Thursday, 24 February 2011

Shop Art

Emerging idea for temporary uses looks like a mixed bag of nice, adequate and quite cheap solutions for vacant shop fronts in Gateshead town centre. The shop art project is a small number of commissions for temporary works.

pPod Peterborough Carbon Challenge

pPod obtains planning permission for the second and the largest Code for Sustainable Homes level 6 development in the country. Behind all of the good intentions of the initial scheme with allotments, a suds island, community enterprises and green travel proposals ... a lot of this has disappear as the proposals have progressed into the commercial world. Both developer and public sector being held back by similar worries about risks. I can't help but wonder if some of these ideas and sustainable community elements of the proposal would have remained if the credit crunch hadn't happen at an early stage in the commercial discussions. To me it seems now that it is more rather than less important to think outside the individual home about the non physical elements of a sustainable community.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Frescos of Bel Air

Whenever social housing providers get around to retrofitting and external insulation or cladding few take the design to this type of extent. I have always been struck by low energy standards resulting in simply detailed and slightly boxy proposals. This project [The Frescos of Bel Air, Chartres] began with a boxy modernist social housing scheme and; working with CiteCreation; produced something amazing.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Pepakura ( is one of those programmes you never suspected existed, but instantly presents and encourages possible uses for designers. Basically, if you have a Sketchup model, then you also now have a tool for quickly converting that into a paper model as well. Community consultations and shaping new developments immediately springs to mind, but then so do potential uses for quick architectural or massing models, for simple shapes at least. By way of example I quickly downloaded a model of the Baltic Museum in Gateshead this evening (produced by a chap going by the name of Poddy - good work by the way), and ran it through Pepakura so you could see the results - a bit of fun if nothing else! A bit of searching on Google also revealed someone printing their designs straight onto sheet metal to be welded up, so clearly there are other uses waiting to be revealed... Enjoy!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Preaching Pit

This is the best from the collection ... Pearman, Georgina [2009] 101 Things to do with a Hole in the Ground [Post-Mining Alliance, St Austell]. Simple but effective as a way of defining a space, almost like a sunken crop circle, that began with subsidence. This design dates from 1806 when John Wesley was on a preaching tour of Cornwall.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Newcastle Bore Hole

First thoughts on a bespoke approach to capping the geothermal borehole being drilled by Newcastle University on the Science Central development, the former site of Scottish and Newcastle brewery. You all know it makes sense.


Artist as curator? Could ever such a thing be possible or does the artist always have to be involved in the act of creating a collection as a new 'work'? Do we always have to fit into predefined roles? The editorial role can be that of an artist, a collector, a curator or a combination of these ‘agent’ roles with the division of ‘art agents’ with apologies to the sub division and structure in; Saatchi, Charles [2009] My name is Charles Saatchi and I am an artoholic: Everything You Need To Know About Art, Ads, Life, God And Other Mysteries And Weren't Afraid To Ask [Phaidon, London]. One excellent example of an artist curator is; Bann, Stephen; Morgan, David; Cooke, Lynne; Buskik and Laningham, Susan [2008] Francis Alys: Fabiola: An Investigation [Dia Foundation, New York]; see below ...

Masking Tape

Some new work from the Wooster Collective - temporary tape creating a nice set of photographs in response to street furniture and manholes.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Welsh Eco House

This project seems to embody some of the fresh ideas relating to regional patternbooks that link local housing needs [with associated budgets], supply chain and sustainability performance standards. So it does seem to do it a disservice to simply the description as an ecohouse. Whatever the case, we are impressed with the idea and the realisation.