Archive for the 'Environment' Category
I noticed a couple of old shop names revealing themselves recently in Pollokshields. I am drawn towards them because they are so fleeting – once the refurbishment is complete, they are hidden again for years. I am particularly fond of the Art Deco A from THE CLASSIC CAFÉ shop entrance (“HOT FOOD CONSENT” suggests permission to return to its former glory may have been granted?). By rendering the A, I could enjoy the hand painted sign writing skills.
In the spirit of inter-institutional caring and sharing:
Preview: Thursday 27th March 7pm
Exhibition Open: Friday 28th March 12 – 4pm, Saturday 29th March 12 – 4pm
The White Room project space, Tin Roof Studios. 38-40 Bellfield Street
Dundee DD1 5JD
Presenting an exhibition of work created by 3rd year Illustration Students from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.
Come along to our show! It consists of hand printed posters and set designs for a series of imagined theatrical adaptations of plays exploring climate change, sustainability, urban planning and related social and political issues.
Exploring subjects such as:
Hydro Fracking, Gentrification, Micro-topias, Climate Activism, Nuclear waste disposal, Nuclear War, Social Housing, The melting ice caps, Surveillance, Community Gardening.
For more information please visit:
The always great Dan Hancox talking about an alternative to capitalism by looking at the social-democratic and cooperative village of Marinaleda, Spain. Worth a listen if you have any interest in ways to address inequality and redistribution of wealth within society, both globally and nationally.
this is a fantastic resource that has a wealth of information on topics relevant to modern society and globalised culture.
“There’s already a lot of information on the Internet, so our goal is to cut through the noise and garbage, to present valuable information in a clear way, so it’s accessible, useful and easily digested. This still may not be an easy undertaking though, and we can understand that — especially considering the complexity and interconnectedness of the topics, as well as the crossing over of sources; but also for the fact that the information here can be incomplete, sometimes contradictory or even controversial. But this is the point. It’s all part of what we’re trying to do: provoke critical thinking, questioning… and doing.
We’ve fundamentally built this resource to inform and inspire action — and no, we’re not talking about clicking the stupid ‘Like’ button on Facebook, signing online petitions or letter writing — we mean informing and inspiring real-world action; taking this information away from the computer to rejuvenate the strong networks with the people around you in the real world, to discuss, plan, act. This is not a symbolic action or clicktivism website, nor is it a simple collection of popular content, like the other websites available. It’s a resource that aims to inform, inspire and provoke action; to generate a multitude of responses and reactions. This is just some of what is needed to break paradigms, subservience, acquiescence, and to cultivate inspiration to continue work on the plethora of puzzles and problems addressed in the information published here.”
In the spring of 2005, National Geographic photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate.
A documentary worth watching not just for the science but for the stunning shots of ice and remote locations.
The following selection of Glasgow observations featured in the research journals produced by Singapore students. They were asked to document and reflect on the ideas they had been working with during the Overseas Immersion Programme.
POW if you don’t know about me
POW better ask someone quickly
Stumbled across this project that is being curated by Graphical House.
I thought it held quite a bit of relevance in subject matter and continued on from the LUST feral studio workshop that some of us attended, which certainly threw up some interesting opinions and work on the same subject.
and this somehow seems relevant
“Field Studies is a four-day summer-school led by three acclaimed sound artists and composers. It explores the possibilities of engaging with places through listening, and working with recorded sound as a creative and practical tool in the context of architecture, the city and art practice.”
The course was organised by Musarc and led by Joseph Kohlmaier who edited Human Space by O.F. Bollnow on Hyphen Press. Three workshops were tutored by artist Brandon Labelle, field recordist Lee Patterson and artist Davide Tidoni. There were also talks from John Dack on Pierre Schaeffer and musique concrète, Soundfjord‘s co-founder Helen Frosi and sound artist Christina Kubisch.
Clockwise from top left, reconstructed overheard conversations, fishing for sounds using DIY hydrophone and the shoe-less Davide Tidoni discusses exploring space with radio static.
I didn’t manage to get the obligatory photo of artists/designers on laptops around trestle tables, it did happen though!
In Christina Kubisch’s talk, she showed films of her electromagnetic induction headphones in action. They pick up electromagnetic fields from electrical devices and convert them into sound using something like this. Reminded me of the sunglasses scene from They Live.
During summer, plinths migrate towards the centre of a studio. A group of plinths fleeing a predator demonstrates the nature of herd behavior. In 1971, in the oft cited article “Geometry For The Selfish Herd,” evolutionary biologist W. D. Hamilton asserted that each individual plinth reduces the danger to itself by moving as close as possible to the center of the fleeing group. Thus the herd appears as a unit in moving together, but its function emerges from the uncoordinated behavior of self-serving individuals.
When cycling home last week, I noticed the word “STOCKIST” had appeared on Eglinton Street. I liked the composition of the type sitting behind the verticals (apologies for the quality of the photos, a bus was rapidly approaching).
Vis Com 12 is the website of this years graduating 4th year students. And representing as it does, a fantastically diverse body of works, has the most tags of any post on the vis-com blog ever.
Good weather, good humour and an ability to challenge assumptions, brought the Yr1 ComDes students out into the streets of Glasgow recently. Working in groups of five, the students took some risks to make places in Glasgow famous.
We had: commemorative plaques dedicated to singer songwriter Darius, sheltering walkers in Kelvingrove Park under a canopy made from a matrix of umbrellas, turning the Duke of Wellington statue into Dukearoo! (his equestrian pal had a unicorn horn) and a forgotten underpass near to SkyPark brought to life with an installation made from woolen thread (see below).
The group of Sarah Jones, Isaac Neviazsky, Chelsea Frew, Lois Langmead and Louisa Reyce gilded a crack in the pavement with Tunnock’s Tea Cake wrappers. The students approached our national institution and got permission to use the iconic design and make something beautiful. Enjoy…
The Commonwealth Games 2014: Whose Legacy?
Short introductory talk by Dr Libby Porter (Urban Planner and Researcher, Glasgow Uni) and Neil Gray (Writer and Researcher, Glasgow Uni) about the Legacy of Mega-Events, and large-scale urban regeneration plans in the UK and worldwide.
A discussion will follow with a series of live accounts by residents – including carers from the Save the Accord centre, who are campaigning to retain a day care centre for people with learning disabilities, and Margaret Jaconelli, who has recently been evicted from her home. The residents will talk about about the impact the Commonwealth Games development is having upon their lives.
This discussion, focusing on media portrayal and the right of residents to ‘stay put’ in the face of large-scale urban transformation and displacement, will be interspersed with a series of short films that highlight recent experiences on, and nearby, the site of the Commonwealth Games Village
Includes special screening of a short film about Margaret Jaconelli and the forthcoming Commonwealth Games by Glasgow documentary photographer and filmmaker, Chris Leslie. (14 mins) www.chrisleslie.com
An interesting article on the Design Altruism blog by Daniel Drenan on the role designers and design education could play in helping communities to resist Gentrification and the numerous negative affects Mega-events such as the Olympics and Commonwealth Games have on their host cities.
Amongst many interesting observations the article gives an account of a series of workshops that happened in a college in Beirut in which students were given four groups to research in terms of particular Olympic games cities and their communicated messages: The Olympic Committee itself, the host city government, the design firm responsible for the corporate identity, and any protesters they could find. The article then goes on to discuss the information gathered by the students research and the work that was created in response to it.
For up to date information on the London Olympics the Gamesmonitor site is worth a visit. I would also thoroughly recommend watching Five Ring Circus a film about the Vancouver Winter Olympics available to watch free online and Olympicfield a film found in the year 2015 near the London Olympics site.
Talk to Me is the latest exhibition from Design and the Elastic Mind curator Paola Antonelli. This coincides with a recent purchase of mine, a HP desktop printer/scanner which not only talks to me (giving me printing ‘tips’ via its built-in lcd screen), but via its own I.P. address and a wireless connection to the network, talks to Hewlett Packard HQ… about me? about what I print? about how I’m not very good at loading the paper? The Internet of Things is well and truly here.
A Domus review nicely summarises some of the key questions;
“In the catalogue text, these changes are read along the long wave of opposition to cold 20th century rationalism: “The clichés of the twentieth century, such as ‘form follows function’, the modernist motto borrowed with some variation by Louis H. Sullivan, and ‘design means solving problems’… have been responsible for soulless and lobotomized architectural design.” On the contrary, the experiences shown in Talk To Me go back to the 1960s and the fruitful experiences of the radicals with their first ideas regarding cybernetic, mobile and interactive architecture.”
Glasgow School of Art, designed as part of a competition in 1896 by Charles R. McIntosh, then a young assistant in the Glasgow firm of Honeyman & Keppie, is one of the most famous buildings in the world.
This subtle and eclectic stone structure, with its echoes of Scottish castles, Elizabethan architecture and “Queen Anne” and Arts and Crafts buildings in England, is gawped at constantly by hordes of starstruck architects. Its creator, “Rennie Mackintosh”, as he became known, has become a figure of myth as well as the patron saint of the Glasgow tourist industry. And two years ago, to mark the centenary of this truly wonderful work of architecture, the school announced a competition for an adjacent new building to replace the brutal concrete tower which the Mackintosh successor firm, Keppie Henderson & Partners, contrived to erect on the opposite side of Renfrew Street in 1970, when Glasgow was busy destroying itself.
Any new building on this sensitive site might be expected to respond to the character of the city and be deferential to poor old Toshie’s masterpiece. But no. Faced with 150 entries, including several from respected Scottish practices, the assessors surrendered to cultural cringe by plumping for a fashionable international superstar, Steven Holl of New York.
Holl paints as well as designs and is responsible for modishly angular and arbitrary new museum buildings in places like China, Norway and the US. He says things like: “Building transcends physical requirements by fusing with a place, by gathering the meaning of a situation.” But Holl has come up with a design which is scarcely respectful to Mackintosh.
At least the new building will run along the street line of Renfrew Street and incorporates the 1930s Assembly Hall. But that’s as far as it goes. Holl’s creation will rise much higher than Mackintosh’s block and, by having the top storey jutting forward, will overshadow it.
Whereas the original block is carefully and delicately detailed, Holl’s is a crude composition of plain surfaces and awkward angles. Facing Mackintosh’s facade, with its big north-facing mullioned and transformed windows, Holl proposes a recessed “landscape loggia… that gives the school an exterior social core open to the city. Natural vegetation with some stonework routes water into a small recycling water pond which will also reflect dappled sunlight on to the ceiling inside” — which suggests he has little understanding of Glasgow’s weather, especially in winter.
Mackintosh managed to provide practical, well-lit studio spaces that still work. But Holl, who drones on about a “new language of light”, proposes to waste space by having “Driven Void’ light shafts” inside the building to provide “direct connectivity with the outside world through the changing intensity and colour of the sky.”
Worst of all is the fact that this banal conception will be “coated in a thin skin of matte glass referencing Mackintosh’s stone skin”, whatever that may mean. Holl denies that all this southfacing glass will reflect too much light on to the old building, for: “This material is almost like alabaster. It is soft, without reflection.” As the Iron Duke once said, if you believe that, you’ll believe anything. But why glass at all? The character of Glasgow is of stone, and it is not necessary to imitate Mackintosh’s style to produce architecture which could be both original and yet harmonious — as the original School of Art was to the neighbouring tenements and villas.
Depressingly, this crude and insensitive design has met virtually no criticism in Scotland. Of course it was clever of Holl to team up with the Glasgow office, run by Ian Alexander and Henry McKeown (both graduates of the school), of the firm of JM Architects (not to be confused with RMJM who recently hired Sir Fred Goodwin [Eye 12551), for in Glasgow nobody likes to rock the boat. Naturally Seona Reid, director of the School of Art, considers that “the inventive use of light, material and section make it a worthy companion to Mackintosh, a striking building of which we will all be immensely proud”; but there has been remarkably little dissent from kow-towing to the American superstar among her members of staff. Ranks have closed: the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society has rolled over, as has the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. Naturally the city council is all in favour.
Almost the only dissent has come from the distinguished Scots film-maker and pioneer in the rehabilitation of once-despised Toshie, Murray Grigor, together with Professor William JR Curtis, the (English) historian of modernism and the author of studies of Le Corbusier. In an open letter to the governors of the school and its staff and students, Professor Curtis writes: “The Holl project is lacking in urbanity and would not be out of place in a business park in China or the USA, but it is completely alien to Glasgow with its grid, urban grain, and sombre facades in stone and glass. Above all it fails to harmonise with Mackintosh’s marvellous building opposite. To respond to a historical context does not mean copying the existing, but it does mean interacting at several levels from overall volumes, to proportions, to materials”. I could not have put it better myself.
If Steven Holl’s arrogant matte glass lump is built, it will not just be a waste of £50m but another of modern Glasgow’s far too numerous architectural foul-ups.