Monthly Archives: April 2011

Great Bookshop, New York

 

Van Alen Books commissioned this incredible concept book store by LOT-EK. The image below shows the pre installation render of the proposed bookshop and the outcome is pretty accurate to this.

Bookshop Render

The design is pretty unique, I for one have never come across a shop that is entirely filled with stairs. I love the idea, the shop wont be able to house a huge collection of books but what it will offer is an extremely enjoyable browsing and reading space.

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The bookshop will not only act as a retail space but will also be used for events. The social dynamic of the room will be unusual, with everyone on different levels and even people at the back of the room visible from outside the shop. The  outward looking nature of the shop is an unusual characteristic that I like but at the same time could be a distraction for those wanting to read or leave people feeling on show.

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Filed under Architecture, Interiors, Retail

Twitter Has Landed

tweet1As you can tell by the new bar that has appeared at the right of my posts, I have finally joined twitter! It took me a while to get to grips with WordPress so I get a feeling I will find Twitter just as tricky!

I thought it would be appropriate to do a twitter related post and after a quick search came across this great little idea…

 

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This is the TweetingSeat by Chris McNicholl, an interactive park bench that creates both a physical and digital connection to its users. The bench has its own twitter feed, every time someone sits on the bench, a log is created and photographs from two cameras are taken of the users and how they interact with the bench and the environment.

tweet3I don’t know if the bench has its own wireless that allows others to sit on the bench and update their own twitter but I hope it does! This would be great as you can log your location on twitter and tell the world you are tweeting from the TweetingSeat.

More information on the TweetingSeat is available here.

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Filed under Branding, Cities, Street Furniture, Technology, Twitter

The Piggy Bank That Saves Money For You!

I spotted this cheeky little lamp by Ariel Rojo and think the combination of the two differing elements is genius! An energy saving bulb is attached to the piggybank like pig as if it were its tail, the play on ways of saving money is excellent and if you can help to save the planet a little at the same time what’s not to love?!

Energy Saving Piggy Bank

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Filed under Just For Fun, Light, Technology

Play/Work/ Live (?) at The Kunsthaus Tacheles Berlin

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Above are a few of the images I took at the Kunsthaus, Berlin. The huge, old building has been taken over by artists and has become an alternative centre for art in Berlin. The building, once grand and elegant has become something rather different. Walking up to the Tacheles3street towards the building, visitors are greeted by the sight of a huge wall covered in graffiti, this is the first signal that you are approaching something different from your usual gallery.

You enter the building, into the base of a long set of stairs that wind there way up through the building. The entrance, is unmanned, open to the elements and an unpleasant smell of urine and alcohol hangs in the air. At this point feeling slightly hung over, thanks to the previous night I did wonder what I was getting myself into but I am so glad I stuck it out!

Tacheles1Climbing the stairs, the beautiful original banister still remaining, every inch of the walls have been covered in graffiti. Built up over the years the space is somewhat of a legal graffiti gallery. Off the landings are corridors leading to artists studios. We had the chance to explore, some had been converted to galleries or contained stalls selling handcrafted objects. It was clear some of the artists were not only working in these spaces but living there too. Living in this building must impose a fairly interesting lifestyle.

Tacheles2Behind the building is what at first glance looks like a junk yard. This outdoor space certainly has its junk, collected objects not yet ready to become art but it also has a bar, workshop spaces and many sculptures and pieces of art. This is clearly the outdoor social hub of the community, music banging, weed being smoked and art coming to life while friends and visitors look on.

I would certainly advise visiting the Kunsthaus Tacheles. Intimidating as I initially found it, everybody I came across was friendly and in its graffiti covered depths are a few extremely talented artists.

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Filed under Art, Cities, Interiors, My Travels, Residential, Retail

Street Furniture, MuseumsQuartier, Vienna

Blogging about Berlin got me thinking about other trips I have been on in the last few years. My visit to Vienna last June instantly came to mind. The city was incredible, I have never seen a place so packed full of beautiful ornate architecture. We were lucky enough to be staying a short distance away from the MuseumsQuartier. This became my favourite place, each morning we would take a stroll down to the area and explore a different exhibition or gallery.

The images below show the courtyard space at the heart artistic region of the quarter. We were lucky enough to have brilliant weather so could spend a lot of time out in this space.

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These benches in the courtyard are a brilliant addition. In my research I discovered that the benches are a regular feature of the space but that they often appear in different formations and each year change colour. Flipped over, the same pieces could be used as tables, incorporated into cafes as serving tables or used by school parties for art activities.

Lounging in the sun in these was fantastic. People watching, planning the day ahead or simply discussing what we had seen. The space was incredibly social, people happy to share the seats and as places became available they were instantly occupied by someone new.

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The courtyard itself is surrounded by a number of art museums, all of different architectural styles and containing different types of art.

For more information about the MuseumsQuartier click here.

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Filed under Cities, My Travels, Street Furniture

Berlin–Split Personality Streetscapes

I went to Berlin over a month ago and I am still finding ways to incorporate my findings into my MA research. I took a lot of images of interesting features on the streets of the city. This mirrored and a similar exercise I did in Manchester and I have to say the results were rather different.

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The above images show some of the more run down elements on the street. Although they have become rather neglected and could do with being cleaned up I still feel they have a huge amount of value. The design of the objects is  interesting, bright and colourful, appropriate to the current trends at the time of their inception, with I slight tweek I can see theses pieces being equally as relevant today. The seating is clever in their separation along a solid base and the angular bike racks are great, if looking a bit dull at the moment.

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These benches show the more modern side of the city. The pieces really reflect the space that they are in. Materiality, form and construction have all been considered to fit their context and create something, beautiful and long lasting. Hopefully these pieces will date as well as their older neighbours above.

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It isn’t just street furniture that has opposing styles throughout the city. From graffiti and posters to something as simple as the materials that cover the ground, within a small space in the city, there can be a number of different urban personalities and clashing styles. This makes the city exciting, you never know what you are going to come across next.

I loved my time in Berlin, I would go back immediately if I could!

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Filed under Cities, Graffiti, Materials, My Travels, Street Furniture

Origami Art

Below is a couple of examples of the art of Sipho Mabona. All Sipho’s work is paper based origami and absolutely incredible. Sipho began building paper planes as a child and after exhausting this line of creativity moved on to the more complex world of origami. The patience and care he puts into his work  is amazing, the shapes, lines and folds of every piece look perfect.

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Seeing the images of the pieces against a white backdrop shows them off brilliantly but it was seeing them clustered in a more unusual environment (below) that I really responded to. I wonder what the the art would look like if installed in an even more urban space. Something bright and colourful against the back drop of a cold concrete city. I am sure the paper could be treated in some way to give the pieces some longevity even if just for a short period of time and the results would look great.

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More information and more of his paper pieces are available on Mabona’s website.

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Filed under Art