Perhaps the most amusing thing I have discovered recently: Interior and Environmental design student Ruth Bowie's Thesis project, a huge complex dedicated to the promotion of healthy, safe and most importantly fun one night stands.
Obviously, I'm not going to do the whole moral outrage thing. Ironically, The Sun has taken that initiative already. In the interests of fair representation, Ruth's blog is here.
I have no moral objection to the project at all. After all, French philosopher Michel Foucault believed that in the middle ages, sex was a perfectly normal topic of life - it only became taboo in the 19th century when discussion of sex was suppressed to make sure that individuals were not distracted from being productive members of the industrial revolution. Now that we put more emphasis on leisure, why should sex still be a taboo subject?
No, my objections require thinking longer and harder.
The exterior is composed of a simple box. Into her box, Ruth has inserted bars, clubs, kinky shops, a porn cinema, a hotel and sexual health clinics. What bothers me is that, for a project that supposedly takes a "no taboos", "nothing to hide" approach to sexual socialising, it doesn't half look seedy. The exterior is forbidding, not giving any hints as to what could be occurring inside, which to me seems a bit sinister. And once you penetrate inside, the circulation areas have the unclean ambience of the back passages which are already being used for this purpose:
This picture was taken from a series of images describing the Sexplex experience of two imaginary clients - which in another fantastic twist of irony, remind me of the crap soap-opera-cum-comic-strip that is published in... The Sun!
My second issue lies in the fact that the projected clientele includes "not only young single people but couples, married couples and even retired couples". I just don't see how Ruth actually expects everyone to fit in together.
In fact, my strong suspicion is that there would be not so many of the young, half naked couple pictured on the left of the above picture, and many many more of the old man, sitting alone in the corner with a bag on his lap.
Finally, I have a problem with how big it is. For a complex which, as far as I can tell, caters to a fairly niche market, the building itself is colossal. New paradigms for a building program like this usually start out small, until the function can be integrated into the everyday backdrop for society. Clearly though, Ruth is a girl for whom size matters.
If there is one thing which I highly commend Ruth Bowie for though, it is her rendering of the xxx cinema, complete with on-screen action. Seriously, how many of us would have the balls to put porn into our thesis presentations? And I'm not talking about softcore porn, or a suggestive close up of a woman's face, I mean graphic, "look at that man with his penis in that woman" porn. Which I unfortunately I can't rightly include without changing this blog's adult content settings, which I don't wish to do. You'll just have to go to Ruth Bowie's blog, if you're that fussed.