In the Lighthouse in Glasgow sitting in on Architecture & Design Scotland’s review of planning guidance for Port Dundas, by others.
I spent the next day with HTA looking at what the future might hold, from a marketing perspective. It’s eight years since the last recession started and, crudely, it’s an eight year cycle, so I worry about what might be next.
This is Ben Derbyshire, there’s a sketch of him in the last post. Here he is in oils. Ben has kindly donated to my fundraising for children’s charity Coram. I’m raising money for them as part of cycling from London to Cannes in March, on my way to the MIPIM property conference.
I’ve also painted Dave Bullock, MD of Compendium. Dave has also generously sponsored me.
If you’d like to sponsor me the fundraising page is here.
Many thanks to Ben and Dave and for all other contributions.
We spend a lot of time in each others’ company so it’s nice to draw them from time to time, just to see them in a different way.
The last event of the break, my dad’s 88th birthday.
New years day, a brass band in the livingroom.
Angus visited from France.
Catching up with old school pals in Dunfermline. The same as we were, a little more tired but a little better at communication.
Innes hid behind the sofa for the Queen’s speech.
Fun box was fun.
The only person on a plane to London City the week before Christmas.
Actually these are the things I did in between riding the bike and painting portraits, in preparation for cycling from London to Cannes in March. I’ll show you the portraits next time.
Over the last year, we’ve had Mike Hopkins coming in to train our management team in a few useful techniques. We’re a business run by designers so it’s good to hear how the professionals do it. Contrary to popular perception (big egos/ sensitive souls) designers don’t really need to be treated all that carefully but they are good at questioning the conventional route. Mike has a straightforward style, telling our creative team what he thinks, and this is going down well.
Getting a great guided tour around the first bespoke build-to-rent building in the UK, for be:here.
Fraser and Isla have expertise too. Here they are showing two year old Ellan some advanced present unwrapping skills.
A man in a stripy jersey watching his kid at swimming lessons.
Julie watching the tennis and working out how we’ll get the boiler fixed. We moved into a house in the winter and the boiler burst. It now appears this happens to pretty much everyone.
Maybe the 25% of the population who’d consider buying a new house have got it right?
Fraser is learning to play tennis. I drew Isla watching him, then she drew him, and titled it.
At an office CPD, on lighting. Not a bad one. You learn more, obviously, from seeing the things skilled designers (and their visionary clients) have actually built than you do from watching Powerpoint.
Edinburgh has an extensive stock of ageing bungalows with big back gardens and they’re gradually being bought up by young families. A roster of talented local architects can transform them by taking a bit of back garden and building the kind of bright and open living space people are after these days. Few are as lofty and light as friends Asa & Daniel’s one, by David Blaikie.
Innes (and me), learning to be gardeners.
The Land Art Generator Initiative combines art, urban design and sustainable energy. We are working on a site in Glasgow that is the subject of a current LAGI competition so I went along to see if I could answer any of the queries for the competing teams and their advisors.
I look forward to seeing the ideas for Glasgow in January. Previous submissions are here.
Thursday: an enjoyable evening looking at the sketches entered in the Denis Mason-Jones sketching competition, in Leeds.
Tuesday: speaking at the Residential Investment Conference 2015. It was held underground, and the lecture theatre style benches glowed red. I tried not to be too distracted.
Monday night: watching ideas for getting one million more homes into the outer London boroughs, Pecha Kucha style at the NLA.
Saturday: more relaxed time spent in Edinburgh.
If you want a meeting room with a view try the 6th floor of the Lighthouse, on Mitchell Lane in Glasgow.
Last month I gave a talk at the London Sketch Club about the benefits of keeping a sketch book. They were nice enough to invite me back to their life drawing class. I used to do a bit of life drawing, as a result of studying architecture for a while in Strasbourg. At Strathclyde they had taught me to draw by looking at tomato crates and piles of stools. In France they taught drawing by looking at a model. The first few look like Godzilla but it’s the fastest way to improve your skills.
I had a great time: thanks to Mark Prizeman for inviting me.
At the dinner afterwards, I enjoyed meeting Violet Ryder, who’s father I remember from an eighties pop group.
‘We were so in phase
In our dance hall days
We were cool on craze
When I, you and everyone we knew
Could believe, do, and share in what was true’Wang Chung, Dance Hall Days, of course!Sitting looking at Wallis Gilbert and Partners’ exuberant Glaxo Building. They designed the more famous Hoover Building, but this one certainly has panache. A streamlined base course, as if from the pen of Raymond Loewy . I hope we can do something great with it.