Thursday 22 April 2010

More food... more urban greening

There's a theme developing this afternoon, it's all about food. Have just come across a brilliant scheme outlined in Fast Company magazine, courtesy of my good friend Adam Lubinsky at URS Corporation. The project is a really exciting new rooftop farm in Brooklyn which opens imminently, is powered by photovoltaics, collects rainwater for irrigation and will see its produce delivered, by bicycle, to a number of outlets including Whole Foods. If stuff like this doesn't convince you that the world can be saved, nothing will. Totally fabulous.

Urban food AND bikes!!!

Find more photos like this on MetaboliCity

This is how to totally get me wound up and excited - urban food growing which explicitly references green infrastructure AND which has a load of bikes thrown in for good measure. Totally brilliant stuff from Metabolicity.

Monday 19 April 2010

Dwight Towers on academics

Okay, I'm married to an academic and she is the absolute fulcrum, focus and filigree of my life, but I had to pass on the wise, wise words of Manchester's very own Dwight Towers. In the latest DT blog post there is a rip-roaring sideswipe on academics, citizen participation in Manchester and on the journey you'll encounter Foucault's notion of 'governmentality'. All I can say is that it is a fine way to start the week and gives me an excuse to use a picture of Michel Foucault.

Sunday 4 April 2010

Hide and seek, at Brockholes

We recently finished a new brand for the exciting ‘Brockholes’ project, a Lancashire Wildlife Trust plan to create a new £8.6 million nature reserve and visitor centre on the site of a former gravel works just outside Preston. The project is being funded, to a large degree, by the Newlands programme which we’ve worked on for a number of years now for the Forestry Commission and NWDA.

We’re proud of our work on Brockholes - led by our senior designer Helen Thomas. It’s a pretty extensive brand work-up, stretching through to retail, interpretation, ‘play’ and the tone of voice of the people that will meet and greet when you visit the 106 hectare complex from Spring 2011.

We’ve liaised closely with the architect Adam Khan whose ‘Floating World’ design is genuinely inspirational and we’ve done loads of research, both on comparator brands and the brandscape, as well as focus groups with the target audiences for this ‘unreserved reserve’.

We’ve opted for a monochrome palette to reflect the Wildlife Trust brand and the word Brockholes is supported by a lexicon of spot words, which show some of the fun things you can do. The whole thing comes together as if visitors themselves had been involved in the creation of the site; as if they doodled Brockholes up out of the disused quarry next to the M6. This will be extended, we hope, to invitations to interact across the site, with black and white internal walls that come to represent giant blackboards – with fun headlines supplemented by chalk or charcoal so that adults and children alike can leave their mark.