Thursday, October 20, 2011

Design For The Living Dead...

We've seen the movies and we all know it's only a matter of time before a zombie apocolypse strikes earth, however, evidence suggests that simply going to the Winchester, having a nice cold pint, and waiting for it all to blow over is not a viable option. This is an issue that has been globally recognised by designers and architects alike, who have taken immediate action and are competing in the second annual '2011 Zombie Safe House Competition'.  

The rules are simple, your design must consider the following issues; how many people can you fit in your safe house? How are you handling power, portable water and waste? How are you handling access to your safe house? How many days do you plan to stay in your safe house and how much food and water are you providing? How will you escape in the even of zombie intrusion? And finally, how will you keep zombies out of your safe house?. The site for the proposed designs are up to the designer and there is no set budget. woohoo
The entries are in and the voting process is in progress. There's a lot of entries to consider, my personal favourite is the 'Zombie Ranch', which uses the zombies attempts to penetrate it's defences to generate power to the people living in the verticle units.
Im currently in the process of designing a competition entry for a zero carbon house, but I wish our tutor had given us the option to enter this competition. As important as 'green' design is, what is the point in preserving the earth if a zombie apocolypse wipes out the entire population.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Best Bridge in Singapore...

Remember that post when I said I was going to go to Singapore? No? I mentioned a bridge? No?  I wanted to go see it? Still no? Well it happened, and it happened. I spent a total of 24 hours in Singapore, mainly just chavving around the airport and that, but I also made the trip to go see the worlds first double helix bridge in Singapore's Marina Bay...

...and it was fantastic. From what I could see, it was being well used, was working in harmony with the surrounding architecture and landscape, but absolutley held it's own against the abundence of iconic new developments. At the moment, the whole area is undergoing massive development as part of a larger masterplan, so there was still a lot of construction occuring and a sense of  generally being unfinished, but given time the Marina is going to be something a little bit a good way.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


˙˙˙sʇsod ʎɯ ʇıɐʍɐ ʇsnɾ ʇǝǝɟ ʎɯ punoɟ ʌI ʍou 'ʇnq ˙ɐılɐɹʇsn∀ 'ǝpıɐlǝp∀ uı uʍop ǝpısdn ǝʌıl ʍou I ˙plɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo ǝpıs ɹǝɥʇo ǝɥʇ oʇ ƃuıʌoɯ ʎsnq uǝǝq uǝǝq ʌI ǝsnɐɔǝq ʇnq ʎɐs oʇ ƃuıɥʇou ǝʌɐɥ I ǝsnɐɔǝq ʇou 'ʎlʇuǝɔǝɹ ʇǝınb uǝǝq ʌI

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stupidity is not a crime...

...But whoever gave the go ahead for the '163 PRS/Oliver's Place' office building in Preston (North West England), should be locked up. UK based, Moron Architects, errrr I meant 'Moxon Architects' were granted planning permission for this 40,000 square foot office building...

....Pretty ugly right? Right! The exterior is dominated by ‘an array of anodized aluminium fins suspended from tensile rods’, which look not only ridiculous, but really really unwelcoming. If you're not familiar with Preston, then let me fill you in. The place is a hole, the best way to see it is in your rearview mirror so putting up a building like this is going to do very little to enhance the overall aesthetics. It resembles a hedgehog and no one interacts with hedgehogs, do they?
The planning permission was granted in 2009 and Im unsure as to how much progress has been made, but lets just hope Preston ends up with a building to be proud of. Anychance.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Denis Darzacq: The best thing to come out of France since...

....Frogs legs. Just joking, I meant wine. But back to Denis Darzacq, the Paris-based photographer. Id be lying if I said I was familiar with his work as I only just heard of him yesterday, but what I have seen between then and now has fulfilled my one dimensional need of finding something new that interests me on a daily basis. Two of his series in particular caught my eye, "La Chute" (that's "The Fall" to you non French speakers) and "Hyper".

"La Chute"

Inspired by both the bodies of people falling from the World Trade Centres on 11/11 as the subjects of the series and the housing estates in the 2005 French Riots on the outskirts of Paris as the location, Darzacq has captured images of a free falling generation, with no one to catch them. Or at least thats what I get from the photographs, which prompt many questions, but hold no answers. But what do I like about the them? Well, firstly, Darzacq has not romantacised Paris. Secondly, the indifference of the subjects to their situation. Is it that they don't care or is that they aren't aware of whatis happening, or about to happen? I also like the contradiction between the energy of the subjects and the sleepy ignorance of their surroundings, bordered up and oblivious to the truth that something big is about to happen, because essentially, these people aren't going to bounce. And thirdly, I like the fact that no one will know what happens next, which leaves the phootographs open to endless intepretation and speculation.


This series follows a similar path to "La Chute" and is concerned with the biary between being and having. Unlike the subjects falling towards the ground of "La Chute", there is a sence of gravity defiance in these shots, with the subjects appearing to break free of a hold on them. Theres also a sense of effortlessness that belittles the actual amount of exertion that would have gone into creating the images. My favourite images are the two guys hanging out by the perishables. Im not sure why, but I just like their mindless yet subliminal response to the mindlessness of mass production and consumption....and the well stacked shelves. Thats a supermarket to be proud of.
But the best thing about these photographs? They are completley untouched by the hand of God. And by God I mean photoshop.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A World First...

In 20 days, I have 24 hours to kill in Singapore. Which is fine. But what's a girl to do all on her own in Singapore? Well, earlier this year, I remembered reading about 'The Helix Bridge', the world's first curved double helix bridge. Looks good right...?

....Right! The 280 metre pedestrian bridge was designed by the Australian, 'Cox Rayner Architects' and closes the loop on a 3.5 kilometer pedestrian path around the Marina Bay development in Singapore.
Just briefly, the bridge appears to respond excellently to it's setting and context, in terms of the curved plan of the bridge, the canopy for shade and shelter in the tropical climate, the DNA molecule form and structure, which offers connotations of sustainability and the cantilevered viewing 'pods', extending onto the bayside for watersports viewing. How quaint.
And did I mention it's made of stainless steel? Well thats about all I can say about it, without having seen it. But, as I like a good design, seeped in strong, contextually related concept, this bridge is definatley worthy of my time. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Muse(ic) to my ears...and eyes

These days, nothing makes the festive period quite like the annual xmas present email I get from MUSE, usually containing a live video or rare recording. This years did not disappoint, with a 360 degree video of 'Uprising' and 'Citizen Erased' live from the shows they did at Wembley this year, it lets you to click and drag your mouse around various points on the stage to have a nice close look. Smashing.

I was lucky enough to see Muse twice this year, in Adelaide and Manchester and they were easily two of my favourite days of the year. Especially the Manchester show, which was absolute class. I can't even put into words how awesome it was. So I won't bother. Here's the link to the videos:

Merry Christmas

Images courtesy of from the European leg of the tour.

England says 'Heck NOOOOO'....

'Cheese flavour Kit Kat? Anyone....Anyone? '
Recently a guy I work with went to Japan and upon his return I was laden with a couple of boxes of cheese flavour Kit Kats. Yes. Cheese flavour Kit Kats. So, being the good samaritan that I have the tendencies to be, I shared them round the table at lunch time.
The Kit Kats were flavoured with Gouda cheese. I like Gouda. But Gouda flavour Kit Kats? Not so much. Before even eating them, you have to put up a fight with the smell, which was bad, really bad. They are made with white chocolate and infused with the cheese flavour and the combination  is a crime against humanity (Except in cheesecake). The white chocolate is too sweet for the cheese and the result was 7 piles of spat out Kit Kat in the middle of the lunch table.

Why , Japan?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Shard...

While I was in LDN, I couldn't help but notice the construction of this little building...

The Shard, London

The Shard, designed by the incredibly cool Renzo Piano, is set to be an EPIC building and the tallest in the European Union. Yeh. Clad entirely in glass, the building is to be used for offices, residential appartments and a hotel. I can not wait to set foot in this, when it looks like this...

Awesome Pawson...

The Design Museum in London is currently holding presenting an exhibition on John Pawson called 'Plain Space'. Pawson, a British architect, is often labelled a 'minimalist' and has worked in a variety of scales beyond that of architecture, including furniture, glass, ceramics and cutlery. The exhibition celebrates his work from the 1980's to present day and uses a range of media such as models, photographs, film, sketches, interviews and also a 1:1 scale site-specific space designed by Pawson to offer a direct and immersive experience of his work.

Photos: Marco Zanta

I entered the exhibition with a fresh eye, as I wasn't too familiar with Pawson's work. The space itself, was indicative of Pawson's style, clean and elegant, simplisticly displaying such a comprehensive body of work. Highlights of the exhibition were the study models, particularly the 'Pawson House, London' and the 'Sackler Crossing, Royal Botanic Gardens, London', which were two good lookin designs.
I think that Pawson's 'minimalist' style is beautiful, his work is dramatic, I loved exploring the designs through the various media and despite not being the biggest fan of such intense 'minimalism' I was intrigued by how functional his work was. Would I want to live in one of his designs? no...I like stuff, lots of stuff around me, but I could look at his designs all day. 
And finally, as an architcture student, mid architecture studies, the thing that intrigued me the most about this rather successful guy - he didn't even finish his architectural studies. What a hero.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

(s)no(w) angels no more....

The Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern has been carpeted with over 100 million "suflower seeds" covering 1,000 square foot of space- the latest installation in the Unilever Series. The sunflower seeds are actually porcelin and have been handcrafted by skilled artisans who moulded, fired at soaring temperatures, hand-painted and then fired the seeds again over the course of two years . The man responsible for the dreaming up the sculpture is chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

Initially, the installation encouraged the public to walk on and touch the seeds, however, shortly after the exhibition opened, the Tate decided that people would no longer be able to enter the work as the dust that the seeds stir up posed a health risk. Unfortunatley, I visited after this rule had been imposed.

Before I go on, I have to say that I think so much art, the meaning and the people behind it, is pretentious wank (not all but some ruin it for others), but I can't help having an opinion and I think that having a sculpture like this is pointless if people can't interact with it. I mean, yeah, fine, it's impressive that all these seeds were handcrafted but wtf is the point in it? why bother? I understand that it could be a health risk, but health and safety is just an excuse for a lack of common sense so if people are aware of the risks of entering the work then why shouldn't they be allowed the choice? how dangerous can it really be? Or maybe there isn't any health implications at all, maybe pikey bastards just went on the rob and ruined it for the rest of us? I can understand that the Tate would be worried if they thought they would have no seeds left by the end of the the installations run time and to be fair Id pocket a few if I had the chance. 
But all in all, the detail of the seeds was incredible, comprehending the time and effort put into crafting the vast amount of seeds is impossible but the fact that you can't go make a snow angel in the seeds is crap.  

The old one's are the best one's.....

There was once a guy called Angus Staffore Gordon and in 1890 he started Gordon's Wine Bar on Embankment, LDN and from that moment on he became a King amongst men. Gordon's wine bar is the oldest wine bar in London, located in a building that was once home to Samuel Pepys (the guy that wrote that diary) and also Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Book) for a short time.

From the outside, the existence of Gordon's is so easy to miss, it has no airs or graces about it and it is in no way pretentious, which is pretty impressive for a London wine bar. As for the inside, imagine stepping out of your tardis and you've gone back to the 1800's and landed in a wine bar, but it's wierd because everyone's wearing modern day you need a drink, right? Right. They have wine, lots of wine, and port, lots of port and the prices aren't half bad. It gets proper busy in the eveneings so the best time is to go during the day and who doesn't love getting their drink on during the day? exactly. Sitting in the candlelit cellar, it's easy to forget there's a world outside, but when there's such an awesome world on the inside, who actually cares. Plus they do food. 

Drawing, Steve Robb 

Little London Town...

First things first, I didn't make it in London, nobody talent spotted me and as a result I will be back at work tomorrow. But being in the best city in the world (it totally is) has drowned out any disappointment in my personal shortcomings, so over the next few day Im going to post about my best and worst of London. Ha, as if there is a worst.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Time for Wine...

French sculptor, Etienne Meneau is known for designing unusual wine caraffe's. The photos below show two of his designs, which each hold one bottle of wine. The design on the right had side is called 'petit coeur/little heart' and I like Meneau's abstract take on reinterpreting a heart with it's valves and arteries into glassware. The design on the left hand side is reminiscent of grape vines and roots. My one criticism would be that, yeh they look good and that but what a bitch to clean. Oh yeh, and the price, I can't afford one.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fortress of Regret...

You know when you find out about something after it's already happend and it plants a seed of regret in the back of your mind that'll follow you round for all eternity? Well today I found out about a contest that was running in October last year on called 'Wild Things Fort Contest', which was set up in conjunction with the release of 'Where the Wild Things Are' and basically required people to send in photos of forts they had built and the best one won. Simple. And Awesome. 
Heres me faves... 

Photos Courtesey of

My only criticism is that a lot of them seem to have missed the most major point of a fort being a impenetrable membrane and have failed to put in place even the most basic of defenses.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

London 11.12.10 - 14.12.10. Can't Wait.
But I will miss X-Factore final. FFS


Qatar will be hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup and I won't lie, Im not entirely sure where in the world Qatar is, but Im sure their bid was excellent and they are very deserved winners. Looking at this video, which introduces the countries first five stadiums proposed to be built for the event, the renders are very impressive and ambitious - apart from the 'ribbon of friendship' stadium, which is hands down the fugliest stadium Iv ever seen, whoever designed a stadium that looks like a charity shop basket should be shot . But that aside, I like the fact that they all have such strong concepts that are tuned into the context of the country and competition.

It turns out Qatar is a country in the UEA, with a 1.6 million population and 40-50 degree climate in summertime, oh and not to forget that alcohol distribution and consumption is very very limited. Now, Im not exactly sure what the 1.6 million people are going to do with all of these stadiums after the world cup, and Im guessing that they're going to have to build an entire new infrastructure of transportations and accomodation to cope with the influx of footie fans, plus I hope they have jam hot cooling systems in place, but hey, they have plenty of time to get it right.  

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I wish I could unhear stuff....

I know dubstep is heaps popular but can  no one else hear what I hear? It sounds like the soundtrack to a faliraki rape scene.

This is much better....


Every now and then I observe situations that leave me thinking, it's a good thing there are people in the world with such high levels of tolerance and patience and thank god not everybody is running on my low class patience system.

Peter Callesen is a Danish artist with mad scissor skillz and  some serious patience. He's renowned for his paper art, which involves cutting 3D stories into plain white sheets of paper. If it was left to me, the best I could hope to make would be a paper aeroplane, which is why I find it difficult to comprehend the time and effort in precision that must go into Callesen's cretaions.

Callesen creates his papercut artwork on both small and large scale, from A4 sheet paper and in large-scale installations. I like that the 3D creations are always bound to the sheet of paper they were cut from, not just because it tells a short story, but because it creates a sinister and dark side to the 3D creations that are never allowed to escape and breathe for them selves. Iv noticed that the few 3D cut outs that have been separated from the paper are always in a state of decay or death, such as the apple core, 3rd from right in the image above.

All images courtesy of

Crazy Crap.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Snow way out...

I gotta remember to thank the snow for putting me under house arrest and stopping me go about my daily bizznizz. If being cautious means not risking the drive into work then 'safety first' is my bff.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Deja Brew....

I might as well face it... Im addicted to tea. I love it, I really do, a nice sit down and a cup of tea never gets old...but it never gets new either. Or so I thought...

Last week I went to Giraffe and had 'Tea Pigs' peppermint tea. Holy crap, it was, hands down, the best cup of tea Iv had in my whole entire life.

It's like being punched in the face being a ton of mint leaves. In a really good way.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sea what they did there...

Public space gets me. Creating a space that is entirely non-discriminatory is a tricky feat, because essentially, designing a space that benefits and aesthetically pleases every single person, young or old, rich or poor, able-bodied or disabled is an impossible task. I think projects that encourage people to engage with space is the most promising solution in the long term to successfully creating a public space. This project, "on the way to the sea" by Derman Verbakel Architects, located in the city of Bat-Yam, Isreal, which has revamped the space lying between the city and sea to become more than just a thoroughfare properly caught my eye.

Photographs, courtesy of Yuval Tebol and Dernan Verbakel Architecture

A series of frames are positioned along the city to sea route, containing movable elements, and hosting public activities. Further elements of the project, include a balcony with a street view, an "unfolded" living space built of elements that can be used as a walking surface, table or chair, and also a flexible structure with movable benches and tables turning around an axis, allowing for different seating arrangements and shaded ‘urban rooms’ that can be used for various social events.

The possibilities for this space are endless and the design has created a space where people can meet, eat, relax and exercise on a daily basis. Sounds pretty ideal to me.

Down mit der sauerkraut...

Current Location: Sat on a sofa, in Köln | Cologne, Germany.
Ist gut ja.

Really K-Town? I mean really?...

"Is this the shabbiest Christmas Tree in Britain?" London Metro  

 When it comes to Christmas trees I don't have the highest of expectations, but on the list of expectaions I do have, living is top of the pile.

My town has few claims to fame, it's the birthplace of Henry VIII's 6th wife Katherine Parr, home of mintcake, has the 2nd widest church in England and now, the crappest christmas tree in Britain. Good work K-town.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Just my cup of tea...

SS11 Holly Fulton

Fashion that could be confused with the facade of a building, in theory, should not work. A collection that sees a mash-up of Aztec, Aboriginal, Bauhaus, Cubism and Art Deco is pretty damn daring. However, British designer, Holly Fulton has combined all these styles and the geometry within them to put together a SS11 collection that screams epic fittness. Her attention to surface detail, heavy use of hard wearing materials like 'laser cut wood, studs, perspex and crystal' and use of bold and exotic prints such as snake are balanced by simple shapes and block colour. Taking Joan Collins as a muse and the inspirations of 60's world cruises, the sense of luxurious escapism is written all over the every piece, which, if the inspiration and muse were to be taken into account would bemarketed towrads the shallowest of females out there. But nevertheless, the inclusion of such prominent architectural elements within a fashion collection is exactly my cup of tea.

People with high expectations look away now...

Usually when im bored I do dumb stuff like draw eyes on my eyelids, or count how many times certain bands say certain words in an entire album, or go shopping, or other things that do no good for the world but today Iv decided to spam the internet with my musings. Im not much of a storyteller, infact, once whilst I was telling a story a mate of mine made a noose and pretended to hang himself until I finished, so il keep my candid confessions from a life fighting sabretooths in the Great Valley and other adventures to myself. But for now, il leave you with 3 facts that will rock you to your core and leave you wanting more...

1. Oysters can change gender.
2. Tigers can eat up to 80lbs of meat in one sitting..... Hey, me too
3. I love tea and sucking my fingers. Yeah