'A hand in hand stroll through the wonderland of endeavour'

Niall McLaughlin and Martin Richman are talking on Thursday 8th December at Art & Architecture, 70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ.

It could be good. The words they're using are a little irritating, but what can you do.

They "propose an evening of collaborative endeavour, whereby in place of delivering a formal pre-prepared lecture, they will respond to questions and comments from the audience. They will bring images, objects and considerations to enhance, stimulate and educate. They wish to draw attention to the process of collaboration rather than emphasise a finished resolution. The evening will encourage a multi-facetted dialogue between Niall, Martin and the audience."

Niall +co made this house in Wandsworth:

are in the process of making this technical college in Elephant:

and will probably never get round to building the Turner Centre in Margate:

Trust me, I know. I've been there. Everyone's moaning about it in the "cultural quarter".

The cultural quarter:

Meanwhile, Martin Richman does lots of work with light. Not too keen on the colour palette, but this looks interesting:

That's Bethnal Green Bridge. Apparently it was done in 1996 and led to further "bridge interventions" including London Fields, Hackney Wick and Central. I swear I haven't seen any funny lights there at night though. Perhaps I'm not looking up. Or just blinded by the current blue fairy lights surrounding Hackney Town Hall, they are very very pretty.


About 2 Squares.

El Lissitzky's 1922 children's book Suprematicheskii Skaz, has the following instructions:

Don't read this book Take --
paper. . . .fold
rods . . . .color
blocks of wood . . . .build

The above pages, 6 and 7, have the squares 'flying from far away' approaching the earth and 'finding a black mess.'

I never thought I'd find an online version. I should have looked. Been hoping for a paper version, but the MIT version's a goner.


I want to go to Crystalpunk.

Wow. EZCT, a Dutch architecture and design research concern themselves with this:

"surrational design, design produced by systems made up from rules and conditions put in there by the designer, which once put in motion evolves towards forms and complexity the programmer never would have been able to conciously conceive. This workshop, given by Jelle Ferringa, explores genetic algorithms as one promising tactic for meandering through the possibility space of architectonic forms. Starting with a look on the historic lineage between mathematics and architecture, this workshop evolves into an extensive hands-on session of designing evolutionary systems."

Arch-OS are going to be there too. Arch-OS' Flock:

"using the Arch-OS Vision tool and Audio tools at the same time. The movement and numbers of people in the atria activate an acoustic flock of birds that wheel round the atria, panning through the 3 dimensional space defined by the 12 speakers."

The quotation on their front page referencing Cybrids reminded me of the quasi-spiel my forthcoming tutor unleashed yesterday: "We want people who like technology, but also like humans." There are ping pong bats lining glass-front of his studio. They both protect our macs from thieves and hopefully provide light entertainment. Interactive design should be fun.


Hyperkit travels.

Hyperkit do some great work, and make books full of life size objects, with spreads that look like this:

They excel at outings. My favourites:

When they went to Japan.
When they went to Golden Lane Estate.

(we wanted to include that yellow one in PATH, but it's not as yummy b+w)

They also do great theme clusters, of Italian trucks and drain covers.

This is my favourite drain cover. It can be found in the city walls of Avignon:

PS. Check the found section for my Christmas list. Been day dreaming of Octons for a little too long now.


modular re.strukt

There weren't any stickers this time, just marker pens. Why do people do such horrible things with marker pens in their hands?

Oh honey honey!!
Help I love dead peas
Edgar Degas

Y is this art?

Well, alva noto's transall cycle is special:

(In the sleevenotes Ulf Poschardt talks about acceleration, imagining soul landscapes, and the importance of standing still. "The utopia of a racing placelessness is eaten away by the lures of immersing oneself in the here and now.")

People at the ICC in Tokyo can apparently apply self restraint, and see beyond giggles to the future, to the greater good of communally building organic Nicolai meta structures (yes, there's melodrama):

In conclusion, I'm just a fool who should attend exhibitions before their closing weekend.

Can't help but think that the only way this egalitarian interactivity thing could retain some sense of coherent beauty, is if it were made out of lego. Then again, lego's been on my mind of late. I miss building things.

And this lego lamp is ace. Honey, 5 (Quote: "I'm going to be an artist, I just don't know what kind of art to sell yet") drew a hyper-piano in my sketchbook yesterday. That’s 3 pianos on top of one other, where each note pressed plays a self-contained tune. Notes played consecutively play tunes consecutively. I think she’ll be an instinctive programmer in later life.

Anyway, it reminded me of an earlier, similar invention of mine involving buses, and triggered my current acrylic-related insatiability.(The quadruple-decker was made out of lego). Surely there's some affordable medium-sized blocks for young designers to bulk buy out there..


It's cold.

My bones feel creaky. I think it's that way every November, but still.

I have a couple of things to fix my apatite.

Basking in the reflected glow of these markers helped me transform electromagnetic waves into hours-of-sleep, and find my inner diplomat.

Hour-long discussions of font sizes and helvetica as if it were a badly behaving boyfriend, make it hard to find shiny words where just one could do. I got vocal evidence of my worn veneers: "I like the words you chose." If only I had a pocket-sized machine to restring my words after they're spooled in that middle dimension where they're almost said.

Words should be replaced. Or at be unspeakable after n times per week. Lets downsize.

Should take heed from our cat Cookie (aged eight); we always thought she couldn't miaow. She was recently locked in my brother's room for days until she decided to let us know. My mum was worried, I told her she'd gone exploring. Now I know she's probably the founder of oumiaowpo or something (wikipedia stub forthcoming.)

Anyway, on the weekends I have a sonic bed to alleviate my rising temperature: Kaffe's made this bed. It can fit up to six people, or just one (making a star shape). Midi triggers are triggered by a camera that takes notes. The sounds travel across and under you, (sometimes rattling inside) and lights flicker across the ceiling's roof window. I spend my lunch break in it; there are 5 different modes.

That's where I should just say: bed and show:

Friday 25/11 and 16/12 at the SLG Kaffe will be tuning the bed to visitors' particular requirements, in a "personal feedback session" entitled 'on the bed.'


For believable results:

Call Mr Wahabu. He will solve your problems. Courtesy of Karolin and Tom, who pick up stuff on buses in south London and obviously do not live in fear of bird flu (chicken bones being more frequent than oyster cards in these parts).

Under-40 font maker.

So, I decided to take a light-hearted break from making sight-breaking typefaces. I made some tea and picked up the Observer magazine, and found this. Ha! I have a new favourite buzz-word to make graphic design daddies envious.


Folding Eisenman.

These past few days have been all about diachronical folding. Less with my hands, for once: they have been preoccupied with drumsticks and painkillers.

Read some great words from 1992 by Peter Eisenman, under the title of "Visions' Unfolding: Architecture in the Age of Electronic Media." He had some good ideas, stemming from Moebius strips and 'The fold, Leibniz and the Baroque' by Deleuze. The sticky+flexible oblique plane as habitable circulation / 'third architectural response' was just starting to get popular whispers. A year later "Folding in Architecture" was published.

His emphatic tone cheers me:

Folding changes the traditional space of vision. It can be considered to be effective; it functions, it shelters, it is meaningful; it frames, it is aesthetic.

Folding is not another subjective expressionism, a promiscuity, but rather unfolds in space alongside of its functioning and its meaning in space - it has what might be called an excessive condition or affect ... the deflection of the line in space means that there no longer exists a one-to-one scale correspondence.

Once the environment becomes affective, inscribed with another logic or ur-logic, one which is no longer translatable into the vision of the mind, then reason becomes detached from vision. While we can still understand space in terms of its function, structure and aesthetic - we are still within 'four walls' - somehow reason becomes detached from the affective condition of the environment itself. This begins to produce an environment that 'looks back' ... it does not seek to be understood in the traditional way of architecture, yet it possesses some sense of 'aura', an ur-logic which is the sense of something outside our vision.


I walked around his memorial to Jewish lives lost during WWII in Berlin earlier this summer:

No one seemed to know what it was about; you don't get told. This bothered some. I prefer to be shown, or at least feel out some meaning for myself. The distances between the pillars enforce a single-file route, and you catch glimpses of people getting lost, disappearing into the blocks. It felt a little like a forest. Interestingly, there's a plaque highlighting the illegality of public sunbathing on the pillars.

Eisenman countered his critics thus:

"Architecture is not about information -- we're saturated with information. The field of pillars is a memory of the unrecordable, unmemorable, unmarkable. I was attempting silence."


Dirol / Día de los Muertos

I am mourning the passing of a great invention, imported from Russia via Mr Sushon: Dirol свежести (watermelon). I'm on my last tablet of gum.

Watermelon is the best artifical flavour; this is my sweeping statement to end all sweeping statements. Unfortunately, reformatted into a chewing gum, it is quite a transient affair, relegated to special occasions / crises. I miss proper watermelons, really. Don't seem to find many here, and they usually taste of nothingness. In Greece, trucks of the stuff announce the fact they're passing your house on a loud speaker. It verges on the political, competitive prices etc.

This all ties in nicely with the recent watermelon-heavy, death-based Día de los Muertos. Lots of dead people gorge themselves on citrullus lanatus, apparently. This doesn't seem overly macabre. Sugar skulls win over sugar mice any day, really. Although both are quite hard to find round here too.


The Golden Gate Sad Tally

Suicides by location. This data is based on The Chronicle's review of Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District records. Chronicle Graphic by Todd Trumbull