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Jake Parkin

Second Year Project – Intermediate 12_Architectural Association


A serialised alternative to contemporary museum design and curation, 'Sorry, No Refunds'.
How can architectural form question the role of the institutional voice? Those with authority and power traditionally control the telling of history, however this proposal explores the possibility of an architectural and cultural undermining of 'Nation', 'Culture' and 'Singularity' by handing over authority and interpretation to the visitor.

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Who influences you graphically?

Creative types who work with colour in a seriously playful manner whether on purpose or accidentally… Those who I have always admired for doing it very well architecturally are people involved with practises like Bureau Spectacular, Elsewhere, Phase3, FAT, CRAB, Selgascano and amid.cero9 to name a few. Also there’s a long, long list of brilliant artists circling around in my mind but Grayson Perry, Jeremy Deller, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Cy Twombly, Dexter Dalwood, David Hockney, Yayoi Kusama, and Michael Craig-Martin are some of the people making the range of work I stare at most when thinking about playful, attractive and colourful image making.


To what extent have your studies at the AA influenced how you draw and represent architecture?

I’ve been super lucky to bump into loads of people who work with colour ridiculously well so I guess that particular clan have influenced my work a lot. I noticed at the AA people fit into one of three groups. There’s a group that uses one point perspective, another that uses perhaps two point perspective or perfect axonometric drawing and a third group which experiment with strange drawing techniques and more honest, even clumsy, methods of representation. I strongly believe that the tongue-in-cheek third group includes the units and people at the AA that I want to learn from most and that are by far producing the most interesting work at the moment.


What is your take on colour?

It’s important! I try to put it in everything I do. I absolutely have a soft spot for really spectacular line drawings in black and white they can work super well, but I find it dreadfully uninspiring when the most colourful thing in an image is the sky or the grass. Colour plays a vital role in architecture as where due it can be telling of context, culture and especially attitude. When I use it, it’s usually instinctive and I try to use as much as frequently as possible. Perhaps it’s my reactionary coping mechanism in a world of ‘strong and stable’ stagnant conservatism both politically and architecturally…


What is your work process in terms of concept development and construction of an image?

I really don’t believe I know that much yet so I try and surround myself with interesting tutors and people that encourage me to think about a context, a given brief or my own project differently to how I have before. Conceptually I tend to lean towards satirical, critical and/or playful responses to specific cultural findings. When constructing an image I consider the given context, think what is appropriate, think what is inappropriate and then decide how far along that spectrum I wish to place myself.



What is the purpose of the white background?

The white background helps me to imagine something as a working drawing. Useful for things which don’t have, or need, a place yet but that I’d like to bring about anyway. The main drawing for this piece was on-top of a background map of Johannesburg as it was a constructed drawing specific to its’ context. But the white background in the other images I guess I made like that as I wanted to keep them separate from a given context. There’s something queer about them hovering around on the page that I like, I suppose a heavy context tying down absolutely everything is conceptually tiring. They’re playful objects today which may fall down to earth at some point in the future, but I’m quite happy with them floating around for now.



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