A random commentary on all aspects of creativity including architecture, art, graphics, photography, film, book design, industrial design, engineering and consumer goods – in other words most things that we see or use in our daily lives, and have used in the past.
I’m an architect and designer, thoroughly opinionated like most in my profession, and enthusiastic about anything I find beautiful or interesting like old Leicas or vintage boats, all kinds of motorcycles, contemporary bookbinding, and anything from Alessi! I enjoy a lot of current architecture and I love old oak-framed buildings. But there are far too many mediocre buildings and products, designed without any thought or care, which only add to the ugliness of our surroundings.
Design isn’t just about the narrow range of contemporary architecture, interiors, and products that you find in most journals. So I thought I would write occasionally about all sorts of things that I like or dislike that you might not find anywhere else including Whistler’s haircut, the first portable typewriter, the beauties of nickel plate, and the horrors of close-board fencing!
You will find a recent bias towards one of the greatest films ever made, Dziga Vertov’s ‘Man with a Movie Camera’, an experimental masterpiece released in 1929 just before the Soviet Union descended into the stultifying period of Socialist Realism. Studied and written about for decades there are still aspects of this extraordinary film that remain undiscovered for enthusiasts like me to explore.
The header image shows part of the viewing side of a 1952 Leica 1f red dial, with a SBOOI 5cm viewfinder and FOKOS rangefinder clipped into the accessory shoes. Marketed as a cheaper alternative to Leica’s rangefinder cameras, and often used in laboratories for microscopy where a viewfinder wasn’t required.