This week was our last in London so we had a lot of ‘loose ends’ to tie up. It’s also meant we can’t throw ourselves into projects just yet because we’re constantly on the move. It has, however, let us take time to enjoy some of what London has to offer.
Monday 8th February
I (SE) was in Swindon packing boxes and doing some general sorting of stuff. This was a tedious job but one that needed doing and I’m glad is now done. I managed to squeeze in some reading. My current book is ‘Happy City’ by Charles Montgomery. ES has already read it and I’ve been looking forward to reading myself. I’m not far into it but I can tell I’ll enjoy and get frustrated by it in equal measure. Urban planning has to be one of the most infuriating subjects to learn about. Why are we so reluctant to put into action what we know about our cities? I’m sure this isn’t the last you’ll hear about the subject. In the evening I played around with some paint, looking at different human and tree forms.
Tuesday 9th February
Tuesday morning saw a little more box moving before getting the coach back to London. In the evening we went to the RIBA to see the ‘Creation from Catastrophe’ exhibition. We’ve always been impressed by the RIBA’s exhibitions and taken inspiration from what’s on show. The Mackintosh exhibition last year had us obsessing over art nouveau detailing and drawings for weeks. The current offering focuses on ‘how architecture rebuilds communities’ and contains work from 1666 when London had to rebuild after the great fire to the today with architects such as Shigeru Ban and Alejandro Aravena. We’ll have a more in depth piece on the exhibition coming soon.
Wednesday 10th February
A slow day to say the least. The most productive activity was to set up and EStudio ESSE pinterest account wich you can find here: Estudio ESSE
We both use pinterest a lot for gathering ideas, precedents and inspirational material but we thought we should create a specific ESSE account and keep it more organised and structured than our own. We’re actually really pleased with how it’s turning out. We’ve got our own work on there as well as architecture we think can inform us and examples of drawings and models.
Thursday 11th February
There was a ‘Surface Design Trade Show’ at London’s Building Design Centre so we went along for a browse as well as to meet with someone from Design Exchange Magazine Design Exchange Magazine about the possibility of writing some articles for them. The show was generally of little architectural interest with most products on show being quite kitsch and uninspiring. It did make us realise that there is definitely a gap in the market and we have some ideas we’d like to explore relating to building surface design.
Friday 12th February
We had a day of visiting a number of places and exhibitions including Kesington Roof Gardens, The Architectural Association, The Building Centre, and The Royal Academy. All information can be found here: A Friday of Londoning
Saturday 13th February
On our final full day in London we went to Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery in Lambeth. It is a great building with a great exhibition and we wrote about it here: Newport Street Gallery
After the Newport Street Galley we walked along to the South Bank and went for a final coffee and cake in the National Theatre. We stayed there for a few hours and got on with doing various pieces of writing and making notes about ideas to pursue from the things which had inspired us through the week. From there we continued our walk along the South Bank to Tate Modern. By this point we were well into the evening meaning the galleries were a lot quieter than usual. We took our time walking around, watching all the videos we usually feel too hurried to watch, and having lengthy discussions about various pieces of work. We spent most of our time in the ‘Citizens and States’ exhibition as it’s the one we’re least familiar with. We stayed until 10pm when we were kicked out into the chilly drizzle to make our way home.
Sunday 14th February
Very little in the way of interest to report. We finally moved the last of our remaining items from London and we now find ourselves in Swindon with less than a week until we take off to Romania.
We’re based in Swindon for our remaining days in the UK but we’re not going to let that hold us back. We have our eye on a number of competitions so we might start work on one of those. It would be good to produce a post or two about Swindon while we’re here. In some ways it’s quite an interesting place and often quite misunderstood, but it’s often not. We’d also like to draw and read a lot more than we have been. We have an article about the Serpentine Pavilions and BIG on its way so that can be expected early next week. Other than that we’ll just see how it goes and do our best to make the most of our remaining time in England.