What we've listened to;
The 2016 Reith Lectures with professor Stephen Hawkin, originally broadcast in January and February this year, cover black holes. These ominous collapsed stars have interested him throughout his life and it has been fascinating to hear his explanation of them. The idea that any two black holes are identical in their attributes despite the possible infinite number of differences between the bodies of matter that collapsed to create them is amazing.
What we've seen;
At Home in Britain: Designing the House of Tomorrow
This exhibition at the RIBA showcases ideas on the future of house design and focuses on solutions to the housing crisis.
Perhaps one of the most interesting responses is that of Jamie Forbert Architects who references the work of Walter Segal from the 1960s. A series of timber framed modular houses that can be constructed without the use of wet trades allowing them to be built by the owner without extensive construction experience. Designing systems like this could empower the individual to take the housing crisis in London into their own hands. A decentralised response to a desperate shortfall in house building.
The exhibition runs from 18 May to 29 August. More details here.
What we've watched:
Preview to the game Death Stranding by Kojima. This video doesnt give much away about the game and instead leaves you rather confused with its incredibly weird but beautifully put together opening scene. A naked man on a beach finds a baby. The baby turns to oil in his hands and he looks up to find the beach covered in dead sea life. In the sky above him float a line of human figures... weird but captivating.
Where we've been;
Research study trip to Gdansk in Poland.
During the Middle Ages Gdansk was an important seaport and ship building town. Many of the beautiful buildings and streets were destroyed in World War II which left 90% of the city in ruins. (Hitler used the pretext of the history of city as a former part of Germany as his basis for invading Poland). Much of the historic centre did survive however including the oldest harbour crane in the world dating from 1367.
One of the most impressive reminants of the war in Gdansk is 4 storey concrete bunker built above ground. The concrete cube has no windows and is now used as a nightclub The Bunkier. Inside every surface is concrete, exposed re-bar or the original electrical panels. The rawness of the place, particularly from the outside is refreshing. Its foreboding solid form sits in complete contrast with the decorative streets and churches of the rest of the historic centre.
More images can be found here.