landscape.mp3: An Interview with Smout Allen

[Image: Sketches by Smout Allen].

I’ve uploaded an edited MP3 from BLDGBLOG’s interview with Mark Smout and Laura Allen, recorded two weeks ago in London at the Storefront for Art and Architecture.
We discuss everything from active vs. passive landscapes to mudflats, river deltas, and the architectural form of managed retreat on the British coast; from the design implications of climate change to artificially refrigerated Chinese tundra in Tibet; from Smout Allen’s educational work with Unit 11 at the Bartlett School of Architecture to their work as documented in the excellent and highly recommended Pamphlet Architecture book Augmented Landscapes.

[Images: Sketches by Smout Allen; these images are also briefly explored in the forthcoming BLDGBLOG Book].

The MP3 comes in at about 37 minutes. If you have any thoughts, let me know! I’d love to discuss this further.
Special thanks go out to Mark Smout and Laura Allen themselves, and to Joseph Grima and the Storefront for Art and Architecture for hosting the event.

16 thoughts on “landscape.mp3: An Interview with Smout Allen”

  1. The mp3 link doesn’t seem to be working…did it have a time limit on it, or has there been any other issues that you know of which could have caused this? If you could find a way to re-link the mp3, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

  2. Ted, Filedropper – where the MP3 is hosted – appears to be down. I’ll try again in an hour or so, and if it’s still down I’ll upload it to MegaUpload. Sorry about that.

  3. Is there a new link to the mp3? The filedropper link doesn’t take me to the link of any files. If you have reuploaded the file, can you post it here again? Thanks!

  4. Just want to say thanks for re-uploading it! I really love their work. Now waiting for the download to be completed!

  5. Hey Geoff, the edited transcripts + image inserts are really nice to read, but my co-worker and I also enjoyed being able to listen to the audio while working. Any mp3s available for the older interviews?

  6. The audio files for the older interviews are really bad quality – having been recorded over the phone – and the transcripts themselves, that you would have read, are very heavily edited, so there isn’t much correspondence between the two anymore (the interviewee and I went back through the transcript and edited/added/subtracted/elaborated and so on, creating a pretty different second draft of the interview).

    But I definitely hope to post more MP3s, provided I get through this final round of insane busyness with my book and I can actually spend the time getting interviews together!

    Glad you like them, though – and keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for future interviews.

  7. Doesn’t anyone seem to think that Smout + Allen’s work is a bit cannibalistic of the work Lebbius Woods and others that was happening 10 to 20 years ago. Granted, maybe a little more ‘Earth’ oriented and realistic, but the graphics, the sites, the technocratic and heady explanations… it just seems to run in that same vein of Holl, Woods, Sorkin, etc.

    “I good artist borrows, a great artist steals.”

  8. I cannot see anything original or worthy of further consideration in Smout+Allen’s work – and yes, it is wholly referential but not in a wholesome way. Smout and Allen have arrived through the back door of academia – helping the great and good prepare their books and lectures and being allowed to ‘slip’ one of their own drawings in – Allen was, after all. Peter Cooks secretary and was far from being the glowing light of the year when she herself studied at the Bartlett. Its a great shame Architecture is not able to flush itself out every so often to rid the hangers-on.

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