David Wild is an architect and writer. He studied architecture at Portsmouth, the Architectural Association in London, then worked for several firms before starting independent practice, teaching, and writing. He entered politics during the Vietnam war, producing and distributing 20,000 NLF flagbags to raise money for medical aid; designed and edited the outside-left architectural magazine ARse (1969–72), and designed the first Big Red Diary (1974). His practice has concentrated on domestic buildings, and his own self-built house in London is his best-known work; most recently he designed Cypher House. He has written many critiques and reviews for the British architectural press (especially Architecture Today and Architects’ Journal ) and is the author of Fragments of utopia and Jazzpaths. (Our author is the architect David Wild. There is also a ‘jazz David Wild’ [see here] and a ‘pop David Wild’ [see here]).
David Wild’s ‘photomemento’ tells an Englishman’s story lived to a soundtrack of jazz. At its heart are photographs made during a two-year stay in America in the mid-1960s, on a passage through New York, Chicago, Detroit, St Louis, New Orleans. These pictures, in turn, formed the basis of photomontages. Jazzpaths is a partial document of the jazz scene of that time, mixing remarkable pictures of musicians with biting images of life on the streets.
A set of collages made from mainly contemporary sources, which recount episodes in modernist architecture in the twentieth century. This is a story of a fragile and occasionally noble dream, in the context of a history going violently wrong. These images are supplemented by short parallel prose meditations. Wild’s images have a wonderful rightness of form. But they are far from idealized: politically charged, they have a disconcerting sense of erotics and low humour.