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This Sceptered Isle

Part 2 Project 2003
Nicola Koller
Chloe van Grieken
Royal College of Art, UK
‘Pessimism is the new fashion’

By 2020, the World Health Organisation predicts depression to be the number one health problem.

The suburban bourgeois Neanderthal slowly consumes its narcissistic undergrowth. As physical and mental malaise infiltrates and contaminates the countryside, farming has reached a condition of survival. The Ministry Of Agriculture has forged a partnership with Barratt Homes to create a harmonious British Landscape, fuelled by its consumers and cultivated by financial benefactors. It aims to sustain farming both economically and to preserve it status as a cultural, psychological myth, in harmony with the monoculture madness that once bred in the suburbs

Nicola Koller
Chloe van Grieken

Ads 04

This year the unit investigated truth. Our media saturated environment bombards us with information and opinion. Projects negotiate between reputable data sources and the ad hoc and hearsay tapping into unofficial and unrecognised versions of reality. Emerging social trends sit at the heart of the design brief.

Everything must be questioned and examined. Nicola investigates the countryside and aesthetic farms, in particular, the impact consumerism and suburban psychology could have on its future expression. She backs up her hypothesis with statistical analysis and concrete evidence, but equally a playfulness is evident, a light humour that invites the irrational and contradictory. She develops a creative landscape which allows both the real and the imaginary to coexist in the same space. A space for speculation where the ‘suspension of disbelief’ is carefully crafted and judged, and where the viewer is lead through the different scales of architectural proposition, from master plan to the intimate detail of an inhabited space.

Her work presents hypothetical ‘What If’ scenarios as critical instruments for discussion and debate. Their open-ended speculation engages the imagination and causes reflection on the decisions and values shaping our future cities and environments.

Mr Michael Angus
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