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A Love Letter to the Lighthouse in the Expanded Field

I have been spending the last two Saturdays working on a project that has actually inspired me to engage more in building than thinking. It has been quite wonderful to be able to be back in London and be part of the team that is currently working with the talented Sean Gwee to set up this year's Mark Fisher's Scholarship Event.

Here is a brief description of the project and scholarship:

The lighthouse is more than a tool. It is a mediator between us the viewers and the landscape we inhabit. No longer tied to the maritime tradition by way of navigational function, the lighthouse is freed. The lighthouse which was once a beacon of welcome, then a beacon of warning can become a beacon of care that serves equally well in the expanded field as it does by the coast.

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Sean Gwee is a fifth year student at the AA (Diploma Unit 15) and the third recipient of the Mark Fisher Scholarship. Sean is interested in structures, hosting, pots, performance and process. He works informally, improvisationally but always rigorously with friends and whoever shows up.

The Mark Fisher Scholarship was established in memory of the late Mark Fisher (1947–2013), AA graduate and teacher, and initiated by James Fairorth and Tait Towers, who worked closely with Fisher on ground-breaking music performance events around the world. Combining his skill as an architect and designer with a passion for rock and roll, Fisher pioneered the modern stadium performance and with it reimagined what we understand as the architectural spectacle.

The scholarship awards equivalent of two full years’ school fees (for Fourth Year and Fifth Year) in support of a student of exceptional talent and interest in the intersection of architecture, performance, media and engineering.

There is something very important to take from this scholarship award. To embody things that you are passionate about in your architecture is essential to turn this multiverse discipline into something that you genuinely enjoy doing.

A job is a job and we should be thankful for having one that pays our rent and bills and a family to share that responsibility with, however, to get to do all that and at the same time be capable of expressing our natural selves is undoubtedly a true privilege. It is not chained or bounded by anything. It is not attached to anyone's narratives of what your future should be like either. That's why one should be putting in the extra hours. Not for a grade, nor a prize, nor an addition for the CV. Those things naturally follow a passionate mind and a hard working spirit.

The event will take place this Friday 31 January 2020 at 18:30 in Bedford Square and we are very happy to be attending.

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