Wednesday, 30 September 2009

eye movements

My survey 'Do you need timeout' has also generated ideas from areas such as the treatment of post traumatic stress, where unanticipated triggers can provoke spontaneous memories that cause panic attacks. EMDR Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing is a technique where the patient is encouraged to use bilateral eye movements (e.g left-right-left) when recalling traumatic and distressing events. This technique has been found to reduce the intensity of the  memory. I am wondering whether there might be a connection between this and the sensation you get on a speeding train? I often find my thought processes run smoother when I am in motion - watching the world go by?

Monday, 28 September 2009

hiding places

Getting peoples preferences on their version of a space for time out has generated some good nuggets of ingredients to chew on so far:
  • ' a haven of the unexpected' that is 'deliciously enclosed' 
  • ' a womb like flotation tank'
  • ' pre-menstrual huts complete with stacks of plates for smashing'
  • ' padded cells'
  • 'natural colours and patches of intense pigment'
  •  wind and breezes quite popular

Monday, 14 September 2009

Bin Bowl Water

If sunlight, a bowl of water and a waste paper bin can make this there is potential for magical shelters...

Sunday, 13 September 2009

tidy sleeping

Is it the density of the population and the limited space that makes some people in India so organised and tidy? A place for everything and everything in its place, including yourself. Work done, time for a break. This was in a Bangalore market in April

Saturday, 12 September 2009

the colour of churchill square

Having done a combination of mapping with google maps and pacing the streets, I made a colour sampler to demonstrate the (visual) experience from photographs that I took in churchill square using the eyedropper in photoshop. This is a colour palette of the environment, not the people.

Friday, 11 September 2009

unregulated spaces

Sennet keeps returning to the need for ambiguity in urban environments . He seems to be responding to the over design of certain modern buildings and streets that do not allow for an evolution or interaction developed over time with use, that do not accomodate adaptations. But also that we  need more, not less, challenging spaces. Guy De Bord coined the phrase psychogeography in a response to the perception that everyday life is controlled and manipulated by over regulation. Are there examples of actual places and spaces that respond to these ideas?

le mur vegetal

It turns out that the growing wall concept was invented by Patric Blanc, who is giving a talk at 100 percent . That one I saw in Paris is probably one of his and he did the one for the Ministre de Culture (architect Jean Nouvel). oddly reminiscent of my brother's overgrown garden that recently had to be scoured because the ivy was eating into next door..

small growths

Hafsteinn Juliuson has produced this range of jewellry he calls grings 

Thursday, 10 September 2009


Environments that use directional light, creating spotlight places like by Anthony Mcall at the Serpentine. The interesting thing about this was the way that walking into the shafts of light changed the shape of the light beams. 

reflected light

This one of my favourite bits of reflected light, probably the colour combination.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

grown homes

One way to maximise resources and provide shelter, these ones are in iceland, where cosy is essential.

rodchenko workers club 1925

Libraries are another location of non consumption. Quiet but social. Rodchenko's 1925 design for a Workers Club, a restroom for Workers,reconstructed at the Tate exhibition this year. 

Monday, 7 September 2009

mixed use streets

The recent conversion of New Road introduces the concept of mixed used streets to Brighton: cars, bikes and people are equally free to roam and it seems to work. A hundred yard bench provides opportunity to share a seat whilst at the same time maintaining personal space. A snap shot survey reveals that pedestrians and cyclists take over:
New Road 7/9/09 08:50 -09:50
cyclists: 55
cars: 7
trucks: 2
vans: 6
woman with bag:96
woman with rucksack:9
woman with nothing:4
man with bag:21
man with rucksack:22
man with nothing :43
pushchairs: 11
rollerblades : 1
man with one item( enveolope, light bulb, guitar, paper, folder, can): 6
woman with stick:1
man with stick:1
wheelchair user: 1

Sunday, 6 September 2009


this project by Luis Carjaval and Annie Davy  about victorian snugs is a reminder of a great idea that could be revived. Time out from the crowds, where you can make conversation. Apparently it had other uses..

a hole in the ground

When we were in Andra Pradesh in April we visited a home where a woman was grinding chilli like this: a hollow in a  slab of stone in the ground: looks like hard work. But interesting that you can make shapes in the fabric of the building for functional purposes

Thursday, 3 September 2009

growing wall

found another one in kingston and discovered the name of the man: jean nouvel who did the one in paris at the cartier foundation 

feet and ground

Trainers are probably the most ubiquitous form of footwear. developed for sports, worn by anyone  comfort and convenience and pounding the pavements. They work - consequently multiple designs accomodate taste and fashion. 4 wheel drive versions of footwear. Could difficult terrain be reintroduced into urban environments: rocks, moorland, to make more challenging experiences? You can get portable climbing walls now. 

wind rain sun

Preoccupation with weather in britain is inevitable - what to wear to avoid being soaked, cold, burnt? Can these elements be used to create engaging and environments and functional objects in the urban environment? things that interact with weather things that make you wish it would rain?