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Art – design – form – function #FrankLloydWright

Category: Architecture July 10th, 2012 by mbc

I was rather taken with this Frank Lloyd Wright observation that succinctly encapsulates the relationship between art and functional objects.

Art is a discovery and development of elementary principles of nature into beautiful forms suitable for human use.

With reference to contemporary architecture, I think that the ‘beautiful forms’ part is too often overlooked in all but the most high-end projects.

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Love what you do…

Category: Favourite Things June 20th, 2012 by mbc

I can’t claim to be very familiar with the work of Ray Bradbury (whose career for me boils down to Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes), who died recently and is eminently quotable. This quotation, with its innocence and clarity really appeals to me, the kind of words we should all strive to be able to live by…

Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life.

Ray Bradbury from www.brainpickings.org

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Lloyd Khan, making shelter simple.

Category: News May 18th, 2012 by mbc

I wanted to share an article I recently found on Boing Boing. It’s an interview with Lloyd Khan, one of the fathers of geodesic domes. From his early life, through his career to his recent work with small homes the article makes an interesting read.

Lloyd is an admirable figure, seemingly very much his own man and is someone with whom I share a deal of empathy:

I like builders and I like farmers, because they have to deal with the real world.

His current work is in the development of self-build, small homes, a pragmatic and empowering solution to some of the world’s many current housing crises.

But you can start out small. And it’s an incredibly powerful movement right now. I like the idea of starting out with your core, which is your kitchen and bathroom, and your wood heat if that’s what you’re going to do, and your solar heated water, all in this core. Then you’ve got a place to sleep and cook and eat. And then you start adding on

You may also be interested in the further information & video about Lloyd Khan contained in this previous post.

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Sir Patrick Abercrombie – “It is a matter for serious thought…”

Category: News April 1st, 2012 by mbc

While reading up on the response of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) I came across this quotation that is particularly pertinent to the current state of the economy, planning climate and the challenges faced by rural communities:

“It is a matter for serious thought that at periods of financial stress it is always beauty that is sacrificed upon the altar of expediency.”

Sir Patrick Abercrombie, co-founder of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England.

Sir Patrick Abercrombie seems a fascinating character, however there isn’t much information about him available on-line, I’d love to find some more sources of information, quotations etc…

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Good design is as little design as possible

Category: Barn Conversion Journal January 3rd, 2012 by mbc

I’ve been a fan of the designer Dieter Rams and specifically his Vitsoe shelving for some time.

I hadn’t realised that the Vitsoe shelving is made in Britain (or Made by Britain as the current government campaign has it). Due to the name and the simple design approach I’d assumed a Scandanavian heritage, so there are few excuses (except for the cost) not to buy Vitsoe shelving.

On the Vitsoe website is a list of ‘ten principles of good design’, that are as good a list of design principles as I’ve found. Of the ten principles, this one struck a cord with me:

Good design is as little design as possible
Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials.
Back to purity, back to simplicity

Applying a razor to design & seeking simplicity is certainly something that I feel I should apply to my own attempts at design.

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Progress

Autumn 2013

Right that’s the summer over with, now I can get on with some real work without the distractions of other things (like holidays and playing with children, all that enjoyable stuff that gets in the way of progress)… With few major jobs (painting, boxing in – nasty stuff!) left inside, mainly fiddly things that need […]

I’m having a moan on twitter… https://twitter.com/barnconversion/status/368427314868396032

A lovely Flemish barn conversion

I love the interior of this conversion and the great use of horizontal slats on this conversion. I retains the essential ‘barnyness’ of the building… flemish-barn-by-arend-groenewegen-architect

Coming soon, my barn conversion guide… Interesting earthship greenhouse project on Kickstarter

I really like this Kickstarter project >> The Farm of the Future: Earthship-Inspired Greenhouse This project is “Prototyping the First 100% Off-The-Grid, Affordable, Low-Maintenance Greenhouse using Earthship Principles and Aquaponics“. If any of those words meaning anything to you you’ll be interested in the project if not, pass it by… It’s already funded so I […]

Barns

Barns Gallery on Remodelista

There is a lovely gallery of barn related inspirational photographs available on Remodelista.

Barns – the Long House

Situated on the North Norfolk coast, this is a building to admire…

Barns – the Balancing Barn

A stunning piece of architecture, although not entirely to my taste…

New fast-track planning permission for the development of barns proposed

The Daily Mail reports on a new fast-track route through planning controls for the conversion of barns…

De-assembled, re-assembled, re-cycled barns

“A bit like a private sector, modernising, repurposing St Fagan’s…”

Design

What is a shadow gap?

A shadow gap – a mysterious dark place between two plains…

Your barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

Thoughts on making YOUR barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

Building Regulations, Approved Documents Part D – Toxic substances

An overview of Building Regulations, Approved Documents Part D – Toxic substances

Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part C Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture

An overview of Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part C Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture

Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part B Fire safety

An overview of Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part B Fire safety

Architecture

Your barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

Thoughts on making YOUR barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

The Stirling prize 2012 winner – the Sainsbury Laboratory

The 2012 Stirling prize was won by a outsider, the Sainsbury Laboratory…

The Stirling prize 2012

I think that this years Stirling prize has some exciting projects on the shortlist…

Our engineers … our architects – Le Corbusier

The efficient, shiny world of construction in 1923…

Design in Storage

When designing a layout it’s easy to forget to plan for storage…

News

Green Deal slow beginnings?

Oh dear! The green deal hasn’t got off to a very auspicious start… As reported in the Telegraph today since it was launched nearly a year ago just 12 homes have taken advantage of the Green Deal with a few hundred more in the pipeline. 71,210 households had been assessed for Green Deal measures such […]

The property roller coaster – planning reform to be rethought

Eric Pickles vague compromise on planning reform keeps the house happy (for now).

Energy policy, smoke screens, fracking, confusion and big bucks

There seems to be only one thing that is certain in the world of energy policy and that is that costs will rise annually above and beyond anything that inflation can currently throw at us. Beyond that, smoke screens & confusion seem to reign. Take the recent news for example… It’s reported today that the […]

Flanking manoeuvres and good design…

It seems that the government are undertaking flanking manoeuvres on the green belt…

Green Deal Launch

The Green deal launched in the UK on Monday of this week. Fanfares? fireworks? a deluge of marketing? … read more …

Plaid Cymru’s Green New Deal promise

The leader of Plaid Cymru has promised a “Green New Deal” to rejuvenate the Welsh economy and help maintain Wales’ position at the forefront of Green policies.

Permitted development extension limits to be doubled

The government is due to announce a temporary increase in the maximum depth of extensions that can be built under permitted development rules.

Lloyd Khan, making shelter simple.

I wanted to share an interview with Lloyd Khan that I recently found…

Just what is ‘sustainable development’?

Sustainable development – with the term now enshrined in planning law, what does it mean?

Sir Patrick Abercrombie – “It is a matter for serious thought…”

While reading up on the response of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) I came across this quote from Sir Patrick Abercrombie…