Coming Home for Christmas

The third of six posts featuring vikicartoons. Are our homes killing us? The building industry is on trial right now! The Grenfell Tower trial, the main reason for this, rumbles on revealing the horrors of the building industry in the UK. The BBC raised the issue again this week and the scandal of the cost…

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Valuing the Corner Shop

This is the second of six posts featuring vikicartoons Is the corner shop dead? It’s all Napoleon’s fault!  Allegedly he called England a nation of shopkeepers. (‘L’Angleterre est une nation de boutiquiers’). Since then, the corner shop has been under siege.    Whether Napoleon would have use the same words to describe the English today…

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Reclaiming the Streets

This is the first in a six part series featuring the work of vikicartoons. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. It was the Epoque of belief, it was the Epoque of incredulity. It was the season of…

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The upside of the downside

Good morning, have you got a new routine going yet? For a while it was confusion, right? I was supposed to be at the opening of an exhibition in London last week. It would have included my landscape painting above. And if you live in London, I would have invited you! But now? Well, I’ve got this new daily lunchtime…

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Listening to the people

You don’t have to be a major political party to know that listening to the people is a good thing. Top down or bottom up? In the wake of an extraordinary election here in the UK, we are still working it out. This is democracy isn’t it? Whatever the politics of the city of Bristol, they have…

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Logarithms and Architecture

What role do logarithms have in building our future? The Museum of the Future pictured above, recently came to completion in Dubai, having been designed using logarithms.  As a building, it is entirely self referential. So with its shiny continuous surface, is appears more like a Henry Moore sculpture than a building. The result is…

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Beauty and the Beast – Considerations (BBC)

When the word beauty is used in the course of conversation, what first comes into your mind? What is the likely response you will receive if you describe a work of art, figurative or conceptual, as beautiful? What if I describe a building, ancient or modern using this same adjective? ‘Beauty is in the eye…

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Co-Housing: The missing ingredient

Which housing model works best? East End Community Land Trust came into being in 2009 of which I became a founding board member. As a result, I realised there were different models of housing still needing to be properly explored in the UK. The Swansea Co-Housing group recently visited the competed project on the former…

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How Low Carbon is Swansea Bay?

This week I gave the keynote talk at a Low Carbon Swansea Bay (LCSB) event. So the question was, how do we reduce the carbon footprint of any city and Swansea in particular?  The University of Wales, Trinity St David’s has recently completed a new library building in Swansea’s SA1 district. This is where I presented my…

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NHS crisis – an Urban Design crisis?

We have a big health issue in the UK.  Does urban design and city planning have the answer? When not trying to rewrite legislation for post Brexit, as the Guardian pointed out recently, ‘soaring levels of obesity and type 2 diabetes have strained the (NHS) treatment model to breaking point’. (Guardian jan 2018 Kailash Chand) Quick…

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