Using the curatorial theme “Only Connect” taken from the most famous line of the E.M. Forster novel Howards End and organized by fellow Academician artist David Remfry, Barber will explore the place of craftsmanship in architectural design through a selection of studio models, drawings, maquettes, sketches, and other objects on view until August 20th in the RA’s Burlington House main gallery.
He says he intends to expand by “focusing on the art of making and the hand-made within the design process, which can often be overlooked in the digital age,” taking umbrage in sociologist Richard Sennett’s aphorism that “making is thinking” to examine the process of building under late capitalism with a critical eye.
Barber’s work as an architect relies heavily on the notion of craft and the tactile application of skill in keeping with his deference for the past, expressed through the use of materials, forms, and styles that are synonymous with the country’s design history. Therefore this will stand as a timely showcase of the ideas which formulate the basis for his award-winning projects and overall approach to the design of buildings. Finally, in a nod to more contemporary concerns, Barber said also that he will include work that is “experimental, provocative, and visionary in response to the climate crisis.”
The exhibition opens on June 13th. Submissions will be accepted through February 14th. More information about the Academy’s summer programming can be found here.
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