Tuesday, July 22

Sunset behind the City

This is a picture of Durban with the sunset behind the City. I was out towards the oceans side when I took the picture as the City faces Eastwards.

London Festival of Architecture

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Tuesday, July 15

Shibuya Station, Tokyo

Architect Tadao Ando’s new Shibuya Station extension is all about making travel fun again. 'A station should be a place where visitors think "I was glad to come to this station’ or ‘that station was fascinating",' Ando says, as he examines the three-story atrium of the nearly completed building.

Ando’s design is based on what he calls a 'chichusen,' or underground spaceship. Commuters board the buried flying saucer near the top of the atrium and are carried down to the tracks at its base. 'Because this station has an atrium from top to bottom, you can easily see where you are... it gives you a sense of security,' Ando says.

An environmentalist, Ando is a strong advocate of public transport. 'Japan has the most substantial transport network in the world, even without a car you can still get around, and I repeatedly point that out, but the motor industry says: "He’s making trouble for us! He shouldn’t be talking this way." That’s the problem,' the 67-year-old says.

The environmental benefits of Ando’s new building don’t stop at getting people to leave their Toyotas at home. The design allows fresh air and light to circulate via the atrium and a ventilation shaft, and the glass-fibre reinforced concrete skin of the 'spaceship' incorporates a water-cooling system.

The combined result is a station that cuts power use and takes us back to the days when train stations were equivalent to cathedrals in the public-space pecking order.

Friday, July 11

International Poster Competition

Things look bright in Chaumont. The 19th annual International Poster and Graphic Design Festival is currently underway in the small French municipality which, over the years, has become one of the premier graphic design destinations in the world.

The event brings together professionals and student designers for interactive workshops, vibrant exhibitions, and the much anticipated International Poster Competition, which this year received 2,194 entries from graphic artists across 46 countries.

The submissions were culled down to the 127 best, as determined by an international jury of industry pros, and after a period of public display, the judges awarded prizes to the top three – no small honour considering the breadth of competing talent.

Laurent Pariente

For Laurent Pariente, empty space can be as much a building material as the painted walls and floors of the room segments he creates – able to be coloured by filtered light and moulded by structural demarcation. The manipulation of spatial perspectives by physical environments is at the heart of the artist’s latest project, Sans Titre, currently occupying the Grand Hall of the Mudam modern art museum in Luxembourg.

144 translucent coloured PVC panels, each four metres high and spread over 233 sq m, create a labyrinthine walkway, transforming the museum’s hollow central atrium into an intimate series of whimsical nooks.

The translucency lends an oddly voyeuristic element to the ordinarily open space; the movement of other visitors behind distant screens attracts special attention and adds to the rhythm of the installation.

The effect recalls in part the giant metal sculptures of Richard Serra, and like Serra’s richly textured sloping walls, Pariente’s shiny facades fascinate both as visual tricks and as ornaments in themselves – not to mention as smart mini-feats of constructive engineering.

Thursday, July 10

Urban Sketch

This was taken with my mobile phones camera, then I went and edited it with photoshop to create my "Urban Sketch".
Tell me what you think, and why you like it, and why you wouldn`t like it. Or even where you`d make it better. I`m open for criticism!

Urban Sketch, presented to you by MJP.

Tuesday, July 8

RCA Vehicle Design 2008

Vehicle design at the Royal College of Art turns 40 next year. The postgraduate course, with a global reputation for nurturing up-and-coming car designers, boasts an alumni that reads like the who’s who of the car design world.

Best concept - Pierre Sabbas
Best use of glazing - Jon Radbrink

Raquel Aparicio Lopez
Sergio Loureiro Da Silva
Jung Hoon Rhee

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Perfect Sunrise

The perfect sunrise from uShaka peer. Just about 2 minutes walk from my front door. Mmmm, hope I got you jealous now! Lol!

City Ruin

This a daily thing in Africa, or at least South Africa. People say it is unnecessary bad publicity, but to any investor I`d say keep you eggs in another basket than this market. Yes, it is advanced, but then again the people who are in charge are not as advanced in processing power.