Transformative infrastructure goes both ways

Marseille

In my previous post I was talking about the experience of distance, and how, when understood as an experience, distance is no longer a fixed entity.

That post was triggered by some lines from Proust in which the narrator is talking about how his perception of local distances alters when he switches from rail transport to motorcar. Some further thoughts on this topic.

I recall how the distances between various destinations, and therefore the shape of the city itself, appeared to change when the London Overground, an orbital railway in the inner suburbs, opened. All of a sudden areas of the city that seemed far away felt much closer: South-East London, previously impossibly far, was now a nearby neighbourhood to where I lived in the North-East.

Such a step-change in the experience of city living demonstrates the transformative power of civil engineering infrastructure. Linking, drawing together, connecting – this is what engineers have been doing for centuries.

Continue reading “Transformative infrastructure goes both ways”

Things to do in Berlin: go to the Museum of Things

On the to do list for my next visit to Berlin (which may not be for some time…*), the Museum of Things. See this link from the museum’s website on current exhibits (and this from the Guardian). The museum has recently added the Frankfurt Kitchen, a 1920s prototype of the modern kitchens with which we are familiar today. Reading about the Frankfurt Kitchen reminded me of an exhibition that I went to see on Charlotte Perriand (Design Museum profile), who was designing in the 30s the sorts of furniture that you’d recongise in Ikea today. From furniture design and architecture to music, I am always surprised just how old ‘modern’ is.

*maybe in the meantime I should make the time to go to the Design Museum, London.