Archive for February, 2009

Bad Taste: the horror inside NZ houses

The culinary seems to be passé, with both the Arch Centre and the FishEye seeing fit to blog on food and design in recent days. Today though it’s bad taste, rather than taste, which appears to be de rigor.

Peter Jackson’s 1987 cult classic, Bad Taste, while being “purely vulgar trash,” “brain splattering,” and “repulsive gore,” can now be acknowledged, thanks to critical aclaim and marginal high culture, as a “great film.” It has reached the height of cult classic – but you still need a cast-iron stomach to watch it. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 27th February 2009
Under: RANTING | 16 Comments »

Video of the Week VI: smack the pony – architects

Smack the Pony, according to Wikipedia, was a British sketch comedy show that ran from 1999 until 2003 on Channel 4 (some of you out there might have seen them?). Weirdly, its title was intended to sound like a euphemism for female masturbation – something I won’t tag this post with in case it gets too popular amongst a demographic that we are just not seeking here…

Anyways – here’s an amusing sketch that reveals what really goes on in those design concept meetings. The expressions of a bemused Jo (the engineer) are classic…


Posted on 24th February 2009
Under: Video of the Week | 5 Comments »

Is Nutrition the Answer to Everything?

Food: Design and Culture ed. Claire Catterall p. 71.
Riding my bike into work this morning, the regular squeeze between car and kerb was suggesting immaterialisation would be my only option. Bloody SUVs. Why do they make cars so wide these days? Easy you say – because we are wider. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 22nd February 2009
Under: 20u40, 20under40, RANTING | 7 Comments »

Hurrah for National Radio

Yes I know we’re all meant to say “Radio NZ: National” but National Radio rolls off the tongue so much easier. Anyway this weekend has had a number of interviews etc. which will be of interest to members.

On Saturday Kim Hill interviewed Reid Ewing, Professor of City and Metropolitian Planning at the University of Utah, about smart urban growth. Today’s “Insight” programme was on tagging, following after the “Arts on Sunday’s” programme last week on Street Art.

Also today, Chris Laidlaw spend some time discussing issues around the viability of KiwiRail on the “Sunday Group,” and this afternoon Ngahuia Te Awekotuku talked about Maori heritage arts. Finally, there was a piece on the Peace Wall at the corner of Ponsonby and K Roads in Auckland.

Posted on 22nd February 2009
Under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Hurrah for National Radio

Aren’t Street Closures Fantastic?

At this very moment Courtney Place is under “Road Closure” while things are being set up for the glories of the Cuba St Carnival culminating in one of the best Wellington events of our calendar – the Cuba St Carnival Parade.

But this is not only evidence of impending celebration but also a sample of what Wellington might be like without cars in its inner city. There’s been emerging interest in car-less cities around the world, or close variations: Dubai, Ohio, Portland, Canada, etc, etc.

Being completely biased, alternating as I do between being a pedestrian and a cyclist (with the occasional bus ride thrown in), I love these kinds of road closures. There’s a wonderful freedom of safe space, of knowing you can walk or cycle anywhere and not get run over. I guess it might be a rare instance of sanctioned pedestrian risque – not having to look before crossing the road. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 21st February 2009
Under: EVENTS OTHER | 1 Comment »

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Posted on 20th February 2009
Under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Want Arch Centre updates direct to your reader?

Arch Centre member lights up the world…

“A challenging job” is how Arch Centre member and doctoral candidate at the VUW School of Architecture, Amardeep Dugar, describes his recent appointment as Lighting Consultant to the Global Vipassana Pagoda in Mumbai, India. The Global Vipassana Pagoda, which aspires to pay homage to Buddha and his teachings,is currently in the final stages of construction. It will be one of the largest stone monuments in Asia – with the world’s largest stone dome (280ft diameter), accommodating a meditation hall for 8000 people.

The Pagoda is being constructed, in the words of Mr SN Goenka, to be “an ideal bridge for peace, tolerence and harmony across all the communal and regional divides splintering India as well as the world today. The Global Pagoda will be a vehicle for the spread of the Buddha’s true teaching that emphatically opposes any dogma based on sect, cast and religion”.

As Lighting Consultant to the Global Pagoda, Amardeep was required to develop a lighting design concept that ‘showboats’ the magnificence of the exterior and provides a soberly lit interior environment appropriate to meditation. Amardeep was also responsible for performing the necessary design calculations and specification of the appropriate light fittings.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 20th February 2009
Under: Uncategorized | 5 Comments »