Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Time and Tide

Interesting article by Ken Worpole (with photographs by Jason Orton) on tidal pools:

"There is something mysterious and even disturbing about these pools, located on the border between land and water. There is a muscularity and even brutalism to most structures that engage directly or indirectly with the sea — not just tidal pools but also harbor walls, esplanades, piers, lighthouses, military lookouts and gun emplacements. All such constructions tend to be great works of public engineering, although they possess a distinctive architectural mass and form. For the sea is a powerful force of nature, and while the daily tides can bring pleasure and replenishment to coastal settlements, they are also agents of destruction and chaos."

Also a great quote from J G Ballard in one of the comments:
"All the most interesting things in the world take place where the sea meets the land and you're between those two states of mind. On that border zone, you're neither one nor the other, you're both. And people take their clothes off, which is always a plus"

Read the whole article in the Design Observer

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Benedict Seymour on Militant Urbanism

A thought-provoking essay about gentrification from Benedict Seymour in Variant (34), entitled Shoreditch and the Creative Destruction of the Inner City:

"the cosmetic renewal of a portion of the crumbling urban core coincides with continued – or intensified – infrastructural decline. Rather than an unfortunate side effect of the real estate market, gentrification is an openly pursued policy objective where 'creative entrepreneurialism’ is identified as key to reviving inner cities. Gentrification takes from the poor and gives to the rich; anything residually ‘public’ will either be reclaimed for the middle class or left to rot. The question remains, is the current crisis a reprieve or a new assault, and who will win this time?"