Thursday, 30 July 2009

At the Ron Arad exhibition opening at MOMA..

Ron wore a t-shirt that said

I don't want
No retro

Heatherwick Kiosk

Kensington & Chelsea Council’s deputy leader Daniel Moylan commissioned architect Thomas Heatherwick to design a new newspaper kiosk. The brief was to design a kiosk that is "distinctive and ergonomic. The solution was a cold-patinated bronze-clad kiosk with a mild steel and plywood frame and a glass fibre roof floating over a polycarbonate clerestory window" as reported in this week's Building Design.

It has a beehive feel to it.

They have recently been positioned by Earl's Court tube and Sloane Square. We showcased the kiosk at the Exhibition Road Festival as part of the London Festival of Architecture last year.


Taking the train to Paris this weekend. Last minute ooro-star. Last minute everything. Very excited for Lobster Sandwich Saturday at Spring, Daniel Rose' acclaimed restaurant on Rue de la Tour d'Auvergne. He orders the lobsters and you can turn up anytime between 12 and 6 in the teeny 16-seat space. Read more about Mr Rose and latkas here.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Dalston's Mill

In an abandoned lot, French practice EXYZT have set up The Dalston Mill. Part of Barbican's summer exhibition, the windmill powers a grinding machine and battery operated LED lighting system. Agnes Denes’ 20 metre-long installation ‘Wheatfield – A confrontation, 1982’ is on site. EXYZT plan to harvest the wheat and bake loaves for you.

The Mill's bakery and bar is open everyday from 2-10pm until 9th August. Admission Free.
(images via )

Friday, 24 July 2009

Preempting a beach moment. Going to have a look-see at Heatherwick's sea-front kiosk tomorrow.
Then to Brighton town to see M. And make pebble-castles.
(image link)

Build Up

The RIBA often sits uneasily within the built environment profession. As a professional body, its remit is to 'advance architecture', respond to the needs of its 40,000 members and lobby the government to improve design quality. But many a time it can be a stodgy organisation, set within 175 years of Grade II bureaucracy on Portland Place.

Renewed faith in RIBA London after this week's launch of Build Up.

1500 places at Westminster University for under-employed, recession hit architects to 'build up' their skills. For free.


Monday, 20 July 2009

Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Collection

My grandmother commissioned emerging artists, many of which were still at art school, to paint self-portraits. Her collection of some 100 paintings record the artistic influences of the mid 20th century—art school academicism, Camden Town, Expressionism, the Euston Road School and Kitchen Sink. Each purchased for no more than 21 guineas each. Some of the painters became famous (Francis Souza, Peter Coker) and some less so but each reflection of the artist tells a story. The collection is being exhibited at Kings Place Gallery in Kings Cross from Thursday 23rd July until end of August.
p.s Proud of my Dad for making this happen. "It's the sort of thing Dad does".


I went to the cricket yesterday. I asked N if we could go to a match sometime, bring a book, drink beer from a plastic cup. I imagined something a bit like watching the cobbled together cricket match that happens at London Field's every Sunday. But with less gingham shirts and more cricket whites. Instead I went down the road to Lord's on the day that England were set to win the Ashes at 'the home of cricket' for the first time since 1934. My brother is still not talking to me.

Image of Amanda Levete's RIBA award winning Lord's media centre.

Friday, 17 July 2009

It's an odd feeling when you want to do something and you discover it has already been realised. But also so enjoyable that the thing (in this case a guide with all the places I would include!) already exists.

Lomo bloggette guides to cities. Beautifully done. She calls Lambs Conduit Street magical. It is. Her guide to London places and cupcake finds are just right so her tour of Portland, New York, and Singapore could well assist your navigation when you next find yourself there.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Tides and Times

RIBA London launch at the BBC last night for the education project, Tides and Times; a celebration and exploration of the Thames with primary schools and architectural practices, Alsop, Urban Salon and Amenity Space. The launch involved canapes and three 10 year olds saying what they had loved learning about.

It's a vast project. Installation 'pods' inspired by the workshops are positioned at Southwark Cathedral (by Borough market), Somerset House and near the Southbank Centre from today until the end of August. Photos to follow.

the sea, the sea

Going down to the murky Thames doesn't always satisfy the wish to be by the sea.
Listen to the The Decemberists' Oceanside to capture the swell.

Credit (syoin kajii NAMI) via the beautiful blog

The Cherry Orchard

Saw another Russian play. Best line from Lyuba Ranevsky to Peter Trofimov in response to his lofty idealism.

"You are not pure. You are just late".

I drew a map of Canada

Reading about Nate Archer's contribution to the recent Pecha Kucha in Melbourne walked me back to Toronto.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

London Festival of Architecture

The programme is being developed for Summer 2010.

The London Festival of Architecture is a biennial, citywide exploration and celebration of London’s built environment. Now in its fourth edition, the sixteen-day programme of events, which run from 19 June to 4 July, is produced collaboratively by London’s leading architectural organisations—The Architecture Foundation, New London Architecture and the Royal Institute of British Architects London.

I'm excited to be working on this again. More info to follow.


Snog has just opened its second frozen yogurt shop in Soho. It has all the healthy credentials (non fat organic yogurt with probiotics blah-di-blah) and the uber pink design by Cinimodstudio lures you in with a ceiling of bubble lights. Opens until midnight everyday. Nothing wrong with a Summer sweet addiction, right?

Monday, 13 July 2009

The Photographic dictionary

e.g rainbow {rain Bow} [reyn-boh]
click here for more A-Z words.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

weekend of productivity

Friday: Stay up dancing until 7am.
Saturday: Sway with tiredness.
Sunday: Leave Flat 3 couch only to see Rebecca Miller's new film.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Bach spirals

Zaha Hadid Architects' temporary Chamber Music Hall has opened at Manchester Art Gallery for Manchester International Festival. The solo performances of Bach’s compositions will be enveloped by the structure that is suspended from the ceiling.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Pina Bausch

Working at Sadler's Wells meant that I had the wonderful opportunity to be in the presence of the dance theatre visionary, Pina Bausch. I had a little task of buying bundles of pink carnations at the Covent Garden flower market to decorate an after-party of her production of Nelken, performed by her company, Tanztheater Wuppertal. Everyone quietened at the sight of Pina as she smoked and spoke, all elbows and wrists and a ballerina's tight bun. She changed the language of European dance so fair enough that she was allowed to puff away next to the no-smoking signs on the Sadler's mezzanine.

Pina passed away last week. And while nobody was buying forged tickets for her tribute on e-bay and elephants were not paraded in Wuppertal, Germany, her work ( glorious and stark and true) will be celebrated through performance for many moons to come.

Let's play in the park

Serpentine Pavilion 2009 opens this weekend.

It looks like a pool of water, a man-made lake perhaps, or a giant piece of jewellery, especially when sunlight gleams down on to its roof. It is easy to imagine miniature versions being sold in the Serpentine's shop
- Jonathan Glancey, Guardian

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Exhibition: Valerio Olgiati

Exhibition of the Swiss architect starts at the RIBA on Friday.
(Images with grainy, overcast tones to match today's hail and thunderstorms).

Thursday, 2 July 2009

ipod, iphone, ive

Jonathan Ive. VP of industrial design at Apple. Designer of something or 3 things you are likely to reach for each day.

Jonathan spoke at Innovation Night at the RCA in his humble manner earlier this week.
1. His team have a workshop in Silicon Valley. It is not the size of hangar. But bigger than your average garage.
2. There are no objects that he is particularly aching to re-design. He just can't fathom superfluous design.
3. English designers use too many excuses. If your prototype doesn't work, just make it again adjusting the spec.
4. An Education manager from the Design museum asked what she should tell a school group from Tower Hamlets, due to come to the museum the following day, about design. Ive's answer: Convey how everything has been designed and each 'thing' has a biography of its own.
5. Apple don't improve on other brands products. With a relatively small portfolio, they keep focused on design.


RIBA London seminar asked 'How Energy Efficient can we make our buildings?'
Bere architects outlined how they have utilised the Passivhaus planning package. Their office in Stoke Newington has not been completed yet but their rooftop is a buzzing with a beehive.