The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) presents Forms of Industry, an exhibition of contemporary photographs by Alastair Philip Wiper (b.1980) and archival images by Eric de Maré (1910-2002) from the RIBA Collections. Separated by more than 50 years, the two photographers share a common appreciation of industrial buildings and landscapes. Their differing approaches create a commentary on changing attitudes towards industrialisation and sustainability.
Eric de Maré’s work focused mainly on industrial architecture. This display features his work from the 1950s and 1960s, a period where he defined his photographic style. A representative of the positive spirit of the post-war era, Maré was a prolific writer and an accomplished photographer. He used his camera to capture architecture that did not respond to specific historic styles, but to forms directly derived from building materials and their function.
Complementing de Maré’s black and white work is a selection of bold, colourful images by Alastair Philip Wiper. Wiper’s photographs present an analysis of industrial forms and processes, from factories to scientific laboratories. Finding sites of industrial production, the modern dream of the 1950s looks very different through Wiper’s lens. His images evidence the ever-increasing speed of contemporary industry, where buildings and equipment are rendered obsolete and replaced. Featured in this display are images of the Boeing Factory in the USA, to this day the largest building in the world by volume.
By presenting these two bodies of work together Forms of Industry highlights the changing nature of industrial production, and our intricate and changing relationship with the environment.