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fuel economy

Letting Dwell – exhibition by Tim Larkin & Luke Feast

By EVENTS OTHER, Exhibition

Where: The New Dowse, Lower Hutt

When: till May 10

Tim Larkin won the 2008 Deane Award for Decorative Arts with a proposal based on the long-redundant, yet highly efficient food safe. Larkin, writer Luke Feast and photographer Pete McColl, have created a body of work that explores the food safe and its unique architectural position between the indoors and outdoors.

‘Letting Dwell’ is drawn from Martin Heidegger’s important text (for architecture) ‘Building Dwelling Thinking’. The work shifts scales, from models to full works, but also imaginatively, from the scale of furniture to that of architecture.

Riding on Air


I’ve never understood why so many buses are air-conditioned, especially in this rather temperate country of ours. The commuter buses it seems a no brainer – openable windows and customers dressed for outside conditions must be a winning formula. On long trips – there’s nothing quite as pleasant as sitting next to an open window – or nothing as worse than returning into an air-conditioned bus after a coffee break; that wicked (in a bad way) stench of fellow passengers ingrained in the nastily-patterned fabric of ergonomically-challenged seats.

It seems stranger then, in these post-fashionable days of global warming (credit-crunching being our current de rigueur), when we all know saving the planet is actually a good idea, that no one has singled out for ridicule air-conditioning on buses. I’m no mechanical engineer (and never has such a proclamation been more truely stated) – but doesn’t air-conditioning use energy? For cars opening windows increases fuel consumption on the open road but air-conditioning can also increase fuel consumption by up to 10%, and by 20% in city traffic.

But it doesn’t have to be a simple windows vs airconditioning argument. Passive ventilation systems are a way of getting fresh air and fuel economy – though I have to admit the gentle breeze through your hair is much of the open window appeal. Again perhaps the answer is in good design and IQ over energy wastage.

It really does beg the question then why so many of our stationary vehicles (buildings) invest so heavily on the old hermetically sealed environment.