Saturday, 31 October 2009

new york new york

Famous for its dense population I've been told by  recent visitors to Manhattan they are finding ways to introduce the rural into the urban space and provide more social spaces for seating that aren't just more cafes. The highline, regeneration of a disused elevated rail line provides a green space to step up above the residential and commercialised spaces. Herald Square, has introduced green areas for sitting part of liveable streets initiative freedom to sit.


I saw this outside a door in an appartment block in Paris. There is something about the scale, the colours and the story it might tell. Why is it there? Is it really for a very quiet small child...?

Monday, 26 October 2009

pop up

The pop up concept, moveable locations for shops, bars, clubs etc could be used to create zones of non consumption. All these closed down shops could become a visual, aural, physical respite.. Meanwhile Space are working out how to use these places more easily.

Monday, 19 October 2009

felt -

remember felt
  • acoustics
  • wool industry excess - burning fleeces
  • car industry processes
  • potential for hearing booths
  • listening corners
  • gossiping pockets
  • see Gubi chair and info
  • anna kyrro quinn uses felt to create decorative wall panels that have an acoustic dampening effect.

Friday, 16 October 2009

the urban idea of rural

According to Global Colour Research this is the latest colour trend "a play on the rural stereotypes that urban dwellers imagine still exist in the countryside and try to replicate with visits to farmers markets and organic retailers"  

What impact could introducing authentic elements of the rural environment have? A tree stump, a rock,  a sheep, a telescope to a large sky but no wind no rain no fresh air. in Paris supermarkets they have the sound of tweeting birds in the veg section ....could we have breeze doorways? - or is that just air conditioning?

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

literal interpretations

A fairly literal interpretation by Dominic Schwarz, uses the elements that my time out survey brought up.What these pictures don't show is what might be the effect on the user of eye level grass. Could moss be incorporated into seating like this using something like - Senseware demonstrated a Terramac a material that supports flexible planting surfaces for moss? - unfortunately the terramac material was only for the Milan exhibition not currently available commercially.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


There must be a way to use rfid technology to provide alternative views, messages, virtual reminders of elsewhere, directions to respite?

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Anechoic chambers

Acoustic anechoic chambers are used to minimise reflected sound - sometimes used for sound recording - could the principle be used on a smaller scale to create quiet places or talking booths? One of these chambers has been rated the quietest place on earth.
Jacob Kirkegaard is an artist who works with resonance, sound and hearing.

Monday, 5 October 2009

an empty cinema

Went to see a one off showing of Fish Tank at the local Odeon. Such an alternative film that they didn't bother to put any adverts on before the film. I was the only one in there. Beautiful

ambient light

Reduce energy. Create incentives for turning lights off.
Ambient light in urban living creates fantastic shadows

listening devices

  • Do we need a way to hear each other in crowded places
  • Do we need listening devices?
  • Reinvented ear trumpets?
  • Whispering tubes?

places of non consumption

What places might be considered to be zones of non consumption?
  • credit crunched closed down shops
  • places of worship
  • libraries
  • park benches any public seating
  • parks
What characteristics to they have?
  • empty, quiet, still, light, not crowded?
  • for reflection, contemplation, peace and quiet?

Sunday, 4 October 2009

negotiating crowds

Sometimes making your way through crowds of people can be hugely frustrating. Envisage yourself floating above the crowd. Perhaps a step to let you perch on a shelf overlooking the street would be a moment for time out before you lower yourself in to the current again.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

negotiating urban space

Time lapse films of certain urban spaces. Data from a snap shot survey of types of people: Man, woman, child etc, and whether or not they were carrying anything: bag, rucksack etc, would imply that men are less encumbered, more relaxed?
Churchill Square : 
Saturday 12th September 9.45-10.15
Woman with bag: 94
Woman with child/ren :29
woman with nothing:6
Man with child/ren:17
Man with rucksack: 22
Man with bag: 15
Man with nothing: 73

the colour of midsummer

Nearly everyone who responded to my Do you need time out? survey has a preference for a rural or natural environment and outdoors rather than indoors. Perhaps this is predictable . Perhaps there is some kind of collective subconsciousness that responds positively to growth? This is midsummer on the england scottish border : as much green as I have seen in the past year, without a building in sight.