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Tag "space"

Autonomous home delivery is on the rise. McKinsey predicted in 2016 already that 80% of the good will be delivered by autonomous vehicles. The trend is still towards speedy deliveries such as instant and same day for which consumers are willing to pay significant premiums. Hence this is a big market. Even though currently in London Amazon is in most cases no longer capable of delivering same day or even next day. There seem to be limits to the expandability of deliveries.

The big driver behind deliveries is of course e-commerce. Bloomberg reports and predicts that the market will reshape by 2040. Online shopping, household goods, cloth and groceries are big business. However, both cloth and groceries are unlikely to be autonomous deliveries for people want the crates to be brought up to the doorstep and get an instant refund on unwanted items. But all else is content for to be delivered autonomously.

Animation taken from Meg Kelly/NPR / Starship’s autonomous delivery box under way in the urban context.

starship robot

Tests are underway in various locations in the US and also in the UK and elsewhere. Southwark, a south London council is running a pilot scheme with Starship Technologies to deliver locally with the fleet of Starship’s own autonomous six-wheel vehicles.

Image taken from Piaggio Fast Forward press kit / Gina is shown following a person in an urban context.

These Self-Driving Delivery Robots are also being manufactured and tested by other companies, such as Marble, Nuro and , competing on this “last mile” of the delivery. Gregg Lynn design worked for Piaggio Fast Forward to develop Gina as their answer to granular mobility. The space between the customer and the warehouse. Interestingly those two locations are pretty much the only physically relevant locations within all of this. The rest of the everyday activities are increasingly becoming ubiquitous in the sense that they are transferable and pop-up doings. Things like food, work, exercise, play are being app managed with user accounts working across device and location. For goods delivery, however, location still matters and start-ups are competing for this slot. The term “last-mile” is quite fitting.

Driverless machines taking over the urban spaces and increasingly starting to shape the urban space is to be expected. Physically there will be the introduction of lanes for autonomous delivery vehicles, sort of bus line style or special parking regulations for drop off of and pick up. Of much more interest is the mental and experiential makeup of urban space in the wake of robot-delivery. The bodySpace of the urban fabric of older days. Is the world shrinking or expanding is there going to be more or less space between the warehouse and the customer?

Image taken from archiobjects / View of the High Rise City Project, L. Hilberseimer, 1924

It might bring us closer to the post city landscape where time and location no longer define the urban context but free up the space between entities. Thus creating a cross between Ludwig Hilberseimer’s High Rise City (1924) and Decentralized City (1944)? With the driving forces missing behind the urban concept new forms of spatial configurations and spatial order will become necessary and desirable. Will we be able to escape the modernist city through ultra mechanisation?

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Animals have featured on this blog mostly in connection to technology in some form and always in regards to movement. Studying these patterns are especially fascinating as they complement snapshot impressions one normally has if just observing the animal occasionally. It is however also a reminder that movement pattern are much less structured and determined than is generally believed. Movement is goal oriented, but in order to maximise performance it is extremely flexible and opportunistic behaviour.

Movement is therefor very expressive, it tells the story of desire and emotion and is the basis of many art forms, foremost dance, eg. this old post on the movement of the body and creation of space.

Image taken from The Guardian / Snails of the gros-gris (fat greys) species saved from the plate.

An upcoming art work has mixed these aspects together and come up with a brilliantly mistifying snail ballet. Elizabeth Saint-Jalmes and Cyril Leclerc have created a dance of the animals supported by live music. It is also a live event that is coming to London’s Kings Place on Fri 20 & Sat 21 April – booking here.


Pixel lent / slow pixel from Cyril Leclerc on Vimeo.

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London has seen a boom in inner-city developments over the past five to ten years. Large areas have been transformed, become densified in many ways and existing development has been replaced to make way for huge investments. Along it came a number of landscape projects to design pleasing outdoor spaces.

London is comparably green for its size with many streets tree-lined and many public parks. However, the everyday location in this bustling city is still dominated by hard surfaces. Greenery is rare and often not maintained. Especially with the government’s ongoing austerity programmes, the local councils struggle to keep up maintenance.

To distinguish themselves investors invest big in the design of the surroundings of their buildings. It underlines the quality to justify sky-high rents. The public is invited in to generate footfall for rented spaces. Where previously private property was fenced off, investors have discovered the potential of beautiful spaces. It seems a win-win situation, the public gets more greened spaces, the local councils get well maintained outdoor spaces and the investors can secure their investment.

The numerous places that have sprung up across London are now documented in a new JOVIS publication Landscape Observer: London by Vladimir Guculak. The book acts as a guide, but also a repository of not just a handful, but some 89 projects. Ranging from large-scale projects like Kings Cross redevelopment in central London to the Cutty Sark Gardens in Greenwich and other smaller projects.



Image own / Title page of the pubication Landscape Observer: London, by Vladimir Guculak, 2017.

Each project is in detail documented with photographs by the author, a landscape architect himself, with additional information about location, size, year, designer, nearest public transport and accessibility information. Each chapter is proceeded by a map that helps locate each open space in the context of the city.

It is a beautifully designed publication complete with artwork by the author. With the photographic documentation, the publication gives an overview of the project and a number of detail shots to highlight specific areas and in some cases construction details. Along the photos, the author does give a brief listing of plants included, materials used and other special features such a street furniture and lighting.

Image taken from London Fieldwork / Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven

It also features a personal favourite the Duncan Terrace Gardens (p.18). With a very inspiring artwork by London Fieldwork Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven. Or the nice-to-be-in-the-summer-with-kids Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park.

The weather is always extremely sunny throughout this publication and everything is documented in bloom with green lush leaves. It might seem a good idea to show summer, but landscaping has to work 12 months a year not only three or four. This is especially true for English weather and seasons. Colourful autumn leaves are as beautiful if not more so and stormy or rainy conditions can make for dramatically romantic scenes. So not why not make use of it?

However, there are some more important problems with this publication. And it’s not that something like the John Lewis Rain Garden (p.81) designed by the prominent designer (Nigel Dunnett) of the 2012 Olympic Parc in Stratford (now Queen Elizabeth Olympic Parc) features as a model “public space”. The main problem is the nonchalant attitude towards public space.

Public space is one of the most important principles to an accessible and shared city that is open to everyone. It is highly political and can be linked to the concept of the city-state in ancient Greece with the Agora, the foundation of democracy. See for example Sennett, Richard, 1998. The Spaces of Democracy, 1998 Raoul Wallenberg Lecture or Henry Lefebvre, 1974 (1991 e). The Production of Space, Blackwell. p.237-241. We don’t need to launch into a manifesto for the open city here, others have done so much more thoroughly. Nevertheless, the open and shared spaces are fundamental to living together in an open democratic city.

The problem with public spaces is the creeping rise of POPS or pseudo-public spaces. These spaces look and feel like public spaces but are in fact private spaces. They are on privately owned land and therefore are governed by a very different set of rules. Rules that are made up by the private owner and rarely publicly shared. The fact that one can access a street, a square or a riverside does not for a long shot make it public space.

The Guarding has recently run a couple of stories on the rise of pseudo-public spaces in London and together with GiGL put together a database of such spaces in the UK and especially London. The Guardian has put together a quick guide to POPs here, listing important points such as “…appear to be public but are actually owned and controlled by developers and corporations.” or “…“Pops” – are not subject to ordinary local authority bylaws but rather governed by restrictions drawn up the landowner and usually enforced by private security companies”, noting “…public access to pseudo-public spaces remains at the discretion of landowners” and “…alter them at will. They are not obliged to make these rules public.”

Image taken from the Guardian / Map shwing the pseudo-public spaces around central London. The data has been put together in colaboration between the Guardian and GiGL and is available as open data.



Image taken from the Guardian / View of Canary Square, Kings Cross with square and fountain and the UAL in the background.

One of the most prominent areas of these new breeds of urban spaces is the area around Kings Cross with Granary Square, Wharf Road Gardens, Gasholder Park and more. It has become over the past two or so years a very popular meeting place with new restaurants, soon to be open shopping, housing and the UAL at the centre of it. It is a very cleverly disguised pseudo-public space with the university at the centre, a very large square with a sort of public program and fountain as well as access to the Regents Canal, Kings Cross and St. Pancras station.

All of these are listed in the discussed publication as examples and many more such as St Pancras Square and Regents Place to list a few. Interestingly the author does make a reference to what he calls “political activists” presumably campaigning for public spaces. Examples listed on other news sites such as BigThink list some of the implications:

In 2011, Occupy protesters were removed from Paternoster Square, outside the London Stock Exchange, on the grounds that they were trespassing on private land owned by the Mitsubishi Estate Company.

In Pancras Square, part of King’s Cross Estate, lying down on the grass is okay, but not sleeping. One homeless man told the Guardian that as soon as he shuts his eyes, he is accosted by security guards.

Taking pictures is becoming increasingly problematic, with photographers being informed by security guards that they are on private land, and their activity is subject to prior permission – even in what looks like public space, such as Tower Place, adjacent to the Tower of London.

Public drinking is considered sufficient reason for removal from certain Pops.

A lot of data has been put together by GiGL and the Guardian on sites in London and has been published as open data here.

This implicates the publication and the approach to some extent. It raises serious questions about the use of terminology or the understanding put forward of public and space. But it does not question the intention of the author. It was put together from a practitioners point of view, probably aimed at peers. Focusing on materials and practices, but then was opened to a wider audience, as hinted in the foreword.

Image own / Spread of the pubication Landscape Observer: London, by Vladimir Guculak, 2017.

Not just, but especially as professionals in urban planning, landscape architecture, architecture, public officials and other roles involved in the planning and maintenance of public spaces, we have to be extremely careful and precise with the terminology to ensure and preserve these fundamentally important features of an open and accessible city, our open society and ultimately democracy are not undermined.

Never the less it is one of the most comprehensive collections of recent landscape architecture projects in the centre of London and as such a valuable contribution, even if vague regarding terminology and location mapping. Extensive preview available on the publisher JOVIS’ website

Image own / Cover of the pubication Landscape Observer: London, by Vladimir Guculak, 2017.

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Its the biggest thin of all and this view serves for a few decades already as the icon of sustainability. With the beauty it transpires and the calmness it entails, the view from the outer space onto our planet earth provide a sense of belonging.

This timeLapse sequences was put together by Michael König out of photographs taken by Ron Garan and the crew of expedition 28 & 29 onboard the International Space Station from August to October, 2011.

The frames were shot at average altitudes of around 350 km on a special built ISO HD Camera developed by NHK Japan. There is little to now image or colour correction applied. The colour play out very intensively and do the magic with the green fringes of the light within the atmosphere.

On to of the blue marbel picture this clip provides a good sense of movement and rotation. Even if most of the sequences are short and the motion is rather speedy, whilst capturing the shape of the sphere the rotation is very present. It transcendes a sort of known icon into a motion of discovery.

All of a sudden the primary school geography teachers demonstration of the globe rotation producing day and night make sense, as the land masses, the continents including the clouds and storms with heavy flashes twirl across the screen. Its a real world version of Google Earth. Actually the world might not be flat after all, or is it?

Music: Jan Jelinek | Do Dekor, faitiche back2001 w+p by Jan Jelinek, published by Betke Edition.
A description of location can be found HERE at the bottom of the article. A lot of interesting locations can be spotted, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Egypt, Austalia and so on. Have a go at guessing.

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It is autumn, the leaves are falling and the sun stands low on the horizon. A great time with intensive colours, moody weather and the air feels heavier. Its time to wrap up and look back at the rest of a year that has passed. Wh not going back to spring with a similarly low sun and as intense colours but with a fresh and light tone to it.

Spring the time of waking and refreshing is also the time of shows and fairs. Christoph Kalck has created a stunning timeLapse film with the title Rummel, documenting and reinterpreting one of the very large German Spring fairs, the Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest. It is a colourful and bright showcase of a fairground, a maze of stalls and rides, shows and shops for about 1.4 million visitors.

lit location based literature research
Image by Christoph Kalck / One of the movie stills.

Over three days Kalck has portrayed scenes in and around the fairground capturing the rumble and zumble, the moment of surprise, the laughter and excitement. Its the joy and the fun this blinking, moving, sweet and sticky scenery conveys. He stayed on though and keept looking, he arrived early and stayed late and the movie captures it all. The setting up, the pulling of the curtain, the setting sun and the glowing, blinking and bustling lights to the dinging of the action and the moments the lights come allowing for the staff to wrap up, clean and pack. Only for it all to start again the next day.

lit location based literature research
Image by Christoph Kalck / One of the movie stills.

The film is by Christoph Kalck & Marcel Hampel with music and sounddesign by Sebastian Bartmann. Title was designed by Frank Rosenkränzer. The film has a facebook fan page of course.

It’s the persistance and precision of the chosen scenes, the intensity of the setting and the unreal scenery that brings this clip to live and lets memories of all sorts play out on such a bright and cut autumn day. Soon it will be spring again.

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An installation to get some action into the frame is these days usually remotely, inserting some 3d rendered elements in to video footage. However if interaction with the elements should take plae it is getting more complicated and a straight forward option to do it is to go with a stop motion animation. This way it is possible to aso controle the crowd interaction with the animation.

Möbius is a stop motion sculpture by Melbourne on Federation Square. It is built from twenty-one large triangles that were alternated for each shot. MÖBIUS is a sculpture that can be configured into many cyclical patterns and behave as though it is eating itself, whilst sinking into the ground. The result is an optical illusion and a time-lapse of people interacting with the sculpture and moving through Melbourne’s landmark location throughout the day.

Möbius Installation by Eness
Image taken from Eness / The production company and volunteers changing the installation for the next frame.

For a quick look behind the scenes and the making off peak HERE. Animated and created by Eness.

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For today NASA has scheduled the final mission of the Space Shuttle launching the last flight into space of the now 30 year old shuttle program. The mission STS-135, will be a a 12-day mission to the International Space Station. It will use the Atlantis space shuttle and carry a crew of four and the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module containing supplies and spare parts for the space station. The STS-135 astronauts are: Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim.

Space Shuttle on launch pad
Image taken from cnet / The space shuttle on the launch pad, being prepared for the mission.

Atlantis is scheduled to take off at 11:26 a.m. ET today, weather permitting, on NASA’s final shuttle mission after three decades and more than 130 flights, with a landing at the Kennedy Space Center set for July 20. If Atlantis misses its launch window on Friday, there are additional opportunities to launch on Saturday and Sunday mornings, when the chances for favourable weather increase to around 40% and 60% respectively. If the delay continues after that, the next window for launch is likely to be Saturday 16 July.

The space shuttle mission started back in 1972 and opened an aera with the launch of the Columbia in 1981. The program was troubled by its cost, a reckoned $198.6 billion. With a total of 134 mission, This is about $1.4 billion per flight.

THe retirement of the shuttle came as a result of political vision and games with former President Bush announcing changes in the NASA targets aiming to launch a new program to send astronauts back to the moon. The retirement of the shuttle was part of the plan to free up cash within the NASA for these visions. The program was however by President Obama scraped as it was already running out of hand in terms of cost and timing. Currently there seems to be not really a plan for what comes next. The current political climate could maybe even feature a privat provider of space explorations being involved. A number of commercial space missions are in planning, with the Vigin Galactic being only one of them.

Space Shuttle on launch pad
Image taken from dailygalaxy / Hubble looking at distant nebula.

The dimensions of the whole Space Shuttle program were massive. Not only in terms of cost but also in terms of staff and vision. The conquest of space is a old dream fueled by global rivalry and politics since the early fifties of the last century. The Space Shuttle program was a bold statement taking the mission on a next level by basing it on reusable technology as opposed to the one way missions launched earlier.

As the Guardian n puts it: “The failures of the shuttle could easily eclipse the programme’s achievements. But aficionados point to a long list of triumphs. The shuttle hauled three of Nasa’s four “great observatories” into orbit – the Hubble Space Telescope, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.”

Above all the shuttle enabled the building of the International Space Station. A massive structure for longer space mission and extensive experiments. A controversial project, it has a decade to prove its worth as an orbiting science lab. With a price tag of $100bn, that is a tall order, but if nothing else, the station taught astronauts how to build complex structures in space. This might be something to prove of value in the future depending on the projects for future missions.

Certainly the Space Shuttle has contributed a lot to the identification of millions with space missions and is a beloved symbole for technology and achievement. It establishes a connection beyond earth, projecting into space. Thus opening the lid on a experiment in to dimensions far reaching firmly putting human kind into relations.

Looking back at Charles and Ray Eames famous power of ten movie from 1977, it becomes clear what the sort of dimension are the Space Shuttle program has unleashed. The dimensions of the actual flight might not be very special, but the outreach of the programs and missions launched from the shuttle are. LIke the Hubble telescope and several spacecraft hitched a ride into orbit on the shuttle before embarking on their onward journeys. The Galileo probe went to Jupiter, Magellan mapped Venus and the European Space Agency’s Ulysses spacecraft conducted the first survey of the sun’s environment.

Putting the dimension in place is one way of starting to get to grips with the scale. Some interactive versions extend on the Power of 10 idea making it possible to link in by allowing interaction and jumping between the scales and references. Nikon has in 2005 put together a really nice online version of such an interactive scale comparison called Universcale.

Nikon Univescale
Image taken from brainpicking / Screen shot of the Nikon Univescale web app. Click to have a play.

—-
UPDATE 2011-07-08

The Atlantis has successfully left earth and is on its mission, expected to dock at the International Space Station on Sunday. It will be a 12 day mission.

Nikon Univescale
Image taken from NASA / The space shuttle Atlantis leaving the launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 11:29 a.m. EDT.

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Space in the city is subject to transformation on different time scales. It is being built and rebuilt constantly and not only by diggers and cranes, but also though the decisions and makings of individuals programming the space.

Theories and practice on this have been neglected for some time and it has been deemed old fashioned to pick up on them. However, more and more the discussion around the production of space and the making capacity of individuals also regarding the conception of space, has gained momentum. A number of aspects probably have lead to this, including the availability of new technologies which requires more dynamic and more subjective conceptions of space.

Fun Palace
Image taken from SLCL.CA / Cedric Price ‘Fun Palace’ diagram. “Automation is coming. More and more, machines do our work for us. There is going to be yet more time left over, yet more human energy unconsumed. The problem which faces us is far more than that of the ‘increased leisure’ to which our politicians and educators so innocently refer. This is to underestimate the future. The fact is that as machines take over more of the drudgery, work and leisure are increasingly irrelevant concepts. The distinction between them breaks down. We need, and we have a right, to enjoy the totality of our lives. We must start discovering now how to do so.” – Cedric Price (From Agit-prop to Free Space: The Architecture of Cedric Price).

In his new book ‘ReplayCity – Improvisation als urbane Praxis’ Christopher Dell brings together an refreshed view on these practices and conceptions. The book is published by Jovis and is only available in German at the moment. The book is organised in three parts, the first one on the city and urban practice, the second on e on improvisation and space and the third part on music and space.

Dell is arguing that the cities have become more complex also because of size and number of people living together, but also has identified a shift in the questioning of the city. He points out that the question no longer is ‘What is the meaning of city?’ but now would be ‘ What produces the city?’

One of the topics for example that is discussed in the book as part of the improvisation and everyday negotiations in space is the aspect of the politics of space.Here it is the discussion around the use of order as structure, form and function of space as defined by individuals, groups or organisation. This does to some extend tie in with Hagerstrands three basic conceptions of space and time where he focuses on restrictions and constraints. This is a much more negative definition Hagerstrand proposes and its great to have it reformulated here by Dell.

The book sources the great thinkers of the past ranging from Kant, to Lefebvre, to the Situationists with Guy Debord and de Certeau. It however also features Peter And Alison Smithson with CIAM or Cedric Price and other great names of the architecture scene of the mid twenties century, very much related for examples to the publication ‘Radical Games‘.

ReplayCity
Image taken from metronature / John Cage’s A Dip in the Lake is the exploration of a city by means of a ‘random’ soundmap that leads performers, listeners, or participants to places they may never have been before. The score identifies up of 427 locations within a city. The ‘locations’ are either very specific (such as the intersection of two streets), or more general (such as ‘a park’ or ‘Lake Ontario’). Recordings are made at each of these locations, and divided into 10 groups of 2 (quicksteps), 61 groups of 3 (waltzes) and 56 groups of 4 (marches). These groups of recordings are then mixed live by the performers.

The discussion is cleverly organised and the improvisation terms as well as practice is used to discuss the wider questions of space and city ranging all the way to the design of cities. The book puts forward a very clear theoretical base and argues without loosing sight of the goal consequently along the activities and actions of citizens as the driving element of spacial production. Dell manages to bring the reader to think about the city as a dynamic pice that is constantly shaped and reshaped. This is not a new idea at all, but it has not been presented in such a consequent and updated form for the past thirty years. Dell would not put it this way but essentially what he talks about is the congruence of form and activity as Carl Stinitz put it in the Hypothesis to his article in 1968 ‘Meaning and the congruence of urban form and activity‘: “There is a high overall level of congruence between form and activity. Congruence is defined as consistency between the physical form characteristics of an environment and the attributes of its activities”. And this is definitely an upcoming topic that will, as a concept, be extremely useful especially in connection with the available technology of distributed mobile computing and sensing.

ReplayCity
Image taken from pro-qm.de / ReplayCity book cover.

Dell, C., 2011. Replaycity: Improvisation als urbane Praxis, Berlin: Jovis Verlag.

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At the AA School in London a new exhibition is opening on the 7 Mai, with a focus on ‘Spatial Form in Social and Aesthetic Processes’. The exhibition follows an earlier symposium held in OCtober 2010 also at the AA School, with a very extensive list of speakers and topics like Social Contracts, Relational Space, Sensory Engagement and Perception and Cognition. These events are organised by Concrete Geometries, an ongoing interdisciplinary AA research initiative, investigating the social and experiential value of architectural form – its relational potential.

Concrete (adjective): capable of being perceived by the senses; not abstract or imaginary
Geometry (noun): a part of mathematics concerned with questions of size, shape, relative position of figures and with properties of space

Jane-Hutton-Adrian-Black
Image taken from Kallaway / Dymaxion Sleep – Jane Hutton and Adrian Blackwell, Canada
An installation in the public realm. A structure of nets suspended over a field of aromatic plants
Credit: © Jane Hutton and Adrian Blackwell.

As Marianne Mueller, one of the directors of ‘Concrete Geometries’ and Diploma Unit Master at the AA School, explains: “‘Concrete Geometries’ is investigating the intimate relationship between spatial form and human processes – be they social or aesthetic – and the variety of new material entities this relationship might provoke. By bringing together art, architecture, sciences and humanities, the cluster aims to provide a platform beyond disciplinary boundaries.”

Some of these topics have been brushed on for example in the book ‘Installations by Architects‘ by Princeton Architectural Press. And this exhibition in a very engaging way continues this line of practice of very concrete and to a great extend practical investigation method.

“A corridor, so narrow that strangers brush shoulders; a platform through a densely inhabited house, changing the relationship between inhabitant and visitor; a room reshaped through a graphic pattern; a space under a motorway, sloped in a way that it is rendered useless for those who need it most.”

Voussoir Cloud
Image taken from Compute Schottland / Voussoir Cloud – Iwamoto Scott Architecture, USA. A site-specific installation consisting of a system of vaults, exploring the structural pardigm of pure compression coupled with an ultra-light material system. Credit: © Iwamoto Scott Architecture

With works by BAR Architekten, Barkow Leibinger, Adrian Blackwell + Jane Hutton, Brandlhuber + ERA Emde Schneider, Fran Cottell, Anthony Coleman, Easton+Combs, Lukas Einsele, Bettina Gerhold, Jaime Gili, Susanne Hofmann/Baupiloten, IwamotoScott, Graziela Kunsch & Rafi Segal, Christine Rusche, Kai Schiemenz, SMAQ, SPAN Architecture & Design, Atelier Tekuto, Studio Elmo Vermijs and Vincent Wittenberg. Words by Matthias Ballestrem, Kathrin Böhm/public works, Isabelle Doucet and Toni Kotnik,
The exhibition has been supported by CCW Graduate School, the Embassy of the Netherlands and the Austrian Cultural Forum in London.

Marianne Mueller explains: “The aim of Concrete Geometries, part of the AA School Research Cluster Programmes, is to transform how architects think about the creation of space and how it is used for everyday life. This topic seems quite an obvious thing to be exploring, but it is not a discussion that is being held in architecture today. By involving designers and artists we are able to rethink our practice on the creation of space. Digital design has provided architects with new tools to experiment with the use of space. We need to challenges our current thinking of space and how we as architects create it.”

Exhibition on from 7th Mai to 28th Mai 2011, Mon–Fri 10am–7pm, Sat 10am–3pm

Connecting Corridor
Image taken from Compute Schottland / Connecting Corridor – Elmo Vermijs Studio, Netherlands. An installation connecting two buildings, the chosen form of which causes people to unexpectedly run into one another, Credit: © Elmo Vermijs Studio

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The space we work in is subject to personal adjustments and preferences. To the extend possible it gets customised and personalised. This is, if working in a large corporate company not always posible to the extend desired and often is reduced to putting up a photograph of a loved one or a colourful coffee mug.

However, how do we choose our workplace if there is a lot more freedom, how do you create your working environment at home? The MyDesk interview series is looking into this and unveils freelancers work desks and other workflow secrets, of course with great snapshot.

workspace
Image taken from the desk of / Photograph of Robb Ogle’s desk. He lives in Ontario. Prior, three years were spent in New York after seven years in Boston as a graphic designer and occasional typography professor. Even before that, a lot of Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Wisconsin happened. He is fascinated by words and pictures of words.

Kate Donely describes her ‘Desk’ projects as “A site dedicate a site solely to canvas of the Desk.

A Desk is where we work. Symbolic. Physical. Present. A second and third home. A Desk is a platform. A hearth. Roots are planted. It’s where hours upon hours pass.”

The interviews are often very detailed and can be intimate about routines and habits. Very quickly the individual persona shows through. But still the rules for the contribution are very clearly sated “Please, don’t stage it. Don’t clean it (a messy desk doesn’t make a messy mind). Don’t make it something you or your work is not. Keep it real”.

THe guardian for a ong time has this as a image with a short text in the Review section of the Saturday edition. Sometimes it was called ‘a writer’s room‘ or ‘an artist’s room‘. For example there was Richard Sennett’s writing room published on Saturday 25 April 2009.

In the interviews the desk owners get usually very personal and affectionate about the arrangements on the table. The intimacy of the scenery is real and almost always each object has its very own story and reason to exactly feature in this way.

Robb Ogle explains about his arrangements “Ugly little vinyl pitbulls from a bubble vending machine atop one of two Behringer Truth monitors which sound like heaven. Little Nemo in Slumberland vol 1. from Sunday Press Books sits against the wall. Off to the left, rolled up poster by Derek Hess.

workspace
Image taken from the desk of / Photograph of Adrian Tomine’s desk. was born in 1974 in Sacramento, California. He is the writer and artist of the comic book series Optic Nerve, as well as the books Sleepwalk and Other Stories, Summer Blonde,and Shortcomings. His comics and illustrations have appeared in The New York Times and McSweeney’s, among others, and he is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.

“It appears you are quite organized.” And Adrian Tomines replays (see his desk above) “Other cartoonists make fun of me for having such a spartan, tidy studio. All my friends have these amazing rooms filled to the rafters with books, toys, artwork, etc., and then my studio looks like it belongs to an anal-retentive architect or something. It’s probably some low-grade OCD thing, but I actually have a hard time working in a cluttered, pack-rat environment.”

workspace
Image taken from the desk of / Photograph of Noa Scalin’s desk. Noah Scalin is a Richmond, Virginia based artist & designer. He is the creator of the Webby Award winning art project Skull-A-Day which was the basis of his first book, SKULLS.

The importance of the little bibelots is very present in these documentations. Sometimes the technical equipments can play this role and has an individual story, mainly in the case of geeks, but very often additional elements such as figures and collectables, which appear to have no apparent use, occupy these prime spots in the workery scene. It is all about inspiration.

For the full list of reported workspaces see fromyourdesks.com

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