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Archive for the 'united kingdom' Category

The Apprentice, no I don’t like any of them either but it’s fun to watch ….

 

 

Hands Up …. Yes, not everyone is prepared to come clean but I hereby admit I am hooked onto “The Apprentice”.  So sorry to let you all down :-(  

If anyone is suffering from a similar affliction and needs to share and undergo some communal therapy then check out the blog on the Guardian’s site.  Some of the comments are quite funny.  Here is a taster, detailing the remaining 6 candidates :-

“Clare: Rampant Rottweiler, 28, loves my tissues, seeks submissive male for world domination and quiet nights in listening to me gob off. Must like horses, cake, and giving it 150%.

Alex: Handsome well-groomed superman, 24, likes fit girls, boxing and shirking responsibility. Desperately seeking sexy soulmate, must have personality because mine’s gone AWOL.

Lucinda: Quirky fashion-loving blond, 31, likes scuba diving and playing the harp, WLTM naughty naughty naughty gent to push her beret boundaries. Must have GSOH and sunglasses.

Lee: Tall dark geezer, 30, does somefink in sales, loves bloke stuff and shouting, looking for well fit bird to tame my pterodactyl. Tha’s wot I’m talkin’ abaaaht.

Helene: Willowy brunette, 32, Global Pricing Leader, likes football and pulling the wings off butterflies. Doesn’t seek a man because she can break through the glass ceiling without one, thanks. Now fuck off.

Michael: Good Jewish boy, 24, WLTM kosher/halal soulmate who likes her men manipulative, whiny and incompetent, or father figure to provide guidance through the corridors of commerce. Happy to beg if necessary”

Yep, I know Michael has now gone the way of the dodo but I like his description so have kept it in.
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“Psycho Buildings” exhibition @ Hayward Gallery, London featuring Rachel Whiteread and others

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Taking its title from a book of photographs of odd structures by the artist Martin Kippenberger. A lot of urban spaces are very regimented, and a ‘psycho building’ is something that breaks out of this and reveals that our relationships with space can be extremely varied”.

For anyone with an interest in the built environment, I think a trip to the Hayward Gallery in London’s South Bank Centre could prove rewarding. Psycho Buildings runs until the 25th August 2008 and it utilises all the usual gallery space plus the three exterior terrace areas which are usually devoted to showcase sculptural exhibits.
Featuring ten of the best architecturally-inspired artists in the world, each installation is designed to make the viewer think twice about the nature of architecture and buildings. Visitors will enter and explore specially constructed dynamic creations which use light, colour, smell and challenging design. Each aims to illustrate how our build environment can shape mood and emotion and may prompt the question – when exactly does a building become a scuplture?
The artist’s are as follows:
Atelier Bow-Wow (Japan), Michael Beutler (Germany), Los Carpinteros (Cuba), Gelitin (Austria), Mike Nelson (UK), Ernesto Neto (Brazil), Tobias Putrih (Slovenia), Tomas Saraceno (Argentina), Do-Ho Suh (Korea) and Rachel Whiteread (UK).

Each artist had a month to install their work and this does mean the work displays a high level of detail and craftsmanship. Of major interest will be the installation created by Rachel Whiteread.

She is known to many as the UK artist awarded the Turner Prize in 1993 for her work “House” a concrete cast of the interior of a 19th Century terraced house in the East End of London.

For the “Psycho Buildings” exhibition Whiteread’ has chosen to display “The Finished Place (Village)” an installation made up of 200 doll’s houses from her personal collection, assembled over the last 20 years.

Step outside and visit one of the Sculptural Terraces areas and you will be confronted with work from Austrian collective Gelitin have created an infinity-style boating lake for the 21st century.

The exhibition takes place to mark the 40th anniversary of the Hayward Gallery, itself one of the world’s most architecturally unique spaces for displaying art. A major sponsor is Bloomberg. This company is one of the largest privately-owned supporter of the arts in the UK. They also sponsor “The New Contemporaries” showcase for emerging talent which I blogged about earlier in the year.

Not knowing much about Bloomberg I decided to delve a little deeper. They are a huge wordwide company built on providing up-to-the minute information and data for business and finance professionals. They support many cultural projects around the world, running a programme of exhibitions, performances, talks and other events. Six years ago Bloomberg opened up it’s own gallery called Bloomberg SPACE dedicated to commissioning and exhibiting contemporary art. “A dynamic space without an agenda, where artists and audience can explore new ideas and relationships in an innovative way” it is open to their employees and clients and the immediate community.

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Who will be crowned England’s premier Cycle City? Cycling England Funding up for grabs …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did anyone know that 19 towns and cities in England have reached the final shortlist in a competition to find the country’s first Cycling City and ten new Cycling Towns?  I certainly didn’t, but  I was delighted to see Manchester is in the pot for the Cycling City Award.  The winner is to be announced in early June 2008.  A list of all the shortlisted towns and cities can be found here.

There have been 6 pioneer Cycle Demonstration Towns operating a pro-cycling policy for the last 3 years.  These are Aylesbury, Brighton & Hove, Darlington, Derby, Exeter, Lancaster & Morecombe.

Some of the benefits a winning area will gain are extra funding (up to £500,000), advice on best practice, access to other Cycle England funded programmes and support with promotion and monitoring.

Is it all hot air?  I guess if it pushes cycling up the news headline barometer, no bad thing.  To take an example from one of the previously successful “Cycle Demonstration Towns” namely Brighton,  here it certainly seems to have kick-started the Council to become more cycle-friendly.  They match-funded the Cycle England’s contribution, which promises a £3 million investment in cycling over the next 3 years.  Brighton is a town which has seen cycling increase by 47% since 2000 and with 45% of city-workers travelling less than 3 miles, then this presents a fantastic opportunity to inform and tempt those workers to ditch the car and travel on two wheels.

UPDATE :  Today it is Wednesday 18th June and still NO announcement and NO explanation on the cycle demo towns decision.  I guess we’ll just have to keep watching on the Cycling England website.  Of course I will post the winners as soon as the “powers-that-be” make a decision.

UPDATE TWO : Yes the decision is out this morning (Thurs 19th June 2008), Bristol is the winner,  it will become the UK’s first “Cycling City”.  It is probably not a massive surprise as historically Bristol has always projected a very strong supportive relationship with local cyclists and aimed to encourage cycling in the area.  Sadly (for me anyway) Manchester doesn’t get a look in, it is not even on the demonstration town list of winners, those are: York, Stoke, Blackpool, Cambridge, Chester, Colchester, Leighton, Shrewsbury, Southend, Southport and Woking.  Read more on this story here.  Good luck to all the chosen towns and cities, hopefully this extra money will allow and encourage more people to cycle and using pedal-power becomes a more enjoyable, respected, desirable and safer experience in urban areas. There is further BBC piece here which looks at Bristol and attitudes to the city winning the award and the difference it could make.
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Chelsea Flower Show 2008: My 3 favourite design ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

The Chelsea Flower Show 2008 has been taking place this week and amongst the showy big-budget affairs you can always pick out a few clever and inspiring designs.

Three of my favourite ideas were:

1) The walls on the “Pemberton Greenish Recess Garden” by Paul Hensey and Neil Lucas. Awarded a Silver Gilt Medal.

 

 

 

 

 

One of the main designers is Paul Hensey based in Lancashire, England. His background is in product design and I think his roots shine through brilliantly within this garden. He frames the planting by creating tactile and innovative walls, one is made from recycled blocks of off-cut wood which has the added benefit of absorbing sound, very useful in an urban setting. Simple, neat and brilliant.

2) The use of mosses in the “Midori No Tobira (The Green Door) Garden” by Ishihara Kazuyuki . Awarded a Gold Medal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Japanese designer draws inspiration from “the smell of moist earth, the softness and sheen of wet rocks, the irregular flow of water” and always brings elements of innovative Japanese garden design to his work. Using vertical “living walls”, planting on spare roof space and working to a perfectly natural colour scheme of white, blue and green his creations are always wonderfully soothing spaces. Inspirational and relevant.

3) The firepit in the “Fleming’s and Trailfinder’s Australian Garden” by Jamie Durie. Awarded a Gold Medal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Created with a budget of £400,000 and featuring a myriad of native Australian plants this garden is a stunner but probably a little out of reach for your ordinary Pom. The neat design of the firepit within a central circular table may prove useful though. Imagine being able to brave a chilly UK evening with a clear dusk night falling, some “al fresco” dining could be possible with a crackling fire providing some warmth. Turning the fire pit into a barbecue would give still more functionality. A win-win for me.
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“b.TWEEN” event @ Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester. 19th/20th June 2008.

Things are getting a little frenzied as I prepare for the Opening Night of “The Chorlton Bench Project” this coming Friday, but I wanted to give some air to something called ‘b.TWEEN 08‘ a 2-day event which sounds like an interesting gathering of the great and the good @ MOSI, Manchester. With a leaning towards New Media, Advertising and Creative Technology, the sponsor’s are pretty high profile including Channel 4 and the BBC.

The website is worth a visit, the Interactive Gallery page gives the opportunity to view and vote on interactive new visual work, the winner will be shown @ MOSI during the event. You can also book onto a personal One-2-One Session with some of the speakers. Featuring representatives from amongst others; TwentyTwenty TV, Bebo and Fluorescent Media lots of talented specialists in areas such as branding, audience engagement, trends and digital strategy.

Despite all those sponsers, I am sad to say it ain’t free, it is quite expensive from £60 for a one-day student pass and £95 freelancers/micro company rate but could be worth it for the quality of speakers and networking/advice on offer. The website is free to browse though and many of the presentations will be available on YouTube after the event. Click here for some of the talks from “b.TWEEN 2007.”

UPDATE This event has now been and gone. If you wish to read a little about what went on then click over to “The Mancunian Way” were they blogged each day on the event. Also try the “Real Fresh TV” site for some really in-depth analysis by someone who was actually there AND took part in one of the sessions.

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“b.TWEEN” event @ Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester. 19th/20th June 2008.

Things are getting a little frenzied as I prepare for the Opening Night of “The Chorlton Bench Project” this coming Friday, but I wanted to give some air to something called ‘b.TWEEN 08‘ a 2-day event which sounds like an interesting gathering of the great and the good @ MOSI, Manchester. With a leaning towards New Media, Advertising and Creative Technology, the sponsor’s are pretty high profile including Channel 4 and the BBC.

The website is worth a visit, the Interactive Gallery page gives the opportunity to view and vote on interactive new visual work, the winner will be shown @ MOSI during the event. You can also book onto a personal One-2-One Session with some of the speakers. Featuring representatives from amongst others; TwentyTwenty TV, Bebo and Fluorescent Media lots of talented specialists in areas such as branding, audience engagement, trends and digital strategy.

Despite all those sponsers, I am sad to say it ain’t free, it is quite expensive from £60 for a one-day student pass and £95 freelancers/micro company rate but could be worth it for the quality of speakers and networking/advice on offer. The website is free to browse though and many of the presentations will be available on YouTube after the event. Click here for some of the talks from “b.TWEEN 2007.”

UPDATE This event has now been and gone. If you wish to read a little about what went on then click over to “The Mancunian Way” were they blogged each day on the event. Also try the “Real Fresh TV” site for some really in-depth analysis by someone who was actually there AND took part in one of the sessions.

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