My business partner Ben Derbyshire is to be the next President of the RIBA. That’s quite an honour so the partners went out for a quiet dinner to celebrate.
People deserve better places to live, so we’ve made an organisation that tries to combine to skills to deliver this: architects, graphic designers, planners, landscape architects, cooks and others.
I lost this sketch book so here’s a design idea for someone else’s house drawn at a relaxed summer barbecue.
One side of one of my sketchbooks is just over five metres long. Here are my colleagues holding one.
I drew this one for charity Article 25, http://www.article-25.org/about-article-25/
It will be auctioned at the RIBA in a couple of weeks. As it’s five metres long, there might not be that many people interested in it (that will be my excuse) but there are 99 other drawings and paintings to bid for so if you fancy some art for an excellent cause have a look here:
They are all of, or related to, Brixton. I spent a couple of sunny days there sketching what I saw and speaking to the people who were interested in what I was doing. People say the place has lost it’s edge, I had a great time.
Brixton, or at least the bit I was looking at, is defined by it’s railway arches. Between two of these Big Apple Brixton was building a bar you’ll need tickets for. I’d like to go.
Walled off from the vibrant street there’s an estate, so I sat there for a while too. Everyone was friendly. I could only think of one living person from Brixton, although subsequently people have pointed out a few more.
Off to Washington and New York to learn a little more about how Americans live.
People deserve better places to live and there’s lot’s to learn from America. At it’s best there are bigger flats and a higher standard of lower cost accommodation.
It’s never enough to look at the housing: what else can you do if you live here?
Back home at the Remembrance Parade in Davidson’s Mains.
Waiting in China Town and sketching delivery bikes. You can’t finish them because they keep racing off at the standard speed for ‘L’ plate food deliveries: flat out.
Faster: a turntable ladder at Crewe Toll fire station. This is the highlight of Fraser’s trip with the Beavers.
I’m here because he’s been a bit ill, so I’m checking he’s alright.
They do an entertaining routine, the fireman. “Kids, the more yellow helmets at a fire, the more chance everyone gets out alive. The more white helmets, the more chance it all burns to the ground”. The bosses wear the white helmets.
On the tube, absentmindedly sketching the guy who happens to be opposite when I realise he’s wrapped his hands in a scarf so I can’t see his big tattoos. Didn’t mean to make it awkward, wish I knew what they said.
Back in Edinburgh we are moving office. I find myself in kids soft play parties looking at how they’ve done the services install. Time for a break.
On the Windermere ferry sketching a Mazda MX5 and a Renault. Imagining (well copying) Donald Campbell’s celebrated K7. We went and had a look at Coniston Water where Campbell was killed on 4th January ’67 in an attempt to break his own world water speed record.
The boys on the tablet, though most of the action was in the ‘subtropical swimming paradise’. This is the ‘hut’. J & I got ill here. Being ill at Center Parcs is about as expensive as checking in to a BUPA hospital, so we didn’t make a big deal of it.
To Paris with the office, partners and kids. About 170 of us.
I love Paris, and looking out from our hotel bedroom window, you’d think nothing ever changes here.
None the less, I’m as happy watching the characters of Paris life as I am looking at the buildings.
Two highlights: talking to a smoking portrait artist in brown cord jacket and burgundy roll neck, outside the Pompidou. A Presidential candidate canvassing the Sunday morning Metro goers at Place d’Italie. Street life.
Resi 2016 launched into the bad news about the economy and the affordability of housing. If governments and voters are heavily indebted then why would you raise interest rates and if you don’t raise interest rates then how do people save for their old age? Some people alive now will live to 150 I was told. But I didn’t believe it.
Interesting contributions from many others.
I think the next couple of years will be about combining our off site manufacturing expertise with our Build to Rent knowledge. At the end of the day I was well looked after by the Property Week team, so many thanks to them.
This is Second Home, in my second home.
It describes it’s self as a ‘carefully curated community’, and a ‘creative accelerator’. It’s certainly an interesting environment to do some sketching in.
A leaving do for Andrew, Massimo and Cheng, all returning to further their education. This is Massimo’s third leaving do. I pretend to be upset but I’m mostly glad they want to come back.
“Any story told long enough becomes a tragedy” said Alice Fraser at the start of her emotional ‘comedy’ The Resistance.
One of my ancestors used to work in Stockbridge Market (1823 – 1906). It’s a very attractive little part of a very attractive place. I’m here with our sketchclub looking at how buildings hit the ground. This ground floor is related to the upper floors, but not the same.
And eating out. Innes got so bored waiting in Zizzi’s for a pizza that I let him draw in the sketchbook. “I’ll draw Lewis Hamilton”, he promised.
“Dad, it was going to be Lewis Hamilton but instead it’s a sheep.”
In Kulhuse, near Copenhagen, for a summerhouse party in Allan & Elgi’s garden.
The kids sleeping in the car on the way there.
We spent most of the week in Allan & Elgi’s Copenhagen flat. This is Fraser and I out on the balcony talking about sharks. The most cycle friendly city.
Day trip to Malmo to see Henrik and Jaana. It’s always interesting to catch up with people when we are on holiday and they aren’t. I like see what normal life is like in different places, as opposed to tourist life.
Isla’s detailed sketch of Innes on the flight home.
There are so many variables in horse racing I’m amazed anyone can pick a winner.
After a sunny afternoon at Perth Races with engineer TUV SUD I came out ahead on the strength of a horse that hadn’t won for about a year picking up a win. My system was ‘bet on the jockey wearing black and white’ so it was all about luck rather than insight. I reckon this was true for almost everyone there.
Over the last few months when I wasn’t putting sketches on the blog I produced some illustrations for the ULI (Urban Land Institute) guide to the professionally managed residential sector. Here’s one of East Village (formerly the Olympic Village), Stratford.