In “Un/Spectale,” the first issue of LOBBY that came out this past fall, the student-led staff and contributors within The Bartlett School of Architecture all question the dominating trend of spectacular architecture—so much to the point that over-the-top constructions in turn becomes “unspectacular.” Perhaps as a reaction, the commonplace, has in turn sparked another fascination and since been “reimagined as special,” as the staff of LOBBY says on their site. Throughout this discourse, students explore with philosophers, practicing architects, and professors what they have found to be special, ordinary, and how they have come to straddle both of these concepts to accomplish a well-designed structure.
Taking inspiration from the Wates House, the magazine’s design and order mimics the infrastructure of the building, divvied up into sections such as The Seminar Room, The Lift, The Crit Room, The Staircase, and even The Toilets. Within each section are interviews, projects, and essays that fit into this assigned area, all sharing a common theme that goes into the wide range of “the spectacular.” Each section also has an assigned color, which is consistent in varying forms of the layout, ranging from monochrome pages to photographs with the same hue of turquoise, purple or orange. The written word is used as both a tool of creativity and critique, taking form as typographic swirls, quote-outs, and several forms of prose.
By showcasing the work produced within the school and integrating outside discourse from those in the field, LOBBY aims to establish a forum with several architectural contexts. Additionally, the theme, which will vary for every issue, is aimed to be one that sparks debate, furthering the discourse between students and professionals.