Battleground

By James Gowan

James Gowan (1923–2015), studies for the Expandable House. Pen on sketchbook sheet, 138 × 335 mm. DMC 2355.3r.

To some extent this is the battleground of the British architectural avant-garde; the incompatibilities of graphics and architecture, the freedom that the former allows and the restrictions that the latter asserts. In recent years, the graphics have got smoother whilst the dialectic has remained largely unresolved. A conclusive project is yet to appear, one which allows the spectator to move close-to and savour the content. This suggests that, as in painting, the elementary aesthetics are inherently intractable and, without substantial adjustment, are likely to have an isolated rather than a general significance.