Morris Receives Honorable Mention for Architectural Fairy Tales Competition

From Mark Morris's Ink-Soaked Boy, illustrated by Neil Spiller
Detail from Mark Morris's architectural fairy tale, Ink-Soaked Boy, illustrated by Neil Spiller. photo / provided
From Chat/SMS, by Olalekan Jeyifous
Illustration from Chat/SMS, by Olalekan Jeyifous. photo / provided
Detail from Mark Morris's architectural fairy tale, Ink-Soaked Boy, illustrated by Neil Spiller. photo / provided Illustration from Chat/SMS, by Olalekan Jeyifous. photo / provided
News
April 1, 2016

Visiting associate professor in architecture Mark Morris's entry, Ink-Soaked Boy, was among ten honorable mentions in Blank Space's third annual fairy tale competition, a project focused on linking architectural narratives to images.

Ink-Soaked Boy is a collaboration of Morris and Professor Neil Spiller, Hawksmoor Chair of Architecture and Landscape at the University of Greenwich, who provided the illustrations. The story follows the imaginings of a young architect who constantly draws wild proposals for a small island in the middle of the River Stour, in Kent, England.

"The tale is wrapped around Spiller's intense drawings, trying to make sense of them in the form of a fragmentary story," says Morris. "For inspiration, I looked to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's 1797 poem, Kubla Khan, creating my own preface and long poem that opens with the lines 'In Fordwich town did Ink-Soaked Boy /A wondrous island there design.'"

In this year's competition, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, codirector of the Serpentine Galleries; Elizabeth Diller, founding partner at Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Aaron Betsky, dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture; and other distinguished critics juried more than 1,500 entries from 67 countries, from students, practitioners, and academics. In a letter to Morris and Spiller announcing the award, competition cofounder Matthew Hoffman wrote, "Your entry blew away the jury."

Another honorable mention winner was Olalekan Jeyifous (B.Arch. '00), a Nigerian-born, Brooklyn-based artist and designer. In his entry, Chat/SMS, a futuristic Lagos, Nigeria, is the world's largest city, with "a crowded and labyrinthine web of human ingenuity, informal enterprise, and the only existing example of a flourishing Chaordic-Anarco Technocracy on planet earth," or CHAT, and whose architecture is "known as the shanty-mega structure or SMS." While studying at Cornell, Jeyifous's primary focus was experimenting with the application of computer software in the creation of art, design, and architecture.

The winning and honorable mention entries will be featured in Fairy Tales: When Architecture Tells a Story, volume 3, designed by Bruce Mau, to be published in July.

By Patti Witten