Machines for Dying In

Way back in the late 1990s, when I was still living in Sydney and feeling extremely sorry for myself, I wrote an article for a Sydney design magazine which took Le Courbusier’s machines For living in as its inspiration.

The magazine unfortunately rejected the article, which actually concerns coffins, or machines for dying in – but I thought it was pretty good at the time. Here’s a sample:

This MACHINE for Dying In has been fashioned from an unknown number of COFFINS. Though a Coffin is a simple Machine (indeed may be termed, after Choisy, part of the ‘machinery of antiquity’), its admittance to the GRAVE’S architecture – as when a factory design accommodates plant equipment – embodies the performance of a complex function. The Coffin, in turn, facilitates the obsolescence of other, less functional Machines, known as BODIES. View the vertical stresses of gravity: the Coffin and the Body ingeniously engineered to touch at a series of points, bevel and bone tapering to a necessary abstraction.

Cheery stuff.

Anyway, fast forward two years: I moved to Melbourne and discovered the Internet. The story was picked up by an Australian website called The Animist. While the site has since been closed down, the good folks at the National Library of Australia’s Pandora Project have archived the article.

Read Machines For Dying In (you will be directed to a placeholder page, from which you can access the full text).

The above bio image, by the way, was my first foray into publicity shots and features me wearing an old “It’s the only one we’ve got” t-shirt. Hard to find these days.

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