The Bartlett School of Architecture


LOBBY No. 2 ‘Clairvoyance’

Lobby No. 2

1 February 2015

By the powers that be, architects have been anointed with the gift of clairvoyance. Or so we think. LOBBY No. 2 opens up a forum for discussing the role of the architect as a clairvoyant idealist or a historical realist. From our early years of educational formation, we're taught to think ahead, to mystically position ourselves within the minds, bodies and social structures of the those who will use our furniture, inhabit our buildings and stroll our cities.

We design our projects in the hopes that they will enhance their inhabitants' lives, while simultaneously upholding a certain degree of conviction that we will succeed, that our work will be revolutionary for the group of people who will come in contact with our intervention. In this process of formulating predictions, like a believer who seeks the advice of a fortune-teller, we manage to convince others - a family, a community, a monarch, or even a government - that what we foresee is the actual near-future. 'Clairvoyance' is a platform to analyse the design process, experiment with alternatives, and engage in self-critique to create an 'archive of predictions' for the future of architecture.

Featured in the issue are exclusive contributions by Daniel Libeskind (Studio Libeskind), Adrian Forty, Sam Jacob and Francine Houben (Mecanoo).

Lobby website