I want to be a ski-lift engineer when I grow up

That’s what my 8-year-old daughter said to me yesterday. Truth be told, I’d been talking earlier in the week about ski-lift engineering as a job that combines so many of her passions: rocks and minerals: climbing; being outdoors; skiing (following a single trip to a dry ski slope); making Lego zip lines; drawing. No wonder she likes the idea. So do I. In fact, wonder if it is too late to apply?

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Weekend engineering works – near Weston-Super-Mare

Today engineers completed work on a major new irrigation channel to bring drinking water to a major new coastal development on Sand Bay, near Weston-Super-Mare. The 60-metre-long new canal brings water that rises from the coarse sand at the back of the beach across the inter-tidal zone to the new fortified town, which looks north-westwards across the Bristol Channel towards Cardiff.

In a bold vision, the water supply has two functions: potable water supply for the imaginary people living in the turret in the middle of the island; and also to ensure the defensive moat is always full. Anglo-French design and build contractors Eiffelover and Co. have a long track record in delivering civil and environmental projects in coastal settings.

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The left-right game – experiments in navigation, embodiment and control

Yesterday my daughter and I left the house and flipped a coin. Heads for left, tails for right. Right it was, then left, then left again, et cetera. A random journey along the roads, cyclepaths and alleyways of our neighbourhood ensued. It became a fun home-schooling lesson in probability. It revealed to me the habits that stop me from noticing so much of what surrounds me. And it was a fascinating experiment in not having a plan.

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The horizon of existence | surveillance capitalism | the return of analogue skills

It’s hard to know where to start. So much has changed in the last fortnight and there is so much that I feel compelled to write about. But now that our house has also become a remote workplace, a homeschool and playground and locus for all entertainment and time-passing activities, it is hard to find the time to write in an ordered way, so I will capture things as they emerge and look to see the patterns over time. I hope you will bear with me, reader. On my mind today:

  • The shrinking horizon of existance
  • Surveillance capitalism and Analogue Skills
  • Everyone is the same distance away
  • Mourning friction
  • A great slowing

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#17 Tabitha Pope – Participatory Architecture – Show notes

Tabitha Pope is an architect and lecturer, with a specialism temporary structures and participatory architecture and a passion for work that sits at the boundary of art and architecture. In this episode, produced in support of International Women’s Day, my colleague Lucy Barber interview Tabitha about:

  • What is participatory design and what benefits does it offer us in the climate emergency.
  • Challenging power in order to make architecture a more inclusive space for all under-represented groups, not just women.
  • How her practice of carpentry allows her to intervene in the design process in a different way.
  • Establishing a nature connection to help designers and citizens alike tackle the biodiversity crisis.
  • Stepping into a space of vulnerability in design in order to do things differently.
  • Creating spaces for joy and encounter to tackle loneliness and build resilience in communities.

Listen on Apple Podcasts , Sticher or by download here.

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Why do they say ‘sixty-ten’ in French?

This question came up on the way home this evening. On the back of the tandem, my daughter was experimenting with counting in French. Things were going fine until we got to sixty-nine. And then I explained that French for seventy is soixante-dix, literally, ‘sixty ten’. Without turning round, I could feel the look of bewilderment on her face.

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