Category Archives: Cities

Preston Graffiti 2

Walking in to university today (well to the pub to be more precise) I noticed that the graffiti on the side of the Ship Inn had changed once again.


The geometric patterns in this piece show a big change in style compared to the previous graffiti work I showed you last month. I wonder if the piece is by the same artist. UCLAN has a great creative community, I would love to know more about this particular artist!


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Filed under Art, Cities, Graffiti, My Travels

Preston PARLE Graffiti

The side of the Ship Inn Preston has, so I am told, for years been covered in Graffiti. I am new to the city and also to the new look Ship Inn and so have only witnessed a couple of the great pieces of work, each produced by the mysterious PARLE.

I haven’t been able to find any information about the artist or any other works so please comment if you know more!

Below is the current graffiti that appeared earlier this week.


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Filed under Art, Cities, Graffiti, My Travels

Vertical Grass

I have been researching ways of getting greenery into cities in unusual ways so have been looking at grass as wall coverings. Below are a couple of the best examples I have come across so far…

Grass 1a

Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey have become famous for the work they have been doing with grass over the past decade. Their technique involves spraying a clay mixture over a surface and then individually planting seeds. The seeds are watered and grow for a couple of weeks to form a thick, layer of grass. Unfortunately the affect is only temporary but the result is staggering. The building above is Dilston Grove, a beautiful but now derelict cathedral. The entire inside and outside of the structure was covered by the pair to create this fantastic piece of art.

grass 2a

This showroom designed by Vector Architects to display green technology has a more permanent grass covering. A grass panel system is used to cover both the walls and the roof of the structure and has a number of benefits including a  high thermal efficiency on top of its great appearance.

I don’t think I have ever seen a grass wall in person but I think they would be a great addition to many cold, grey urban environments in the UK.

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Filed under Architecture, Art, Cities, Landscapes, Materials

Urban Farm, Tokyo

This small urban farm designed by On Design Partners is in Roppongi, central Tokyo and grows vegetables that are cooked and eaten in the adjacent restaurant. The design is made up of glass box units, sat on a wooden deck and the result is a brilliant injection of greenery in an extremely urban environment

Farm 1a

It is not just the concept that I love but the simple visuals that the company have produced. The image may not be particularly sophisticated but gets the project ideas across simply and effectively.

Farm 2

More towns and cities should definitely consider projects like this. It creates a great source of local produce as well as an unusual space to be explored. On Design Partners could even produce these modules, ready made to be dropped into any urban or rural environment.

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Filed under Cities, Landscapes, New Uses, Pop Up

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…




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

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


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.



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.


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