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07 Mar 16:26

The New Landscape in Art and Science by György Kepes

by mariabruna fabrizi

The New Landscape in Art and Science is a 1956 book by György Kepes. The Hungarian-born artist, art theorist and educator taught along Laszlo Moholy-Nagy at the New Bauhaus school in Chicago and later was the founder of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at the MIT. At the institute he was in contact with scientists from different domains and began working around the construction of a discourse which included both science and visual art in an attempt to find a common language between them. The connecting language in Kepes’ research turned out to be that of nature as further revealed by the new images accessible through the recent developments in science and technology.

Kepes “attempted to present in pictures the new visual world revealed by science and technology, things that were previously too big or too small, too opaque or too fast for the unaided eye to see.” (from Kepes: The New Landscape in Art and Science (1956) )

In 1951 he organized an exhibition titled “The New Landscape” presenting affinities among visual arts and recent visualizations of research models. Macro, computer images, photographs of the moon surface were shown along visual artists’ production in an attempt to let the similarities emerge. The focus is on recurrences of patterns, forms, growth and logical systems, rhythm.

In “The New Landscape in Art and Science” (1956), this research was translated into a publication.


Transverse section of wood: 250X 1951 Photographic enlargement on particleboard Lent by Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries



Gyorgy Kepes Lichtenberg figures: A. R. von Hippel 1951 Photographic enlargement on particleboard Lent by Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries



Transverse section of Osmanthus wood: 50X 1951 Photographic enlargement on particleboard Lent by Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries



Untitled Date unknown Photographic enlargement on particleboard, date unknown Lent by Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries



Gate, Photogenic 1948 Photographic enlargement on particleboard, date unknown Lent by Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries



Untitled Date unknown Photographic enlargement on particleboard, date unknown Lent by Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries





Lichtenberg figures: A. R. von Hippel 1951 Photographic enlargement on particleboard Lent by Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries





The obvious world that we know on gross levels of sight, sound taste and touch, can be connected with the subtle world revealed by our scientific instruments and devices. Seen together, aerial maps of river estuaries and road systems, feathers, fern leaves, branching blood vessels, nerve ganglia, electron micrographs of crystals and the tree-like patterns of electrical discharge-figures are connected, although they are vastly different in place, origin and scale … Their similarity of form is by no means accidental. As patterns of energy-gathering and energy-distribution, they are similar graphs generated by similar processes. György Kepes

Further reading:

György Kepes on monoskop

Images via :


18 Mar 16:01


13 Mar 22:48

The ghetto sound of Lisbon

Tiago Patatas

subúrbio a dar cartas, outra vez.

For the last ten years, a thrilling form of African-influenced dance music has been brewing in bedrooms in Lisbon's heavily isolated housing projects. But through the pioneering work of a label called Príncipe, the sound is beginning to reach far beyond its local roots.
11 Mar 15:07

Original Lego Patent by G.K. Christiansen (1961)

01 Mar 10:09

by admin


21 Feb 17:52

Light Maps

by Bronwyn Marshall

Australian Bianca Chang is holding her first solo show Light Maps at A-M Gallery, Sydney. Bianca Chang is a self-taught designer and artist living and working in Sydney and has participated in numerous group exhibitions. Her work embodies a play of lines, through motions of movement and engagement with light.

Light Maps is an exhibition comprised of a muted palette and restrained minimalist material composition. The way in which light is portrayed through her work and the approach by which light interacts with the pieces is where the subtle nuances emerge. I find these voids and subtleties are beautiful.

Bianca is currently developing a body of work in ceramics and teaches design at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is one to watch, with no doubt numerous future solo shows to follow this one.

Photography courtesy of Jacob Ring.

Bianca-Chang-Light-Maps-1 Bianca-Chang-Light-Maps-2 Bianca-Chang-Light-Maps-3 Bianca-Chang-Light-Maps-4 Bianca-Chang-Light-Maps-5 Bianca-Chang-Light-Maps-6 Bianca-Chang-Light-Maps-7 Bianca-Chang-Light-Maps-8 Bianca-Chang-Light-Maps-9 Bianca-Chang-Light-Maps-10 Bianca-Chang-Light-Maps-11 Bianca-Chang-Light-Maps-12 Bianca-Chang-Light-Maps-13 Bianca-Chang-Light-Maps-14 Bianca-Chang-Light-Maps-15 Bianca-Chang-Light-Maps-16

Light Maps is a post by Bronwyn Marshall on Minimalissimo.

19 Jan 22:04

Roland to revive the TR-808

Tiago Patatas


Attack Magazine has posted a photo that suggests the company will announce a new drum machine called the AIRA TR-08.
19 Jan 21:10

Berlin Atonal confirms 2014 dates and Amsterdam show

Tiago Patatas

alinhava bem nisto... companhia?

Moritz Von Oswald's new trio lineup with Tony Allen will play in Amsterdam next month, a prelude to the full festival in Berlin this July.
04 Jan 15:34

by admin
Tiago Patatas

living the dream.

31 Dec 12:33

by admin
Tiago Patatas

Príncipe a dar cartas. disco forte.



13 Dec 20:16

Julibox Curated Cocktail Kit

by Thomas Welch
Tiago Patatas

gosto bastante disto. alguém alinha nuns testes? (Lessa?)

Julibox Curated Cocktail Kit

We received our first Julibox in the mail this week, and are ready to try some interesting alcoholic concoctions. If you are unfamiliar, Julibox is an online delivery service for cocktail discovery. Each month, the company mails out all of the necessary ingredients and directions to make two unique cocktails, selected by their world class mixologist. This month, we received a tightly packed box with the liquid essentials to make a “Whiskey-Thyme Smash” and a “Concord Bramble.” All we need now is some fresh fruit, herbs, and receptive palettes. Head to Julibox to learn more and sign up.

Julibox Curated Cocktail Kit is a post by Thomas Welch on Selectism.

13 Dec 16:44

A Gentlemanly Guide to Cheese

by Martin Pilkington

A Gentlemanly Guide to Cheese

However fascinating the almost infinite variety of cheese-making methods, what really interests cultured consumers of cultured milk is how we maximize the pleasure of eating the stuff, from store to table. Cheese addict and freelance writer Martin Pilkington offers some words on curds.

Photo: Flickr


To enjoy great cheese, first find it (not always easy) and those who handle it lovingly – often a bigger stretch. Maturing cheese needs a temperature and humidity controlled environment and the occasional flip-over, and arguably more arcane treatments like washing the rind and patting the big wheels.  Metropolitan cheese lovers will have an affineur they can rely on. Affinage is the art of taking young cheeses from the makers then storing and maturing them until they reach their absolute peak, like the renowned Murray’s Cheese Shop in Greenwich Village. Specialist stores and real delicatessens are an option too, and resurgent artisan cheese production makes buying direct another. You have less chance at Apu Nahasapeemapetilon’s Kwik-E-Mart or bigger versions thereof.

A Gentlemanly Guide to Cheese

Photo: Flickr


Your fine cheese will almost certainly come wrapped in waxed paper. Keep it this way, plastic wrap can cause sweating. Cheese should be kept in the refrigerator, but remove it in time for the cheese to reach a comfortable room temperature before it is eaten.

The science is simple: the complex flavors of cheese are carried in volatile fats that will be more volatile if not chilled to death.

Cheese won’t rot the instant it meets warm air. Remember, cheese was a way of prolonging the life of milk before we had refrigeration. That said, even for a big cheese fan there are limits. The Italian island of Sardinia has a “celebrated” specialty sheep’s cheese called Casu Marzu, meaning rotted cheese, served complete with wriggling larvae. Eat at your peril.

How and When to Serve?

Cheese makes a great snack anytime, and is ideal picnic food. It shines brightest, though, as a course within a meal: always before dessert per the French (who know a thing or two about food). For the diet conscious, cheese instead of dessert makes sense.

A cheeseboard needs variety, but to venture into Martha Stewart territory more than four is fussy so let’s say a soft goat’s cheese, cheddar, brie and a blue cheese to cover all bases. The French often serve just “un fromage,” a single offering, ripe and ready with crusty bread to accompany it. Crackers if they’re not highly flavored, table water crackers are ideal, are equally good vehicles for the cheese. In high-end circles they’re snapped with the fingers then loaded with a cheesy morsel, but, like that bread, the crackers should not be buttered. The additional fat of butter dilutes and diverts the taste.

Some gourmets like the contrast of rich with sharp provided by slices of apple or a few grapes eaten between cheesy mouthfuls. The Spanish enlist Membrillo, quince paste, to provide a sweet reference point.

A Gentlemanly Guide to Cheese

Photo: Flickr

What to Drink with Cheese?

Classic combinations are classics because they work: Sauternes with Roquefort or pretty much any salty blue cheese for the sweet-salt marriage. The same with the English fixation: Stilton with Port. Those unions rely on contrast, but equivalence is equally valid: try medium-bodied Gamay or Pinot Noir with say Camembert; and a Sauvignon Blanc’s lightness with delicate goat’s cheeses.

Match the heavy artillery like Shiraz, Rioja and big Cabernet Sauvignons with cheese world giants – Manchego, real Cheddar (Montgomery’s if you can find it), aged Cantal and Gruyere. Emmi Roth’s Grand Cru Surchoix from Wisconsin currently making waves in the USA.

Don’t rule out beer with cheese though. Not “a beer,” but the right beer. Writer Michael Jackson paired Chimay Grande Reserve with Stilton: the beer’s Port overtones suiting the buttery blue. America’s ever expanding range of craft-brewed hoppy beers like Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale pair nicely with strongly flavored cheese. It’s not for nothing that Welsh Rarebit often has beer stirred into the cheese.

Like decent wine, good beer and real bread, a proper cheese is one of life’s great pleasures, a luxury or necessity depending on your viewpoint. As Monty Python’s Life of Brian had it: blessed are the cheese-makers.

Pasteurized or Not?

There is no right answer to the question, “Which tastes better, cheese made with pasteurized or unpasteurized milk?” Given the potential for harmful bacteria in young unpasteurized cheese, the FDA has strict rules that makers must follow to minimize dangers. Nevertheless it probably makes sense for pregnant women, kids and those with compromised immune systems to avoid all unpasteurized product. Which is sad for such folks: some of the world’s best cheeses are now off-limits.

A Gentlemanly Guide to Cheese

Photo: Divya Thakur/Flickr

A Gentlemanly Guide to Cheese is a post by Martin Pilkington on Selectism.

01 Nov 18:26

Fans petition for east London statue of rapper Wiley

by Sean Michaels

Thousands join a social media campaign to erect a statue of the rapper in Tower Hamlets

More than 2,000 people have joined a campaign to erect a statue of UK grime musician Wiley in the rapper's home borough. Supporters drafted a petition for Lutfur Rahman, mayor of Tower Hamlets, asking the local government to raise a monument in Bow.

"Richard Cowie (aka Wiley) has undoubtedly inspired an entire generation," wrote Julie Adenuga, the campaign's instigator, in her petition. "A man who has put his heart and soul into what he believes in and consistently shows passion and perseverance … As we journey through our day-to-day lives as commuters, as cyclists, as pedestrians and [as] road users, it's refreshing to be reminded of uplifting and entertaining role models, especially ones who were born and nurtured on the same streets as us."

At the time of writing, 2,041 people had signed Adenuga's petition, including rapper Dizzee Rascal, along with supporters from France, Florida and – in copious numbers – East London. "Wiley is London," wrote one fan. "He's so E3," wrote another. "[HE] IS THE KING OF GRIME AND HE WILL BE FOR A VERY LONG TIME," declared a third.

Wiley has been resistant to the campaign for a statue. Responding to a Quietus tweet about the petition, he wrote simply: "No". The 34-year-old musician grew up in Bow, rising up through the underground grime scene until his 2008 mainstream breakout album, Wearing My Rolex. His ninth album, The Ascent, was released in April and reached No 26 on the charts. © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

27 Oct 15:41

Lacoste Collector No.8 “Crazy Crocodiles” by Peter Saville for Holiday 2013

by Elaine YJ Lee
Tiago Patatas

que cool. 7 de abril, mais uma vez...

Lacoste Collector No.8 Crazy Crocodiles by Peter Saville for Holiday 2013

Lacoste employ the creative talents of Peter Saville for their 80th anniversary Holiday 2013 Collector series, No.8. Saville reinvents the iconic L.12.12 polo shirt by experimenting with the classic crocodile logo, turning it into scribbles, dots and lines. The series is produced in limited quantities: 80 for men and 80 for women. Every piece in the collection is unique and packaged with a certificate of authenticity signed and numbered by Saville himself. Get your collectible polo when No.8 releases this November.

Lacoste Collector No.8 “Crazy Crocodiles” by Peter Saville for Holiday 2013 is a post by Elaine YJ Lee on Selectism.

13 Oct 16:58

Watch a 20-minute video of Autechre live in '91

Tiago Patatas

tinha 3 anos, por esta altura...

Robin Rimbaud, AKA Scanner, unearthed this clip of the Manchester duo playing live the year they released their first EP, Cavity Job.
07 Oct 21:22

Braun Stainless Steel Mesh Strap Watches – 2 Ways

by Jeff Carvalho
Tiago Patatas

malta, lá para o 7 de abril...

Braun Stainless Steel Mesh Strap Watches   2 Ways

Our love of all things BRAUN is more than evident and for good reason: the creative direction of Dieter Rams from 1961 to 1995 lead the way in simple, purposeful design. The BRAUN aesthetic will continue to be studied, borrowed and celebrated for generations to come.

In recent years, BRAUN has reissued many of their iconic designs in various forms, with their archival watch products leading as a gateway into the brand for today’s generation. BRAUN’s stainless steel mesh band watches, available in blackBraun Stainless Steel Mesh Strap Watches   2 Ways and whiteBraun Stainless Steel Mesh Strap Watches   2 Ways, are strong examples of clean watch forms that remain understated and functional. Each features a 40mm face with a quartz three-hand date movement with scratch resistant glass tops. Best of all, they price in nicely at $150Braun Stainless Steel Mesh Strap Watches   2 Ways (white) and $235Braun Stainless Steel Mesh Strap Watches   2 Ways (black) over on AmazonBraun Stainless Steel Mesh Strap Watches   2 Ways.


Braun Stainless Steel Mesh Strap Watches – 2 Ways is a post by Jeff Carvalho on Selectism.

08 Sep 11:44


03 Aug 22:37


Tiago Patatas


02 Aug 13:21

Oneohtrix Point Never: Listen to 'Problem Areas', the first track taken from 'R Plus Seven' out in September

Tiago Patatas


The first music released from Oneohtrix Point Never on the upcoming album, 'R Plus Seven', is now available to stream online. 'Problem Areas' is available to download with every pre-order of the album.

More on

Oneohtrix Point Never / Listen to 'Problem Areas', the first track taken from 'R Plus Seven' out in September / Problem Areas

Warp - Records - Oneohtrix Point Never - Listen to 'Problem Areas', the first track taken from 'R Plus Seven' out in September
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01 Aug 13:20


31 Jul 14:29


28 Jul 11:44

The Simpsons and Family Guy Appearing Together

by Patrick

the simpsons and family guy appearing together 1 The Simpsons and Family Guy Appearing TogetherIn an upcoming episode of FOX‘s Family Guy, two of the best cartoon comedy franchises are set to finally meet face-to-face in what will be a historic (yes, this is tv history) crossover show with The Simpsons. While we’ll have to wait quite a while until the full Family Guy episode, which is set to air this Fall 2014, FOX is already busy promoting the episode using each show’s main spokesmen. Family Guy’s Peter Griffin was quoted as saying, “FOX hasn’t speny this much money since they took Simon Cowell tight t-shirt shopping,” while Homer Simpson noted, “Finally I can get my hands on this guy!” All we know of the plot is that the two families meet when the Griffins end up in Springfield, but the families will get the chance to know each other throughout the whole show. The Simpsons have had plenty of highlights over their 25 year run and the same goes for Family Guy, which is entering its 11th season, but this collaboration is sure to be a doozy. Stay tuned for more on this one.

Read the rest of The Simpsons and Family Guy Appearing Together

© pmallory for, 2013. | Permalink | No comment | Follow us: Facebook | Twitter
Post tags: Family Guy, The Simpsons

27 Jul 18:14

Mark Fell debuts on Liberation Technologies

Tiago Patatas

Bruninho! Restivo! espreitem esta remistura de EYE! adoro a Liberation Technologies.

The experimental house producer will release a two-track EP through the Mute sublabel next month.
22 Jul 02:06

Explore Paris's Grande Palais Via Drone Photography

by Zahra Jamshed
Tiago Patatas

drone photography, impecável para espreitar vizinhas...

An architectural masterpiece and Parisian landmark, the Grand Palais has long served as a home for historical and art exhibitions. Now, through the lens of a drone camera, we take a look at the engineering marvels of the building itself. Taking visuals (quite literally) to new heights, the camera captures everything from the intricate construction of the archways to the rooftop shadows forming geometric silhouettes on the floor below.


21 Jul 16:18

Artist: Chris Ritter and Krutika Mallikarjuna. Inspired...

Tiago Patatas

coisas que poderei mais ou menos fazer daqui a 3 semanas.

Artist: Chris Ritter and Krutika Mallikarjuna. Inspired by sha-sha-shroom.

Title: "If you like it then you shoulda put a vote on it.“

20 Jul 11:11

Richard Rogers: 'The street is where society comes into itself'

by Nicholas Wroe
Tiago Patatas

textos compridos e assim, só para me armar.

The arts interview: On the eve of his 80th birthday, and a Royal Academy show, Rogers talks about his 50-year bid to change society – and why we never get over the shock of the new

Richard Rogers's 1958 student report from the Architectural Association School exhibited a remarkable level of consistency: Elementary Construction; Concrete Design; Specifications & Materials … he failed them all. As his tutor concluded, Rogers "has a genuine interest in and a feeling for architecture, but sorely lacks the intellectual equipment to translate these feelings into sound building. His designs will continue to suffer while his drawing is so bad, his method of work so chaotic and his critical judgment so inarticulate."

It would not be the last time Rogers received a bad notice. In 1987, Prince Charles, a persistent critic, responded to his plans for London's Paternoster Square, near St Paul's Cathedral, by saying: "You have to give this much to the Luftwaffe. When it knocked down our buildings, it didn't replace them with anything more offensive than rubble."

When Rogers was working on the building he is best known for, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, he says that "no building was as unpopular. We had absolutely nothing positive from press or public. Halfway through I was sent a letter signed by 47 French intellectuals objecting to this thing that would 'dishonour' Paris." In fact the letter was a copy of the one sent to Eiffel objecting to his tower, and was sent by a supporter to raise his spirits. "So nothing changes," he laughs. "There is always the shock of the new. But almost immediately after the Pompidou opened people started to come around. And the press changed tack and carried on as if they had loved it all along."

Rogers has also, of course, enjoyed his share of praise. Two years after that disastrous AA School report he won his final-year prize – a guinea – and set out on one of the most significant architectural careers of his generation. Aside from the Pompidou Centre, Rogers's CV includes the Lloyds building, Heathrow Terminal Five, as well as a new terminal at Madrid's Barajas airport, the Millennium Dome, the Welsh Assembly building, the European Court of Human Rights and, most recently, the Leadenhall building in the City, dubbed the Cheesegrater.

Along the way he has been awarded the highest honours in the profession, including the Riba Gold medal and the Pritzker prize – the "Nobel of architecture". But for all this acclaim, he says architecture has been largely "a tool" by which he has attempted to achieve some sort of resolution between a wider set of social, economic, political and cultural ideas. In that AA report, he was lauded, presciently, for his "capacity for worrying about the effect the building will have on people". It is a trait that has defined his career ever since, whether in his buildings or in his wider public interventions – being the first architect to give the Reith Lectures, for example, being a Labour member of the House of Lords and key government advisor on urban policy, chair of the Tate Gallery and a long-standing supporter of the social housing movement.

The Pritzker jury said the Pompidou centre "revolutionised museums, transforming what had once been elite monuments into popular places of social and cultural exchange, woven into the heart of the city". It reinvigorated a hi-tech modernism that by the 1970s looked as if it had run its course, as well as paving the way for the likes of Tate Modern and the huge growth in public access to cultural institutions.

"The first slogan was 'a place for all people, all ages and all creeds. A cross between Times Square and the British Museum'. I believe strongly that buildings need to communicate their purpose. The way in the Welsh parliament the public walk over and look down on the politicians. The courts we built in Bordeaux are not prisons, they are places where people can learn about the law. I like the idea of trying to influence society by taking a brief then maybe subtly changing it or looking at it in a new way to see what interesting things can emerge."

Rogers is 80 this month, and his life and career are being celebrated in an exhibition at the Royal Academy entitled Inside Out, a nod to the distinctive, and once shocking, display of the Pompidou Centre's plumbing and lift systems on the exterior of the building. The show looks at the Rogers ethos (for instance the highest paid architect in his practice earns a maximum of eight times the lowest paid), the social aspects of the built environment, the adaptability and sustainability of his buildings as well as his focus on the city as a human hub.

The show is designed by Rogers's son, Ab Rogers, who says it is less an architectural retrospective "than an insight into the motivations to create architecture. As far back as 1970 Richard was designing a prefabricated, flexible, 'Zip-Up' house that was so well insulated you could heat a three-bedroom home with a 3kW fire. Then, conserving energy was maverick thinking and quite often over the years he's appeared to be off-message. But the things he is interested in aren't short-term political fixes, they are long-term ideas for living that have been bubbling away for over 50 years."

"The response to climate change is interesting in all sorts of ways," Richard Rogers says. "People ask why do we do airports. But it is not making better airports that is the problem. Society has to get a grip and put a tax on carbon. Of course there is much that flows from that and it is a complex situation. The small details of something such as climate change are political and social, and they are a lot about fairness and how we rebalance towards a fairer society. This show at the Royal Academy is about the buildings I have been involved with, but I hope it is more about some of the ideas behind those buildings."

Rogers was born in Florence in 1933. "My great, great, great grandfather went from Sunderland to Venice, and I think preferred the weather in Italy and stayed. My father was a doctor and my mother a potter. She always said if you put those together you'll probably get a designer or an architect." An idea that might have been reinforced by the presence in the family of the celebrated Italian architect Ernesto Rogers.

"We sort of escaped back to England before the war, although actually my father had always wanted to come here. But arriving in 1939 as an Italian was pretty much like being a German. It was difficult at school, and so I suppose my social and political awareness started quite early on, although the Attlee welfare state was fantastic so far as my parents were concerned."

School was also difficult because Rogers was dyslexic, "which didn't exist then, so as I was 11 when I learnt to read I was put in the category of a stupid kid and my aim in life was to be second from bottom of the class." After school he was inspired by the design aspects of the 1951 Festival of Britain, and his interest in architecture was further fired by meeting up with Ernesto Rogers while stationed in Trieste during National Service. He enrolled in the Architectural Association School in London in 1954 and graduated in 1960 into a British economy that was still recovering from the war. His first job was with Middlesex County Council's architects' department.

"People forget now that every architect in the post-war period worked for local authorities or schools or hospitals. There wasn't any money for private work. We were all working for the needs of the guys who had returned from the front. Houses for heroes, as it used to be called."

In 1960 Rogers married his first wife, Su Brumwell, and the following year won an MA scholarship to Yale, where he was exposed to modern American architecture and also met fellow student Norman Foster and visiting tutor James Stirling. On returning to the UK Rogers, Brumwell and Foster, along with Foster's wife Wendy Cheeseman, set up the practice Team 4, some of whose early ideas (shared decision-making – "although there were two dominant partners", as Ab Rogers points out) prefigured Roger's future career.

In 1971, after Team 4 had split up, Rogers met the young Italian architect Renzo Piano. Within a few months they were working together, and soon after that they entered a competition for a new arts centre in Paris. "You know when you meet someone and feel as if you have known them for a long time?" says Piano. "We had that sort of affinity from the beginning. Soon we also discovered that we had similar ideas about civic tensions and anxieties. We thought of ourselves as bad boys who wanted to change the world, with the funny idea that you could do it through architecture."

Rogers says that "as a left winger" he was against even entering the competition for the Pompidou Centre. "I didn't want to build a palace for a president and I didn't want to centralise culture. Fortunately, being a democratic practice, we argued it out and I lost the argument. Looking back it was a ridiculous thing for a couple of 30-odd-year-olds to have taken on. But naivety and not knowing your limits can have its advantages." It was also a good time personally for Rogers, by now with his second wife, Ruth, who was setting out on her own cooking career, and who would go on to find acclaim as chef and joint owner with the late Rose Gray of the River Café, which sits next door to Rogers's practice on the banks of the Thames in south-west London.

But almost as soon as the Pompidou Centre opened, and the critical tide turned in their favour, Rogers and Piano went their separate ways. "Initially – and this was the same with Norman – there is something wonderful about having large characters around that can talk about ideas for hours at a time," Rogers explains. "But after a while the energy begins to run out and each partner starts to think he's being overshadowed. Also, after the Pompidou, there were no new commissions for a couple of years. Our closest partner had to go off to be a taxi driver."

Rogers went to America for a period and taught at UCLA and Yale until, unexpectedly, his practice won the competition for the new Lloyds building. By the time it was completed in 1986, Rogers had become a public figure. He, Stirling and Foster were featured in a 1986 Royal Academy exhibition, "London As It Could Be", that offered a series of ideas, never implemented, for transforming large areas of the city.

It was an early manifestation of his increasingly active public life that ultimately led him to the House of Lords. "And I have changed my view of a second unelected chamber. The speeches there are so good because people are not tied to three-line whips. So the question is how to preserve that quality and still be democratic." His most significant contribution to government came as chair of the Urban Task Force in the late 90s. "It was about cities, and it did change Britain's environmental policy. At the time everyone thought the answer was to expand into the suburbs. But with the blessing of the minister, John Prescott, who was brilliant, we built an urban strategy that cities should be compact and that you should retro-fit on land, not build new. It was called 'the city on the city'. Now the planning situation has gone from localism to centralism and is pretty disastrous. The housing problem is getting worse, as is the gap between the bottom of society and the top. That needs to be addressed as you will pay for it one way or another."

Has he found it difficult to marry his commitment to the public good with large private commissions? "Clearly private developers can have different aims and architects can only play a certain role. You can have some pretty big battles on public commissions too. The key is to have a good client. At Leadenhall" – built opposite the now Grade-1 listed Lloyds building – "one of the most important things is the massive public space at its base. But you have to work to explain the benefits of things like that. Maybe I'd prefer to work with more public organisations, but I would never dream of saying I won't work with someone because the only interest is profit. It is only if the client is impossible that I don't do it."

A recent London housing project, One Hyde Park, has caused controversy in its construction of some of the most expensive homes in the world with little public access. "But flats and houses are private by their very nature whether you like it or not. I don't know of a block of flats where you can walk through. So you try and find the edges. There you can walk down both sides and there is a transparency between the blocks. The battle is often to make something positive out of the contradictions."

In 2007 the Richard Rogers Partnership became Rogers, Stirk, Harbour + Partners, reflecting the influence of younger colleagues Graham Stirk and Ivan Harbour, and Rogers says that while there is a public demand to have one person out front, "of course it doesn't work like that. Architecture is too complex for just one person to do it, and I love collaboration. Partners like Renzo and Norman were wonderful draughtsmen and I never was. My dyslexia means that my PA could always read my writing better than I could. We all bring different things."

Since the banking crash of 2008 – "a ghastly political situation as well as a financial problem because it was so much to do with greed" – over a third of the practice's new work is in the far east. But he is still optimistic about the UK, and especially London. "Thirty years ago people were talking about Frankfurt as the next European business capital. Lloyds were talking about building in Frankfurt. But having lived a long life I can say that London has improved immeasurably. Everyone talks about coffee houses taking over, but people are meeting in them and that is very important. The high street is where society comes into itself. Watching TV on your own is not very inspiring. But meeting people is where you get new ideas and get things done. We haven't quite got our passeggiata yet, but people do walk the pavements, and this is still a fascinating place to be and there is still so much do. My mother said to me when she was 90 that she felt 18 until she looked in the mirror. I think I have some of that at 80. People ask when will I retire. But retire to what? You're supposed to do something you enjoy when you retire. I'm still enjoying what I do now."

• Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano will be in conversation with Alan Rusbridger at a special RA event on 4 October. Guardian Extra members can secure seats in advance © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

10 Jul 16:20


21 Jun 12:38


Tiago Patatas

to do: assinatura tridimensional

11 Jun 22:51


07 Jun 22:11

Freak Scene: Forest Swords and the Shifting Idea of Dub

by Sam Hockley-Smith
Right now, the background on my phone is the cover of Vivien Goldman’s Dirty Washing EP, because it is the thing I listen to more than anything else. Goldman is now a professor at NYU, … read more »