Tales of how we live

Presumably these films were made to showcase ‘Denmark’ at the 2010 World Expo in China. I’m not sure to what extent a film can ever represent a country let alone its people, but to me they are awe-inspiring pieces of art, bringing back a sense of belonging in all their aesthetic naivety.

My favourite is ‘Water city’. It is essential that you watch them in full screen mode.

EXPO Water city from martin de thurah on Vimeo.

EXPO bicycle city from martin de thurah on Vimeo.

EXPO family city from martin de thurah on Vimeo.

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Urban planning in its most captivating form

Loop City by BIG from ArchDaily on Vimeo.

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The irresistible brand

I can’t quite figure out what it is exactly, but there is something about Rapha that draws me in as if I’d never heard of the concepts of ‘marketing’ and ‘consumerism’ before:

A passion for road riding means Rapha is more than just a product company. In addition to its online emporium of performance roadwear, accessories and publications, Rapha also boasts an ever-expanding archive of news, features and events, all celebrating the glory and suffering of road riding.

Take a look at the website and see for yourself how beautiful it is, from the colours on the screen through to the products and services. Also, the short films are in a league of their own.

And then take a look at the price tags…

The future of high-end brands in this bracket no doubt belongs to small, highly specialised outfits that are what they sell. Perfection as such doesn’t exist, but like the Higgs boson it may be created temporarily if you know what you’re doing.

Posted in Design, Sportish 1 Comment »

Information is beautiful

Many of us were highly impressed with Hans Rosling’s ‘the best stats you have ever seen‘ talk at TED 2006. If you have yet to see this presentation, please do so without further ado.

There is one book I particularly look forward to buying this year, ‘Information is Beatiful‘ by David McCandless. He masters the art of converting complex data into strikingly simple images:

I spent a year creating over 200 new images that use information design to explore a whole range of subjects visually, from pop to philosophy, all with the mininum of words, natch.

Read the BBC’s background article, Information goes out to play, or check out this powerful image, which shows to perfection exactly how strong the scientific consensus is on anthropogenic climate change: (more…)

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Instead of just calling it ‘sh#t’

Nancy Spector, chief curator of the NYC Guggenheim Museum, on the appeal of Tracey Emin and her lack of recognition outside the UK:

“I think of Tracey’s work as having a lot in common with the sort of reality television that came out of Great Britain.”

(Quite big in Britain, not quite in the U.S. in the NYT).

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Hammersmith Bridge

Withstanding bombs from the IRA, the Provisional IRA and the Real IRA, Hammersmith Bridge has had its fair share of action (and must be sick and tired of religious action men). It is a beautiful piece of architecture from an era where form and functionality were inseparable entities.

I pass it at least once a day when I go running, but tonight I decided to go there with my camera. Click on the picture for more shots.

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Baby DPhil arrives

The delivery

After four years and three months in labour, I am happy to announce the arrival of D. Phil Thesis at 3.45pm on Friday 16th of January. Green in colour, he weighed some three pounds at birth and covers a staggering 350 pages. As it happens, he was passed on to his temporary parents right away, with whom I shall meet and discuss his future in March. The birth itself was relatively uncomplicated, but it took me a good 16 hours of sleep to get up and running again.

Drinks. Tonight (9pm). The Gardener’s Arms. All Welcome.

Check out the magnificent cover work by Rune ‘Get a Friggin’ Website‘ Brink from the Bottega.

Posted in Academic, Design, Picture posts 6 Comments »

A view from the library


The Business School is built in such a way that, inevitably, it seems to attract its fair share of performers to the open space in front of it, whether BMX riders, jugglers or animal protesters.

Working in the library today, I have enjoyed watching a budding breakdancer and his accomplice, the camera man.

A really good work space, it certainly does ‘draw people in‘ at so many levels.

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Designing for Services

Prior to putting it on the server, I would appreciate your feedback on this site; does it act up in your browser? does the navigation work? are all the pictures there?

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How Strategic Have You Been This Week?


This month I am helping Lucy Kimbell document her project, How Strategic Have You Been This Week?

The installation, which is really a social experiment, offers passers-by the chance to answer this question by choosing and wearing one or several badges that are freely available in four five plastic tubes. In turn, as people make their choices, the tubes transform into physical bar charts reflecting the popularity of each option.

My task is to take a picture every day to keep track of the selections made. You can follow the development here.

The installation is part of a bigger exhibition leading to the conference, Imagining Business: Reflecting on the Visual Power of Management, Organising and Governing Practices. Check out the announcement here.

If you happen to be in Oxford, do drop by the Business School and, of course, help yourself to badges. The exhibition is on till June 29th.

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