Nic Clear

In the beginning of february I visited one extremely interesting lecture, conducted by Nic Clear. He is a qualified professional architect and run his own company. His main interests are film and animation, architecture ideas and practices, and their development and representation. Consequently, as you can guess, the lecture was concentrated on two aspects – architecture and animation. He showed us some short movies, some of them absolutely alluring, and talked about using of animated films within architecture in all its forms.

Nic Clear started his lecture explaining what exactly mean to be architect. This is not just a title, it is not just a profession, it is more like ideology or at least I understanded in this way. Constructing different buildings, the architect creates and develops ideas, he is an artist. Sometimes a concept was born by something very small and insignificant. Sometimes even a not so experienced person can build up an amazing idea. Nic gave us an example of that with one very famous skyscraper in London – Swiss Re Building or as many people know it, The Egg. It is known that this edifice was designed by Norman Foster, but it turned out that actually the model was developed by one of his students.

Clear was widely talking about connection between painting and architecture and especially how architecture changed over the years. Practically, nothing has changed. If we look deeply in the history, we will see a lot of drawings for each building and old drawings demonstrate classical language. This language is used and today. At present there are many types of software which were invented purposely to make the things easier, variegated programms that can create 3D models and help developing a project. But in the beginning every plan started again with drawings, schemes and sketches. With other words, if we compare old and contemporary drawings, we will see that only the paper and eventually materials are different, depictions are absolutely the same. In addition let’s not forget the main characteristic in all illustrations – their flatness.

One of the films showed during the lecture was a part of David Fincher’s film “Panic Room”. Nic Clear exposed to us the modern perception of space, this which we can see and we can’t see, a conception between real and virtual. It was very interesting moment. I had watched this movie before and I remembered this scene, but just now I realised how strong is the part when the viewer becomes acquainted closely with the architecture of the house.

Me and my coursemates had honour to be observers to some videos, produced by Nic Clear’s students. I was impressed. Amazing work. One of the most memorable clips was called “Robots of Brixton”. A student, named Kibwe Tavares, has created this short film set in 2050 that features robots being discriminated against by humans in Brixton. First, this movie was criticised that there is nothing in common with architecture. The comment was “This is not architecture, it is a bloody film”. Mixture of architectural drawings and futuristic animation, this video has deliberate echoes of the Brixton riots in the early 80s.

As a conclusion, I can say that I really enjoyed to this lecture. Nic Clear knows definitely how to attract viewer’s attention. One of the main aspect was again the space and it was represented in one fabilous way through the eye of a person with vivid imagination and architectural consistency.


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