If we lived in a perfect country, with perfect weather and perfect people, in a perfect economy governed by a perfect society, then there’s no doubt in my mind that we would also have a chance at some perfect buildings.

But we don’t. We do not live in a perfect climate – it rains, it blows, it even snows sometimes. We don’t have a perfect economy – indeed, far from the semblance of a rock star, we have the appearance of a bad karaoke singer who got lucky this one night on X-Factor and still haven’t told our mum that we entered the competition to win a free pizza. Our society is full of bad people, doing bad things, in many bad ways, while other people stand around and laugh at them. Our politicians are mad, full of gluttony and sloth, and think they own us, instead of understanding that they work for us. It is no wonder therefore, that our architecture is sadly lacking in many places, of ability, of quality, of effort even. Our buildings are dictated to by people with money, by rules without end, and by reasons that are sometimes suspect. Sometimes, our built environment simply falls by the wayside. Sometimes, it seems as though the whole town is simply saying: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!”

But we don’t have to live this way. As an organization of students trained to think of the built environment, who stop and think about every line on every drawing, who endlessly tweak our visions in photoshop and who slave tirelessly over our final year thesis, we DO give a damn. We know about architecture – we’ve been living and breathing it for the last half a decade – and we want to talk about it, write about it, read about it, endlessly, late into the night, preferably over a bottle, but always with the same ultimate aim: a better society. Better buildings, better streets, better urban fabric: Better Architecture.

As Jack Nicolson memorably said in one of the Batman films, “This town needs an enema!” And speaking of our politicians, our architects, our urban planners, on occasion, it’s our job to give them one. Eye of the Fish was set up about 8 years ago by a Victoria University student, to comment on architecture and the built environment in our capital city. Since the beginning, the blog site has been providing commentary on buildings and the urban environment, but the original students have moved on. It has been highly influential at times – holding dialogue with City Councilors and architects on occasion – but lately it has been woefully lacking in material.

Eye of the Fish needs YOU. If you’re keen to write, to think, to contribute to one of the country’s leading architectural blogs, and keep the discussions going, then email contact@eyeofthefish.org and volunteer your services. It could be one article, it could be many. Got a bee in your bonnet about a bad building? Vent your feelings here. Write your thesis and write for us. Write about architecture, for a better future. Write, right now. Right?

(originally published in SANNZ 1, April 2015. Artwork of the Fish by Kelly Johnson)

The Fish, the whole Fish, and nothing but the Fish

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