Robinson in Space

Robinson in Space and London by Patrick Keiller are brilliant films, witty and acerbic, showing the urban decay and the effects of Thatcherism on the UK. In it, the lead character Robinson visits places of significance in the lives of writers and historical figures and in passing comments on the economy and the decline of industry. A fitting tribute to late Mrs. Thatcher.


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About thomaswensing

Architect and Activist. Over the years I have become increasingly aware that I need to actively engage with the issues I care about. My passions and irritations are many and change often, but a red thread is always a deep concern over the fact that capitalism does not work as it is claimed it does, democracies only serve the needs of the few and environmental resource depletion and pressures continue to mount. I think it is time for citizen's activism to create pressure, to bang on the doors of established powers and interests until we get it right. As you will notice, if you continue to follow my blog over time, there are certain fetishes I have; modernism, social housing, the avant-garde. I propose to recuperate the Modern Project from the dustbin of history and re-establish the link between social engagement and architecture. Watch it all come down needs to be followed by let the good stuff blossom!

3 responses to “Robinson in Space”

  1. Ian Abley says :

    Also take a look at Keiller’s The Dilapidated Dwelling. Martin Pawley features and refers to Fuller:

    In 1938 Richard Buckminster Fuller wrote Nine Chains to the Moon, which only gained a wider audience many years later from the 1963 reprint. For Fuller there were ‘…four overlapping applications and conflicting interpretations of the phrase MASS PRODUCTION HOUSE’.

    These are paraphrased as:

    – Repetition of a number of standard house types by site based building trades

    – Erection on site of integrated components purchased from a catalogue

    – Delivery of a volumetric unit prefabricated to be installed on a prepared site

    – Supply of a production run house made affordable by a finance package

    The latter, most daring and elusive was ‘… a competitive shelter service industry, similar to the hotel industry, and of the mechanical standard, scope, and integration of the automobile industry, engaged in furnishing on a RENTAL basis complete scientifically-evolved individual-family dwelling machines, whose design, economy, standard of adequacy, equipment, production, erection, land rent, service, maintenance, moving and removal, improvement and replacement rate are THE ENTIRE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE INDUSTRY’S CENTRAL COMPETITIVE CORPORATIONS, and are all included in one monthly rental charge.’

    Richard Buckminster Fuller, Nine Chains to the Moon, first published 1938, first reprint London, Feffer and Simons Inc, 1963, fifth reprint June 1970, page 327

  2. icelandpenny says :

    Hi Thomas, You have a really interesting blog. Thanks for discovering mine, and leading me here. Thanks too for taking time to comment on “The Art of Protest”

    • thomaswensing says :

      Hi Penny, I have only just started – in part because of my wife and friends who told me that I needed to share and get things out of my system! I will keep a tab on you! And I will try to come up with new stuff.

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