Wednesday, 28 March 2012


One of the things I enjoy most doing is exploring. The day I went to the Richard Long exhibition at Tate Britain back in the summer of 2009 it opened my eyes the way he creates art out of his walks in the wilderness. It showed me a way of relating my walks and cycle rides with my architecture illustration work. It is during one of these long random walks or the day I cycle to somewhere new or divert form my usual routes that I might see something that would give me an idea for my next illustration. I some times do a few sketches but I normally end up taking more photos of inanimate things than is healthy. I might later use them in a digital collage.
This image is from the day I went out to discover the area around Battersea Park. Starting and ending in Victoria station my only destination was the park so I walked following my intuition only. Once back at home I mapped the route on Google Earth and got this abstract shape. I find it very interesting as it can say a lot about one’s personality and interests in a way.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The Magic Indian Scene

Recently my friends of The Destroyed Room contacted me for a quick turnaround job to design a screenprint poster to go with their first LP album The Magic Indian Scene. One of the songs is about some lost boys dressed up like Indians riding around the city on their bikes without anybody seeing them. That’s how they came up with the idea for a coloured Indian feather and in the end it turn out to be blood stained. The lettering is painted using a stick with thick black paint, as I imagined it on a rock by a warrior going to war. It actually was paper, but it would have been substantially cooler the other way. The feather is drawn with a dip pen and yes, Indian ink.
This Friday The Destroyed Room are performing in La[2] de Apolo in Barcelona at 12.30am.

Hace poco mis amigos de The Destroyed Room me llamaron para diseñar una serigrafía para su primer LP The Magic Indian Scene. Una de las canciones habla de unos niños perdidos vestidos de indio que recorren la ciudad en bicicleta sin que nadie los vea. Así es como surgió la idea de una pluma de indio coloreada. Al final resultó estar manchada de sangre. La tipo está pintada con un palo y pintura negra espesa sobre una roca, tal y como yo lo imaginé por un guerrero antes de una batalla. En realidad era un papel, pero lo de la roca hubiera molado más. La pluma está hecha a plumilla con tinta china.
Este viernes The Destroyed Room tocan en La[2] de Apolo en Barcelona a las 00.30h.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Golden Lane Estate

Hardly noticed when compared to the neighbouring Barbican Estate, it’s hard to imagine the importance of the Golden Lane Estate (1957) as one of the first social housing schemes that in a matter of years would change the shape of the English landscape for good.
Designed by architects’ firm Chamberlin, Powell and Bon to house residents of the Cripplegate area after devastation of the City of London in The Blitz during World War II, once finished it became a symbol of Post War recovery and a referent for council housing across England. The fact that King Arthur House – in the image – was for a brief period the tallest tower block in England shows the ambition of the project.
However it would soon be surpassed by the massive scale of the Barbican Estate, built by the same architects immediately afterwards in a regeneration process that took almost 20 years to complete. It’s fascinating we can still look at Golden Lane Estate, as a surviving urban microcosm utopia at a time of architectural disenchantment.
See King Arthur House here.
Golden Lane Estate is postcard five of six designed for Bauhaus: Art as Life competition at the Barbican Centre.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

The Isokon

In 1934 the Isokon is what came out from Canadian architect Wells Coates when he set out to design Modernist houses and flats with his Constructivist-friendly company Isometric Unit Construction (ISOKON). Once more the building is not related directly to Bauhaus. However, there are a few Bauhaus artists that lived in the Isokon at some point when working in Coates company, Walter Gropius being the most representative.
The story of this building is one of epic rise and fall. Originally designed as an experiment in communal living (with some flats sharing facilities), it was the finest example of Modernist architecture in the UK. It still is, but at some point after being a major cultural hub with some artists of the likes of Agatha Christie and Henry Moore hanging around, it was abandoned and forgotten for several years. Finally an architects firm refurbished it in 2003 and brought the building back to its old glory.
The building is tucked away in nice Hampstead, North London, in stark contrast with the surrounding Victorian houses. It’s a Modernist building in England so it makes perfect sense it's wearing a bowler hat, winkle pickers and has a nice redhead hair.
Find out more about the building here.
Isokon is postcard four of the six designed for Bauhaus: Art as Life competition at the Barbican.