21 June 2020

co+labo radović    A Picture Is Worth a 1000 Words - Guest Lecture by Bratislav Gaković     
Special guest in the co+labo 2O2O lecture series, Bratislav Gaković talk decided to deliver his presentation in an unusual format, which was not to be a lecture at all! Announcing his talk, Braca explained: "I have conceived the session as a game. A game with pictures. After a very short introduction I will present you a bunch of images in an attempt to attract your attention. Should some of presented images touch you, and you would like to know more about them – the game is on. If nothing touches you - the game is over. These “trigger” pictures will be on your screens for about 60 seconds (left).
Then, they will disappear. If something intrigued you, just write down a number next to the image and ask me to tell you more about it. My answer will be followed by short explanation with some more images of the same thing - and hopefully, it will give us all the chance to expand the discussion on that theme.
In some distant way this is a continuation of Rafa’s lecture on images. Not quite though. This is totally subjective. There is no objectivity, no detachment in this. No universal knowledge, no universal truths. This is in fact a presentation of some of my work with the addition of a couple of other images. Images that mean something to me. So, these images are me. I am these images. It’s all personal. The presentation will have no references, no citations, no footnotes... All I will be talking about has been amalgamated in my head and I do not know the origins of that ‘knowledge’ any more.  If there is any knowledge in it, that is.

A picture is worth a 1000 words
Does this saying imply that pictures can talk? I think yes. Moreover, they talk to people in their own languages.  Spooky?! It is often said that the first mass communication started with images, long before the written or printed word was used.
I am talking as an architect now:  In our line of work, a picture seems to be worth more than a 1000 words.  Imagery is possibly the most important strategic/tactical weapon we have in our arsenal. We are using it all the time, through the process of designing and constructing a building or whilst conceiving and implementing an urban design plan/concept. At different stages of the process we are using different types of images. We are using them in communication with the clients, the builders, the reps, the planners, in discussions with our colleges...  Mastering the art of presentation (of which the visual presentation is usually a key part), is as important for us as being creative or possessing the necessary technical knowledge."
This was a generous present from a seasoned architect and urbanist to co+labo students of architecture and urban design and regular  contributors. As intended, it was nor followed by a discussion  but it was an (pro)active part of discussion in itself. As such, it fit perfectly into old co+labo practices of favouring indirect over direct (and thus directive) provision of information, provocation and inspiration over information to passively absorb and implement.
As always, co+labo has recorded the talk and several fragments are presented on this blog (above).

While Darko's collaboration with Braca dates back to 1980s Belgrade and the unique environment of CEP, collaboration with co+labo  has started in 2012, the he joined us in the workshop conducted in Manchester in association with Leeds University and Professor Greg Keefe, left). co+labo participants were Darko, Sano-san and now OB Ken Akatsuka, Shinnosuke Hoshikawa, Takaaki Kato and Charles Lemonnier.
In briefest, Bratislav Gaković is a Yugoslav and British architect, with rich international professional experience (1979-1989 in Yugoslavia, 1989-2018 in the UK), with a wide range of projects which included a large number of Urban Development Plans, Master Plans, architectural schemes for clients from former Yugoslavia, and major schemes working with Austin-Smith: Lord, The Open University,  John S Bonnington Partnership,  EGS Design,  Downs Variava and Ian Simpson Architects. Braca has entered more than forty architectural and urban design competitions – and won some twenty awards. His of Non-domestic Building Stock, which started at the Open University in the a990s is now based at the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies at University College London.


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