Laurie Farmer


Laurie Framer is alive and well and is successfully living in the farthest corners of Eastern Europe, to wit Bratislava.

Here I present a recent evocation of his work and some of his current thoughts expressed in a recent exchange;

Laurie Farmer….

In silence with a bad film radiating in the background….

Maybe Kevin you can consider the following.

Can subjectivity become a reasonable justification?

Are routes of selection a convenience to conclusion?

Is conservation a result of professional inability?

Striking process construction for the source of talent search in architecture.

Restrictive processes are no form of reason.

Context needs personal consideration.

Surely a creative process is for architecture a fundamental freedom of exploration, not exploitation.

It is searching for creation in honest belief, in a specific time.

How can we define appropriateness, in an industry context, of highly subjective legislative  multiple variables. Properly, I suggest, by honest judgment and vision.

It is here, I believe, architecture in whatever form may be derived.

It is a product for third parties, provided by the author. Judge and be judged is by default an architect’s collateral, or damage.

The solution to target can never be defined as “complete” or “completed”.

Consensus is not an option.

Laurie Farmer; 15th March 2013

Dear Kevin,

I was asked once to lecture publically at a real estate conference on Luxury.

While dwelling on this for some reason, I considered the idea of debate.

I would consider time as my essential currency.

Thus debate is not for free.

Can we thus consider that irrelevant comment is an expensive waste?

For me informed debate has value.

What do you think?

Can this be key for finding ones solution?

If so, it is fundamental to architecture.

But unqualified comment is not, and devalues our lives.

Kevin Rhowbotham: 17th March 2013.

Laurie, there is no such thing as informed debate just people vying for power. Someone once said that there is no such thing as understanding just various levels of humor. This is more or less my


Time (or rather ‘measured time’, by which I refer to an entirely contemporary view of temporality) is not a currency; it cannot be exchanged for anything; it has no exchange value like money, rather
contemporary measured time is a crude abstraction; a forced condition of measurement and by extension a curb on human cultural action. Time in this sense can never be money as Benjamin Franklin would have us believe.  The ‘modern’ concept of time (measured time) has been forced
upon human culture in order to establish abstract conditions of control which cultivate a division of labour. At a point in time, before time, before metrical time anyway, human cultural existence was
subject to a very different idea of temporality; it was subject not to measured time but to duration. Duration is a temporal concept, thus related to modern notions of time, but it is a notion of temporality
which is not subject to the geometries of measurement. It is uneven, more like a landscape than a flat grid. Duration is a very different concept, which had human culture rather than the measuring machine as its conceptual point of departure.
This shift into abstraction can also be determined in contemporary notions of space. The ancients wrote not of space but of extension. The universe was not, as at this juncture in the unfolding duration of
human culture, a measured infinity (as it is now under the crushing ideology of an empirical view of the world) but rather an extension, emanating from the psychological self; a notion tied to the
Architecture has cast off both duration and extension; it is consequently alienated from its principal subjects, human culture and human psychology.
Money is a meta-measuring structure which abstracts these two constrictions (time and space) which are themselves, abject abstractions.  Time and space are constructions which make money

Laurie Farmer: 18th March 2013 14:55

Dear Kevin,

I’m not sure I completely agree. If we are not in a situation to discuss various views and theory we cannot best progress.   I surely have benefited from discussing issues with various people I  respect, only on the basis I don’t consider myself a god. All individuals who have considered themselves gods also have a short shelf life historically.

Certainly I would consider my time of value, and my point being not using this for irrelevant debate. Unless we believe in fate, I think you can also buy time. Easy example if you’re really sick you go to the doctor. That’s why the human   population lives longer. We also buy our right to visit the doctor.

Anyway might point is not to debate with those of irrelevant position. My daughter at 17 is well known for a 2 minute test. If in this time conversation is bollocks goes into standby mode and disappears into a book.

I have the same tolerance for banks, where their lucky to get past the first coffee.

So where do we go from here? I must say that any debate in architecture now for me is mostly tough call. Simply believe in what I consider important and see no relevance to expose this to most people. So I have a full draw of stuff which occasionally sees day light.

After our Skype call , it’s all about what’s not there. You’ve got some special  words for that. This is it and its also about fun, something missing in our lives of architecture.

So can we agree.


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