Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Psychology of the Crowd

Talking to Joey yesterday about, yep you guessed it, politics. Reminded me of a series that was shown on the BBC a few years ago called 'The Century of the Self'.

It goes into the black art of Public Relations or its proper title Propaganda. And how successive governments and corporations have used this line of mass control to get us to purchase product not out of need, but desire. (Episodes on Google video really worth viewing alas low quality stream, but its about the content).

So how does this relate to our Projects? Well if you can understand the aspirations (desires conscious or subconscious) of the end users then there is more of a chance of the park being 'adopted' by said people. In the marketing of the park(s) at the beginning and end, always keeping our eyes on the end user. If you feel that they won't get 'it', then its about communication/education/marketing and ultimately changing their viewpoint/desire. You could link it to the change and acceptance of abstract art in our everyday life. There was a point when it was laughed out of town as  fraud, but now as a group we accept it. Education/manipulation/fashion who knows, but we want to be associated with it, and therefore our association with it we assume it will make us seem more cultured/intelligent to others, which could be seen as an advantage amongst our piers. This proves the point that 'new' need not necessarily be bad, its about 'viewpoint' and what benefit is it to the force that is 'self interest'

Self interest, what or how can it benefit 'me' as an end user, because if they (as groups of individuals) don't see a benefit to themselves we will have an abandoned space, again. With little maintenance and thus the snow balling effect of decline will run its course, again. It all rests on adoption/love of the people for the parks. Think, Angel of the North, adopted and loved, by the local community. Who want to be associated with it as its considered to represent them as a sophisticated community, Manipulation? who knows, but they feel good about themselves, when we visit and say how wonderful it is.

Big Picture, not the ego of the designer (or as Tom would put it Nester rather than Hunter).

Its not really about Fraud, but about Edward Bernays the father of the Public Relations movement, really frightening how easy it is,if you know how.


Edward Bernays

Off my soap box for another few days, Back to work!

Monday, 29 November 2010

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

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Post Adobe anger managment

Well what a day. Worked like the proverbial dog (as all of us) and bloody Adobe (or my ignorance in fairness) and image quality. So have sussed it (thanks to Jamie, as usual), well at least I think so, i will steam into it tomorrow.
Talking to Isabelle about music and in particular Classical and my personal struggle with pre mid 19th century classical music, i always see the issues of the time and thus judge the music by the issues as i see them.
I was recommended this album by a classical musician in a very high end hi-fi shop (appointment only, those were the days when i had money) when asked were should i start with Classical music, with no hesitation, Faure Requiem. Purchased that day and at first struggled with the pace, but as with any good music (or wine) it matures and gets into your Soul.
So when ever it all gets to much, this is the album that puts it all into perspective. A definite 'Desert island Disc'.
Calverley park designed with this as a theme, i can so see the Tunbridge Wells Choral Society loving this.You don't have to be an intellectual understand something that hits your soul. I was 24 at the time, so its not necessarily about age either (just in case you were thinking, old git).


Then copy and paste in the search box

Faure: Requiem;Op48

If i had to rescue one track on my desert island as the other seven were washed out to sea,then it would be 'In Paradisum'

As for Jazz the place to start 'Kind of Blue' (Miles Davis). After many years of jazz, this album still holds its own.

Can you design around a musical theme?

The Garden Design Course started on an autoCAD theme (sorry a bit of me, me, me, going on here) to design for a bench for Hadlow college. My effort was around the context (in my opinion) of a 60's building, cool students (or so we think), a quick break in the area next to the canteen and to represent Hadlow College.

Dave Brubeck's, 'Take 5' (as in a 5 min break between lectures) a classic jazz standard from the sixtes.

So as a further tool for design idea's and spring boards?

How about 'God save the Queen' by the Sex Pistols for Jubilee Gardens?Connection Queens Silver Jubilee 1977.
After all its a 'fascist regime' apparently according to the late Mr Rotten.

Google it if you are not familiar, after the watershed though!

Happy Editing all!


Monday, 22 November 2010

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.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Mystic Meg visits car park

When leaving late one evening from Avery Hill, noticed how a bit cold of mist can effect the haze of lighting. Very spooky, but enclosed by the darkness of the sky in contrast to the effective downlighting (to avoid light pollution) of the white lights (high pressure sodium i believe), compared to the orange (low pressure sodium, more efficient for luminosity to power consumed than the high pressure ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luminous_efficacy). 

The white is more up lifting and 'safer' in a car park situation, but putting that aside for the moment, the white just looks better due to ability to bring out the green (ie white spectrum compared to orange) in the planting. Thoughts for both parks. I know blue works well with humans in low light as it works well with our non colour sensors (what ever they are called) in the back of our eyes. Which i believe are there for low light (ie the less light the more grey and white landscape we see) or is my school boy memory playing tricks again? Normal back of post card please.

Getting 'A back to the Future' flash back, expecting a Delorian to come screaming out of know were doing 80mph+ with maybe a long haired version of Tom Turner at the wheel after an adventure in some Renaissance carriage park (or should that be stable yard), he would so love that.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Hey Marvin..'Whats Going On'?

A bit peeved i missed the smashing fun at Tory HQ, and thank God i started the course when i did, as £6-9K per year would've been out of the question, so this policy is not Elitist then, my arse!

Back to the gentler world of Floristry, and friend who is at Hadlow asked me to give her some drawing/colouring in (rendering) lessons, at least she learnt how NOT to do it. The usual 1n(or so) glasses of wine for inspiration, m'lord.

Gauche, and some ink when dry. Usual style done in a matter of minutes, more on her expensive dinning table than on paper, but have to say a lot of fun. And i am keeping the day Job.
Dish cloth Flower.
                                    Vase and who knows what.

Found a park similar to Calverley, I used to live near it and the topography is very similar, so plenty of winter injuries tobogganing down the steep slope. The picture is overlaid in the same scale (no cheating, honest), with some photoshop reduction in opacity to let Calverley bleed through.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Black Magic

CS5 latest 'Bloody Hell' trick is called 'Content Aware'.

 Photomerged pictures in photoshop, nice. But to fill in the gaps?

Magnetic tool, invert, edit, fill, content aware,ok......wait, bloody hell!
Tidy up any little marks including school kids.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Sequence or Rhythm?.... as long as it's got that swing

Well I am sure I am not the only one who struggled with this. Enjoyed thinking about space and placement etc, but is it Rhythm? Only when i reached the last two I came to a conclusion, rhythm is a sequence, but lots of them. Sequence is part of the rhythm picture/groove. I purposely did not look at a dictionary to see if i could work it out by doing and thinking. Am I wrong? Find out Monday, oh it is already! Not a plane crash if I am wrong, enjoyed the challenge, the journey and all that.
Thinking about the Funky Drummer and how i could draw the beat in 8 squares (emphasis on the 4th beat according to James Brown, who am I to argue))
I have come to the conclusion they are all sequence apart from no 9

1 2

3 4
               Autumn sycamore          Space Lab

 5 6



  8 is the strongest in my opinion. Had the thought of 'The Machine Age' and a certain scene from the film 'Metropolis' (silent and made i think in the twenty's). Not the kind of film that would go down to well with your Torygraph reading 'T Wellian'.