city & bioregion

Street art pro and am

If you prefer interacting with people to gazing raptly at perspex building facades, you’ll enjoy the amazing street art festival in Chalon-sur-Saône, 21-24 July. Later on (23-25 September) Label Rue is a B2B street art festival in Ganges, South of France. Label Rue, a smaller and more intimate event, brings together interesting artists and groups, […]

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Brabant bound

Another day, another new European city-region. Yesterday I was in Breda, one of five cities in the south of the Netherlands that are joining forces (and 1.2 million citizens) to form a new entity, Brabantstad. The format of the day was interesting. Delegates were grouped into three blocks – investors/property developers; policy makers and city […]

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Palace of everyday life, anybody?

The Argentine government has launched a competition to find a new use for its spectacular Palace of Mail and Telecommunications in Buenos Aires. One dearly hopes it will not become another bloated and tedious Gugghenheim – so maybe we should join the competition? Doors of Perception will provide an embryonic programme and business plan, but […]

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My chances of survival

Is there something in the air in this town? Seattle’s W Hotel has more features than I need and they don’t all work. A 64-page catalogue in my room lists an extraordinary array of services ”masterfully orchestrated to surround you with style, service and comfort”. A menu for pets is available 24 hours. So too […]

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Creative class on the run

A trouble-maker sent me a copy of Richard Florida’s new book, The Flight of the Creative Class – hoping, no doubt, that I would be rude about it. Perish the thought. Florida’s new book has two virtues. First, Florida argues for “a broadening of the definition of creativity that will ennoble and encourage the everyday […]

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Are cosmopolitan cities creative?

Do mixed societies innovate more than homogeneous ones? How do new ideas and innovations emerge when people of diverse cultures interact? Comedia has launched an eighteen month project across cities in several countries called The Intercultural City to find out how interractions between cultures might be formed into new products, services, and styles – and […]

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Jugaad and its limits

Indian users of technology-based devices cannot rely on formal networks of distribution, support and maintenance: these are often incomplete, unimaginative or unrealistically priced. They therefore turn to the temporary fixes or ‘jugaads’ carried out by Indian street technicians. An army of pavement-based engineers and fixers keeps engines, television tubes, compressors – and a thousand other […]

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Architecture as old media

Architecture used to focus mainly on the design of buildings. Nowadays, the spaces between them are also important. Applications such as geocaching make even small real-world spaces easy to locate and access; this transforms once marginal spaces into viable assets. A new variant of this theme, called urban agriculture, converts other kinds of idle and […]

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Open Source Architecture

Usman Haque has posted an enticing description of his pre-Doors8 workshop on Open Source Architecture. Please remember that that you need to register first in order to take part in Usman’s workshop.

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