The Place Remains The Same

But we don’t.
A reference to previous work from a MA in Landscape Architecture 2012, relevant to a morning lecture on Psychogeography (describes the effect of a geographical location on the emotions and behaviour of individuals).

The Background

The Forest

This was an option module from the MA called ‘Art and Context’. The the outcome for the module was to teach, challenge and explore our preconceived ideas as to ‘What is Landscape?’ Via a field trip in the deep South West of England of 5 days in a mixed forest (deciduous native and evergreen softwood grown and sold as a product of the forest) owned by the renamed Forestry England (formerly the Forestry Commision). The site was partially funded by on site log cabins for holiday retreats within the forest, perfect for a group of aspiring Landscape Architects wanting to get out of the classroom and experience the human Biophilic response to nature.

The idea was to make an intervention in the forest. It could be anything from a physical structure to music, poetry, art or a later piece to be shown as part of the final symposium. We were all asked to present, with the question; ‘what is landscape?’ Again open to whatever style or form, but the proviso was to really look in depth to the experience, the intervention and what you learnt that could be shared, but also challenging some of the norms we associate with the Landscape as humans onlookers and/or being part of the said landscape.

I love this stuff, once the ideas start to flow, but hate it when that blank sheet of paper just laughs and mocks you for your lack of imagination”.

The artists running the course were from the more abstract land interventionist style, and I mean ‘Abstract’ with the capital ‘A’. We were all challenged very quickly as to our assumptions and thus the struggles ensued to even start to form any ideas.

But they were also very encouraging once some ideas of value started to germinate.

Wigglesworth looks at Robin Hood rescue | News | Building Design

Following suggested links via Christine, toms regular contributor on his not insubstantial ( or is that a double negative, i am trying Joey) web site. I eneded reading about the proposed demolition of Robin Hood Gardens, and as usual got all hot under the collar (saves on heating bills) and ‘shared’ my thoughts on the subject. Not that anyone will ever take any notice, but its one step better than talking to yourself. Yes that’s right, shhhhhh somebody may hear.

Wigglesworth looks at Robin Hood rescue | News | Building Design

Where on earth do they get their prices from? £70-100k pet unit, Coming form the construction industry that really is a load of tosh. This argument is put forward all the time and nobody ever challenges it.

As for what is replacing it, spot the difference? nope neither can I. The lessons from the 60’s about not listening to communities and bulldozing on are alive and well by the sounds of it. Its so reassuring having our betters to do the thinking for us, m’Lord.

The core of the subject is people, place people with opportunities to better themselves in a community, you get the Barbican. Take away those opportunities and tell them they will lucky to get a job and if they do they should be satisfied with minimum wage, dump them on an estate, bingo! sink estate! A building is never going to solve how people see the world, opportunity and hope are the way out. As people take pride in themselves, then pride in their surroundings follows. This is were the modernists got it wrong (i love modernist buildings, and i am not an architect) people are not machines. Can we learn from this? Yes but foundations first, and recently the raising of student fee’s (and its not only the young who go to University) has in one swoop put us back 40 years, degree’s will now be privilege of the wealthy. Politicians hang your heads in shame.

I think the real issue is being brushed under the carpet. So whether Robin Hood stays or goes the issues in that area will remain. What a bloody waste.

Original idea?…nah don’t exist!

Had an idea a for Calverley Grounds whizzing round my head for three weeks, then Jamie blurts it out!!!! DOH!!! I think i will still use it as one of my idea’s, but as the saying goes ‘nothing new under the sun’.

This next section does sound daunting, proper big school, no hiding behind the comfort of Hadlow College now.

What have i learnt this week? I am an internationalist by nature and my fear of nationalism also makes me suspicious of localism, thus (if) i have a design style then it would be along the lines of an international style, with a hint of local, but outward looking rather than inward, future looking rather than too much to the past as we should celebrate the now and not be downtrodden by the past and its design statements. That does not mean that we don’t learn from the past, just don’t mimic it. Confidence not timidity. High quality and grades of materials. Skilled tradesmen to construct with management systems that help not hinder.
And a high budget for ongoing maintenance, after all we all know that Park Citroen could be sooooo much better with some TLC.

Conclusion: we are all driven by our baggage ,not necessarily a bad thing, but worth being aware of nonetheless.

Babble over, Photojobo sent these photo’s through, Will never see curry in quite the same way. A case of ‘small is more’. Click on them to get the full effect.

Spilt milk

Todays fashion is tomorrows disaster?

As i have been glued to buildings and materials this past couple of weeks (and most of my life building them), it struck me how fickle tastes are. Love the Tunbridge Wells Town Hall, and actually like the Axa Building opposite (along with the much maligned ‘Barbican’). So why? I think time has an effect on softening our views and maybe understanding what the original concept was before it got lost amongst all the clatter of the baying ‘heritage’ mob.
I suppose its a case of the present mood, the optimism of the post war years for a fresh start gave us brash and bold design, not really thinking about the consequences when people had to actually live and work amongst these bold statements for new living. The point i think i am winding my way to is that a desire to create timeless pieces that are adopted by people. The Gherkin building in London for example is now an accepted part of the skyline.
How is it done? Who knows, but Faith and conviction play a major part along with a thick skin!
And with our present Tutors i am sure we are all developing a leather like shell.

Talking of a thick skin, a man who knew his brick bonds and would quite happily talk for hours about brickwork, Not sure Cameron would understand the joys of actually building rather than tearing down.

The Greatest Bricklayer of them all Winston Churchill, on a nice bit of 18″ (450mm) brickwork.