a place in school, although I chose to postpone my first year to 2006. I learned a lot during 2005. I learned to program. I learned to hex edit data files. I learned to Photoshop. I learned English. That was enough. I've been lucky. Throughout most of my life I feel that way: I've been lucky.

Will my luck hold on for one more year? I can only hope. I don't have time for pride. I must move on, always move on, always something new to write, always another mantra to test. Do I enjoy it? I do, but I believe there is something deeper to it, something that keeps you going when the times get rough. I'm still slightly surprised I ended up at the AA. I thought for sure that I would go to the Bartlett. Same city, I suppose. Now, the question is where I will end up in the future. I think I live far too much in the future, but on the other hand, that's what it means to be young.

Pic: Thames River redevelopment.


Factory Floor

Drawing: Done!

It's not what you don't have
it's what you do with what you have.

Before I began working on my latest drawing, I asked myself: what do I want to get better at? I know, for a fact, that I can draw lifelike portraits and landscapes to an almost professional degree as long as I have photographic evidence to work from. What's new? you might ask. Everyone draws better when they know what they draw. With this in mind, I decided to dedicate my drawing-quality-time to rendering things I don't know of, to invent, to draw from one's mind, to imagine. It's harder, because you cannot rely on a precedent, you have to think of shadows, of light direction, of composition, of angles and places to leave only vaguely sketched. I cannot say that I always enjoy drawing. It's hard, and, in the end, perhaps not as rewarding as I wish. But these are the skills I have, and I have to polish them as much as I can.

A break from the predictable pattern of waking-eating-drawing-writing-sleeping in the form of, as always, fika. More Japanese lessons in the headphones on our way there, and far too much chocolate for me to leave with my conscience intact. After all, if you're offered cream, why not indulge in it as much as possible? I don't have good self-control. Porter Robinson's first album and Joe Hisaishi for the drawing moment, and sadly, a day without poems. Tomorrow I will submit my entry to AArchitecture, which will hopefully be good enough to print.

Pic: Hens outside Andrarum coffee cottage.