Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

Palla’s Japanese Cityscapes


Kazuhiko Kawahara, aka Palla, is an architect and photographer based in Osaka.


His compositions are each based on single images. He uses symmetry to “confront the natural with the mechanical, the artificial.”


“The scenes I photograph are mainly unpopular buildings,” he says.

“They’re places that no one cares about, that are almost just quietly fading away. But I’m trying to reveal the structures and systems of a city that you can’t actually see.”


His stunning portfolio reminds me of Filip Dujardin’s compositions. But there’s more.

He’s branched out into motion graphics and – surprise surprise – they’re stunning.

The Choice of Machete


Who wrote the book on jungle survival and is it a website yet?

This could be the deepest recession in 70 years. I’m 26. I’ve worked in advertising for 17 months.

Nothing was clear when I entered the jungle. Tribalism ruled. Now everyone’s desperate for daylight.

Machete by Jules Suzdaltsev on Vimeo.

Those with the new weapons vaunt them. Those with the old craft and guile still hack so precisely.

But when the machete lies still, what sounds does the jungle make? How does it feel? Light slats through the canopy and life teems between your toes.


Vong Phaophanit, “What Falls to the Ground But Can’t Be Eaten”, Tate Britain.

I’ve never understood the debate – and the tribalism. This is a weird juncture in the history of advertising. That much was clear from the fringe.

At the same time that everyone talks about interaction and experience, tribes can barely look each other in the eye. So completely they miss those slats of light. They’d barely notice the weather.

Saxso Funny by rafaelci9 on YouTube.

The choice of machete is a pointless debate. You could hack all day – online, in print, on TV, even on the radio. You’re still hacking.

I don’t think we’ll be Amazon-deep in the jungle forever.

But we could build something while we’re there. Sit down and interact. Put the machetes away, switch the laptops off. Imagine the clearing we want then make it together.

Creativity sees connections where they didn’t previously exist.


The Yellow Treehouse Restaurant, Auckland, New Zealand.

(What’s the connection with advertising? Take a look at their website.)

I Think We’re Lost

Don’t despair if you can’t find this landmark on your map. It doesn’t exist.


This is one of many buildings imagined by Belgian photographer Filip Dujardin. According to Mark Magazine, Dujardin dreams up a concept building then embarks on a photo safari.

From the photo hunt he composites spectacularly complex, often impossible structures.

In this first photo (above), the choice of context causes much of the displacement. Since reading Daniel Kalder’s Lost Cosmonaut, I’ve loved the idea of a futuristic structure in the wilderness. It’s reaffirmingly absurd.

But Dujardin’s work can be equally brutal:


There’s plenty more on Dujardin at BLDG BLOG and Designboom.

And if you’re in the London commercial game, Marcus Lyon is a photographer you could speak to. He showed us some beautiful cityscape comp work a few months back.

But to step off the fictional made real, what about real made fictional…

Could you find your way around this map?


Not how America looked the last time you checked your atlas. But there’s a very good reason involving very detailed data.

Mark Newman‘s maps of the 2008 US presidential election results have had over a million hits in the last couple of weeks, and I give them 6 thumbs up.


Newman, at the University of Michigan, uses cartograms to rescale states according to their populations.

He goes beyond that with hue, using shades of purple to indicate voting % – so the maps don’t just represent a first-past-the-post majority, but the shade of victory.


You can get great cartograms from The Future Mapping Company on Columbia Rd.


You can lose yourself in imagined space. Then make it real. Or vice-versa. I don’t know. Did you bring a map?

Staring Down on Stilts

As they say in Australia. That’s round the other side of the Earth from me right now. Hello from space stilts!

You could send a satellited message like the one above with geoGreeting. It peers down from Google Maps to spell things out with letter-shaped buildings.

Neat, huh?

But there’s a blinking frost about the astro cyclops. We want more freedom to play, less unsolicited surveillance.

Melanie Coles ran free and got drawing on the Earth over in Vancouver. Now we can do find and seek with the satellites instead. Suddenly they seem more friendly.

(via Neil Perkin . Thanks, Neil. I hope you don’t mind this friendly reference.)

The Canadian art student challenges you to Where’s Waldo using a rooftop and Google Maps. Puts a whole different perspective on geotagging. Paint your tag on buildings instead.

But you’re reading this online. I expect you won’t go square-eyed and anti-social working with pixels.

So let me ask you – do you upload pictures to Flickr? Flickr does geotagging. There’s been geotagging for years – and on a lot of photos. Put those photos together and we’re getting something approaching an Earth-sized 3D digital map.

If this is beginning to sound like alienspeak, I refer you to a far brighter earthling.

Blaise Aguera y Arcas gave the world a glimpse of Photosynth last year at TED. I had to rub my eyes.

Hold tight to to your stilts. Then be sure you watch this. We’re gazing into a distant future. But it’s not light years away, my friend.

House Your Body

I’ve been switching lanes on the walk home. Still can’t believe I never noticed this before on Old Street. Apparently there are others around town.

The body as building. It’s not a new one, but you’ve got to love it. The Central London Osteopathy and Sports Injury Clinic made me think about my back in a way I hadn’t done before. I’m thinking about my back right now just writing about it.


The mind reeled onto this spot of body rocking by Publicis New York, seen on the blog of French maestros Marketing Alternatif a few days ago.

1. If your idea’s to do with the skeleton, use architecture

2. If it’s to do with the organs, take the appliances inside

That’s if you want to transform a building into a body, of course. Personally, at this moment, I’m more concerned with turning an empty juice carton into a drink. It’ll need some imagination.

The 7-Day Apartment

Georges Perec had a magnificent beard. The sort of beard you’d write home about. And the man behind the beard had a fine collection of ideas.

One runs like this: living in an apartment where there is one room for each day of the week. In each room, you undertake the tasks or pastimes your routine tends to on that given day.

I’m writing on a Wednesday. What would you need in your Wednesday room? I’d be comfortable with an armchair, a desk and a record player.

But if I wanted to meet friends or involve other people, I’d run in to difficulty. If I needed the toilet would I piss out the window?

Perec’s magnificent mind takes us out of this particular tangle and into another idea: dispersion.

Instead you have places scattered across town for your different functions. It’s not routine-specific. You’d need some energy, a good pair of legs, and to be driven by the desire to do things rather than the habit that comes from doing them out of routine or necessity.

Which would you prefer?

You might find it says a lot about you. Right now I’m in my Wednesday room. But I’d happily be hopping across town.