Category Archives: art

Reviving Newcastle

It can take a heroic effort to bring an ailing city district back to life but often all it takes to spark it off is one person or one small group. Marcus Westbury‘s efforts to revive Hunter Street, the ailing main street of the Australian industrial city of Newcastle (think rustbelt if you are not […]

Out of the closet

Why does the humble wardrobe have so much appeal as a refuge, an escape to a different world even. From children’s stories like The Chronicles of Narnia or The Indian in the Cupboard, to farces and cartoons where everything from lovers to dead mothers are hidden in them, somehow wardrobes seem to be hotbeds of […]

Abjects in the landscape

The problem of redundant nuclear power stations can’t easily be swept under the carpet, you need something bigger than that, like a small mountain perhaps? (Photo ellyll) If this dinosaur technology gets revived cleaning up after it will become a chronic problem so it’s interesting to consider a 1994 project to adaptively reuse the Trawsfynydd […]

Catching up

We’re back after a desperately needed break, last year was far too busy and problematic, hence the slow posting. Hope you all had a happy buying season and paid due obeisance to the gods of consumerism – at least you can be sure they exist. Let’s do a bit of a round up to get […]

Memento mori

You can always rely on the military to make a right mess of a place. Sometimes it’s incidental, sometimes it’s intentional and often its downright consciously genocidal. The US military in Iraq have probably been responsible for all three categories of mayhem. Unfortunately, their appalling adaptive reuse of the archaeological site of Babylon (Photo labanex) […]

A bitch about rich kitsch

“Avant-garde and kitsch“, an early essay by the once almighty US art critic Clement Greenberg, defined kitsch as “ersatz culture” manufactured for the urban masses … who, insensible to the values of genuine culture, are hungry nevertheless for the diversion that only culture of some sort can provide. But for this definition to make sense […]

The real post-modernism

We’ll confess we’d like to be corrupted and this post is a straight out attempt at getting some payola. Admittedly the subject, the Dutch designers Meesters & Van Der Park, deserve all the praise we can give them but unfortunately they have just announced the split up of their partnership. So we’re saying nothing but […]

Magic carpet ride

A few months ago when we did a post on the Cambodian norry railway we searched high and low for similar DIY railways but all we found were high tech/high capital experimental projects. But we had something like this in the back of our minds, and because it seemed such a good idea we knew […]

Broken Angel

(Photo Douglas LeMoine) Broken Angel, the Brooklyn house made famous by Dave Chapelle’s Block Party, may have been saved by an adaptive reuse deal according to the New York Times. (Photo Douglas LeMoine) The spectacular example of outsider architecture has been suffering a near death experience following a fire in early October 2006. According to […]

The Busycle

Last year we linked to Moz, the creator of one less ute, a load bearing bicycle designed to carry up to 200kg. Given a recent random encounter with the man at a new years festival, it was hardly surprising that Moz should show up again, this time as part of the crew behind the construction […]