urbanus vulgaris

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Category: urban culture

Monocle 24 radio – The Urbanist show

by gailiute

107-5156dd9c4461e

 

This is great stuff: radio station with the show about the cities for everybody who love cities, want to live in cities, move out of cities or just want to listen to smth that even might be interesting ;)

http://monocle.com/radio/shows/the-urbanist/

Highly recommend to listen!

P.s. they have more interesting shows, check them out

 

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A history of cities in 50 buildings

by gailiute

The Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex in St Louis, shortly after its completion in 1956. Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis

The Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex in St Louis, shortly after its completion in 1956. Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis

Few days ago I stumbled across very interesting series of articles. They explore our urban history through 50 buildings. Though didn’t read all of them yet, few already caught my attention quite successfully, like story about Pruitt-Igoe highrise or Aleppo citadel. So far so good.

Strongly recommend to read!

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/series/history-cities-50-buildings

We really need some big institutional housing programs again. ;)

by jiookrednav

 

 

 

 

And as a dessert a Japanese Gem from the 80’ies:

Today is a great day to publish an insight on creativity.

by jiookrednav

150104_John Cleese on creativity

Well I started to get interested in creativity about thirty years ago, because I went to a conference at Cambridge and I started reading the research and I started comparing it with my own experience and I got very, very interested in it and I also got interested in the fact, that basically once you’ve established one or two principles, that’s all you can say about it, because to sum up something I sometimes take three hours to say:

All creativity comes from the unconscious. If creativity came from logic and intelligence, then all the logical and intelligent people could do it. But they can’t. It all boils down to getting to a playful and relaxed frame of mind. Most of it has to do with relaxation, because unless you’re relaxed you can’t hear the promptings from the unconscious.

Nobody ever had a bright idea when they were attacking a machine-gun-nest. You see what I mean? If you’re occupied with activity -and that is one of the reasons why there’s so little creativity at the moment, because nobody gets any peace any more, because these damn things are ringing all the time, and beep there and you know. You sit down, another e-mail comes in. It’s absolutely poison, because interruptions and anxiety will kill any kind of creativity.

You have to get in an atmosphere where you’re a little bit in a cocoon of you’re own, you close the door or you go sit in the park and you just stay quiet and for 20 minutes nothing happens, because you can only think of the things you ought to be doing: You know, people you forgot to telephone…, so you have to have a little notebook and you write those down and after 20 minutes, the mind starts to calm down, just as it does in meditation, it’s almost an identical process. And then if you start thinking about the subject, not too hard, you don’t want to get tense, play with the thought, and you get little ideas start popping up, but if you’re mind is full of, zoom, zoom beep, beep, you’ll never hear those little ideas, it’ll be drowned out you see what I mean?

This remarkable insight was explained by John Cleese in this interview, starting at about 52 minutes: http://www.npo.nl/college-tour-special-john-cleese/25-12-2014/VPWON_1234760

And here’s some more from Cleese on this blog:

As well as identifying that ideas and breakthroughs percolate in the deep recesses of our brain, Cleese talked about some of the key, practical traits of truly creative people. In doing so he told a story of Brian Bates, a psychology professor at Sussex University. Intrigued by how the creative mind works, Bates chose to study the work practices of architects, because the profession required the combination of two brains in the creation of beautifully groundbreaking yet structurally sound buildings.

“He did a very simple test. He asked various architects to name who, in their opinion, were the most creative architects in the field. He then asked those creative architects to tell him what they do from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed. He then went to the uncreative architects—without perhaps explaining that’s why he was talking to them—and asked them the same thing. Then he compared the two. He discovered two differences, and neither was to do with intelligence.”

“The first thing he discovered is that the creative architects knew how to play. They could get immersed in a problem. It was almost childlike, like when a child gets utterly absorbed in a problem. The second thing was that they deferred making decisions as long as they could. This is surprising.”

“If you have a decision to make, what is the single most important question to ask yourself? I believe it’s ‘when does this decision have to be made’? When most of us have a problem that’s a little bit unresolved, we’re a little bit uncomfortable. We want to resolve it. The creative architects had this tolerance for this discomfort we all feel when we leave things unresolved.”

“Why would those two things be importance? The playfulness is because in that moment of childlike play, you’re much more in touch with your unconscious. The second is that when you defer decisions as long as possible, it’s giving your unconscious the maximum amount of time to come up with something.”

Summing it up, he narrows it down to 5 Lessons in this lecture (transcript here). “Creativity is not a talent, it’s a way of operating”:

150104_John Cleese on creativity 02

  1. Space (“You can’t become playful, and therefore creative, if you’re under your usual pressures.”)
  2. Time (“It’s not enough to create space; you have to create your space for a specific period of time.”)
  3. Time (“Giving your mind as long as possible to come up with something original,” and learning to tolerate the discomfort of pondering time and indecision.)
  4. Confidence (“Nothing will stop you being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake.”)
  5. Humor (“The main evolutionary significance of humor is that it gets us from the closed mode to the open mode quicker than anything else.”)

 

Die Zeit: New life on the Stalin Allee in Berlin

by jiookrednav

henselmann

“Berlin, this post-war rubble. Today it is mangy and sexy, cheap and showy, brash and noble. A city of contrasts, which is converting towards the most exciting city in Europe. The signs are everywhere. And especially in one particular street. A street whose history reflects the post-war history of Berlin.

The Karl -Marx -Allee begins near the TV tower at Alexanderplatz, extends nearly three kilometres to Friedrichshain and is wider than the Champs- Élysées with 90 meters. “The last great European boulevard built”, said the Italian architect Aldo Rossi about it.

Built as the Stalin Avenue in the early fifties in “Soviet-pastry-house style”, Germany’s first socialist main road should impress the rest of the world. The workers of the GDR should be awed and delighted. A few months later these workers lit the popular uprising of the 17th June 1953 on the Parkway . The Red Army had to help quell the launching revolution.

More than two decades after the street was renamed Karl -Marx -Allee, East Berliners again demonstrated on their boulevard, now for the fall of the wall. Then: the German unification, euphoria, disappointment, unemployment, the rediscovery and Gentrification of the avenue.

There are still people living here, who have experienced it all. And many newcomers. We have visited them. For the portrait of a road.”

Beautiful website by the influential German newspaper “Die Zeit” presenting the Karl-Marx-Allee in Berlin:

http://www.zeit.de/kultur/karl-marx-allee/index.html#prolog

Tip: Google Chrome offers automatic translation!

Becoming local

by gailiute

Rasa Anaityte shared a nice reminder-documentary film about how our societal habits became so mass production/ artificial and unhealthy, that buying and eating local food is such fascinating thing to do, instead of being obvious (thank God we still have grandmas and grandpas in the villages and  cherry and apple trees in summer gardens in Lithuania :P :)

Description:

Do you know where your food comes from?

In the past ten years, the organic food industry has become big business and consumers have been left wondering exactly what the word “Organic” means and how they can really know what they’re eating.

With the rise of farmer’s markets and more and more chefs sourcing their ingredients from local farms, consumers are now able to meet and talk to the people who are growing their food.

LOCAL discusses the rise of the local food movement, the challenges of sourcing locally and how it’s become a growing part of the Austin, Texas food scene.

This documentary is the November film in my 12 Films Project, where I make one short film every month in 2011. To see the other films or to learn more about the project, visit the website at:

12filmsproject.com

Vertical horizons of Hong Kong by romain jacquet-lagreze

by gailiute

verticalLandscapes01

“‘vertical horizon’, by french graphic artist romain jacquet-lagreze is a photographic journey between the buildings of the relentlessly
growing metropolis of hong-kong. the image series takes a deep dive into the city’s thick atmospheres, showcasing a visual record of
its wildly diverse built environment. presented in a hard-cover book, the collection of unique compositions contemplate the raw
nature of chinese culture and the expression of its sheer vivacity.” – Designboom.com

verticalLandscapes08

Taken from: http://www.designboom.com/art/vertical-horizons-by-romain-jacquet-lagreze/

Jeremy Rifkin: A New Era of Capitalism

by vytasvulgaris

Jeremy Rifkin about the current global development trends and “the third  industrial revolution”. About the emerging new political order, about the new generations of social entrepreneurs, about survival of human race etc.

Some more of Rifkin’s quite fascinating anthropological concept – Empathic Civilization (RSA Animate)

Social Life of Small Urban Places – William H. Whyte

by gailiute

Fellow student from TuD, Ignas, recently showed entertaining movie from late 80s about open spaces and plazas. I had great time watching it, hope you will enjoy as well. It reveals obvious, yet sometimes forgettable principles about truly good spaces.

“This witty and original film is about the open spaces of cities and why some of them work for people while others don’t. Beginning at New York’s Seagram Plaza, one of the most used open areas in the city, the film proceeds to analyze why this space is so popular and how other urban oases, both in New York and elsewhere, measure up. Based on direct observation of what people actually do, the film presents a remarkably engaging and informative tour of the urban landscape and looks at how it can be made more hospitable to those who live in it.” – 

Bonnington Square

by vytasvulgaris

 

A docummentary film directed by Alistair Oldham

“Bonnington Square is right in the heart of London, just two minutes walk from the river and just ten minutes from the Houses of Parliament. In the early eighties the one hundred houses of the Square were all squatted, forming a bohemian community from all around the world.The squat had two community gardens, a cafe, a wholefood shop, a nightclub, a newsletter and even a milkbar. Although it is no longer squatted, there are still many low rent housing cooperatives, and the cafe and the gardens are still collectively run, and the Square is now a model of a modern sustainable urban community” (http://vimeo.com/36595608).

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