Monday, 27 October 2014

Creativity Hits the Classroom

My Architecture Design Journal by the Irish Architecture Foundation

This article first appeared in Image Interiors & Living, September/October 2014

It's hard to argue that those with a creative streak benefit from arts education, but there's an increasing argument in favour of exposing everyone to art, design and creative processes, regardless of their ability or career aspirations. Being informed about how and why all the things that surround us are the way they are, and being able to apply creative thinking to a myriad of tasks is of benefit to everyone, and two organisations are working hard to expose young Irish people to design, architecture and plain old creativity.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Here's the Heads Up #23

Describing Architecture at the City Assembly House, image by Orla Murphy

Here's the latest Heads Up on exhibitions and designy deadlines in Ireland and London. The emphasis is on what's coming up or ending soon to serve as a reminder - to me as much as to you guys - to catch things while we can...

Monday, 20 October 2014

Central Saint Martins

Studio space in Central Saint Martins, Stanton Williams Architects

Up until about a month ago I worked in the Students' Union at the University of the Arts London (UAL), which is a relatively recent bringing-together of six of London's top art schools. UAL has a host of campuses all over the city, designed in different eras or repurposed in different ways. While I wasn't based there all the time, one of my favourite sites within UAL's impressive portfolio is the recently completed Central Saint Martins campus in King's Cross. Designed by Stanton Williams Architects, it's the anchor in the ongoing redevelopment of the King's Cross area by developers Argent and it opened its doors to 5,000 students in 2011.

Monday, 13 October 2014

LDF 2014

1-2-3 Mirror by Klas & Schenk-Mischke at LDF 2014

London Design Festival returned from 13 - 21 September, with heaps of exhibitions, trade shows and events all over the city. I excitedly began attending talks, launches and happenings and really enjoyed the more curated or discursive aspects of the festival. But by the time I reached my third trade show, my energy - and patience - began to wane. There were a whole host of great new products launched, and then A LOT more that weren't great at all. And while different but not great is one thing, when I saw product after product after product all looking the same... sigh. BUT there was some cool stuff on display, so I thought I'd take the four main recurring themes I noticed and show you my favourite versions of them (or antidotes to them). Behold:

Monday, 6 October 2014

Post Tropical Lighting

Last night I went to see Irish musician James Vincent McMorrow play at the Shepherd's Bush Empire. This was the second time I saw him perform live, the first being in the Barbican back in January (how dreamy!). James is an amazing songwriter and performer and his most recent album Post Tropical is one of my favourites of the past few years. But great music aside, his performances of late have been done amid stunning lighting design by Conor Jacob. Conor has filled the stage with pyramids of light, each glowing, pulsing and changing colour as each song unfolds. In the background, 3d mapping brings a round surface, interruped by yet more pyramids, to life. It's not so easy to describe in words what he's achieved, and I certainly can't do it justice. Instead, click through to watch a video of the lighting in action, directed by Emma J. Doyle and made by James "purely to capture something that I love, and to share with people ... This video is all about the lights." James is currently on tour around Europe, so you might be able to see the show in a venue near you...