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Category Archives: inhabited

the container

Other than self-pity, something that makes me cry easily is the Hillsborough disaster. I am reminded of it occasionally, like today when the jurors’ verdict was given, and I can’t stop thinking about it and looking at those photos. So to take my fingers off the laptop, and to buy some rhubarb and beer, I [...]

The Peaks of Lyell

We spent 3 days filming rock in Tasmania. Queenstown is the fulcrum, the hinge, the core and kernel of 100 years of Tasmanian history. Surrounded by national park, world heritage and impenetrable wilderness, it is a diminishing town; caught briefly between wild riches (what was) and emptied pit (what will be), with the fourth temporal [...]

generic and authentic places in the city

after a while you need to escape, find some generic spaces for deep breaths. free of throat-tightening weight of a hundred Hendricks bottles of tap water. convergence is the theory that economic and demographic trends lead to increasing similarity between places. divergence assumes human choice and place-difference. plural causation is the possibility that different events in [...]

valentine

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rivers

Following the crucial elements of Starbucks, urban farming and lush islands, here is a fourth facet of japan: Its rivers, and the distinct lack of water-front development. Not quite the result of a deep respect for the natural path of water through land; Tokyo’s rivers have a history of extreme engineering from the Edo period’s [...]

in praise of starbucks

of course, the coffee is not as ‘good’ as Seven Seeds (Melbourne) or Wilton’s (for those in Hackney), but let’s admit that coffee is not good, no matter how fair-trade it is; the free market martyrdom of agricultural land from local sustenance to international stimulus etc. As a tourist with no Japanese language in numerous [...]

Hong Kong

these Hong Kong cats are fuzzy descriptors of life in the high density bubble and they certainly look happy with their ears tucked back while they sip bubble tea. they snooze in a bubble which (if fitted out with a turbine and the right lightbulbs) will certainly float even after all the Arctic sea ice [...]

kl

KL is growing on me because as you get closer to the city centre you get closer to trees, and croci wetlands, and because it’s warm and smells of the streets. 

food court

Now I spend my lunch breaks at the food court. does this depress you? it’s strange because I was educated all my life to dislike food courts. actually they are the pinnacle of inclusivity within the very narrow confines of profitable commercial development. I can go there alone, can spend $2 or $20. ok $2 [...]

species

we havent reached even the middle of the beginning of data visualisation, of a global community, or of sustainable urbanism. so even as we are impressed by the work of artists and scientists who have managed to capture, for a moment, the unfocused concentration of a city, we can sense the limitations at both ends [...]