The Observer last w eek carried a story about a Welsh man with the somewhat unlikely and ever so slightly hippy-ish name of Friend Wood (the name is presumably the result ofa bit ofnifty deed polling.) who has come up with a revolutionary environment-friendly car design. Wood‘s new car is acrodynamically efficient. does about eighty miles to the gallon. emits very little pollution. and is hailed as a serious ‘contribution to making the world a healthier place.‘ So what is it made of. this(}reen \Vonder'.’ Mahogany ~ which. as anyone will tell you. you have to cut down valuable rain forests to obtain. As a result ofthe story ‘s being run. it might well be the case that somebody fairly high up at The Observer w ill presently be conducting his or her ow n experiments into the aerodynamicefficiency of the sub-editor responsible for letting it through.

Another piece of egregious bad taste, this time from a cartoonist on one of the Scottish daily papers. The cartoonist in question had, the day after the sinking, off the west coast, of a Panamanian-registered trawler with the loss of its Asian crew, pictured an Air-Sea Rescue helicopter hovering above the raging waters of the Atlantic. The helicopter was in the process of winching a crew member to safety but the crew member, whose features, on close examination, proved strikingly familiar, was protesting “No, no, ldon‘t want rescued— I‘m Salman Rushdie.‘ The cartoon, thank heavens, was spiked.

What a splendid affair the Fifth Birmingham Film and 'l‘elevision Festival promises to be; a letter received the other day from Roger Shannon. the Festival Director.


outlines his policy ofcontinuing to focus on Third World Cinema. staging a Cultural Industries Forum and holding a Festival Fortnight of International Cinema. Even more impressively. the festival seems to be pioneering a technique which we might call ‘The Retrospective Premiere': last year. according to Shannon's letter. the Birmingham Festival hosted the UK premiere of A Fish ('u/led Wanda. and this despite the fact that the film had been shown to packed. and very enthusiastic. houses at the [Edinburgh Film Festival some weeks before.

Some very peculiar goings on at the Edinburgh Science Festival. One of the many items detailed in the Festival

Programme is Professor RB. Cundall's I

lecture entitled “Things That Go Bang.’ Professor Cundall is one of the country’s leading authoritiesy on explosives and he will, on the evening in question, ‘move among his equipment, exploding everything in sight.‘ Another leading attraction at the festival is Dr Eric Voice, whose lecture is called “Why Hasn‘t Scotland Exploded?’ DrVoice, presumably, will simply point out that Professor Cundall hasn’t noticed us yet, and might offer some safety tips in the event of any improved visual awareness on the part of the venerable Prof. In the meantime, and in the absence of any reliable scientific evidence, the Diary advocates the wearing of a pair of sensible, stout shoes.

Noticed in that very august tome. the (Ir/Orr] ( 'ompanion To The Theatre was the following entry. ‘Frank. Bruno ( 1887» 1946). German dramatist. who in reaction from the extreme drama of REALISM and EXPRESSIONISM wrote a number of light. sophisticated comedies.‘ Clearly. despite the lightness of the comedies. the man was a literary heavyweight.

One of our colleagues here at The List swears blind that he was at a wedding last week at which a very nervous bridegroom stood up to thank his guests for all the marvellous presents he and his bride had been given. ‘Thank you,‘ he said, stammering, ‘for the china, the matching towels and the perky copulator.‘ Perhaps it was a Freudian slit.


The Edinburgh Development Group submitted this drawing as part of their work onthe

proposed ground plan. but the architectural details may not be known for ayear. Jane Lamacraft profiles Terry Farrell. the controversial architect who‘ll be responsible for the shape of one of Edinburgh‘s most important building projects

The [Edinburgh District ('ouncil and the Scottish Development Agency last week picked the lidinburgh Development (iroup to carry out the planned construction of a Hill) million conference financial centre on l.othian Road. Their winning scheme. which pippcd competition from three other developers. is designed by london—based architects Terry Farrell ck ('ompany. Already. inev itably . the decision has caused controversy . with some people worry ing that still time schedules and lack ofconsultation on environmental issues will cause as yet unforeseen problems. ()thers merely dismiss Farrell's winning scheme as something out of ('ecil B. de Mille.

Farrell. ofcourse. is no stranger to a bit ofbrouhaha. and at the best of times he has a tendency to divide critical opinion sharply For some. his work is the human face of architecture; for others it‘s a post-modern cuteness or ioky kitsch. His buildings tend to get labelled ‘()deonesque'. 'something out of Hollywood in its hey day". ‘cartoonisli ( ‘lassicism'. What they are is flamboyant. optimistic and above all popular. reflecting Farrell‘s avowed beliefthat architecture should be 'capable of being loved by people other than architects. (‘ommenting in the catalogue to a 1987 exhibition of Farrell's work. architectural writer

Rowan Moore referred to its ‘unabashed wooing of the public with colour and lovable curves'. to its ‘overwhelming desire to be popular’. With his bushy Denis Healeyish eyebrows. even Farrell himself looks lovable. Perhaps not surprisingly. he is one of the few architects to confess an admiration for Walt Disney.

All of this might go some way to explaining why Farrell. at a time when there is princely and popular disapproval of mode rn buildings. is so much in demand especially in London. If his current workload is anything to go by. he looks set to become the capital‘s most ubiquitous architect of the 1990s. playing a significant part in what is turning out to be the City's largest building boom for 25 years. Though he is Newcastle horn and has studied and worked in North America. Farrell is by choice very much a London architect. and the Edinburgh scheme represents one of his rare sorties outside the capital. Once completed. it will give Edinburgh a little taster ofthe Farrellisation that the capital has been experiencing over recent years.

In the late [Eighties London‘s skyline is spiked by the cranes and girders ofhis many (often large scale) schemes: from Tobacco Dock in Docklands to the headquarters of the Royal Regatta in Henley. the banks of the Thames are peppered with Farrell projects. either completed or still under



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4 The List 10— 23 March 1989