Tuesday, 27 September 2011
So we have just spent the last few days in the basement of the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane. It was great to show people our work and we got some good feedback. And now it is gone as quickly as it appeared.
There were a couple of late additions to the piece. These were a mini dustpan and brush made out of walnut and leather to sweep up the dust after sawing. These go towards completing the ritual of adding a new item of sentimental junk.
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Sentimental junk has no monetary or practical value yet we are all collectors. The way we deal with it is modest considering its strong personal value. We muddle along with our ad hoc approaches.
This project is about finding a befitting physical and emotional sense of place for sentimental junk.
The outcome is a thick walnut timber shelf for sentimental junk. Most sentimental junk is paper - these are held vertically, closely alongside each other, held in slots sawn into the top of the shelf. Every slot is the result of a bespoke action, as and when required to suit the arrival of a new item. Non-paper items sit alongside their paper counterparts. A saw to perform the ritual of sawing is slung from the shelf.
Sawing the slots into the walnut shelf is a commitment for posterity and so elevates the status of the sentimental junk. It is nostalgic of marking trees and recording our height on door frames when we were young.
These objects are worthy of pride of place in the home. They are displayed as a visible reminder of who we are, in the same way that we display books, with the added difference that only we know what their significance is. In this way, sentimental junk is released from its hiding and celebrated.
Saturday, 10 September 2011
Teleconfessional consists of a couple of back-to-back phone booths with minor additions. A wooden stool with cushion adds comfort. A dark curtain adds anonymity. A light bulb indicates the phone booth is in use. The number of the adjacent phone is given.
The public are invited to enter the booths and to converse with a stranger. Having a listening ear helps them deal with their guilt and concerns. By not being able to see the stranger but knowing that they are close and have willingly offered themselves, this facilitates a meaningful dialogue. The two people are equal and no redemption is given.
Teleconfessional is an opportunity to pause and think. We do not need to broadcast that which should be kept private. Ironically, with an ever increasing multitude of ways to communicate, there seems to be absence of opportunities to “talk”. By talking anonymously to a stranger about our guilt and concerns, we can hopefully feel a bit better about ourselves.
Teleconfessional is a response to Joe Moran’s article in The Guardian on 9th June 2010 entitled: “The age of Big Brother demands we reveal our true selves. Better we don’t.”
Friday, 9 September 2011
I was part of a team which provided concept, design and delivery of an installation event for Ramboll during London Festival of Architecture 2010. We were kindly supported by KLH and Kier. This was called The Carbon Cube and was found on Store Street (Central London) for a week and a half.
The following words can be found also on the AJ Footprint blog:
"The Carbon Cube is an installation which aims to demystify the term carbon footprint. A team of Ramboll engineers has designed and installed the cube - which is a physical representation of how much carbon the average UK citizen emits - as part of the ‘We love Store Street’ programme of events.
The Carbon Cube, if solid, is the volume of timber required to absorb the average UK citizen’s annual CO2 output - a 2.4m cube. In comparison, the carbon cube for the average Kenyan citizen is roughly 600mm cube.
The timber blocks spilling out of the cube are intended to show that the large solid volume can be broken down into more manageable pieces. The installation offers information about how activities can equate to the volumes of the stools and benches, if solid. For example, a return journey from London to Paris on the Eurostar rather than by plane saves 3 stools.
Ramboll’s message is one of positivity and to promote awareness that timber is a material that absorbs CO2 and can be grown and harvested sustainably. Most messages to the public on sustainability indicate doom and gloom and disempower people from taking action to adopt responsible lifestyle choices. Ramboll wants to generate a buzz around - ‘what’s your carbon cube?’ and what you can do about it.
Visitors are invited to make a pledge by decorating a timber cube and to enjoy the touch and texture of the spruce cubes. The installation is on display til July 4th at the NLA’s temporary pocket park on Store Street.
It’s encouraging to know that the Carbon Cube is destined to a new home off a public footpath in a Welsh forest when it leaves Store Street. More information on the installation and the story behind it here."
Thursday, 8 September 2011
This was created for Ramboll to chart innovation over the last 5 years. A full pdf version can be found here. I designed the concept, Clare Sims crafted the words, Seema Dhah and Linaka Greensword finished the layout, and the engineers at Ramboll provided all the stories.