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Part 2 Project 2002
Lizzie Evans
Justine Newby
University of Westminster, UK
This project developed in an experimental manner, using a series of drawings and models as the descriptions of my research which gradually came to take on their own life, eventually being developed and used as a speculative proposal. These proposals seemed bizarre, extreme and unlikely, but my aim was to develop and test them as detailed technological proposals, gradually "reading in" function and programme, and insisting on detailed technological resolution of the symbolic objects which emerge.
The result was the culmination of my diploma work, from which I had acquired the speculative re-use of craft techniques, an array of model making manners and the inclination to re-use the ‘English vernacular’ and fantasy. Only now I had to use these to construct a huge masterplan on the Canon's Marsh site in Bristol.

These techniques were used to do this in four main ways:-
1) The development of the buildings is based on the amalgamation of the sites imaginary/mythical past and the actual disappearance of its fundamental handmade industrial and craft industries.
2) The application of ruthless modernist planning techniques against a possible ‘twee’/picturesque language.
3) The development in great detail of both the detailed design and the construction of the masterplan.
4) The introduction of the critical lifestyle overview in relation to the social programme, which would dictate the year to year activities of the site's occupants.

This critical lifestyle overview went from their arrival as a single young professional looking for love (helped along by components such as specialist dogwalking facilities for all those chance meetings (when dog sniffs dog...) or the Tesco Metro (for checking out at the checkout), to subsequent stage of marital bliss in a ‘boot’ starter home with an endless supply of D.I.Y materials to hand.
The beginning of family life will require a larger and more luxurious home (prize for reaching this stage of the plan), and so a log fired abode with extras - such as the father- son/daughter ‘bonding’ toys, helps to pass the twenty or so years without any straying by either party.
Retirement requires pastimes to keep one agile and youthful (the watermill complex sees to that!) so that the O.A.P may end their lifetime content and happy in their ‘whale’ home.

Lizzie Evans
Justine Newby

Lizzie is one of the most remarkable students I've even encountered. Even her external examiner, John Lyall (not one might think, a man to go for huge mechanical elephants or-live-in leather boots), said she was entirely exceptional; having developed an extraordinary, speculative, art- based language which she draws and develops in the most profound detail. Though her work is all derived from historical precedents (both architectural and art) she is a genuine original, prompting debate from all her examiners about where the art project stops and the architecture begins. Another examiner, Fred Manson, said that she works like an artist - yet there is nothing here that isnt "building".

Lizzie works in a way which is both instinctive, speculative, and ruthless in the extent to which she will test her propositions, and in the critical way she assesses her own work. As a first-year Diploma student, she quickly developed her own speculative graphic technique: part description, part commentary -- and began to extend and refine and question the way this technique might be used to create a three-dimensional, physical architecture - and indeed to suggest recombinations of traditional programmes and forms. At the end of this year she developed an architecture which overtly tried to reconstruct recombine and exploit the flatness of her extravagantly detailed, highly idosyncratic (all drawn on one layer of vectorworks) drawing style.

In her second and final year, and with her usual capacity to attack the most difficult thing, she moved into beautifully made, handcrafted models to see if these could extend the nature of the architecture she was developing. Working between drawings and models she reinvented a version of the quaint or kitsch, challenging this yet again by recombining it with information age lifestyles and with the most ruthless of modernist social programming techniques.

Her final, extraordinary, live-in fantasy polemic, developed in a detail almost never seen in any kind of architecture, is both serious, critical and tongue-in-cheek: part critical commentary on the way we live now, it is worked out in a detail which puts the generic technology of the amorphous computer-generated roof to shame, and also offers unexpected solutions and suggestions, technical, material, social and personal, challenging our imagination and the restrictions we normally put on it.

• Page Hits: 1364         • Entry Date: 16 September 2002         • Last Update: 16 September 2002