Wacky is great in small quantities
Architect Mobile Studio has designed an exhibition for the Royal Academy in London with the title ‘The Weird, the Wacky and the Wonderful‘, and it looks as if their exhibition design lives up to the name. It sounds a really intriguing exhibition, as we are all seduced by weirdo architecture – at least if we don’t have to live in it or opposite it. It would be interesting to know whether buildings like Vienna’s Hundertwasserhaus become more appealing or more irritating over time, or simply nearly invisible.
Much of the work in the show predates the rise of the ‘icon’, and is likely to be either wilfully naive, or a deliberate reaction against a prevailing orthodoxy. But however much we enjoy these buildings, they actually tell us a lot about what we don’t want our buildings to be. The occasional maverick is intriguing and charming – but a whole city of them would be like living inside a perpetual migraine. We need the transgressive to remind us what normality should be like – it really is the exception that proves the rule.