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Design, regions, and the two economies

The stated ambition of Cornwall, in the the far south west of England, is to become a “green peninsular”. It’s an evocative concept, but people there interpret the word “green” in different ways.

For example, although Cornwall aspires to become a “knowledge economy” it is more of a tourism economy at [continue …]

2022-10-21T12:08:48+00:00April 3rd, 2010|development, urban-rural|

Territorial development books

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It has always been a point of pride at Doors of Perception events to curate the bookstore as carefully as we curate the speakers. We do this because when a conference theme cuts across disciplines – as ours do – no single bookseller is likely [continue …]

2022-08-23T13:49:29+00:00December 15th, 2009|urban-rural|

Spacing in

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As you may have read in this month’s newsletter, I’m a new fan of Spacing. This excellent new-paradigm magazine and multi-city blog (Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Atlantic, including Halifax) features daily dispatches from the streets of these places on “just about anything that involves the [continue …]

2022-10-21T12:11:03+00:00November 9th, 2009|urban-rural|

Cities of Design

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At a conference in St Etienne next month ‘Cities of Design’ including Minneapolis, Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Seoul, Portland, Eindhoven and Dortmund will all be represented. Personally I think either that all cities should be design cities – or perhaps that none should if the [continue …]

2009-10-05T20:20:30+00:00October 5th, 2009|urban-rural|

In transition

Fui So means “ability to rejuvenate” in Mandarin. I learned this from Wong Lai-yin, a Chinese participant in last week’s Transition Towns event in London.
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2022-08-28T15:07:08+00:00June 2nd, 2009|urban-rural|

What Tools for Transition Towns?

This morning I received an interesting email from Transition Towns. “We recognise that out in transition land there’s a great diversity of web tools and processes currently in use and under development” the mail begins; “some of these will be resilient and adaptable enough to support the changing needs [continue …]

2022-09-28T15:20:35+00:00March 25th, 2009|urban-rural|

Silent tree hugging in Tenerife

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The criminal over-development of the Canary Islands – and the loss of biodiversity and social capital that followed – was financed by the same banks and speculators that our governments are now trying so desperately to save.

Given the desecration of these [continue …]

2022-08-23T13:49:45+00:00March 12th, 2009|urban-rural|

Re-imagining Metropolis

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An interesting event for our London readers: “No understanding between the brain and the hands” is a collaboration between Pocko photographers and illustrators. Inspired by Metropolis, the 1927 silent science fiction film, created by the famed director Fritz Lang, five photographers have collaborated with nine [continue …]

2009-03-04T14:19:38+00:00March 4th, 2009|urban-rural|

Land and re-localisation

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With allotment waiting lists in the UK massively over-subscribed, and people right across the country keen to grow their own fruit and vegetables, a new project called Landshare aims to make British land more productive and fresh local produce more accessible to [continue …]

2008-11-11T08:50:30+00:00November 11th, 2008|urban-rural|

Liminal space

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Next week the team at St Etienne City of Design returns from its vacation ready for a massive final push towards 15 November. That’s the date when when their biennial opens, and Doors of Perception has to fill its 5,000 square metre shed with a [continue …]

2008-08-12T07:08:09+00:00August 12th, 2008|urban-rural|

Water garden

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This was the most interesting exhibit for me at the Milan Furniture Fair. Hidden away in a small courtyard, “Aqva Garden” functions as a distributed rain collector and water storage system. Unlike conventional recycling systems, which tend to be hidden away in clunky boxes, Aqva [continue …]

2007-04-25T06:56:22+00:00April 25th, 2007|urban-rural|

The $100k house

In this new book Karrie Jacobs travels America in a “quest for a house to call home in the modern world”. It’s not a conventional architecture book; rather, it’s an account of a road trip Jacobs took in 2003 — over 14,000 miles — to meet with architects and builders [continue …]

2022-10-07T19:25:09+00:00July 14th, 2006|urban-rural|

Talking Cities

Too much media coverage of architecture focuses on the banal excesses of Shanghai and Dubai. The more interesting story these days concerns marginal, residual and abandoned spaces left behind when industry disappears. A new publication, Talking Cities is all about “Guerilla Architecture”, “An-Aesthetics”, and “Architecture on the Edge’. Later [continue …]

2006-06-18T08:00:52+00:00June 18th, 2006|urban-rural|

Learning from steel cities

“Steel City awakens a longing for for authenticity in of a world where networks and technologies are no longer palpable. Steel City is a place of physical presence, the presence of body, of the haptic, of patina and aging. Steel City can be touched and felt”. Thus, poetically, Professor [continue …]

2006-06-16T06:20:41+00:00June 16th, 2006|urban-rural|

Homeless urban designers

Cluster is running a series of pieces on the spontaneous cities, favelas, bidonvilles and squatter cities that grow independently “creating their own networks without the help of traditional planning or design”. In the new issue Frederica Verona describes her visits to numerous dormitories, day centres, and soup kitchens in [continue …]

2006-04-01T13:48:29+00:00April 1st, 2006|urban-rural|

Biomedical downtowns

An intriguing story in next month’s Cluster magazine describes plans in China for the world’s first urban biomedical hub. Sascha Haselmayer, one of its advisors, writes that Fenglin Biomedical Centre will concentrate life science, medical care services, medical education, business incubation, and medical exhibitions, in the Xuhui district of [continue …]

2006-03-30T14:31:57+00:00March 30th, 2006|urban-rural|

Some enhanc-ed evening

AV Festival 06 is the UK’s newest, and largest international festival of digital arts, music, games, film & new media. With the theme of Life, it explores what happens as expectations rise that we might be able modify and improve our bodies and/or minds. More than 90 events will [continue …]

2006-02-28T11:52:12+00:00February 28th, 2006|urban-rural|

Is sprawl good, after all?

I have always assumed that sprawl is a Bad Thing. For Jane Jacobs, in ‘Dark Age Ahead’, urban sprawl is something that “murders communities, and wastes land, time, and energy”. Sprawl is frequently blamed for environmentally-damaging transport intensity, the collapse of communities, even obesity. But James Woudhuysen, for one, thinks [continue …]

2006-02-24T19:01:07+00:00February 24th, 2006|urban-rural|

Corrupted by cool?

Have cultural producers and designers become the stooges of property development? Guy Julier has invited me to stir things up in a talk at the inauguration on 2 March of DesignLeeds, a new research and consulting centre at Leeds School of Architecture, Landscape and Design. Invitations are available from [continue …]

2006-02-20T09:45:02+00:00February 20th, 2006|urban-rural|
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