First day teaching on the Brighton MArch Course today.
I'm teaching on Diploma Studio 1 led by Prof. Andre Viljoen, drawing on the research conducted by he and Katrin Bohn into the Continuous Productive Urban Landscape - how can reinterpreting and re purposing relationships between landscape and architecture contribute to the evolution of sustainable and resilient urban food systems?

This year the Studio will be working in Letchworth, Hertfordshire; the first manifestation of Ebenezer Howard's revolutionary and influential social and spatial concept for 'Garden Cities'.

Our central premise is that landscape, as found in and around Letchworth, is a resource capable of enhancing resilience and addressing the town's economic decline. 

Our challenge will be to find architectural, landscape and urban strategies to retrofit this promised utopia.


Spinning' 'n' Grinnin'

Moments before Zeke and Shaolin Fantastic unlock the mystery of the crayon, they were up on a Bronx rooftop messing about with some pigeons. 

(Grandmaster) Flashback to Delhi seven years ago and sightings of pigeon fanciers up on dilapidated rooftops...

...a hangover from Mughal India when Akbar himself had 20,000 pigeons, apparently. 



Stumbled across the Imprint 93 exhibit at the Whitechapel Gallery over the weekend, what a discovery; I found the tone and pace of this 90s mail art project curated by Matthew Higgs so energetic. And more than a few times (notably reading the lonely hearts ads) it made me laugh out loud. Inside this relatively small room was an intricate mass of artwork, in the main delivered by post, for free, and unsolicited.

‘His curatorial platform was the A5 envelope; 
his production studio, the photocopier.’

It felt like a funny coincidence; just a few weeks ago I retrieved a stack of fanzines from my parents attic. That’s what the exhibition reminded me of. As a teenager I would regularly send off for zines I’d seen advertised in the back of Melody Maker (R.I.P.), Select (R.I.P.) and NME (basically dead, therefore R.I.P.).

A quid or two sent in the post along with a S.A.E, and a couple of weeks later I’d be reading someone’s lovingly assembled photocopied and stapled musical musings. It’s hard to imagine that something so laboured could at one time have seemed so immediate, so accessible.  

The zine thing seems to be burgeoning on a moment, and yet, the essential D.I.Y. factor seems to get overlooked with the term erroneously applied to highly polished publications that are unlikely to be blighted by uneven toner, wonky pritt-sticking or an errant stapler. 
And will cost you more than a quid or two + a S.A.E.


This was the week that..

..I picked up Naipaul's Guerrillas in Homerton Library
    (brilliant but bleak)
+ learned for the first time about Michael X
+ it was the 50th Notting Hill Carnival (I didn't go)
   the first of which was in part organised by one Michael X
+ I visited the current exhibition at the Photographers' Gallery Made You Look
    which featured photographs by Colin Jones of the Black House on Holloway Road
    ..which was spearheaded by none other than...Michael X.