Cedric Price (1934-2003) started talking at the AA in 1955, first as a student in fourth year and then over the subsequent forty or more years as a tutor, a critic on juries, at a lectern in the bar during lunchtime service, and famously delivering a series of talks with musical accompaniment in the lecture hall. He was thinking about how he might have delivered a talk from a vending machine in 1968 but the technology just wasn’t ready for him yet. Price made time in his working day to talk – (distinct from giving a lecture) as a means to debate and think through ideas. Time and the City is one of his later talks from 1991. It’s an exemplar of his way of working – difficult, but useful and timeless, and an opportunity to get to grips with his ideas on time in relation to architecture. It offers a glimpse of a particular period of time at the AA – check out the green walls. It’s long, at just over 2 hours, so a good reason to watch it now. There are lots of seemingly loose ends – don’t worry, go with the flow and we’ll talk about it next week.
Samantha Hardingham was a student at the AA (1987-93), a tutor across all years (2008-2017) and was the school’s interim director (2017-18). She is an independent designer, writer, curator and scholar in the field of experimental architectural practice. She is author of a number of books, most recently Cedric Price Works 1952-2003: a forward-minded retrospective (AA/CCA, 2016).