Friday, August 31, 2012

Childrens Lives Today

 Some original content today........

I saw this post by Tim Gill and thought it would work well visually. I fancied seeing if it was a more compelling argument as an infographic.  I'm not so sure but it was fun to do.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Venice Architecture Biennial

This year at the Venice Biennial in the U.S. Pavilion is a fascinating, timely exhibition called  Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good.

While I could try and describe it I would rather you read what the curators had to say:

"In recent years, there has been a nascent movement of designers acting on their own initiative to

solve problematic urban situations, creating new opportunities and amenities for the public. Provisional, improvisational, guerrilla, unsolicited, tactical, temporary, informal, DIY, unplanned, participatory, opensource—these are just a few of the words that have been used to describe this growing body of work.

Spontaneous Interventions will frame an archive of compelling, actionable strategies, ranging from
urban farms to guerilla bike lanes, temporary architecture to poster campaigns, urban navigation apps to crowdsourced city planning. These efforts cut across boundaries, addressing architecture, landscape, infrastructure, and the digital universe, and run the gamut from symbolic to practical, physical to virtual, whimsical to serious. But they share an optimistic willingness to venture outside conventional practice and to deploy fresh tactics to make cities more sustainable, accessible, and inclusive." Some of the projects I have blogged about before, such as the Seed bombs and Edible school yards, but I love the diversity and energy that is shown in their selection, from Occupy Wall Street to Post furniture.

I only hope every architect, designer, landscape architect and planner that visits the exhibion takes a little piece of it home......... mentally, of course.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Green Pedestrian Crossing

This project highlights the environmental benefits of walking versus driving. For someone who has just made a pact with myself that I will cycle or walk instead of drive, this is particularly appropriate. I just wish I had such a beautiful image to show for my efforts.

Jody Xiong of DDB China in conjunction with the China Environmental Protection Foundation created this project. As pedestrians walked over the crossing their shoes went through a container with green paint in and they left a trail of footprints, that end up being the leaves on the tree. Check out the video of the process here.

On their website:

"The Green Pedestrian Crossing was carried out in 7 main streets of Shanghai and later expanded to 132 roads in 15 cities across China. A total number of pedestrians that participated exceeded 3,920,000 people. Key media both online and offline rapidly wrote about the campaign. According to research, the overall awareness of environmental protection had increased 86%. After the campaign, the print was exhibited at the Shanghai Zheng Da Art Museum. "

(via Colossal)

Stephen Wiltshire


Stephen Wiltshire.

(via The Kid should see this)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Active Living Research

"Using evidence to prevent childhood obesity and create active communities."

And that's just their tag line....... This wonderful non profit organisation supports and shares research on environmental and policy strategies that can promote daily physical activity for children and families across the United States.

"Active Living Research provides credible and action-oriented research results that address the root causes of childhood obesity and physical inactivity."

And I'm a sucker for a good infographic..... Love it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Better Block: Rapid Urban Revitalization Projects

The “Better Block” project is an online tool to help aid people to create walkable, vibrant neighborhoods. So far they gained quite a bit of momentum and their map is starting to fill up.

If you're in Detroit on September 22nd and 23rd, check out what's going on.....

Love it.


According to Sir Ken Robinson's TED talk is the most popular ever. With over 13 million views.....

I'm not surprised and am happy to be reminded that I should really watch it again. If you are not one of the millions enlightened, now's your chance.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

US teen invents advanced cancer test using Google

Over at the Beeb is an amazing story about Jack Andraka, a 15 year old who has created a pancreatic cancer test that is 168 times faster and considerably cheaper than the gold standard in the field. Check out the video on the BBC.

Using the internet to develop his idea further he quoted Sir Isaac Newton.

"If I have seen further it is by standing on ye sholders of Giants."

Classroom Portraits

Julian Germain has been photographing classrooms around the world since 2004, resulting in an exhibition in Rotterdam, called The Future is Ours: "Classroom Portraits 2004-2012". A fascinating insight into different cultures and their approach to learning.....

Check out more here. The ones above are only the tip of the iceberg.

Inges Idee

Found via playscapes, this project by the public art collective Inges Idee at an occupational school center  in Munich, is really interesting. A regulation sized basketball court but with undulating mounds throughout.

I'd love to see how it was used on a daily basis, whether the kids actually try and play basketball or just use it as a social space.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

MOMA: Century of the Child

MOMA have an exhibition at the moment called "Century of the Child - Growing by Design 1900 - 2000".

Fantastic website and fantastic idea for an exhibition.

If you're in New York, check it out. If you're like me and won't be going there anytime soon, the website certainly makes up for it.

It is full of useful information, from when a polio vaccination was introduced to the United Nation's Declaration of the Rights of the Child.