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BBC Radio 4 - Pick a Sky and Name It
"How did Momtaza Mehri go from net savvy 6th former to successful millennial poet?

A house belonging to her grandmother is the closest poet Momtaza Mehri has ever come to having a permanent home. Aside from summer months in London, Momtaza's family picked its way across the Middle East.

"Then I just realise, I'm having this typical Somali experience where we're literally going to the places that would be considered the bad 'hoods."

Across a sea, another gulf, was the country her parents no longer called home.

Talking with her mother, Momtaza revisits the childhood experiences that shaped her outlook and her coming of age as a millennial poet.

Poetry extracts are taken from:
I believe in the transformative power of cocoa butter and breakfast cereal in the afternoon
Manifesto for those carrying dusk under their eyes
The Sag
Shan
Wink Wink
November 1997

"The internet just switched up the entire game," Momtaza says.

Producer: Tamsin Hughes
A Testbed production for BBC Radio 4."
momtazamehri  poets  poetry  poems  howwelearn  online  internet  web  blogging  autodidacts  somalidiaspora  tamsinhughes  2018  interviews  radio  profiles  somalia  middleeast  london  experience  childhood  dubai  mogadishu  civilwar  tumblr  publishing  howwewrite  freedom 
july 2018 by robertogreco
The Atlantic Interview - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (featuring Ta-Nehisi Coates) | Listen via Stitcher Radio On Demand
"In the inaugural episode of The Atlantic Interview, The Atlantic's editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg talks with the novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about race, identity, what she does when people call her "Chimichanga" by mistake. Atlantic correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates makes a cameo."

[See also: https://www.theatlantic.com/podcasts/the-atlantic-interview/
https://www.citylab.com/equity/2017/10/we-have-to-be-careful-not-to-romanticize-cities/543789/ ]
chimamandangoziadichie  ta-nehisicoates  2017  race  racism  paris  us  london  identity  donaldtrump  notknowing  innocence  ignorance  feminism  liberalism  daveeggers 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Metafoundry 68: Specific Diseconomy
"ON LONDON: Not surprisingly, I’ve been asked a number of times to reflect on my experience in London. There were the minor details, like how signing for a credit card now feels like the past to me, chip-and-PIN like the present, and contactless still feels like the future (and I’m sad that the utility of contactless is severely compromised in the US because tips aren’t normally included in bills). Between the Brexit referendum fallout, the snap election, the Manchester and London Bridge attacks, and the Grenfell fire, it felt like an eventful and consequential six months in the UK. But what was most striking to me about living in London was how steeped the city is in colonialism and empire.

Most of my days in London were spent on a north-south axis that ran from Somerset House on the bank of the Thames (where I was working with design consultancy Superflux and with collaborators at King's College London), through Holborn where my gym was located, to University College London (established 1826, ending the four-hundred-year duopoly in English higher education held by Oxford and Cambridge, and to which King's was established in response), and the British Library. A friend of mine laughed at this, noting that my stomping grounds would be instantly recognizable to Victorians.

The walk from my gym to Somerset House (built at the end of the 18th century, and the administrative centre of England and its empire during the 19th century) took me past India House, opened in 1930 to house the administration for the subcontinent. It’s decorated with crests for different regions, and I found the one for the North West Frontier Province, where my parents were born and where my father lived until Partition, when his family relocated from newly-formed Pakistan to newly-reconfigured India, as part of what is likely to have been the largest migration in human history. Between my family history and my own life in Canada and the US, I describe myself as a British colonial four times over, which no doubt shaped my perspective. As well as the gorgeous administrative buildings, the Victorian public engineering that Britons take justifiable pride in was paid for out of the coffers of Empire. Bazalgette’s pioneering sewer system for London (built between 1859 and 1865) was an enormous public good paid for with public funds, because of the success of the imperial project, although it was almost more depressing to learn that it's since been privatized as Thames Water. Nearly half of Brits are proud of colonialism and think it was a good thing, and it inarguably was, if you’re British. Estimates by historians suggest that India accounted for about a quarter of the world’s economic output before 1700; a few years after Independence, it had dropped to less than 5%. Even the much-vaunted Indian railroads were primarily a moneymaking scheme for British companies, who maintained ownership and kept the profits, while Indian taxes backed the returns guaranteed to British investors.

I’m most familiar with India, because of my family history, but by far the most telling indicator of how colonialism transferred wealth away from local populations to England is to look at the list of former colonies: with only a few exceptions, the former colonies that are wealthy (like Canada, the US, Australia, and New Zealand) are the ones where the original inhabitants and societies were largely wiped out and supplanted by Europeans. The rest of the former Empire, the places where descendents of the original residents still comprise the bulk of the population, are desperately poor. Even if you don’t look at any other metric, this is still prima facie evidence for colonialism as an unprecedented transfer of wealth.

[I don’t think I go a day without thinking about how my family moved from one type of colony to the other, how that means that I grew up with all of the benefits of being on the right side of Empire, and that my society is built on a hill of skulls.]

I worked out of the Science Reading Room at the British Library, across the hall from the Asian collection. There was a large sign that read, “Learn more about your ancestors in India!” I was halfway through the small text before I realised, tipped off by the references to baptismal and pension records, that they didn’t mean my ancestors. On the Tube, I’d see ads for Las Vegas, ‘where your accent is an aphrodisiac’ (which is utterly absurd until you realize that it's a vestige of imperial propaganda); for the Crown Jewels, ‘Every stone tells a story’ (Prime Minister David Cameron refused requests to return the Koh i Noor diamond to India, on the grounds that if the UK ‘says yes to one, you suddenly find the British Museum would be empty’); for Fever Tree tonic water, ‘We go to the ends of the earth’ to find the quinine (tonic water was created in the early 19th century to make the antimalarial palatable to British officials stationed in Africa and India). In front of the Tate Britain, a bollard at the edge of the Thames indicates where ships would tie up to transport prisoners to Australia from Milbank Prison, which was torn down to build the museum. Outside London, Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry has an entire floor devoted to ‘Cottonopolis’ and how the industrial production of the region was the source of much of England’s wealth, in which there is literally one sentence about slavery and no mention of the destruction of the Bengali textile industry (nor the larger deindustrialization of India). I posted an excerpt about the word ‘pukka’ from a book about stepwells in India on my Instagram feed, and a stranger demanded to know where Jamie Oliver got the word from if it was Hindi. [While many of my examples are from India, other parts of the world have their own stories.]

If you've followed the links, you'll see that almost all of my citations are UK news outlets; it's not that there aren't lots of people in the UK who understand the full impact of colonialism. It's just that it's hard for me to understand how, if you've ever seen a list of famines in India under British rule, you could ever believe that colonialism was a good thing, or that it should be reflected in ads to sell me tonic water."

[See also: https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:dc6ff8124465

"[M]y society is built on a hill of skulls" is the most visceral expression of this particular truth that I've ever heard. https://twitter.com/debcha/status/911689430347415558 "
https://twitter.com/jkriss/status/911691879799865344

"Of course, my joke cortex goes straight for this: https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/things-this-city-was-built-on-besides-rock-n-roll "
https://twitter.com/jkriss/status/911695089134481408 ]" ]
debchachra  2017  london  colonialism  capitalism  india  uk  history  society  inequality  imperialism  england  canada  britain  britishempire  globalization  europe  globalsouth 
september 2017 by robertogreco
@debcha en Instagram: “I'm not really a souvenir person, but I did come home with some @transportforlondon swag—I think those are real line status magnets…”
"I'm not really a souvenir person, but I did come home with some @transportforlondon swag—I think those are real line status magnets, together with the ubiquitous hazard sign. The print amused me because I recently learned that the reason why the Tube is so hot in the summer is because a century and a half of dumping waste heat, particularly from braking, has raised the temperature of the clay surrounding the tunnels from a cool 15C to a toasty 25C, which makes it much harder to cool now."
debchachra  2017  london  trains  heat  clay  materials  science  subways  transportation  souvenirs  signs 
august 2017 by robertogreco
Disturbances #15: The Flavour of Los Angeles
"There are many smogs.

Classic smog, of 1950s London “pea-souper” fame, is sulphurous, as SO2 from burning coal mixes with cool, foggy air to produce H2SO4, sulphuric acid. But London was not the only city to experience such noxious vapours. Atlanta has biogenic smog, containing terpenes from sources such as pine trees and rotting organic matter. Intensive agricultural regions such as California’s Central Valley can have an unusually alkaline smog, from ammonia and amines in fertiliser and feedlot manure.

In May 2015, Nicola Twilley and the Centre for Genomic Gastronomy made meringues of each in an exploration of ‘aeroir’ (the gaseous version of terroir). Apparently “different cities’ smogs do, indeed, taste different”. The repulsion felt at the prospect of actually eating the meringues also served to make the point: you’re already taking this stuff into your body with every breath."



"Los Angeles has a smog problem for both human and topological reasons. Even today, the city is not just the home of Hollywood and dubious lifestyle ‘influencers’ but the biggest manufacturing centre in the US, the country’s largest port, and its second largest auto manufacturing location. Each steel factory, chemical plant and oil refinery produces hydrocarbon and/or nitrous oxide emissions, providing the chemical ingredients for smog to form.

But its geography also makes the city a natural pollution trap. Hemmed in by mountains, smoke & exhaust from is trapped in the city lowlands. Cool sea breezes are drawn on-shore but cannot circulate, as this denser air finds itself trapped by an inversion layer of warmer air above, which operates as a kind of atmospheric lid. The pollution cannot go anywhere, and so stagnates, cooking gently in the sunshine.

Los Angeles has a temperature inversion for 260 days a year. It trapped the smoke of Tongva Native American villages in 1542, and it still traps pollution now.

The air has improved over time. Pollution levels are down about 75% since their peak in the 1970s (), and diesel-based particulates dropped 70% in the last decade. On that day-by-day air quality index map, much of the city has ‘acceptable’ air quality much of the time - below an AQI index of 100, the limit damaging to health. Occasionally Central Los Angeles even rates ‘good’ - astonishing, really, for the centre of a city. Kids in the LA Basin are literally growing stronger lungs. How did this happen?

In the 1950s & 60s activist groups, such as Stamp Out Smog, a women’s group in Beverley Hills, brought kids to rallies wearing gas masks, and successfully pushed politicians to do something about the crisis, in some of the earliest environmental protesting in the US. 1963 saw Congress pass the first Clean Air Act, followed by national emissions standards for cars. California passed stronger standards for cleaner cars and cleaner gasoline, and legal battles forced car manufacturers to comply. Then catalytic converters, rolled out in cars from 1975, were “the key piece of technology that allowed everything to change,” says Mary Nichols, chairman of California’s Air Resources Board.

So we need to ask: why is the Inland Empire still purple, for ‘very unhealthy’?"



"Yet smog remains central to Los Angeles’ mythology and will do for a while yet, even if experience one day fades into nostalgia. Smog produces the crimson sunset I watched bleed out behind the Hollywood sign one evening back in January; at night it makes the city lights glow.

It is, literally, the atmosphere of the city - and serves to symbolise that in so many of the canonical books and films about Los Angeles. Bladerunner, of course. The grubby haze on the horizon in Chinatown. Smog stands both for everything hidden and obscured about the city, and the neo-noir detective’s desire to see through it.

“Since the mid sixties, the aurora of smog has become a governing symbol of Los Angeles, the emblem of avoidance and self-reflection,” writes Norman M. Klein in The History of Forgetting. “One drives into it with the same expectations as driving into a city skyline - for the city out of control. Along the San Bernadino mountains, towards Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear, the smog can rise up to a mile high, like a mysterious erasure, like the top of an Ed Ruscha painting.”"



"We have come round, through shame and future-nostalgia, to desire.

Which raises the question, why do I care so much about the filthy aura of a city 5,000 miles away?

Because I was raised in its mythic tradition.

Los Angeles does not only exert a hold on the cinematic imagination - it’s done a number on geographers.

I studied at LSE then UCL in the mid-2000s and my reading lists were thick with urban scholarship both from and about the city. Mike Davis (who called it the ‘City of Quartz’); Ed Soja (that wonderful subtitle, ‘Journeys To Los Angeles and Other Real-and-Imagined Places’); and Frederic Jameson on the ‘Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism’ as epitomised in the Westin Bonaventure hotel.

Los Angeles was the twentieth century, you see: the city of the motorcar, of film & TV, of aerospace and the WW2 military-industrial complex; a thick nexus of globalization, migration, white flight and urban renewal. And it was the definitive American city because it was the first truly American city, the first not to look back towards Europe for its streetplans and topography but to sprawl hungrily a hundred miles into the desert, cannibalising water supplies from lesser municipalities, a luxuriant low-rise efflorescence lurching from one crisis to the next. It was late capitalism, post-Fordism, postmodernism - and as such, the crucible where late C20th urban geographical theory was heated to sometimes fervid degree.

There we were in London, a metropolis with far greater claim to ‘world city’ status and several thousand more years of urban development and global reach to study. And yet we were taught to long for palm trees and the perversion of the freeway.

My department had a thing for Los Angeles. Iain Borden’s work on "skateboarding, space and the city" was Dogtown And Z-Boys in academic form, rooted in a deeply embodied knowledge of the joy of skimming across sun-kissed concrete; the joy of youth and risk and thrill of reappropriating the urban realm. Matthew Gandy on the concrete sump of the LA River. The essays I kept writing about the history and function of bodily metaphors for the city. The fixation absolutely everybody seemed to have with JG Ballard. Papers on Cronenberg's film of 'Crash'.

These are libidinal geographies. And it was a kind of fascination that’s equally close to disgust. If the city wasn’t polluted, if the highways weren’t sclerotic and the political machinations machine-y – and yet the whole thing somehow still seeming to hold together - there wouldn’t be much to write.

Anna Karenina problems: happy cities are all alike. They end up on Monocle’s ‘Best Places To Live' ranking and become interchangeable commodities.

Without the smog, LA would lack atmosphere. Flavour."
losangeles  jayowens  2017  air  flavor  nicolatwilley  iainborden  london  cities  desire  place  geography  pollution  inlandempire  california  smog 
july 2017 by robertogreco
9 Artist-Run Restaurants You Need to Know
"In the fall of 1971, the doors of a curious restaurant located at 127 Prince Street opened just south of New York’s Houston Street. Inside, if you were hungry, an artist might ladle you a steaming bowl of caldo gallego from one of three large cauldrons bubbling away over a low stove in the center of the room. Soup in hand, you’d make your way to a table where slices of bread were stacked around a huge heap of butter. Come another night and you might’ve been served the now-famous “bone dinner”—frogs’ legs and roasted marrow bones, among other skeletal dishes—then left with the remnants, rigorously cleaned and given a second life as wearable jewelry.

This was the restaurant and conceptual art project Food, run by artists Carol Goodden, Tina Girouard, and Gordon Matta-Clark, among others. Given a mini-retrospective at Frieze New York’s 2013 fair, involving several of the original chefs, the short-lived project has secured its place as one of the most iconic blurrings of the lines between art and food. The 1970s Soho establishment is far from the only artistic foray into the culinary realm, however, so we checked in on a handful that have been around for years, and a few others that are still taking shape.

Zagreus Projekt
ULRICH KRAUSS
BERLIN

“Food and art were the two elements in my life that were always there,” explains Ulrich Krauss, the founder of the Berlin food project space Zagreus Projekt. “I grew up in a butcher shop and I studied art.” He went on to apprentice as a chef, spending time cooking at a fancy hotel in southern Germany. “When you are in that world, it is so restricted, and you have rules for everything,” Krauss says. “It’s a very narrow world, so I got the feeling I had to escape from that.” Krauss left for Berlin, where he balanced artmaking—mostly performances—with cooking in restaurants. “I have to found a place where I bring things together,” he remembers thinking of his double life. Zagreus Projekt took shape.

Its first iteration found a home in the backroom of Galerie Markus Richter, a space for conceptual and minimal art that shuttered in 2005. Since then, Zagreus Projekt, which Krauss is careful to point out is not a gallery, has relocated to the elegant Mitte district. Artists bring ideas for exhibitions that in some way relate back to food, and a collaboration ensues to devise a menu that matches. FOOD ART, a collaboration that launches April 8th, pairs the talents of the artist-turned-chef with a Swiss-German artist couple, Hendrikje Kühne and Beat Klein, who make elaborate, three-dimensional collage sculptures, often including images of food and fragments of advertising and newspapers. “With every exhibition we do here, we have a different point of view on food or on the situation of eating, and that is the most important thing,” Krauss explains. But the demands of the project, 16 years on, are not without their toll. “I don’t see myself as an artist anymore,” says Krauss. “I see myself as a chef.”

Pharmacy 2
DAMIEN HIRST
NEWPORT STREET GALLERY, LONDON

Damien Hirst, dispenser of hand-painted pills and shark vitrines, blends two environments to unusual effect in his newest restaurant endeavor, Pharmacy 2, which opened at his Newport Street Gallery several weeks ago. After taking in vibrant work by John Hoyland, one of Britain’s key abstract painters, a Hirst devotee can round out the experience in the new spot. Uniquely crafted pills dot the marble floor, and a clinically cool neon sign that reads “prescriptions” hangs over the bar in view of works from Hirst’s “Medicine Cabinets” and “Kaleidescope paintings.”

Diners enjoy chef-collaborator Mark Hix’s cooking, which eschews pharmaceuticals for fresh ingredients and a British-inflected menu of European classics, including crispy squid with green chilis or Hix’s riff on the traditional German apples-and-potatoes side “Heaven and Earth.” “Damien designed a formaldehyde ‘Cock and Bull’ for my restaurant Tramshed, so it makes sense for me to exchange my skills,” the chef explains.

[restaurant not yet named]
RAPHAEL LYON
NEW YORK

“There is a long-running joke in the food industry that most artists are unrealized chefs,” the artist Raphael Lyon, who grows sculptures using geologic processes, tells me. “Which is just a way of saying that huge numbers of self-identified artists may have turned to art only because they wanted to be respected for working creatively with their hands, and that maybe they would have been more fulfilled in a kitchen rather than a studio.” Together with partner Arley Marks, Lyon is opening a restaurant off the Jefferson Street stop of New York City’s L train in the coming weeks. He also owns Enlightenment Wines, where he works as a “mazer,” fermenting honey and herbs into a wine-like beverage. “This will be something like a public home for that research,” he explains.

Lyon also hopes it will be “a place of sincere curiosity—whether it’s for a dry mead made out of Christmas trees and gold flake or just rethinking the pickled egg.” The artist’s deep knowledge of food and wine yields unusual revelations. “What interests me about winemaking, and more generally the American food scene writ large, is how until very recently discourse around it was obsessed with really awkward notions of authenticity,” Lyon observes. He suggests there’s a link between this approach to thinking about food and how people talked about European painting before Modernism. “A good part of the development of art in the last century was a move away from validity based on authentic regional expression to validity based on ideas,” he continues. “That’s happening in the food world, particularly in New York.”

ZAX Restaurant
WILL STEWART
BROOKLYN

“Generally, the stereotype of ‘starving artist’ isn’t far off the mark in New York,” says Will Stewart, an artist in the city whose work engages the environment and the architecture of space. “You’ve got people living in strange shared spaces, and everybody’s out running around every night doing something.” It’s a city that Stewart thinks “operates as a pressure cooker.” A year and a half ago, he started wondering about setting up a makeshift restaurant. “There’re how many hundreds of thousands of people?” Stewart says, retracing the thoughts that led him to set up ZAX—his fixed-price, vegetarian-only supper club in a vacant space adjacent to his studio. “There will always be at least 20 people who are going to want to come by and have dinner.”

ZAX’s December “Fertility Meal,” put together by artists/guest chefs Maia Ruth Lee and Violet Dennison, included “Estrogen Seeds” (an appetizer made with anise and sugar crystals) and “New Mother Nourishment Soup” (seaweed, daikon, enoki mushrooms, shishito peppers, miso, and fingerling potatoes), among other peculiar dishes and libations. For a few extra dollars, heat acupuncture was also part of the meal. Though Stewart has put his restaurant-in-a-studio on hold, he plans to bring it back in Greenpoint sometime in April.

Conflict Kitchen
DAWN WELESKI & JON RUBIN
PITTSBURGH

“What you choose to eat every day is a creative moment,” says Dawn Weleski, who, together with Jon Rubin, directs the Pittsburgh eatery Conflict Kitchen. “We provide an outlet for that creative expression.” The two artists work to address thorny social issues through food. “We were always thinking about how to re-envision the city, how to make it the city we wanted to live in,” Weleski, a Pittsburgh native, observes.

A simple but powerful premise guides their restaurant: Serve cuisines from countries with which the United States is in conflict. In its six years of operation, hungry residents who might not have given much thought to the social implications of U.S. foreign policy have filled up on Afghan, Cuban, Venezuelan, Palestinian, North Korean, and, most recently, Iranian cuisine. “We were trying to think of ways with which to engage the politics of the city, and to get people to have conversations in public spaces that weren’t typically had in Pittsburgh, let alone in the rest of America,” Weleski explains.

Currency Exchange Café
THEASTER GATES
CHICAGO

It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment at which Theaster Gates’s expansive approach to artmaking came to include food. One starting point was the artist’s frequent dinners, at which guests ate soul food while discussing its origins and cultural importance. Another was getting the Currency Exchange Café, decorated with materials salvaged from the currency exchange that used to occupy the space, off the ground serving breakfast and lunch to residents of Chicago’s south side Washington Park neighborhood (ample shelves stocked with books line the walls and there are plans for a 35mm slide collection). With projects like these as well as the establishment of his Rebuild Foundation behind him, Gates is at work on ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen, taking shape just across the border in Gary, Indiana.

The project joins the Gary barbecue-and-soul-food fixture Mama Pearl’s, which is and will remain in the space, as a tenant in a large building being transformed into a multi-use facility boasting a commercial kitchen for training, an incubator for culinary businesses, a pop-up café with a menu that changes based on input from incubator participants, and even an exhibition space for art. The ambitious project is sewing the first seeds of what the rustbelt city hopes will be a leap toward fostering a cultural district, bringing to its residents a place where they can come together over a meal and admire the many talents of their neighbors.

Thank You For Coming
LAURA NOGUERA, JONATHAN ROBERT, JENN SU TAOHAN, AND CYNTHIA SU TAOPIN
LOS ANGELES

Thank You For Coming is an experimental space that pairs a permanent restaurant serving simple weekend brunches with a series of creative residencies, as well as playing host… [more]
berlin  losangeles  sanfrancisco  art  artists  coffee  food  restaurants  gordonmatta-clark  2016  london  nyc  brooklyn  chicago  pittsburgh  brettwalker  lauranoguera  jonathanrobert  jennsutaohan  cynthiasutaopin  theastergates  dawnweleski  jonrubin  conflictkitchen  willstewart  raphaellyon  damienhirst  ulrichkrauss  127princestreet  carolgoodden  tinagirouard  cafes  openstudioproject  coffeeshops  matta-clark 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Will London Fall? - The New York Times
"The metropolis that globalization created may well be the capital of the world. But after the “Brexit” referendum, its future as an international crossroads is far from certain."



"London may be the capital of the world. You can argue for New York, but London has a case. Modern London is the metropolis that globalization created. Walk the streets of Holborn, ride an escalator down to the Tube and listen to the languages in the air. Italian mingles with Hindi, or Mandarin, or Spanish, or Portuguese. Walk through the City, the financial district, and listen to the plumbing system of international capitalism. London is banker to the planet.

London is ancient yet new. It is as much city-state as city, with a culture and economy that circulate the world. London manages to be Los Angeles, Washington and New York wrapped into one. Imagine if one American city were home to Hollywood, the White House, Madison Avenue, Wall Street and Broadway. London is sort of that.

Modern London thrives on the idea that one city can be a global melting pot, a global trading house, a global media machine and a place where everyone tolerates everyone else, mostly. The thought is that being connected to the rest of the world is something to celebrate. But what happens to London when that idea unexpectedly falls away?"
london  cities  2017  sarahlyall  brexit  multiculturalism  diversity  citystates  urban  urbanism 
april 2017 by robertogreco
MLE or multi-cultural London English - YouTube
"MLE or Multi-cultural London English is a mixture of accents for both British an foreign English speakers in the UK. This comes from the BBC's One show"
language  england  london  change  2013  linguistics  mle  cockney  evolution  english 
march 2017 by robertogreco
Flatbread Society Seed Journey
"ABOUT

This journey to the Middle East can be seen as an awakening of the memory—the long journey the grain itself has taken—through the hands of time.

-Michael Taussig

Seed Journey is a seafaring voyage connected to a public art project* in the former port of Bjørvika in Oslo, Norway. Seed Journey moves people, ideas and seeds through time and space. This voyage—its crew and cargo—are agents that link the commons as they relate to local networks and a more global complex of seed savers and stewards of the land, air and water. A rotating crew of artists, anthropologists, biologists, bakers, activists, sailors and farmers join the journey and share their findings at host institutions along the route from small harbors to large ports from barns to museums (contemporary art, natural history and maritime) to social centers.

"NOT STUCK ON TIME"

Seed Journey departs from the port of Oslo, Norway beginning with a few key defining points and space for new stops and invitations along the way. The crew’s interests will influence the route, but ultimately grains are the compass. Seed Journey maps not only space, but also time and phylogeny: while the more familiar space yields a cartographic map, time yields history and phylogeny yields a picture of networks of relationships between and among living beings—relationships between cultural groups, but also between human and non-human living forms such as seeds, sea-life and the terrestrial species from the various places and times we will traverse.

****

FLATBREAD SOCIETY

Flatbread Society is a permanent public art project created in a “common” area amidst the waterfront development of Bjørvika, in Oslo, Norway. In 2012, the international arts collective, Futurefarmers formed Flatbread Society as a proposition for working with local actors to establish an aligned vision for the use of this land. The groups’ dynamic activation of the site through public programs, a bakehouse and a cultivated grain field has attracted the imagination of farmers, bakers, oven builders, artists, activists, soil scientists, city officials; while simultaneously resulting in the formation of an urban gardening community called Herligheten, a Declaration of Land Use, and a permanent grainfield and bakehouse.

Flatbread Society has extended beyond Oslo into a network of projects and people that use grain as a prismatic impetus to consider the interrelationship of food production to realms of knowledge sharing, cultural production, socio-political formations and everyday life.

Flatbread Society is part of Bjørvika Utvikling (BU) public art program Slow Space, commissioned and produced by Bjørvika Utvikling and supported by The Norwegian Public Road Authroities (Eastern Region)."
futurefarmers  seedjourney  michaeltaussig  art  norway  oslo  bjørvika  naturalhistory  flatbreadsociety  slow  baking  biology  science  classideas  activism  sailing  boats  anthropology  barns  museums  seeds  sailboats  spain  denmark  españa  vejle  london  england  cardiff  wales  uk  antwerp  belgium  asturias  lena  mallorca  rmallah  palestine  istanbul  turkey  johanpetersen  børrepetersen  carlemilpetersen  fernandogarcíadory  agency  didierdemorcy  amyfranceschini  marthevandessel  viviensansour  ignaciochapela  martinlundberg  alfonsoborragán  hananbenammar  joeriley  audreysnyder  annavitale  jørundaasefalkenberg 
january 2017 by robertogreco
The Future of Cities – Medium
[video (embedded): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOOWk5yCMMs ]

"Organic Filmmaking and City Re-Imagining

What does “the future of cities” mean? To much of the developing world, it might be as simple as aspiring to having your own toilet, rather than sharing one with over 100 people. To a family in Detroit, it could mean having non-toxic drinking water. For planners and mayors, it’s about a lot of things — sustainability, economy, inclusivity, and resilience. Most of us can hope we can spend a little less time on our commutes to work and a little more time with our families. For a rich white dude up in a 50th floor penthouse, “the future of cities” might mean zipping around in a flying car while a robot jerks you off and a drone delivers your pizza. For many companies, the future of cities is simply about business and money, presented to us as buzzwords like “smart city” and “the city of tomorrow.”

I started shooting the “The Future of a Cities” as a collaboration with the The Nantucket Project, but it really took shape when hundreds of people around the world responded to a scrappy video I made asking for help.

Folks of all ages, from over 75 countries, volunteered their time, thoughts, work, and footage so that I could expand the scope of the piece and connect with more people in more cities. This strategy saved me time and money, but it also clarified the video’s purpose, which inspired me to put more energy into the project in order to get it right. I was reading Jan Gehl, Jane Jacobs, Edward Glaeser, etc. and getting excited about their ideas — after seeing what mattered to the people I met in person and watching contributions from those I didn’t, the video gained focus and perspective.

If I hired a production services outfit to help me film Mumbai, it would actually be a point of professional pride for the employees to deliver the Mumbai they think I want to see. If some young filmmakers offer to show me around their city and shoot with me for a day, we’re operating on another level, and a very different portrait of a city emerges. In the first scenario, my local collaborators get paid and I do my best to squeeze as much work out of the time period paid for as possible. In the second, the crew accepts more responsibility but gains ownership, hopefully leaving the experience feeling more empowered.

Architect and former mayor of Curitiba Jaime Lerner famously said “if you want creativity, take a zero off your budget. If you want sustainability, take off two zeros.” It’s been my experience that this sustainability often goes hand-in-hand with humanity, and part of what I love about working with less resources and money is that it forces you to treat people like human beings. Asking someone to work with less support or equipment, or to contribute more time for less money, requires a mutual understanding between two people. If each person can empathize for the other, it’s been my experience that we’ll feel it in the work — both in the process and on screen.

Organic filmmaking requires you to keep your crew small and your footprint light. You start filming with one idea in mind, but the idea changes each day as elements you could never have anticipated inform the bigger picture. You make adjustments and pursue new storylines. You edit a few scenes, see what’s working and what’s not, then write new scenes. Shoot those, cut them in, then go back and write more. Each part of the process talks to the other. The movie teaches itself to be a better movie. Because organic is complicated, it can be tricky to defend and difficult to scale up, but because it’s cheap and low-resource, it’s easier to experiment. Learning about the self-organizing, living cities that I did on this project informed how we made the video. And looking at poorly planned urban projects reminded me of the broken yet prevailing model for making independent film in the U.S., where so many films are bound to fail — often in a way a filmmaker doesn’t recover from — before they even begin.

Jane Jacobs said that “cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” I’ve worked on videos for companies, for the guy in the penthouse, for nobody in particular, in the developing world, with rich people and poor people, for me, for my friends, and for artists. I’m so thankful for everybody who allowed me to make this film the way we did, and I hope the parallels between filmmaking and city building — where the stakes are so much higher — aren’t lost on anyone trying to make their city a better place. We should all be involved. The most sustainable future is a future that includes us all.

“The Future of Cities” Reading List

(There’s a longer list I discovered recently from Planetizen HERE but these are the ones I got into on this project — I’m excited to read many more)

The Death and Life of American Cities by Jane Jacobs
The Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier by Edward Glaeser
Cities for People and Life Between Buildings by Jan Gehl
The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life by Jonathan Rose(just came out — incredible)
Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck
The City of Tomorrow: Sensors, Networks, Hackers, and the Future of Urban Life by Carlo Ratti and Matthew Claudel
Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery
Dream Cities: Seven Urban Ideas That Shape the World by Wade Graham
Connectography: Mapping The Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna
Delirious New York by Rem Koolhaas
Low Life and The Other Paris by Luc Sante
A History of Future Cities by Daniel Brook
Streetfight: Handbook for the Urban Revolution by Janette Sadik-Khan and Seth Solomonow
Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-Term Change by Mike Lydon & Anthony Garcia
Living In The Endless City, edited by Ricky Burdett and Deyan Sudjic

“The Future of Cities” Select Interviewees:
David Hertz & Sky Source
Vicky Chan & Avoid Obvious Architects
Carlo Ratti: Director, MIT Senseable City Lab Founding Partner, Carlo Ratti Associati
Edward Glaeser: Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University Author of The Triumph of the City
Helle Søholt: Founding Parner & CEO, Gehl Architects
Ricky Burdett: Director, LSE Cities/Urban Age
Lauren Lockwood, Chief Digital Officer, City of Boston
Pablo Viejo: Smart Cities Expert & CTO V&V Innovations, Singapore
Matias Echanove & Urbz, Mumbai
Janette Sadik-Khan: Author, Advisor, & Former NYC DOT Commissioner
Abess Makki: CEO, City Insight
Dr. Parag Khanna: Author of Connectography
Stan Gale: CEO of Gale International, Developer of Songdo IBD
Dr. Jockin Arputham: President, Slum Dwellers International
Morton Kabell: Mayor for Technical & Environmental Affairs, Copenhagen
cities  urban  urbanplanning  urbanism  bikes  biking  cars  singapore  nyc  losangeles  janejacobs  jangehl  edwardglaeser  mumbai  tokyo  regulation  jaimelerner  curitiba  nantucketproject  carloratti  vickchan  davidhertz  hellesøholt  rickyburdett  laurenlockwood  pabloviejo  matiasechanove  urbz  janettesadik-khan  abessmakki  paragkhanna  stangale  jockinarputham  slumdwellersinternational  slums  mortonkabell  urbanization  future  planning  oscarboyson  mikelydon  anthonygarcia  danielbrook  lucsante  remkoolhaas  dayansudjic  rickyburdettsethsolomonow  wadegraham  charlesmontgomery  matthewclaudeljeffspeck  jonathanrose  transportation  publictransit  transit  housing  construction  development  local  small  grassroots  technology  internet  web  online  communications  infrastructure  services  copenhagen  sidewalks  pedestrians  sharing  filmmaking  film  video  taipei  seoul  santiago  aukland  songdo  sydney  london  nairobi  venice  shenzhen  2016  sustainability  environment  population  detroit  making  manufacturing  buildings  economics  commutes  commuting 
december 2016 by robertogreco
Pigeons track air pollution in London with tiny backpacks
"A small flock of pigeons have been given tiny backpacks to monitor air pollution in London. The project was dreamt up by Plume Labs, a company focused on the environmental problem, and the marketing agency DigitasLBi. The rucksacks are fitted to the birds using small fabric vests, and the sensors inside are able to measure nitrogen dioxide and ozone levels. Only 10 birds are in flight at any one time, so the amount of data being collected is pretty small. However, it's still a creative way of analysing the air that millions breathe in every day in the capital.

If you're interested in tracking the birds' progress, a live map is currently available on the project's microsite [http://www.pigeonairpatrol.com/ ]. Alternatively, you can tweet the @pigeonair account on Twitter for a quick summary of a specific borough or neighborhood. The project is a three-day affair, designed to attract new beta testers for a wearable pollution monitor built by Plume Labs. As such, the new "Pigeon Air Patrol" feels more like a marketing campaign than an evolution in air pollution management. Still, it's neat to know that there are birds in the sky with backpacks -- and maybe, just maybe, there's scope to expand and refine the idea if these experimental test flights take off."
pigeons  multispecies  pollution  birds  london  2016  animals  datacollection  data 
december 2016 by robertogreco
The Alternative Art School Fair Radio | Clocktower
"The Alternative Art School Fair at Pioneer Works presents an introduction to alternative art schools from around the US and the world, November 19-20, 2016. The entire event, including workshops, discussions, and keynote presentations by Carol Becker, Luis Camnitzer, Craig Wilkins and Dorothea Rockburne, will be streamed live and archived on clocktower.org.

See the radio schedule below to plan your listening party. The live listening link can be found HERE.

Art education is a reflection of social and cultural evolution; it engages with structures of meaning-making and considers different frameworks for experience. The impetus to create an alternative art school is rooted not only in a desire to create “better” art, but to create the conditions for greater freedom of expression. Often run as free, artist-run initiatives, the values and visions of alternative art schools vary widely in methodology, mission and governance. But even when they are relatively small in scale they provide vital models of cultural critique and experimentation.

Listening Schedule:
November 19
Keynote panel -- 12:00-1:30PM
Carol Becker
Luis Camnitzer
Dorothea Rockburne
Victoria Sobel
Interviewer/Moderator: Catherine Despont

How can alternative systems impact traditional arts education? -- 2-3:30PM
Ox-Bow
Daniel Bozhkov
School of the Future
Interviewer/Moderator: Regine Basha

Art and Democracy -- 3:45-5:15PM
UNIDEE
The Black Mountain School
UOIEA (Anna Craycroft)
Interviewer/Moderator: Provisions Library

Self-Governance as Pedagogy: Of Other Spaces -- 5:30-7:30PM
Art and Law Program
Interviewer/Moderator: Associate Director Lauren van Haaften-Schick
Art & Law Program Fellows: Abram Coetsee & Alex Strada (Fall 2016), Damien Davis (Spring 2016)

November 20
Keynote -- 12:00-1:30PM
Dr. Craig L. Wilkins, PhD, RA

Hybrid Practice -- 2:00-3:30PM
SFPC
Zz School of Print Media
Southland Institute
Interviewer/Moderator: Archeworks

Responsive Programming: A Conversation Between The Ventriloquist Summerschool and Sheila Levrant de Bretteville -- 3:45-5:15PM
The Ventriloquist Summerschool
Sheila Levrant de Bretteville

(Re)incorporating Art in Everyday Life -- 5:30-7:00PM
Chad Laird (Sunview Luncheonette)
Tal Beery (School of Apocalypse)
Tatfoo Tan (NERTM)
Moderator/Interviewer: Grizedale Arts"
tolisten  education  altgdp  openstudioproject  lcproject  sfsh  schools  artschools  2016  radio  art  pioneerworks  alternative  diy  small  democracy  local  play  self-directed  self-directedlearning  unschooling  deschooling  architecture  nyc  brooklyn  chicago  uk  guatemala  london  egypt  puertorico  sanjuan  northcarolina  portonovo  benin  statenisland  design  michigan  saugatuck  curriculum  pedagogy  learning  howelearn  organizations  cooperatives  publishing  networks  fairfax  virginia  losangeles  oslo  accrá  edinburgh  making  craft  mexicocity  mexicodf  df  mexico  noray  stavanger  paris  france  brussels  mutlidisciplinary  interdisciplinary  transdisciplinary  kansascity  missouri  seoul  biella  italia  italy  systemsthinking  socialjustice  independence  carolbecker  victoriasobel  reginebasha  transart  marywallingblackburn  craigwilkins  sheilalevrantdebretteville  michaelnewton  shannonharvey  hragvartanian  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  communication  technology  socialnetworks  artschool 
december 2016 by robertogreco
Alternative Art School Fair | Pioneer Works
[See also: The Alternative Art School Fair Radio
http://clocktower.org/series/the-alternative-art-school-fair-radio ]

"The Alternative Art School Fair
November 19-20, 2016

The Alternative Art School Fair presents an introduction to alternative art schools from around the US and the world.

Art education is a reflection of social and cultural evolution; it engages with structures of meaning-making and considers different frameworks for experience. The impetus to create an alternative art school is rooted not only in a desire to create “better” art, but to create the conditions for greater freedom of expression. Often run as free, artist-run initiatives, the values and visions of alternative art schools vary widely in methodology, mission and governance. But even when they are relatively small in scale they provide vital models of cultural critique and experimentation.

The Alternative Art School Fair event, including workshops, discussions, and keynote presentations by Carol Becker, Luis Camnitzer, Craig Wilkins and Dorothea Rockburne, will be streamed live and archived by Clocktower Productions on clocktower.org.

Media Sponsor:
Hyperallergic

Participating Schools

AAPG – Alternative Art Program Guatemala • AltMFA • Anhoek School • Archeworks • Arts Letters & Numbers • ASCII Project • Beta-Local • Black Mountain School • Brooklyn Institute for Social Research • Center for Art Analysis • COLLABOR • école de Hogbonu • Enroll Yourself • Free School of Architecture • Islington Mill Art Academy • Grizedale Arts • Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists' Residency • NERTM - New Earth Resiliency Training Module • Nomad/9 • Pioneer Works • School of Apocalypse • School of Critical Engagement - SoCE • School of the Future • School for Poetic Computation • SOMA • Sommerskolen • Spring Sessions • Sunview Luncheonette • The Art & Law Program • The Black School • The Other MA - TOMA • The Public School • The School of Making Thinking • The Southland Institute • The Ventriloquist Summerschool • The Zz School of Print Media • Thinker Space • Transart Institute • Uncertainty School • UNIDEE - University of Ideas • Utopia School

Presses, Libraries, Resources

Arthur Fournier Fine and Rare • Booklyn • Brooklyn Art Library • Common Field • Inventory Press • OSSAI - Open Source and Space Administration Institute for Alternative Research • Provisions Library • Sketchbook • Project Zone Books

Saturday Schedule … [with session descriptions]

Sunday Schedule … [with session descriptions]

Schools [and a few other things, as noted, website links to descriptions, and to each school’s site if there is one]

AltMFA
London, United Kingdom

Alternative Art College
United Kingdom

Alternative Art Program
Guatemala

Anhoek School
Brooklyn, New York, USA

Antiuniversity Now
London, United Kingdom

Archeworks
Chicago, Illinois, USA

Arts Letters & Numbers
New York, USA

ASCII Project
Mohansein Giza, Egypt

Beta-Local
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Black Mountain School
Black Mountain, North Carolina, USA

GALLERY
Booklyn
Brooklyn, New York, USA

LIBRARY
Brooklyn Art Library
Brooklyn, New York, USA

SCHOOL
Brooklyn Institute for Social Research
Brooklyn, NY, USA

NETWORK
Common Field
National

école de Hogbonu
Porto Novo, Bénin

Enrol Yourself
London, United Kingdom

BOOKSTORE
Fournier Fine & Rare
Brooklyn, New York, USA

Grizedale Arts
Coniston, Lake District, UK

PRESS
Inventory Press
New York, New York, USA

New Earth Resiliency Training Module [NERTM]
Staten Island, NY, USA

Nomad/9 MFA
Hartford, Connecticut, USA

RESOURCE
Open Source and Space Administration Institute for Alternative Research [OSSAI]
nomadic

Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency
Saugatuck, Michigan, USA

Pioneer Works
Brooklyn, New York, USA

LIBRARY
Provisions Library
Fairfax, Virginia, USA

Ricean School of Dance
Hydra Island, Greece

School of Apocalypse
Brooklyn, New York, USA

School of Critical Engagement [SoCE]
Los Angeles / Oslo / Accra

School of the Future
Brooklyn, New York, USA

School for Poetic Computation
New York, NY, USA

Shift/Work
Edinburgh, Scotland

Spring Sessions
Amman, Jordan

SOMA
Mexico City, Mexico

Sommerskolen
Stavanger, Norway

Southland Institute
Los Angeles, California, USA

Sunview Luncheonette
Brooklyn, New York, USA

The Art & Law Program
New York, New York, USA

The Black School
Brooklyn, New York, USA

The Cheapest University
Paris, France

The Free School of Architecture
Los Angeles, California, USA

The Public School
Brussels, New York City, Los Angeles, and elsewhere

The School of Making Thinking
Brooklyn, New York, USA

The School of the Damned
London, United Kingdom

The Ventriloquist Summerschool
Oslo, Norway

The Zz School of Print Media
Kansas City, Missouri, USA

ThinkerSpace
Brussels, New York City, Los Angeles, and elsewhere

TOMA
Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom

Transart Institute
Berlin, Germany, and New York, New York, USA

Uncertainty School
Seoul, New York, International

UNIDEE-University Of Ideas
Biella, Italy

Union of Initiatives for Educational Assembly (UOIEA)
Sites vary

PRESS
Zone Books
Brooklyn, NY, USA"
altgdp  art  artschools  pioneerworks  2016  alternative  diy  lcproject  openstudioproject  sfsh  small  democracy  local  play  self-directed  self-directedlearning  unschooling  deschooling  architecture  nyc  brooklyn  chicago  uk  guatemala  london  egypt  puertorico  sanjuan  northcarolina  portonovo  benin  statenisland  design  michigan  saugatuck  curriculum  pedagogy  learning  howelearn  organizations  cooperatives  publishing  networks  fairfax  virginia  losangeles  oslo  accrá  edinburgh  making  craft  mexicocity  mexicodf  df  mexico  noray  stavanger  paris  france  brussels  mutlidisciplinary  interdisciplinary  transdisciplinary  kansascity  missouri  seoul  biella  italia  italy  systemsthinking  socialjustice  independence  carolbecker  victoriasobel  reginebasha  transart  marywallingblackburn  craigwilkins  sheilalevrantdebretteville  michaelnewton  shannonharvey  hragvartanian  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  communication  technology  socialnetworks  artschool 
december 2016 by robertogreco
Why Tokyo is the land of rising home construction but not prices - FT.com
"The city had more housing starts in 2014 than the whole of England. Can Japan’s capital offer lessons to other world cities?

It was the rapidity of what happened to the house next door that took us by surprise. We knew it was empty. Grass was steadily taking over its mossy Japanese garden; the upstairs curtains never moved. But one day a notice went up, a hydraulic excavator tore the house down, and by the end of next year it will be a block of 16 apartments instead.

Abruptly, we are living next door to a Tokyo building site. It is not fun. They work six days a week. Were this London, Paris or San Francisco, there would be howls of resident rage — petitions, dire warnings about loss of neighbourhood character, and possibly a lawsuit or two. Local elections have been lost for less.

Yet in our neighbourhood, there was not a murmur, and a conversation with Takahiko Noguchi, head of the planning section in Minato ward, explains why. “There is no legal restraint on demolishing a building,” he says. “People have the right to use their land so basically neighbouring people have no right to stop development.”

Here is a startling fact: in 2014 there were 142,417 housing starts in the city of Tokyo (population 13.3m, no empty land), more than the 83,657 housing permits issued in the state of California (population 38.7m), or the 137,010 houses started in the entire country of England (population 54.3m).

Tokyo’s steady construction is linked to a still more startling fact. In contrast to the enormous house price booms that have distorted western cities — setting young against old, redistributing wealth to the already wealthy, and denying others the chance to move to where the good jobs are — the cost of property in Japan’s capital has hardly budged.

This is not the result of a falling population. Japan has experienced the same “return to the city” wave as other nations. In Minato ward — a desirable 20 sq km slice of central Tokyo — the population is up 66 per cent over the past 20 years, from 145,000 to 241,000, an increase of about 100,000 residents.

[Chart: Change in house prices and population]

In the 121 sq km of San Francisco, the population grew by about the same number over 20 years, from 746,000 to 865,000 — a rise of 16 per cent. Yet whereas the price of a home in San Francisco and London has increased 231 per cent and 441 per cent respectively, Minato ward has absorbed its population boom with price rises of just 45 per cent, much of which came after the Bank of Japan launched its big monetary stimulus in 2013.

In Tokyo there are no boring conversations about house prices because they have not changed much. Whether to buy or rent is not a life-changing decision. Rather, Japan delivers to its people a steadily improving standard, location and volume of house.

In many countries, urban housing is becoming one of the great social and economic issues of the age. (Would Britain have voted for Brexit if more of the population could move to London?) It is worth investigating, therefore, how Tokyo achieved this feat, the price it has paid for a steady stream of homes, and whether there are any lessons to learn.

Like most institutions in Japan, urban planning was originally based on western models. “It’s similar to the United States system,” says Junichiro Okata, professor of urban engineering at the University of Tokyo.

Cities are zoned into commercial, industrial and residential land of various types. In commercial areas you can build what you want: part of Tokyo’s trick is a blossoming of apartment towers in former industrial zones around the bay. But in low-rise residential districts, there are strict limits, and it is hard to get land rezoned.

Subject to the zoning rules, the rights of landowners are strong. In fact, Japan’s constitution declares that “the right to own or to hold property is inviolable”. A private developer cannot make you sell land; a local government cannot stop you using it. If you want to build a mock-Gothic castle faced in pink seashells, that is your business.

In the cities of coastal California, zoning rules have led to paralysis and a lack of new housing supply, as existing homeowners block new development. It was a similar story in 1980s Tokyo.

“During the 1980s Japan had a spectacular speculative house price bubble that was even worse than in London and New York during the same period, and various Japanese economists were decrying the planning and zoning systems as having been a major contributor by reducing supply,” says André Sorensen, a geography professor at the University of Toronto, who has written extensively on planning in Japan.

But, indirectly, it was the bubble that laid foundations for future housing across the centre of Tokyo, says Hiro Ichikawa, who advises developer Mori Building. When it burst, developers were left with expensively assembled office sites for which there was no longer any demand.

As bad loans to developers brought Japan’s financial system to the brink of collapse in the 1990s, the government relaxed development rules, culminating in the Urban Renaissance Law of 2002, which made it easier to rezone land. Office sites were repurposed for new housing. “To help the economy recover from the bubble, the country eased regulation on urban development,” says Ichikawa. “If it hadn’t been for the bubble, Tokyo would be in the same situation as London or San Francisco.”

Hallways and public areas were excluded from the calculated size of apartment buildings, letting them grow much higher within existing zoning, while a proposal now under debate would allow owners to rebuild bigger if they knock down blocks built to old earthquake standards.

All of this law flows from the national government, and freedom to demolish and rebuild means landowners can quickly take advantage. “The city planning law and the building law are set nationally — even small details are written in national law,” says Okata. “Local government has almost no power over development.”

“Without rebuilding we can’t protect lives [from earthquakes],” says Noguchi in Minato ward, reflecting the prevailing view in Japan that all buildings are temporary and disposable, another crucial difference between Tokyo and its western counterparts. “There are still plenty of places with old buildings where it’s possible to increase the volume.”

Constant rebuilding helps to explain why housing starts in the city are so high: the net increase in homes is lower. Like our next-door neighbours, however, a rebuild often allows an increase in density.

All of this comes at a price, not financial, but one paid in other ways. Put simply, the modern Japanese cityscape — Tokyo included — can be spectacularly ugly. There is no visual co-ordination of buildings, little open space, and “high-quality” mainly means “won’t fall down in an earthquake”.

Some of Tokyo’s older apartment buildings give industrial Siberia a dystopian run for its money. The mock-Gothic castle is no flight of fancy: visit the Emperor love hotel, which (de) faces the canal in Meguro ward. Most depressing of all are the serried, endless ranks of cheap, prefab, wooden houses in the Tokyo suburbs.

“The Japanese system is extremely laissez-faire. It really is the minimum. And it’s extremely centralised and standardised. That means it is highly flexible in responding to social and economic change,” says Okata.

“On the other hand, it’s not much good at producing outcomes suited to a particular town in a particular place. It can’t produce attractive cities like the UK or Europe.” Okata wants to hand much more power to local government.

And yet. At the level of individual buildings, if you block from your vision whatever stands next door, Tokyo fizzes with invention and beauty. It is no coincidence that the country where architects can build has produced a procession of Pritzker prize winners.

Japanese urbanism, with its “scramble” pedestrian crossings, its narrow streets, its dense population and its superb public transport is looked to as a model, certainly in Asia, and increasingly across the rest of the world as well.

Most of all, Tokyo is fair. The ugliness is shared by rich and poor alike. So is the low-cost housing. In London, or in San Francisco, all share in the beauty, but some enjoy it from the gutter; others from high above the city, in the rationed seats, closer to the stars."
japan  tokyo  sanfrancisco  london  us  uk  housing  population  property  construction  development  urban  urbanism  urbanplanning  cities  california  zoning  homeownership  policy  england  economics  propertyrights  density 
august 2016 by robertogreco
House of Vans - MUSIC - SKATE - ART
[via: http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/?u=97934e4c6a575656a65b5d1d4&id=075cc8ca1b&e=533e3f0cab ]

"The House of Vans in London is the physical manifestation of the culture and creativity that have defined the Vans brand since 1966.

Always embracing and fuelling creative expression through art, music, skateboarding, BMX, street culture and fashion; the space offers a solid platform for the local communities to experience and engage with Vans’ ‘Off The Wall’ spirit."

[Also in Brooklyn:
http://www.vans.com/houseofvans

"It’s a place where imagination lets loose over concrete bowls, art installations, workshops and concert stages, inspiring every person who runs, rolls, or stomps through its door. Located in Brooklyn, New York and Waterloo, London, as well as pop-ups around the world, the House of Vans is home to the creativity that moves us.]

[Funny there isn’t anything in California considering Vans origins in Anaheim and headquarters Cypress.]
vans  london  skateboarding  skating  art  music  skateboards 
august 2016 by robertogreco
John Lanchester · Brexit Blues · LRB 28 July 2016
"I once asked Danny Dorling why, when I was at school, geography was about the shapes of rivers, but now all the best-known geographers seem to be Marxists. He said it’s because when you look at a map and see that the people on one side of some line are rich and healthy and long-lived and the people on the other side are poor and sick and die young, you start to wonder why, and that turns you towards deep-causal explanations, which then lead in the direction of Marxism. Travelling around England, I’ve often had cause to remember that remark. We’re used to political analysis based on class, not least because Britain’s political system is arranged around two political parties whose fundamental orientations are around class. What strikes you if you travel to different parts of the country, though, is that the primary reality of modern Britain is not so much class as geography. Geography is destiny. And for much of the country, not a happy destiny.

To be born in many places in Britain is to suffer an irreversible lifelong defeat – a truncation of opportunity, of education, of access to power, of life expectancy. The people who grow up in these places come from a cultural background which equipped them for reasonably well-paid manual labour, un- and semi- and skilled. Children left school as soon as they could and went to work in the same industries that had employed their parents. The academically able kids used to go to grammar school and be educated into the middle class. All that has now gone, the jobs and the grammar schools, and the vista instead is a landscape where there is often work – there are pockets of unemployment, but in general there’s no shortage of jobs and the labour force participation rate is the highest it has ever been, a full 15 points higher than in the US – but it’s unsatisfying, insecure and low-paid. This new work doesn’t do what the old work did: it doesn’t offer a sense of identity or community or self-worth. The word ‘precarious’ has as its underlying sense ‘depending on the favour of another person’. Somebody can take away the things you have whenever they feel like it. The precariat, as the new class is called, might not know the etymology, but it doesn’t need to: the reality is all too familiar."



"As for the economics of the post-Brexit world, the immediate chaos was both predictable and predicted. The longer-term picture is much harder to discern. It’s not all bad news: the weakened pound is a good thing, and the likely crash in London property was long overdue. It might even make property in the capital affordable for the young again, which would be a strong overall positive for our national life. The uncertainties around the immediate future are quite likely to make demand slow down so much that it triggers another recession. The primary victims of that will be the working-class voters who voted Leave; the recessionary shrinking of the tax take will target them too. The faltering economy will cause immigration to slow, which will further damage the economy.

Once the particularities of our post-Brexit arrangement have been established, we’ll know a lot more about where we are. A great deal of economic uncertainty will attach not so much to the issue of trade – since the advantages of the freest trade possible are clear to all parties – as to the status of the City of London. Nobody outside the City loves the City, but the tax revenues raised by London’s global role in financial services are very important to the UK. At the moment, the City is the beneficiary of ‘passporting’, which allows it to deal freely in services across the EU. That passporting is likely, highly likely, to be the subject of an attack by the combined powers of Frankfurt and Paris (and English-speaking, low-business tax, well-educated Dublin too). Other anti-London regulatory moves can be expected. That could prove expensive for the UK.

A reduction in the dominance of finance might be a net positive; we would have a smaller GDP, probably, but the country wouldn’t be bent out of shape – or not to the same degree – by the supremacy of the City. There’s a lot to unpick here, though. For one thing, the anti-London moves might well have been coming anyway: one finance-world Brexiter of my acquaintance was in favour of Leave precisely because a narrow win for Remain (which is what he was expecting) would in his view have encouraged the regulatory bodies to gang up and crack down on London. There are likely to be all sorts of unintended consequences to exploit, and the City is full of people whose entire working lives revolve around exploiting unintended consequences. The biggest source of finance in the world is Eurodollars, the confusing name for dollars held on deposit outside the US. That entire market was an unintended consequence of US banking regulation in the 1960s and 1970s. The Eurobond (a bond denominated in a currency not native to the country where it is issued) was a huge new market created in the City in 1963, long before the Euro was even a glint in Frankfurt’s eye. The City is creative, opportunistic, experienced and amoral; if any entity has the right ‘skill-set’ to benefit from the post-Brexit world, it is the City of London.

In addition, nervous governments, desperate for revenue, are likely to bend even further backwards to give the City the policies it wants. An early sign of policy direction was George Osborne’s announcement that he wanted to cut corporation tax to 15 per cent to show that post-Brexit Britain is ‘open for business’. Osborne has gone; the policy probably hasn’t. The business press has been full of speculation that the government will backtrack on its plans to crack down on non-domiciled tax status for ultra-wealthy foreigners. The need for revenues makes it important not to drive non-doms out of the country, one City lawyer told the FT. ‘We need a friendly regime.’ There will be plenty more where that came from.

None of this is what working-class voters had in mind when they opted for Leave. If it’s combined with the policy every business interest in the UK wants – the Norwegian option, in which we contribute to the EU and accept free movement of labour, i.e. immigration, as part of the price – it will be a profound betrayal of much of the Leave vote. If we do anything else, we will be inflicting severe economic damage on ourselves, and following a policy which most of the electorate (48 per cent Remain, plus economically liberal Leavers) think is wrong. So the likeliest outcome, I’d have thought, is a betrayal of the white working class. They should be used to it by now."
brexit  johnlancaster  2016  politics  uk  inequality  globalization  london  immigration  finance  class  middleclass  workingclass  england  wealth  geography  marxism  destiny  upwadmobility  society  elitism  policy  precarity  precariat 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Pigeon patrol takes flight to tackle London's air pollution crisis | Environment | The Guardian
"Flock of racing pigeons equipped with pollution sensor and Twitter account take to the skies in bid to raise awareness of capital’s illegally dirty air"
pigeons  london  pollution  air  airpolution  birds  2016  sensors 
march 2016 by robertogreco
collection – Newly Discovered 'Windrush' Photographs Revealed!!!
After over half a century in oblivion, the historic 'Windrush' negatives made by photographer Howard Grey of the arrival of the last West Indian immigrants before the Commonwealth Immigrants Act of 1962 came into force, have finally been expertly scanned and are published here for the first time. (Location: Waterloo Station. London UK - June 1962)

[via: http://cecileemeke.tumblr.com/post/134782113982/lostinurbanism-the-historic-windrush

http://lostinurbanism.tumblr.com/post/110459772018/the-historic-windrush-photographs-by-howard-grey
http://lostinurbanism.tumblr.com/post/110459800383/the-historic-windrush-photographs-by-howard-grey
http://lostinurbanism.tumblr.com/post/125837194073/windrush-the-last-arrival-photographs-by-howard ]
photography  immigration  1962  windrush  london  uk  westindies  howardgrey 
december 2015 by robertogreco
How do greenhouse gas emissions compare in cities around the world? — Hopes&Fears
"On the week of the COP21 climate summit, we ranked 13 urban metropolises with regard to their carbon footprints."
greenhousegasses  environment  emissions  sydney  losangeles  toronto  beijing  bangkok  london  nyc  capetown  madrid  tokyo  buenosaires  oslo  kathmandu  cities 
december 2015 by robertogreco
The world wants more 'porous' cities – so why don't we build them? | Cities | The Guardian
"People of all classes, races and religions come and go in intense and complex Nehru Place. But while Delhi’s electronics market is every urbanist’s dream, it is not the sort of space most cities are building"



"Recently I tried to buy an iPhone in Nehru Place, an open-air electronics market in Delhi where goods that “happen to fall off a truck” are sold for 30%, 40% or 70% discounts – whatever cash you have handy. My iPhone turned out to a damaged dud, but I didn’t really care; the experience of going to Nehru Place was eye-opening. It’s a completely porous spot in the city, people of all castes, classes, races and religions coming and going, doing deals or gossiping about the small tech start-ups in the low offices which line the square; you can also worship at a small shrine if you’re so minded, or find a sari, or just lounge about drinking tea.

Nehru Place is every urbanist’s dream: intense, mixed, complex. If it’s the sort of place we want to make, it’s not the sort of space most cities are building. Instead, the dominant forms of urban growth are mono-functional, like shopping centres where you are welcome to shop but there’s no place to pray. These sorts of places tend to be isolated in space, as in the offices “campuses” built on the edge of cities, or towers in a city’s centre which, as in London’s current crop of architectural monsters, are sealed off at the base from their surroundings. It’s not just evil developers who want things this way: according to Setha Low, the most popular form of residential housing, world-wide, is the gated community.

Is it worth trying to turn the dream of the porous city into a pervasive reality? I wondered in Nehru Place about the social side of this question, since Indian cities have been swept from time to time by waves of ethnic and religious violence. Could porous places tamp down that threat, by mixing people together in everyday activities? Evidence from western cities answers both yes and no.

In Dresden, last year’s Pegida demonstrations against the Muslim presence in Germany turned out to be by people who don’t live anywhere near Muslims in the city; indeed, who know no Muslims. There again, in a study of several US cities, the American social scientist Robert Putnam’s researchers found that the farther away white Americans live from African Americans, the more tolerant they become.

Against this latter logic of separation stands Paris. The Islamic banlieus of Paris are separated from the centre by the ceinture, the ever-clogged ring-road around the inner city; so, too, in Brussel’s Molenbeek district, from which many terrorists come, is a disconnected island space. As the sociologist Willlaim Julius Wilson has shown, such physical islands breed an inward-looking mentality in which fantasy about others takes the place of fact bred of actual contact – as true, Wilson argues, of the black ghetto as it is of Christian Pegida.

I am uncomfortable about debates over separation and inclusion which move almost seamlessly to citing violent, extreme behaviour as evidence for or against. Which is why Nehru Place is a better example to think about this issue than Molenbeek. Everyday people are going about their business with others unlike themselves, people they don’t know or perhaps don’t like. There is what might be called the democracy of crime here, as Hindus and Muslims both sell illegal electronics; a wave of violence would clear off customers for both. Getting along in this way isn’t particular to India, or to open-air markets. Numerous studies show that in offices or factories that adults of different religions and races work perfectly well together, and the reason is not far to seek.

Work is not about affirming your identity; it’s about getting things done. The complexity of city life tends, in fact, to breed many identities for its citizens as workers, but also as spectators at sports events, as parents concerned about schooling or patients suffering from NHS cuts. Urban identities are porous in the sense that we are going in and out of lots of different experiences, in different places, with people we don’t know, in the course of a day. When pundits opine on the difficulty of difference, they flatten identity into a single image, just one experience. The modern economy can flatten identity when it sells people on the idea that gated, homogeneous communities are safe, (not true in fact), builds shopping centres only for shopping, or constructs office campuses and towers whose workers are sealed off from the city.

If the public comes to demand it, urbanists can easily design a porous city on the model of Nehru Place; indeed, many of the architects and planners at the Urban Age events now unfolding in London have made proposals to “porosify” the city. Like Nehru Place, these larger visions entail opening up and blurring the edges of spaces so that people are drawn in rather than repulsed; they emphasise true mixed use of public and private functions, schools and clinics amid Tesco or Pret; they explore the making of loose-fit spaces which can shift in shape as people’s lives change.

I don’t believe in design determinism, but I do believe that the physical environment should nurture the complexity of identity. That’s an abstract way to say that we know how to make the porous city; the time has come to make it."
cities  richardsennett  2015  urban  urbanism  porosity  nehruplace  delhi  india  complexity  sethalow  dresden  roberputnam  sociology  paris  brussels  molenbeek  williamjuliuswilson  christianpegida  race  religion  design  urbandesign  london  publicspace  flexibility  change  adaptability  crosspollination  diversity  markets  community 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Martin Roemers - Metropolis | LensCulture
"Dutch photographer Martin Roemers won the 1st prize in the LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2015 for his series, Metropolis, which documents street life in "mega-cities", defined as urban areas that are home to more than 10 million inhabitants. Here we present an extended slideshow of this project, as well as an interview with the photographer."

[via: http://globalvoices.tumblr.com/post/133898896954/archatlas-metropolis-martin-roemers ]
martinroemers  photography  streetphotography  2015  cities  urban  urbanism  global  kolkata  lagos  pakistan  bangladesh  cairo  nigeria  egypt  karachi  dhaka  mumbai  india  guangzhou  china  istanbul  turkey  jakarta  indonesia  buenosaires  argentina  manila  philippines  basil  brazil  riodejaneiro  mexicocity  mexicodf  mexico  nyc  sãopaulo  london  tokyo  japan  df 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Blackhorse Workshop
"Blackhorse Workshop is a new public space dedicated to making and mending, just half an hour from the centre of London. We offer open access to a fully equipped wood and metal workshop. Machinery support is on hand from our highly skilled technicians, and here you can build or fix anything from broken chairs to theatrical sets, bikes and furniture – and where you can grow your startup with the support of industry expertise and a community of makers.

You can come and use the workshop for half a day or sign up for a year. We welcome everyone from dabblers to professionals, and will help you wherever we can.

We also run courses and events, from basic DIY skills to the art of welding. We invite artists, designers, expert fabricators and craftsmen from a range of industries to talk about their ideas, – let us know if there is someone in particular you’d like to see!

Blackhorse Workshop was founded by the architecture and design practice Assemble,and has been developed by its Creative Director, Harriet Warden together with Toby Poolman, Rob Shaer and Sara Pereira. The project has received support from the Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund, the London Borough of Waltham Forest and match funding from Create, Legacy Trust UK and Arts Council England."

[An Assemble project: http://assemblestudio.co.uk/?page_id=235 ]
makerspaces  mending  blackhorseworkshop  workshops  openstudioproject  lcproject  london  uk  diy  welding  woodworking 
may 2015 by robertogreco
The things you keep On being a guest
"Yesterday I was standing in an immigration line at the tail end of a two-leg, 20 hour journey from London to Kuala Lumpur. As is to be expected under these circumstances, my patience level was critically low. As the line crept forward slowly, I noticed there were about 20 men without any carry-on baggage standing in front of me. They stood very close together, each clutching a piece of paper and a green passport, each with an expression of anxious uncertainty on their faces.

I quickly realized these little green books were the reason for the line’s glacial pace. These men were from Bangladesh, arriving in Malaysia to join the estimated 6 million migrant-laborer force that builds skyscrapers, roads, trains as well as cleans houses, bathrooms and shopping malls.

Border security guards are rarely known for their gregariousness, but those on duty yesterday at KLIA seemed downright hostile to this particular group. Each man was questioned and fingerprinted on finicky electronic machines. One guard reached over his desk and a knocked the baseball cap of a terrified Bangladeshi man to get his attention. Another unlucky fellow got chased through the arrivals hall for what I can only guess was entering the wrong way.

After the men made their way through the line, I approached a desk, said hello and handed over my UK passport. The guard didn’t even need to look at me. He stamped my little red book and waved me through in a process that took about seven seconds maximum.

Somewhat stunningly, one in seven persons in the world is a migrant. However, depending on if you’ve got the red book I had or the green one those men had, the way you experience being a migrant is wildly different. Malaysia is a perfect example of that expat versus immigrant divide. The security guards and housing staff at the complex where my cousin lives in Kuala Lumpur are one kind of migrant, who cater almost exclusively to the kind that lives within the security gates.

You’ll often hear people like those Bangladeshis referred to as “guest workers,” a preposterous euphemism if ever I heard one. As a nomad and writer—whether I’m reporting a story or crashing on a couch—I’m often a guest in people’s houses, apartments, cities, cultures, and neighborhoods. But because of the two very powerful passports I possess, I’ll never have to feel the kind of anxiety those men felt at the security gate when I arrive in these places. I will almost always be considered a guest, invited, welcomed.

There’s nothing more human than wanting to better one’s situation, to do whatever is in your power improve the life of yourself or your family. Anyone who has moved to another country can relate to that. What we can’t all relate to, is the experience we have once we get there."
guests  migration  immigration  passprorts  privilege  2015  bangladesh  malaysia  kualalumpur  london  uk  us  airports  nomads  nomadism  neo-nomads 
may 2015 by robertogreco
What is the most private city in the world? | Cities | The Guardian
"The proliferation of high-security, privatised plazas is making parts of world cities such as London and Dubai reminiscent of an airport lounge"



"How is it that Greece, the country hit hardest by the financial crisis, is embarking on one of Europe’s biggest ever private developments? In fact, it is precisely the scale of the Greek crisis that paved the way for the plans: Europe’s institutions enforced a highly controversial privatisation programme, since abandoned by Greece’s new leftwing government – but not before this enormous development was given the green light.

In The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein writes of “disaster capitalism”, whereby the aftermath of economic and political crisis is seen as the perfect opportunity for the roll-out of extreme neo-liberal policies. Greece is a perfect example.

In general, the privatisation of public space in the west accompanied the traumatic transition from an industrial economy to one based on financial services, shopping, entertainment and “knowledge”. This model began in 1970s America, where downtown waterfront areas that were former industrial heartlands were redeveloped into entertainment complexes: Baltimore’s Inner Harbour, described by the Urban Land Institute as “the model for post-industrial waterfront redevelopment”, is the prime example.

London’s Docklands, once the hub of the UK’s shipbuilding industry, became a centre for privatised financial services districts such as Canary Wharf, gated developments and private campuses such as the Excel, the enormous conference centre where the potential to “lock down” the site ensures it is well suited to host such events as the Defence and Security Equipment International Exhibition.

War very often leads to heavily privatised areas, too. In downtown Beirut, the rebuilding of the city centre provided the opportunity for Rafik Hariri, a billionaire businessman and the former prime minister, to form Solidere, a company that has remodelled a 200-hectare area of the city centre.

Jerold S Kayden at Harvard has coined the term Pops (“privately owned public space”) for these types of places, and found that there are 503 in New York City alone. One of the highest profile is Manhattan’s latest tourist attraction, the High Line, which also appears to be the model for London’s contentious Garden Bridge – an urban “park” that bans all sorts of activities, closes for corporate events, does not allow political protest and requires groups of more than eight people to book ahead.

Indeed, the key question in determining how “private” a city might be could be about access, rather than ownership. Zucotti Park, another Pops in New York, was for many months the venue for the Occupy Wall Street protests. Contrast that with London’s Paternoster Square, home to the London Stock Exchange, where Occupy was quickly evicted when the owners took out an injunction. Political activity has been almost entirely squeezed out of London’s square mile, and Occupy had no choice but to camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral, on the only genuinely public space left in the city.

So while it may be impossible to name a city or a place as the “most private” in the world, what we can say is that societies with high levels of inequality are also those where the privatisation of the public realm and life behind gates increasingly defines the urban fabric. In Britain and North America, where democracy remains the system by which we define ourselves, the spread of this kind of city space is extremely problematic, as it suggests that Tawney was right. While our leaders preach democracy, the increasingly private architecture of our cities is telling a more honest story."
cities  privatization  commons  london  dubai  2015  jeroldkayden  urban  urbanism  inequality  neoliberalism  capitalism 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Kin
"Founded in 2008, we are a research and design studio in Farringdon, London. There are 14 of us, we come from a diverse set of backgrounds and are made up of designers, developers and makers.

Our design philosophy is at the heart of everything we do – our work, the way we structure our studio, and the way we decide who we work with.

We believe that through an intrinsic understanding of the way technology works, and the continuous study of society and culture we have the opportunity to make the things we put into the world more meaningful. In short we care about the stuff we make and we want it to have value.

Our work has been published numerous times and has won many awards, including a D&AD yellow pencil. We were shortlisted for Designs of the Year at the Design Museum in 2011 and our work featured in Time Magazine’s Top 10 of Everything 2010.

We are closely connected to education, through teaching and regularly run workshops at leading academic institutions both nationally and internationally.

This [http://idealstudio.represent.uk.com/studios/4 ] is good reference for understanding what we believe in and how we operate."

[See also: http://kin-design.tumblr.com/
https://twitter.com/kindesign ]

[Text from http://idealstudio.represent.uk.com/studios/4 :

"Kin is a research and design studio founded in 2008 which works with clients as diverse as fashion brands, museums and electronics companies. Its nine staff are based over four floors of an old warehouse in Farringdon.

Matt Wade, co-founder and director of Kin, on...

The dangers of unsociable hours...

“Firstly, it's unhealthy and we need to be healthy to be able to think and function efficiently. Then secondly, we all need to feed our minds and we can't do that if we're always at work. I'd rather a designer was hanging out with their friends, going to see a show, reading a book, or just watching TV, and letting the world into their lives rather than pushing things around a page until midnight every night. Then come to work fresh, do great work and go home at the end of a 'normal' day.”

The best kind of stimulating environment...

“It needs to be dynamic – and not always predictable. Too many design studios look like offices. They're stiff, formal environments – maybe out of a desire to look grown up, or from a desire to externalise discipline and rigour. I find chaos much more interesting than order. I think we need places for our mind to go. A good design studio should be more Woodstock than Sandhurst.”

“It’s about not having rigid rules. I was talking to someone recently about design studios where you have to have the right pen and he said that we sounded like the kind of studio where it was more important to have the wrong pen. The space is not crafted – we don’t have an inspiration wall of box shelving full of Japanese objects – we just have a lot of shit.”

“We have the workshop and the sound design area as well as two design studios and each floor feels different to each other which I quite like. We don’t have a style we adhere to – we don’t say our look is green with plywood and a certain type of furniture.”

“At Imagination I loved the fact they had a model shop, photographic studio, roof terrace and gallery. The variety was really stimulating.”

Creating a shared sense of purpose...

“I'm interested in shared responsibility and ownership. There are nine full-time employees at Kin, and each one has a share in the business. They get a share of any profits and we decide as a group who we should and shouldn't work with.”

“We have lots and lots of discussions and arguments about design philosophy and Kev and I have people challenging us the whole time – there’s no reverence because we’re the bosses.”

Keeping things fresh in a small team...

“People do not sit in the teams in which they are working on something – we want everyone to be able to see what they are doing.

“Also I think breaking out of the design bubble is really important because the work we do is not for designers, it’s for normal people. It is really important that we get enrichment and understanding of other areas of life that influence our design work. There’s only nine of us – we all look at the same stuff, we probably have duplicate copies of the same books and pathetically even listen to the same type of music, so we need to create diversity wherever we can.”

Managing client feedback...

“We have a weekly workshop with clients to review the work where we can show prototypes, get feedback and change direction if necessary. We know when those sessions happen and we do not really encourage the clients coming in the rest of the time.”

The ideal studio...

“More like an amazing art school than a place of work, full of interesting people all with a common sense of purpose.”"]
kindesign  design  london  technology  openstudioproject  lcproject  studios  mattwade  small 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Urban wildlife: when animals go wild in the city | Environment | The Guardian
"Tall buildings, abundant food sources and a lack of predators make modern cities a natural habitat for many birds and animals"



"“This is not a second-rate [version of nature],” he says, as he counts off the owls and woodpeckers that live near his home in Wolverhampton. As Goode outlines in his book, the variety of our cities lends itself to a diversity of species. “Because the city is so heterogeneous, with a great mixture of different ecological conditions, it is not surprising that a considerable variety of wildlife is able to exist.”"

[via: https://twitter.com/junerubis/status/574518136466239488 ]
nature  wildlife  animals  london  cities  urban  urbanism 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The real robot economy and the bus ticket inspector | Science | The Guardian
"Hidden in these everyday, mundane interactions are different moral or ethical questions about the future of AI: if a job is affected but not taken over by a robot, how and when does the new system interact with a consumer? Is it ok to turn human social intelligence – managing a difficult customer – into a commodity? Is it ok that a decision lies with a handheld device, while the human is just a mouthpiece?

What does this mean for the second wave robot economy?

Mike Osborne and Carl Benedikt Frey from Oxford University have studied the risk of automation in the US economy, concluding that 47 per cent of jobs in the current workforce are at high risk of computerisation. They come to this conclusion by looking for jobs that can’t be automated; the 47 per cent is what’s left over. In their model, there are three bottlenecks that prevent automation:
…occupations that involve complex perception and manipulation tasks, creative intelligence tasks, and social intelligence tasks are unlikely to be substituted by computer capital over the next decade or two.


These are bottlenecks which technological advances will find it hard to overcome. The authors predict that the next decade will see steps forward in the algorithms that automate cognitive tasks, including cutting edge techniques like machine learning, artificial intelligence and mobile robotics.

This second wave of the robot economy follows a first wave that automated manufacturing and repetitive manual tasks. So many of the desk jobs that our parents and grandparents would have done, like typing and manual data entry, are now becoming obsolete. And according to Osborne and Frey, some of the jobs that are most at risk of automation, were formerly present in droves at many city offices. This includes the likes of accountants, legal clerks and book keepers - dying breeds, and casualties of the robot economy. But Osborne and Frey think that tasks like navigating complex environments, creative thinking and social influence and persuasion will not be automated as part of these advances.

Some of my colleagues are interested in the second kind of task – creativity. They are working with Osborne and Frey to understand how resistant the creative economy is to automation: how many jobs in the creative economy involve truly creative tasks (if that’s not tautologous). Preliminary results look pretty good for creative occupations. 87 per cent are at low or no risk of automation.

Maybe service occupations where persuasion and influence are important will be saved too. The bus ticket inspector requires exactly the kind of social intelligence that Osborne and Frey argue a machine cannot replicate. But this doesn’t take into account the subtleties I witnessed on the top deck of the 76. It may not be job titles or wages that are most affected by the day-to-day of a robot economy. Automation of parts of a job, or of the context that someone works in, means that jobs not taken by machines are fundamentally changed in other ways. We may become slaves to hardwired decision-making systems.

To avoid this, we need to design human-machine jobs with the humans who will be part of them. I met Carla Brodley, Computer Scientist from North­eastern Uni­ver­sity in the US a few months ago. She has applies advanced computing techniques to med­ical imaging, diagnosis and neu­ro­science. Brodley has publicly argued that the most interesting problems for machine learning come from real world uses of these computational techniques. She says the tough bit of her job is knowing when and how to bring the expert - doctor, radiologist, scientist - into the design of the algorithm. But she is avid that the success of her work depends entirely on this kind of user-led computational design. We need to find a Brodley for the bus ticket inspector."

[via: "'The real robot economy and the bus ticket inspector' @pesska on why we need user-led computational design."
https://twitter.com/Superflux/status/567745423163789312 ]
automation  robots  2015  design  jessicabland  computationaldesign  technology  london  mikeosborne  carlbenediktfrey  computerization  economics  services  socialintelligence  ai  artificialintelligence 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Scale-Free Schools / An Introduction on Vimeo
"Scale Free Schools is a design proposal for a new infrastructure of education in the 21st century. What do the changing roles of educators, new ideas for learning, emerging technologies and constrained resources mean for the infrastructure of learning? 'A Day In The Life' is the second video of the Scale Free Schools project. It was commissioned by Architecture + Design Scotland and produced by Architecture 00, London"

[See also: “Scale-Free Schools / A Day In The Life” https://vimeo.com/20281560
"Scale Free Schools is a design proposal for a new infrastructure of education in the 21st century. What do the changing roles of educators, new ideas for learning, emerging technologies and constrained resources mean for the infrastructure of learning? 'A Day In The Life' is the second video of the Scale Free Schools project. It was commissioned by Architecture + Design Scotland and produced by Architecture 00, London." ]

[Posted to Tumblr in 2011: http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/9821168078/theres-so-much-to-like-about-scale-free-schools ]
schools  education  decentralization  cityasclassroom  2011  learning  urban  cities  institutions  architecture00  london  scale-freeschools 
january 2015 by robertogreco
'American Psycho' property promo pulled after Twitterstorm | Art and design | The Guardian
"The developer Redrow has deleted its latest aspirational video of a suave city boy looking down from his luxury penthouse after a web backlash. But it does show the psychotic nature of the housing market in London today"



"The whole thing is beyond parody; as if JG Ballard had been put in charge of the opening titles to the Apprentice. It portrays a world of hyper-luxurious emptiness and alienation, achieved by a relentless ambition to be the best and defeat everyone and everything else in the process. “It is a totally clear expression of the psychotic nature of housing in London at the moment,” says architect Sam Jacob, who made a mash-up parody of the video, cutting Patrick Bateman’s narcissistic monologues from the film American Psycho over the Redrow footage, producing an eerily accurate match.

“It plunges us back into the ultimate yuppie fantasy – the fact that the individual only exists in relation to the brands that they own, the things that they’ve bought. That property and housing is just about individual success, investment, money, achievement.”



"“It’s all part of the same narrative,” says Jacob. “The separation of the individual from collectivity, the fact that you rise above the city, the idea that the city is a kind of beast that is there to be beaten or to beat you. That of course means you’re separated from society and the things that really make a city exciting.”"

[See also:
http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2015/01/how-long-before-property-ads-are-as-insane-as-perfume-ads.html
http://hautepop.tumblr.com/post/107130105697/violence-glass-steel
http://piercepenniless.tumblr.com/post/107101499087/violence-glass-steel ]

[via: http://notes.husk.org/post/107243158244/redrow-london-video
http://notes.husk.org/post/107242854169/not-quite-right
http://notes.husk.org/post/107242718439/redrow-property-london ]
housing  markets  capitalism  london  uk  advertising  promotion  success  money  property  society  individualism  collectivity  collectivism  cities  inequality 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Dan Hill on the need for innovation in city services
"Banham often quoted Marcel Breuer's 1934 statement that "what the new architecture did was to civilise technology." We might now find that the new technology is about to civilise architecture, by entwining information, people and services. But will this drive come from architecture, or the likes of Google/Nest?

Though it once seemed unlikely that we would have a Steve Jobs of thermostats and smoke alarms, it turns out that's the culture Nest emerges from. And perhaps it suggests that we also need an Isozaki of insulation, a Foster of fenestration, a Prouvé of plumbing, a Rogers of rewiring, an Utzon of U-values... and more importantly again, a development or investment model that enables service retrofit within a market shaped to value that.

This might be a better use of government money around housing than simply generating more mortgages, for example. How about similarly high-profile schemes for transforming the insides of Britain's walls? Help To Fix, rather than Help To Buy? It's not as if there's no design invention or financial value in things like Nest — when was the last time a three year-old built environment company was acquired for $3.2bn? Yet sadly, and bewilderingly, you'll find little or no reference to any of these issues in the recent Farrell Review of architecture.

I like to think an optimist like Banham would have been intrigued by innovations such as Nest, yet upon a second glance, perhaps dismayed at our ongoing obsession with surfaces — either with that Learning Thermostat, or with the buildings that they are being installed in, or within architectural practice itself — masking a real task at hand, given climate change; ensuring that the inner space of services can truly sing. Nest pulls focus onto the service layer of housing, but still only digs into the walls a few centimetres. There is still little incentive to care about the vital "life support" systems it's connected to. My thoughts turn back to that imagined model of a hulking soggy mass embedded in the dank clay of the Thames valleys, marshes and plains that comprises London. How to rewire that?"
danhill  cities  infrastructure  2014  london 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Chris Skaife, Master Raven Keeper at the Tower of London, & Merlin the Raven | Spitalfields Life
"The keeping of ravens at the Tower is a serious business, since legend has it that, ‘If the ravens leave the Tower, the kingdom will fall…’ Fortunately, we can all rest assured thanks to Chris Skaife who undertakes his breakfast duties conscientiously, delivering bloody morsels to the ravens each dawn and thereby ensuring their continued residence at this most favoured of accommodations.“We keep them in night boxes for their own safety,” Chris explained to me, just in case I should think the ravens were incarcerated at the Tower like those monarchs of yore, “because we have quite a lot of foxes that get in through the sewers at night.”"
ravens  corvids  2014  london  domestication  birds  animals  via:anne  photography  chrisskaife 
may 2014 by robertogreco
EVENTS « Zoes Ghana Kitchen
"Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen is not just a ‘pop-up’ restaurant — it’s a food event: creating a look and feel from its Ghanaian roots that merges with a contemporary dining experience. Home spun, home cooked food. Always fun, always relaxed and always tasty…

Born from creating a ‘pop-up’ Ghanaian restaurant during Hackney Wicked Arts Festival in July 2011, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen has grown with popular demand and continues to bring Ghanaian culture to an ever-wider audience through food.

ZGK now has a monthly residency at Studio Gi in Hackney, the first Saturday of every month, tours the UK and regularly visits Berlin. We have also worked with brands such as Diesel and Edun to demonstrate what Africa has to offer creatively, culturally and in a culinary form.

In 2013 we will be increasing our involvement with curating ‘African food experiences’ through events – taking over spaces with set design, music, food and fashion.

ZGK is also a catering company, available for hire for functions, guest chef appearances, private parties and we also appear in Street Food form at various food markets and festivals!"
ghana  food  restaurants  events  teaching  learning  classes  hackney  london  studiogi  catering  pop-ups  pop-uprestaurants 
april 2014 by robertogreco
What I’m working on lately: Practices of the minimum viable utopia (long) | Speedbird
"In the fusion of each of these three archetypal processes, el Campo de Cebada, Godsbanen and Unto This Last, we can see the outlines of something truly radical and terribly exciting beginning to resolve. What can be made out, gleaming in the darkness, is a — partial, incomplete, necessarily insufficient, but hugely important — way of responding to the disappearance of meaningful jobs from our cities, as well as all the baleful second-order effects that attend that disappearance.

When apologists for the technology industry trumpet the decontextualized factoid that each “tech” job ostensibly creates five new service positions as a secondary effect, what they neglect to mention is that the lion’s share of those jobs will as a matter of course prove to be the kind of insecure, short-term, benefits-lacking, at-or-close-to-minimum-wage positions that typify the contemporary service sector. This sort of employment can’t come anywhere close to the (typically unionized) industrial-sector jobs of the twentieth century in their capacity to bind a community together, either in the income and benefits they produce by way of compensation, in the conception of self and competence they generate in those who hold them, or in the sense of solidarity with others similarly situated that they generally evoke.

At the same time, though, like many others, I too believe it would be foolish to artifically inflate employment by propping up declining smokestack industries with public-sector subsidies. Why, for example, continue to maintain Detroit’s automobile manufacturers on taxpayer-funded life support, when their approach to the world is so deeply retrograde, their product so very corrosive environmentally and socially, their behavior so irresponsible and their management so blitheringly, hamfistedly incompetent? That which is falling should also be pushed, surely. But that can’t ethically be done until something of comparable scale has been found to replace industrial manufacturing jobs as the generator of local economic vitality and the nexus of local community.

So where might meaningful, valued, value-generating employment be found — “employment” in the deepest sense of that word? I have two ways of answering that question:

- In the immediate term, I believe in the material and economic significance of digital fabrication technologies largely using free and open-source plans, deployed in small, clean, city-center workshops, under democratic community control. While these will never remotely be of a scale to replace all the vanished industrial jobs of the past, they offer us at least one favorable prospect those industrial jobs never could: the direct production of items immediately useful and valuable in one’s own life. Should such workshops be organized in such a way as to offer skills training (perhaps for laid-off service-sector workers, elders or at-risk youth), they present a genuinely potent economic and social proposition.

There are provisos. The Surly Urbanist correctly suggests that any positions created in such an endeavor need to be good jobs, i.e. not simply minimum-wage dronework, and my friend Rena Tom also notes that the skills training involved should be something more comprehensive than a simple set of instructions on how to run a CNC milling machine — that any such course of instruction would be most enduringly valuable if it amounted to an apprenticeship first in the manual and only later the numeric working of materials. I also want to be very clear that, per the kind of inclusive decision-making processes used at el Campo de Cebada, such a workshop would have to be something a community itself collectively thinks is worth experimenting with and investing in, not something inflicted upon it by guileless technoutopians from afar.

- In the fullness of time, I believe that the use of relatively high-technology techniques to accomplish not merely the local, autonomous production of everyday objects, furnitures and infrastructures, but their refit and repair, will come to be an economically salient activity in the global North. In this I see a congelation of several existing tendencies, logics or dynamics: the ideologically-driven retreat of the State from responsibility for stewardship of the everyday environment; the accelerating attrition and degradation of the West’s dated and undermaintained infrastructures, and their concomitant need for upgrade or replacement; increasing belief in the desirability of densifying urban infill; the rising awareness in the developed world of jugaad, gambiarra and other cultures of repair, reuse and improvisation; the emergence of fabricator-enabled adaptive upcycling; the circulation of a massive stock of recyclable componentry (in the form of obsolescent structures as well as landfill-bound but effectively nondegradable consumer items), coupled to the emergence of a favorable economics of materials recovery; broader experience with and understanding of networked, horizontal and leaderless organizational structures; the creation of a robust informational commons, including repositories of freely-downloadable specifications; and finally the clear capability of online platforms to facilitate development and sharing of the necessary knowledge, maintain some degree of standardization (or at least harmonization) of practice, suggest sites where citizen repair might constitute a useful intervention, and support processes of democratic decision-making."
utopia  2014  adamgreenfield  openstudioproject  pocketsofresistance  resistance  institutforx  godbanen  aarhus  madrid  spain  españa  elcampodecebada  untothislast  london  making  makerculture  economics  production  fabrication  democracy  labor  upcycling  collectivism  collaboration  repair  furniture  agency  denmark  davidharvey  postcapitalism  sharingeconomy  sharing  libraries  lcproject  community  communities  cooperatives  anilbawa-cavia  renatom  airbnb  couchsurfing  kintsugi  seams  minimumviableutopia  douglasmeehan  idealism  practicalism  jeremyrifkin  self-reliance  murraybookchin  jugaad  fabbing  gambiarra  fixing  maintenance  cv  repairing 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Makerversity
"SPACE FOR MAKERS
We have both clean and messy spaces for people who make things. From alchemists to animators, from fashion designers to urban farmers.

TOOLS, TECH, MESS
We have a range of tools and technologies ranging from CNC routers, laser cutters and 3D printers, to saws, drills, sanders and sugru.

EVENT SPACE
We have a range of spaces available for events, workshops and away days. Full of charm and right on the River Thames.

SERVICES
We offer a range of commercial manufacturing and prototyping services. With our kit and members and staff knowledge - we can make it."
openstudioproject  lcproject  london  making  makerversity  makerspaces 
april 2014 by robertogreco
YouTube Space Los Angeles - YouTube
"The flagship location for YouTube Space is designed especially for creators to produce video content, learn new skills, and collaborate with the YouTube creative community."

"Nonprofits: Calling all nonprofits! Produce your next video campaign at YouTube Space LA. Eligible organizations may apply to shoot and edit using Space resources.

Collaboration days: Work with at least one other channel to submit a script or treatment for a collaboration video and earn cash to use towards your production. Offered the last week of every month.

Residencies: For creators with an ambitious project, but without the resources to execute it. Propose an innovative production idea to earn large-stage and set construction resources."

[spaces also in London, Tokyo, NYC]

[via: http://www.thenerdyteacher.com/2014/03/if-i-had-sledgehammer-thoughts-on.html ]
losangeles  youtube  videoproduction  lcproject  nyc  london  tokyo  openstudioproject  youtubespace  residencies 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Expensive cities are killing creativity - Opinion - Al Jazeera English
"Today, creative industries are structured to minimise the diversity of their participants - economically, racially and ideologically. Credentialism, not creativity, is the passport to entry.

Over the past decade, as digital media made it possible for anyone, anywhere, to share their ideas and works, barriers to professional entry tightened and geographical proximity became valued. Fields where advanced degrees were once a rarity - art, creative writing - now view them as a requirement. Unpaid internships and unpaid labour are rampant, blocking off industry access for those who cannot work without pay in the world's most expensive cities.

Yet to discuss it, as artist Molly Crabapple notes in her brilliant essay "Filthy Lucre", is verboten. Recalling her years as a struggling artist, she remembers being told by a fellow artist - a successful man living off his inherited money - that a "real artist" must live in poverty.

"What the artist was pretending he didn't know is that money is the passport to success," she writes. "We may be free beings, but we are constrained by an economic system rigged against us. What ladders we have, are being yanked away. Some of us will succeed. The possibility of success is used to call the majority of people failures."

Failure, in an economy of extreme inequalities, is a source of fear. To fail in an expensive city is not to fall but to plummet. In expensive cities, the career ladder comes with a drop-off to hell, where the fiscal punishment for risk gone wrong is more than the average person can endure. As a result, innovation is stifled, conformity encouraged. The creative class becomes the leisure class - or they work to serve their needs, or they abandon their fields entirely."



"Creativity is sometimes described as thinking outside the box. Today the box is a gilded cage. In a climate of careerist conformity, cheap cities with bad reputations - where, as art critic James McAnalley notes, "no one knows whether it is possible for one to pursue a career" - may have their own advantage. "In the absence of hype, ideas gather, connections build, jagged at first, inarticulate," McAnalley writes of St Louis. "Then, all of a sudden, worlds emerge."

Perhaps it is time to reject the "gated citadels" - the cities powered by the exploitation of ambition, the cities where so much rides on so little opportunity. Reject their prescribed and purchased paths, as Smith implored, for cheaper and more fertile terrain. Reject the places where you cannot speak out, and create, and think, and fail. Open your eyes to where you are, and see where you can go."
arts  art  creativity  cities  housing  london  nyc  paris  failure  success  inequality  2013  sarahkendzior  credentialism  economics  risk  risktaking  meritocracy  inheritance  conformity  careers  ambition  opportunity  us  costofliving 
december 2013 by robertogreco
The Wapping Project: our obsession with house prices will turn our cities into cultural deserts | Society | The Observer
"It is impossible to legislate for all possible outbreaks of human obnoxiousness. Nonetheless, a useful job for the mayor of London, and the leaders of other cities, would be to see if laws can be framed that in urban areas shift the balance of rights away from rare individual complainants to institutions that serve the common good. Even better, but probably legally impossible, would be a law preventing people from objecting, except in extreme cases, to any business that was there before them.

But the real problem is more fundamental, which is that we live in a country besotted with residential property and its price. It is the main instrument for reviving the economy. It is the only commodity where inflation is seen as a good thing – when prices level or fall, which is probably a healthy market correction, it is seen as a crisis, to be fixed with emergency measures. Every aspect of life – social, cultural, personal, political, economic – is coloured. The role of housing bubbles in the 2008 crisis has changed nothing.

There is nothing inevitable about this, it's the result of the policy of successive governments, going back to Margaret Thatcher's first speech as Conservative party leader, when she declared her faith in a property-owning democracy. In Wapping and elsewhere, it is no longer democracy but tyranny, or oligarchy – rule by the few. It is time for a new definition of freedom, not of owners, but of a city-dwelling democracy."
cities  housing  london  noise  property  ownership  2013  humanity  economics  capitalism  democracy  urbanism  urban  rownmoore 
december 2013 by robertogreco
This Recycling Bin Is Stalking You - Siraj Datoo - The Atlantic Cities
"Recycling bins in London are monitoring the phones of passers-by, so advertisers can target messages at people whom the bins recognize.

Renew, the startup behind the scheme, installed 100 recycling bins with digital screens around London before the 2012 Olympics. Advertisers can buy space on the internet-connected bins, and the city gets 5 percent of the airtime to display public information. More recently, though, Renew outfitted a dozen of the bins with gadgets that track smartphones.
 
The idea is to bring internet tracking cookies to the real world. The bins record a unique identification number, known as a MAC address, for any nearby phones and other devices that have Wi-Fi turned on. That allows Renew to identify if the person walking by is the same one from yesterday, even her specific route down the street and how fast she is walking.

Here, an image from Renew’s marketing materials makes it plain:"

[Update 12 August 2013: "City of London halts recycling bins tracking phones of passers-by" http://qz.com/114174/city-of-london-halts-recycling-bins-tracking-phones-of-passers-by/ and "London's Shutting Down Those Creepy, Phone-Tracking "Smart" Trash Cans" http://gizmodo.com/londons-shutting-down-those-creepy-phone-tracking-sm-1107706580 ]
advertising  media  privacy  surveillance  tracking  2013  cookies  london  uk 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Frieze Magazine | Archive | New Schools
"What would an art school fit for the 21st century look like? It’s become common to note that the last decade has seen a rise in pedagogic projects initiated by artists and curators. As Claire Bishop, among others, has argued, the cancellation in 2006 of Manifesta 6 – a failed attempt to set up an art school in Cyprus, and its afterlife as a series of seminars in Berlin – could be seen as the moment when this so-called educational turn became more pronounced. In the intervening years, countless self-organized night schools, free-to-attend lecture programmes and artist-run art academies have sprung up around the world. The reasons for this, though complex and interrelated, are frequently attributed to escalating tuition fees, cuts to university budgets, the creeping neoliberalization of education at large, frustration with overstretched tutors or inadequate teaching, not to mention a lack of academies in a given region.

There are, of course, important precedents for such projects, not least the activities of artists including Joseph Beuys, Luis Camnitzer, Lygia Clark and Tim Rollins, all of whom made pedagogy a central part of their work. This past decade, artist-led projects have taken forms as various as Khaled Hourani and Tina Sherwell’s International Academy of Art Palestine in Ramallah (2005–ongoing), Henriette Heise and Jakob Jakobsen’s Copenhagen Free University (2001–07) and Tania Bruguera’s Cátedra Arte de Conducta (Behaviour Art School, 2002–09) in Havana. In a more established art centre, like Los Angeles, a constellation of initiatives has emerged, such as Machine Project (2003–ongoing), Fritz Haeg’s ‘Sundown Salons’ (2001–06), and Piero Golia and Eric Wesley’s The Mountain School of Arts (2005–ongoing). Other schools are roving (like Pablo Helguera’s School of Panamerican Unrest, 2003–ongoing), studio-bound (such as Lia Perjovschi’s Centre for Art Analysis, in Bucharest) or, like Parallel School of Art or Gerald Raunig’s European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies, exclusively online. As is clear from the names, one common thread is the claiming of institutional status (Gregory Sholette has used the terms ‘mockstitutions’ and ‘phantom establishments’), even though they remain, for the most part, unaffiliated with any traditional institution. What’s obvious is that many are eager for an art school today to be self-determined, flexible, small-scale and cheap or free to attend. This summer, the tendency found a temporary institutional home at London’s Hayward Gallery with ‘Wide Open School’, a month-long ‘experiment in public learning’ involving more than 100 artists.

I invited representatives from three artist-led education programmes, each of which was or will be launched this year, to contribute case studies about their projects: Los Angeles-based Sean Dockray, co-founder of The Public School and Telic Arts Exchange, discusses the background for The External Program, an online learning network based on a Victorian correspondence course; the Turkish artist Ahmet Öğüt introduces The Silent University, a multi-lingual, nomadic institution organized by asylum seekers and political refugees; and the London-based artist collective LuckyPDF interview students from their School of Global Art, a ‘peer-2-peer meshwork’ of learning, about debt and intellectual property. Additionally, I asked the founders of three artist-run art schools – SOMA in Mexico City, mass Alexandria, Egypt, and Islington Mill Art Academy in Salford, UK – to sketch out their influences and aims, as well as the competing ideologies and practicalities at play in the day-to-day running of a school.

Several shared preoccupations emerge: What are the possibilities of and limits to self-organized education? Who owns art education in what Tom Holert has called the ‘knowledge-based polis’? What can be borrowed from traditional academies, and what should be jettisoned? And what’s actually at stake with this self-institutionalizing impulse? In a 2009 lecture titled ‘The Academy is Back’, Dieter Lesage argued that: ‘The art academy is going to be the defining innovative institution within the art field in the next 20 years, much more so than museums, galleries, biennials, whatever.’ So, if we take this to be the case, what are the responses being developed by artists today?"

[via: http://blog.sfpc.io/post/57415533181/what-would-an-art-school-fit-for-the-21st-century ]
art  education  arteducation  openstudioproject  lcproject  2012  altgdp  soma  thesilentuniversity  lygiaclark  josephbeuys  luiscamnitzer  timrollins  theexternalprogram  massalexandria  islingtonmillartacademy  seandockraylosangeles  yoshuaokón  schoolofglobalart  mauricecarlin  laurenvelvick  samthorne  waelshawky  egypt  london  ahmetöğüt  luckypdf  katherinesullivan  mexico  mexicodf  seandockray  manifesta6  dieterlesage  2013  copenhagenfreeuniversity  pablohelguera  gregorysholette  wideopenschool  khaledhourani  tinasherwell  henrietteheise  jakobjakobsen  taniabruguera  havana  cuba  fritzhaeg  pierogolia  ericwesley  schoolofpanamericanunrest  losangeles  thepublicschool  telicartsexchange  tomholert  mountainschoolofarts  df  mexicocity 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Public Assembly
"Public Assembly is a nomadic platform for collective works of art. Founded by Lawrence Lek in 2011, we champion the creation of events, experiments and environments driven by interdisciplinary participation. This approach enables us to challenge existing power structures in contemporary culture, creating social situations where critical forms of knowledge and creative practice can emerge."
art  nomads  nomadism  collective  lawrencelek  events  interdisciplinary  participation  participatory  ncmideas  openstudioproject  pop-ups  culture  society  creativepractice  london 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Penguin Lines - Celebrate 150 years of the London Underground - Penguin Books
"The city is filled with stories. For the 150th anniversary of the London Underground, twelve writers tell their tales, each inspired by a different Tube line. Some are personal, some are polemical; every one is unique, showing how we are connected, and how the space in which we live shapes us and our imaginations."
london  tube  via:debcha  penguin  penguinlines  subways  psychogeography  2013  books  storytelling 
july 2013 by robertogreco
UrbanGems
"What
Urbangems uses crowdsourcing to convert people's perceptions of neighbourhoods into quantities that capture fuzzy qualities such as calm, beauty, and happiness.

How
A user glances at two street views side-by-side, then votes on which one is more beautiful (or quiet or happy). The user has also to guess the fraction of individuals who would share the same view. The more the user guesses correctly, the higher his/her score. As each image is compared, a ranking of beautiful (or calm or happy) pictures emerges.

Where
Initially, we are focusing on London: users are shown places that are considered beautiful/quiet. Users also receive personalised recommendation of places they might like based on the ratings of like-minded individuals.

Why
Out of these rankings, we could answer questions like: Are certain areas seen as more beautiful? And, if so, why? What are the most common visual cues among pictures considered beautiful?
There has been extensive research on the relationship between urban perception and social deprivation. For example, in 1960, Kevin Lynch published "The Image of the City" and established how people perceive the cities they inhabit and what impression neighbourhoods left on them. In 1982, Wilson and Kelling put forward their theory of "broken windows" - cues of disorder in public are highly visible and constitute a salient marker of urban spaces, and "broken windows" (appearance) might lead to future crime (reality). More recently, Sampson has shown that perceptions of the same neighbourhoods differ among residents and are shaped by one's position in society (especially one's race).

So What (Criticism)
One problem with this study is that "what is perceived" is not necessarily "what is there". Users' votes might be influenced by: picture quality; position in society and race; and shared priors (e.g., reputation of a neighbourhood built over the years). A second problem is that the study cannot establish any casual mechanism - stimulate beautiful neighbourhoods might be less beneficial than reducing actual crime."

[via: http://studiox-nyc.tumblr.com/post/44630860758/sound-city ]
calm  beauty  happiness  neighborhoods  streetview  london  quiet  soundscapes  sound 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Frieze Magazine | Archive | Free Thinking
"The projected gain or value for msa^ students seems unaccountably individual and much more interoceptive and metaphysical than a more straightforwardly vocational course."

"How might we begin to run a cost/benefit analysis on the value of free education? Educational accounting is usually complex because it requires you measure things in both ‘worth’ and ‘value’. As Hyde puts it, ‘worth’ refers to ‘those things we prize and yet say “you can’t put a price on”. We derive value on the other hand, from the comparison of one thing with another.’ In his 2008 Lapham’s Quarterly pre-amble on education, Lewis Lapham writes [http://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:b5ec4252c586 and http://www.laphamsquarterly.org/preamble/lewis-h-lapham-playing-with-fire.php?page=all ]: ‘To conceive of an education as a commodity (as if it were a polo pony or an Armani suit) is to construe the idea of democracy as the freedom of a market instead of a freedom of the mind […] Unless we stop telling ourselves that America is best understood as the sum of its gross domestic product, we stand little chance of re-imagining our history or reengineering our schools.’"

"The moment for me, where the value of msa^ really came through, was in Philosophy Class. It was run by a couple of teachers who were like Beavis and Butthead with PhDs. They covered a millennia of philosophical tobacco-chewing in a public debate free of the tweedy condescension that clip art philosophy profs are known for. It wasn’t a rehearsal of platitudes or a dry-cleaned agenda. It did what good classes do: it forced the teachers to re-evaluate something on the spot, and asked the student to send blood to the parts of their brain they don’t normally send blood to. All of which is to say that these lectures are where we get closest to the etymological foundation of ‘school’ (from the Greek ‘schole’ – a place in which leisure is performed) and to the redundant epiphany that while pedagogy might be a place to noodle on the possibilities of educational reformation, it might also just be a place to idle. This is the dramatic bail-out for the continued existence of a philosophy class and an art school: they aren’t really for anything. Their use lies in introspective withdrawal, whether you withdraw on the bus, or on an Athenian staircase, or in the backroom of a bar with jellyfish-insides."

"Seattle is natively foreign, and in the LA/NYC binaries of the US art world much more exotic than either London or Turin, being outside the professional blast radius of contemporary art’s cultural arbitrations and monopolizing names."
mountainschoolofarts  lewishyde  thegift  economics  value  worth  lewislapham  education  altgdp  pedagogy  learning  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  openstudioproject  snowdensnowden  art  artschools  arteducation  seattle  losangeles  nyc  london  milan  artschool 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Lift - YouTube
"Filmmaker Marc Isaacs sets himself up in a London tower block lift. The residents come to trust him and reveal the things that matter to them creating a humorous and moving portrait of a vertical community."
documentary  film  london  strangers  marcisaacs  towatch  via:mattward 
february 2013 by robertogreco
London Olympics 2012 | These Knock-Down, Shrinkable Games | By Hugh Pearman - WSJ.com
"Some hankered after a flashier stadium to rival Beijing's, but a firm policy was established once the bid was won in 2005: Mindful of the legacy of neglect common among many earlier Olympic-host cities, no white-elephant buildings were allowed for London. This was to be the knock-down Games: Venues with no obvious long-term future—such as the Olympic Stadium—were designed to be dismantled entirely, while others were to be shrinkable once the huge audiences for the Games dispersed. Beyond that, one objective is the permanent regeneration of the largely postindustrial Olympic Park in Stratford, East London. A lot of money has been plowed into this."
via:caseygollan  design  temporaryspaces  temporary  disappearing  shrinking  pop-uparchitecture  pop-ups  ephemeral  2012  olympics  london  ephemerality 
november 2012 by robertogreco
cityofsound: Journal: Fabrica
"a type of school, or studio, or commercial practice, or research centre. Fabrica, hovering between all these things yet resisting the urge to fall into becoming any one of them, is perhaps genuinely without parallel. This makes it a little tricky to explain, but this ability to avoid pigeonholes is also to its credit."

"hybrid organisation—part communications research centre…but also part arts and design school, part think-thank, part studio. My kind of place."

"While I might occasionally characterise Fabrica as the pugnacious upstart, or startup, whose agility might challenge the established institutions, it’s clear we also have a lot to learn from the likes of the exemplary creative centres like the RCA, and from Paul in particular. His experience across the Design Museum, Cooper Hewitt and the RCA will be invaluable, and he’s beginning to draw together a great advisory board. Watch that space. I’m also exploring various newer models for learning environments, from Strelka and CIID to MIT Media Lab and School of Everything, alongside the centres of excellence like the RCA and others. My father and mother, more of an influence on me than perhaps even they realise, were both educators and learning environments and cultures may well be in my DNA, to some degree."

"…the other idea that I’m incredibly interested in pursuing at Fabrica is that of the trandisciplinary studio."

"With this stew of perspectives at hand, we might find project teams that contain graphic designers, industrial designers, neuroscientists, coders, filmmakers, for instance. Or product design, data viz, sociology, photography, economics, architecture and interaction design, for instance. These small project teams are then extremely well-equipped to tackle the kind of complex, interdependent challenges we face today, and tomorrow. We know that new knowledge and new practice—new ideas and new solutions—emerges through the collision of disciplines, at the edges of things, when we’re out of our comfort zone. Joi Ito, at the MIT Media Lab, calls this approach “anti-disciplinary”."

"And living in Treviso, a medieval walled Middle European city, our new home gives me another urban form to explore, after living in the Modern-era Social Democratic Nordic City of Helsinki, the Post-Colonial proto-Austral-Asian Sprawl of Sydney, the contemporary globalised city-state of London, and the revolutionary industrial, and then post-industrial, cities of the north of England."
1994  australia  uk  finland  venice  helsinki  london  sydney  domus  josephgrima  danielhirschmann  bethanykoby  technologywillsaveus  tadaoando  alessandrobenetton  rca  schoolofeverything  strelkainstitute  joiito  medialab  mitmedialab  ciid  paulthompson  nontechnology  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  marcosteinberg  jocelynebourgon  culturalconsumption  culturalproduction  code  darkmatter  fabricafeatures  livewindows  colors  andycameron  richardbarbrook  californianideology  discourse  sitra  italy  treviso  helsinkidesignlab  benetton  culture  culturaldiversity  socialdiversity  diversity  decisionmaking  sharedvalue  economics  obesity  healthcare  demographics  climatechange  research  art  design  studios  lcproject  learning  education  2012  antidisciplinary  transdisciplinary  cityofsound  danhill 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Open university: Joi Ito plans a radical reinvention of MIT's Media Lab (Wired UK)
"Welcome to Ito's vision for opening up the 27-year-old Media Lab, one in which — for example — urban agriculture might be researched in Detroit; the arts in Chicago; coding in London; and in which any bright talent anywhere, academically qualified or not, can be part of the world's leading "antidisciplinary" research lab. "Opening up the lab is more about expanding our reach and creating our network," explains Ito…

"Openness is a survival trait." …

By opening up the Media Lab, Ito hopes to move closer towards his goal of "a world with seven billion teachers", where smart crowds, adopting a resilient approach and a rebellious spirit, solve some of the world's great problems. His is a world of networks and ecosystems, in which unconstrained creativity can tackle everything from infant mortality to climate change. …"
christopherbevans  networks  hughherr  nerioxman  edboydens  syntheticbiology  academictenure  academia  tenure  highered  highereducation  poverty  small  ayahbdeir  littlebits  dropouts  walterbender  frankmoss  nicholasnegroponte  communitydevelopment  macarthurfoundation  grey-lock  petergabriel  caafoundation  michellekyddlee  knightfoundation  albertoibargüen  sethgodin  reidhoffman  junecohen  constructivism  connectivism  focus  polymaths  self-directedlearning  networkedlearning  periphery  openstudioproject  deschooling  unschooling  adaptability  disobedience  education  learning  practice  compliance  rebellion  globalvoices  creativecommons  mozilla  innovation  sustainability  consumerism  resilience  london  chicago  detroit  medialab  mit  antidisciplinary  lcproject  openness  open  joiito  mitmedialab 
november 2012 by robertogreco
El Ultimo Grito design, curatorial, academic and publishing work - hi
"Rosario Hurtado and Roberto Feo are the Post Disciplinary studio EL ULTIMO GRITO. Founded in 1997, their studio is currently based in London. El Ultimo Grito’s work continuously researches our relationships with objects and culture, exploring them in a wide variety of projects for a broad mix of international client, organizations and institutions such as Magis, Lavazza, Matadero Madrid (Sp), Marks & Spencer, Figueras, UNO, LABORAL, Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofia, British Airways, Claudio Buziol Foundation, the Sorrel Foundation or Victoria and Albert Museum. Their work is part of the permanent collections of museums such as the MoMA in New York, Stedlijk in Amsterdam, or The V&A; in London

In 2010 they founded SHOPWORK and POI an independent publishing, research, education iesign platform."
london  poi  sculpture  productdesign  designers  publishing  design  elultimogrito  rosariohurtado  robertofeo  shopwork 
september 2012 by robertogreco
DWFE Green=Boom
"DWFE is an experimental design syndicate producing projects that look at how artefacts, systems and material culture can offer some degree of relief from the emptiness of contemporary living. Their work is a search for meaning in the construction of the extra-ordinary; they design activities, actions and incidents that reconfigure people’s relationships to their habitual environments. DWFE aim to create experiences that operate on an emotional level: to stimulate, excite and invigorate.
--------------------------------------------
DWFE is Jimmy Loizeau, Laura Potter, Matt Ward and Nic Hughes"
experiences  meaning  meaningmaking  glvo  studio  rca  ux  london  criticaldesign  research  design  laurapotter  jimmyloizeau  nichughes  mattward  dwfe 
september 2012 by robertogreco
General Assembly
"General Assembly is a global network of campuses for individuals seeking opportunity and education in technology, business, and design."

"We offer a wide variety of learning opportunities, from 90-minute classes to long-form courses. With new options added daily, your only limit is scroll speed."

"A whole may be greater than the sum of its parts, but it's our parts that make us great. From members and instructors to knowledge-seekers and partners, our community defines what we are: collaborative learning advocates, forward-thinking envelope-pushers, and capri-pant enthusiasts.

We're excited to serve as a base for so many creative, innovative, and passionate thinkers and makers. Here are some of the Member Startups in our Community: [list]"
schooldesign  learning  classes  coding  philadelphia  sanfrancisco  boston  berlin  sydney  toronto  london  coworking  nyc  startups  openstudioproject  lcproject  sharedspace  technology  design  entrepreneurship  education  generalassembly 
september 2012 by robertogreco
A web development consultancy based in London - Lomalogue Ltd.
"A web development consultancy run by Rik Lomas. I focus on making well-designed, interactive websites that people love to use."
london  webdesign  portfolios  coding  kerouapp  Åh  webdevelopment  design  webdev  riklomas 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Anatomy of an interactive: a look at the code behind our Second Screen | Info | guardian.co.uk
"The Guardian's Second Screen project is an attempt at rethinking how live news can be consumed during events which produce large amounts of news updates. And with the Olympics and Paralympics coming to town, this presented the perfect opportunity to try it on.

Being mainly responsible for the client-side code, I'll try my best to explain how the application is built."
news  bookmarking  paralympics  london  2012  olympics  secondscreen  guardian  timelines  davidvella  interactive 
september 2012 by robertogreco
potlatch: the sociology of 'Team GB'
"We are not good at business, and we may not actually be very good at sport. But we have some extraordinary gift for applying management philosophy, to new fields, so long as those fields a) treat inequality as a good thing (i.e. they are competitive) and b) do not reduce that inequality purely to money."
olympics  london  2012  sport  publicsector  uk  management  money  inequality  competition  via:rodcorp 
august 2012 by robertogreco
russell davies: coming top at culture
"watching the telly and following twitter I thought I recognised something else happening - I thought I saw a generation realising that it was now Top at Culture. 30/40 somethings were suddenly seeing the stuff they liked, that they grew up with, was now the dominant cultural stuff. Their favourite things are now 'officially' mainstream, dominant culture. It's not alternative. It's it.

It made me think of Things Can Only Get Bitter and its hypothesis that a generation turned away from politics and decided, instead, to get good at culture.

It made me think of the global success of house music. It's so good and so overwhelming because it can absorb anything, any musical culture, in a way that rock never could.

It made me realise that the boomers have been gently elbowed aside. The sixties stuff was given a roughly equivalent prominence to Tiger Feet and Macca seemed a grudging concession to the grandparents; like playing some Mrs Mills at the end of a party…"
housemusic  music  politics  attention  taste  uk  generationx  genx  babyboomers  boomers  geektriumphalism  geek  geeks  dannyboyle  frankcotrell-boyce  timberners-lee  london  olympics  2012  culture  dominance  power  generationalpower  generations  adulthood 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Why Olympic Records Are Broken (or Not) - NYTimes.com
"the more open to competition a sport is, the harder it may be to break records or to post extraordinary statistics. The .400 hitter disappeared in baseball once the color barrier was broken, and black Americans and players from Latin America were allowed to compete in the major leagues. This raised the average level of performance — but also made it harder for any one athlete to stand out quite as much relative to his peers"
sport  olympics  london  2012  records  londonolympics  competition  performance  sports  via:rodcorp 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Olympic opening ceremony: Ai Weiwei's review | Sport | guardian.co.uk
"In Zhang Yimou's opening ceremony there was almost none of that. You could not push into a person's face and see the human experience. What I liked most with this was that it always came back to very personal details. And that's what makes it a nation you can trust; you see the values there. Anyone who watched it would have a clear understanding of what England is."
Ai_Weiwei  China  London  Olympics  Guardian  2012  via:Preoccupations 
july 2012 by robertogreco
The 'Interesting' Conferences
"The Interesting Conferences started with this post in March 2007. I'd been inspired by TED but wanted to do something cheaper, closer to home and less, well, zealous. So, I booked the Conway Hall, asked some people to speak and hoped people would want to come. It seemed to go well.

We did it again in 2008 and 2009 but had a break in 2010. (We had PaperCamp 2 instead). Fortunately in that year the Boring folk started up, giving the world's journalists the chance to say that Interesting had been cancelled due to lack of interest. We did another one in 2011 - with a slightly different format.

We also managed to inspire other, similar, events around the world. I can't take much credit for those, they did them all themselves.

I'm not quite sure what to do next. Last summer we organised Laptops and Looms which was smaller, longer and in Derbyshire but had a similar feel. Maybe Interesting will morph into something like that.

Or maybe it's over. That'd be fine too."
london  nyc  vancouver  oregon  portland  papercamp  laptopsandlooms  2011  2010  2009  2008  conferences  events  russelldavies  interesting 
july 2012 by robertogreco
The North West London Blues by Zadie Smith | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books
"If the losses of private companies are to be socialized within already struggling communities the very least we can do is listen to people when they try to tell us where in the hierarchy of their needs things like public space, access to culture, and preservation of environment lie. “But I never use the damn things!” says Mr. Notmytaxes, under the line. Sir, I believe you. However. British libraries received over 300 million visits last year, and this despite the common neglect of the various councils that oversee them. In North West London people are even willing to form human chains in front of them. People have taken to writing long pieces in newspapers to “defend” them. Just saying the same thing over and over again. Defend our libraries. We like libraries. Can we keep our libraries? We need to talk about libraries. Pleading, like children. Is that really where we are?"
london  books  reading  priorities  policy  libraries  2012  zadiesmith 
june 2012 by robertogreco
Mr Icarus: Meet Mr Gatherer
"All credit to the brave persons from Silent UK for sharing with us their spectacular photos from the top of…the Shard…I’d been struggling with a challenge: how to explain, to a bunch of bright architects and city managers, that retrofitting solar panels and green roofs will not be an adequate response to the energy challenges that are upon us.

The Shard caper happened just as I discovered the work of a geologist called Earl Cook who, in 1971, devised a simple scale of social development measured in terms of kilocalories “captured from the environment”. Hunter-Gatherers, Cook estimated,  got by on about  5,000 kcal per day. A modern Londoner, by comparison, needs about 300,000 kilocalories a day once all the systems and gadgets of modern life (that’s them blazing away in the background) are factored in.

That’s why industrial civilization, which is 60 times more energy-intensive per person than what came before, will not be saved by planting creepers at the base of The Shard."
civilization  environment  cities  peakoil  energy-efficiency  energy  earlcook  hunter-gatherer  sustainability  london  theshard  2012  perspective  johnthackara 
april 2012 by robertogreco
Climbing a Shard of Glass | Place Hacking
"As I climbed up on the counterweight of the crane, my breath caught. It was a combination of the icy wind & the sheer scale of the endeavor that shocked me. Marc was looking down at London Bridge station and whispered, “the train lines going into London Bridge look like the Thames, it’s all flow.” Slowly, I pulled myself to the end of the counter weight and peered over the edge. Indeed, we were so high, I couldn’t see anything moving at street level. No buses, no cars, just rows of lights and train lines that looked like converging river systems, a giant urban circuit board…

Later, standing next to the Thames, staring up at the little red light blinking on top of the crane, it seemed unimaginable that I had my hands on it just hours earlier. Ever after, whenever I see the Shard from anywhere in the city, I can’t help but smile. Unlike when I was up there, shaking with fear taking this self-portrait. You’ve got two months to get yours before the tower tops out. Act before you think."

[See also: http://www.theworld.org/2012/04/climbing-the-shard/ ]

[Update: see also Matthew Power's piece: http://www.gq.com/news-politics/newsmakers/201303/urban-explorers-gq-march-2013 ]
placehacking  urbanplay  urbanism  urbanspace  bradleygarrett  2012  flow  abovethefray  scale  theshard  urbanexploration  urban  skyscraper  london  matthewpower 
april 2012 by robertogreco
An Essay on the New Aesthetic | Beyond The Beyond | Wired.com
[New URL: http://www.wired.com/2012/04/an-essay-on-the-new-aesthetic/
See also: http://booktwo.org/notebook/sxaesthetic/
http://www.aaronland.info/weblog/2012/03/13/godhelpus/#sxaesthetic
http://www.joannemcneil.com/new-aesthetic-at-sxsw/
http://noisydecentgraphics.typepad.com/design/2012/03/sxsw-the-new-aesthetic-and-commercial-visual-culture.html
http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2012/03/sxsw-the-new-aesthetic-and-writing.html ]

"The “New Aesthetic” is a native product of modern network culture. It’s from London, but it was born digital, on the Internet. The New Aesthetic is a “theory object” and a “shareable concept.”

The New Aesthetic is “collectively intelligent.” It’s diffuse, crowdsourcey, and made of many small pieces loosely joined. It is rhizomatic, as the people at Rhizome would likely tell you. It’s open-sourced, and triumph-of-amateurs. It’s like its logo, a bright cluster of balloons tied to some huge, dark and lethal weight.

There are some good aspects to this modern situation, and there are some not so good ones."

"That’s the big problem, as I see it: the New Aesthetic is trying to hack a modern aesthetic, instead of thinking hard enough and working hard enough to build one. That’s the case so far, anyhow. No reason that the New Aesthetic has to stop where it stands at this moment, after such a promising start. I rather imagine it’s bound to do otherwise. Somebody somewhere will, anyhow."
machinevision  glitches  digitalaccumulation  walterbenjamin  socialmedia  bots  uncannyvalley  surveillance  turingtest  renderghosts  imagerecognition  imagery  beauty  cern  postmodernity  hereandnow  temporality  pixels  culturalagnosticism  london  theory  networkculture  theoryobjects  smallpieceslooselyjoined  collectiveintelligence  digitalage  digital  modernism  aesthetics  vision  robots  cubism  impressionism  history  artmovements  machine-readableworld  russelldavies  benterrett  siliconrounsabout  art  marcelduchamp  joannemcneil  jamesbridle  sxsw  brucesterling  2012  newaesthetic  crowdsourcing  rhizome  aaronstraupcope  thenewaesthetic 
april 2012 by robertogreco
Will Self: Walking is political | Books | The Guardian
"A century ago, 90% of Londoners' journeys under six miles were made on foot. Now we are alienated from the physical reality of our cities. Will Self on the importance of walking in the fight against corporate control"

"Borges's animals and beggars are those who still seek the disciplines of physical geography – we understand that to walk the city and its environs is, in a very powerful sense, to use it. The contemporary flâneur is by nature and inclination a democratising force who seeks equality of access, freedom of movement and the dissolution of corporate and state control."
humanconnection  humanconnectivity  connectivity  human  society  indifference  friedrichengels  gps  london  thomasdequincey  moritzretszch  edgarallanpoe  wandering  wanderlust  rebeccasolnit  epicurus  thecityishereforyoutouse  geography  democracy  freedomofmovement  freedom  access  movement  flaneur  borges  cities  place  space  limitedspace  psychogeography  urbanism  urban  transportation  control  corporatism  willself  2012  walking 
april 2012 by robertogreco
ON THE QUICKENING OF HISTORY
"Writer and urbanist Brendan Crain writes about the role of new digital tools in preservation efforts. In the existing conflict between preserving buildings to slow the process of loss and the dynamic nature of people, digital layers can maintain a sense of urgency around long-passed events that lend the built environment much of its import."
2012  yelp  placemaking  place  london  nyc  digitalanthropology  geolocation  geotagging  streetmuseum  museumwithoutwalls  historypin  cultureNOW  junaio  layar  digitallayers  digital  socialmedia  history  curation  atemporality  storytelling  architecture  now  urbanism  urban  buildings  preservation  brendancrain 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Benedikt Groß – Metrography – London Tube Map to large scale collective mental map
"Nowadays our orientation is very often not longer based exclusively on the actual geography & their landmarks. There are loads of alternatives, from street numbers to GPS routing in our smartphones, to guide us to a destination…those wayfinding devices have in common that they are abstracted projections of real world’s spatial arrangement. Which brings us to 2 interesting implications:…[1] because abstraction means in this case a decrease of information, something is lost…[2] the longer you are using a device the more you accept it or get used to it. For instance the geographical structure of transportation networks are often reshaped to provide users w/ more understandable transit maps. These distortions have a major influence on people’s perception of city’s geography, to the point they get stored mentally & become collective representation of real world’s geography.

‘Metrography’ attempts to explore this phenomenon using the most famous of of transit maps: the London Tube Map."
deformation  osm  openstreetmap  SAX  scriptographer  maperitive  noamtoran  bertrandclerc  benediktgroß  landmarks  gps  cities  transportation  perception  collectiverepresentation  abstraction  mentalmaps  distortion  geography  via:mayonissen  metrography  londontube  processing  mapping  maps  london 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Zak Group
"Zak Group is a design studio focusing on publication, identity, exhibition design and art direction for art, architecture and institutional clients. The studio’s approach is defined by its active collaborations in ever-changing constellations. The studio is engaged in complex projects that integrate graphic design, publishing, research, strategy and architecture.

The studio was founded in London in 2005. In addition to undertaking commissioned work the studio initiates and produces editorial and curatorial projects."
research  graphicdesign  art  artdirection  publication  publishing  identity  architecture  design  london  zakgroup 
february 2012 by robertogreco
A Ship Adrift | booktwo.org
"A Ship Adrift takes the data from that weather station and applies it to an imaginary airship piloted by a lost, mad AI autopilot…

If the wind whips eastwards across the roof of the Southbank centre at 5mph, then the Ship Adrift floats five miles to the East. See the sharp tack the Ship made on the night of the 27th / 28th January? That’s the weather turning; the next day, we froze in London; a few days later, snow…

As the Ship drifts, it looks around itself. It doesn’t know where it is, but it is listening. It’s listening out for tweets and foursquare check-ins and posts on dating sites and geotagged Wikipedia articles and it is remembering them and it is trying to make something out of them. It is trying to understand.

The ship is lost, and I don’t know where it’s going. I don’t know what it’s going to learn, but I want to work with it to tell some stories. I want to build a system for cooperating with software and chance. There is no what or why or where or when…"

[See at: http://shipadrift.com ]
web  internetofthings  geolocation  wikipedia  storytelling  foursquare  twitter  london  weather  data  shipadrift  jamesbridle  spimes  iot 
february 2012 by robertogreco
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