Fat (London)

Sean Griffiths, Sam Jacob, Charles Holland

Fat is concerned with architecture`s relationship to the city and to all forms of contemporary culture. We are interested in how these relationships are manifested in the appearance and use of buildings.

Our projects utilise a variety of architectural languages that allow articulation of interests in issues of taste, place, identity and use. Our work also tries to puncture some of the myths that permeate architectural practice, such as the uncritical association of certain aesthetic tropes with ‘good design` and the search for a bogus ‘authenticity`.

We are concerned with issues of representation and our projects usually take on an overt representational style. We see this as an antidote to the almost universal use of abstract languages in contemporary architecture which we believe are increasingly irrelevant in an age dominated by media and electronic communication.

Above all, we try to make our projects communicate with as many people as possible. In order to achieve this, we draw on sources which we think will be familiar to our audience, be they architectural sophisticates or ordinary people. Some of the sources (Disneyland, the commercial vernacular, suburbia, architecture of the reviled Post modernist period) are considered an anathema to architectural good taste. This has resulted in some of our work being considered provocative and idiosyncratic, although not by us.

Drawing on our influences, who include architects ranging from Archigram to Venturi as well as artists such as Andy Warhol and Richard Hamilton, our approach is characterised by a number of formal tactics which include copying things that already exist, making things bigger or smaller than they should be, cutting things out, putting things in the wrong place and where possible, getting other people to do the work.