Hand-Built DB’s 4 GT

Aston Martin’s iconic model the DB4 is over 50 years old, but a new version of it is now to be hand-built at its original site in Newport Pagnell, England.

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Aston Martin, Newport Pagnell, Bucks, England

Currently the site restores Aston Martin Cars, so this will be returning the hand-built craftsmanship that has been missing for many years, albeit only 25 new cars.

But does the fact that this is a pastiche mean there is less Craft involved? Probably not, and its charming to see that hand built cars can actually still be produced in this over-mechanised world.

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Graffiti clean-up?

A bit like cycle lanes views on graffiti generate contradictory arguments. Personally I appreciate graffiti, often find it challenging, and appreciate the medium as being immediate and local. It can often be thoughtful, and I like the opportunity it provides to give a glimpse of another perspective, views from the urban artist.

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Hipster wall art Shoreditch

Oftentimes I find the colourful displays an antidote to the cold bare urban concrete environment. Indeed the inspired good natured graffiti can transform what would otherwise be an uninspired dreary experience, such as walking through an underpass, into a less threatening, even pleasant journey. While I’d prefer not to have gang tags or offensive stuff scrawled on the walls, I don’t think there is any need to blatantly remove everything that is up there.

I’m not sure whether I realised that people tagged their own work. After reading  Christana’s blog, it seems they do. Somehow it seems curious why someone should tag their work. I thought they preferred anonymity and from the viewer it was part of the medium about recognising the work.

By its nature it is transitory. I reckon you should just enjoy it while it is there. I think the idea of re-siting graffiti into art galleries is irony at its best. Once it is gone, well then, you have a shared experience with all other local people and visitors who have seen it.

 

 

Building images

Murphy House, named after Richard Murphy, the architect and home-creater and owner, won the RIBA house of the year award this year.

Love it or loathe it, a least it’s a fascinating design, and looks like some sort of house. Other shortlisted ones included the ubiquitous endless glass panels of the Outhouse. Oh come on, give in with the sliding glass doors; and for goodness sake at least try and make it resemble a private dwelling rather than a trendy office block with lifestyle fixtures!

Meanwhile the CIOB are showcasing some fabulous photographs in their “Art of Building” competition. I know with Instagram and endless image banks there are already plenty of striking images, but trust me, these are striking images worth looking at. Plus unlike RIBA it’s a public vote so you can have an input into this year’s winner. But only if you’re quick, before 23rd January 2017. And if you’re not quick, you can look at next years!

My favourite? The art deco of “Control”, by Roman Robroek, from Hungary.

The competition attracts fabulous talent, so is a great opportunity for any budding photographers out there.

Earthquake proof table

The design museum have recently announced the overall winner for their designs of the year 2012, which turns out to be the Olympic torch. The annual event is always an interesting and stimulating opportunity to see what’s been included and what is happening. With seven categories there tends to be something for everyone – and of course it always raises a debate (why is that there!). The Olympic torch which you would think would be a no brainer has taken criticism, with daily telegraph readers voting it looked more like a cheese grater than a torch – but is that a bad thing?

There are lots of gems in there – I particularly liked the flying cycles bike parking, although I’m not sure if it goes around at the speed of the London eye or at a fast flowing windmill. It would be interesting to know. Is the bike hanger that practical – probably not – but it does make me smile. Something quite practical and a bit jaw dropping the first time you see it is the incredible Hovding invisible helmet. You simply have to watch the demo – not sure whether I was watching this to be impressed by the product or in endless fascination as a poor old cyclist keeps getting repeatedly mashed.

Wandering around exploring the nominations I was taken with the moses bridge in the architecture section as well as with the category winner the Olympic velodrome. I also liked the late night chameleon café or maybe I just liked the photography, its hard to tell. There is an earthquake proof table in there somewhere, although I’m not sure if it comes with terms & conditions – replace after use maybe? Fascinating stuff.