Wish We Were Here

2011 03 07 Cedric Price Exh SB 0018

'Philosopher, sir?'
'An observer of human nature, sir', said Mr Pickwick
The Pickwick Papers or The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick
Club by Charles Dickens*

Cedric Price (1934-2003) was an architect, thinker and above all an Englishman of extraordinary generosity towards his subject. He had an independence of mind the like of which can only come from a fondness for humans and a fascination for human nature. For Price, the moral and ethical principles implied in any design speculation are privileged over and above variations on the artefactual by-product. In this respect the role of the many rich collaborations over his lifetime, conversations and talks amongst audiences, engaging with the media as a means of initiating discussion, and the more personal dialogue presented in his notebooks were all critical in developing his design thinking on the themes of participation, anticipation, indeterminacy and delight. The films and drawings from Price's personal notebooks that appear in the exhibition present Price doing what he did best over a period of 40 years - constantly challenging our understanding of what architecture might be, in discussions with students, colleagues, strangers and himself.

* a CP favourite - he held 16 copies in his library at home, with one copy especially reserved for travelling.
Wallpaper E-Flux Architectural Association

  • Client: Architectural Association
  • Location: London
  • Year: 2011
  • Programme: Research
  • Status: Completed
  • Team: Samantha Hardingham, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Scrap Marshall
  • Photography: Valerie Bennett