Posts Tagged: fraser

Training at HTA – 17 December 2015

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. 

mike hopkins - 17 December 2015

Getting a great guided tour around the first bespoke build-to-rent building in the UK, for be:here.behere- 9 December 2015

Fraser and Isla have expertise too. Here they are showing two year old Ellan some advanced present unwrapping skills.

ellans party - 20 December 2015

A man in a stripy jersey watching his kid at swimming lessons.

stripy spectator - 13 December 2015

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.

julie at tennis - 6 December 2015

Maybe the 25% of the population who’d consider buying a new house have got it right?

A few things to learn – 29 November 2015

Fraser is learning to play tennis.  I drew Isla watching him, then she drew him, and titled it.isla and fraser 28 November 2015

 

At an office CPD, on lighting. Not a bad one. CPD 27 November 2015You learn more, obviously, from seeing the things skilled designers (and their visionary clients) have actually built than you do from watching Powerpoint.

Asa & Daniels 29 November 2015Edinburgh 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 28 November 2015

 

Innes (and me), learning to be gardeners.

 

Denis Mason-Jones – 19 November 2015

Thursday: an enjoyable evening looking at the sketches entered in the Denis Mason-Jones sketching competition, in Leeds.

Denis Mason Jones Competition  - 19 November 2015I met Denis’s son and picked the winner.

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.

Resi Investment - 17 November 2015

Monday night: watching ideas for getting one million more homes into the outer London boroughs, Pecha Kucha style at the NLA.

Pecha Kucha - 16 November 2015

Saturday: more relaxed time spent in Edinburgh.

KMBT_C284-20151120114546KMBT_C284-20151120114614The kids playing sport.

Start! – 15 August 2015

Lotus founder and all round genius Colin Chapman designed the Lotus Seven in 1957. By the early seventies it no longer fitted the more luxurious aspirations of Lotus, so Caterham bought the rights and carried on building it. Almost 60 years after it was first designed you can still buy more or less the same car.caterham 150815It’s simplicity itself. I love that it makes up for not having much power by not having much of anything at all. It’s tiny: you can walk around it in a parking space. ‘Just add lightness’ was the Chapman design philosophy and we enjoyed the thrilling results on a sunny day in Fife.Broadwick and berwick 150815In Soho in London. A little extra space on the corner of Berwick Street and Broadwick Street makes for a busy spot. People using their phones to text, talk and find their way to their next meeting. This corner gives them room to pause without being in the way and lets me watch urban life in narrow streets with lowish buildings. Lots of activity in not a lot of space.

hta london- 150819When the London office moved to Kentish Town there weren’t many cafes selling fancy and expensive coffee. There are now. Places change and something gets lost. Off to the board meeting to discuss the ethics of working in Uganda, and London.

fii 150816

Start! F & I are off to school.

600 Years – 9 August 2015

Sitting In Advocate’s Close admiring Morgan McDonnell’s sensitive modern buildings on medieval steps. A design from a couple of years ago sitting comfortably on a route from 600 years ago.

Advacate's Close - 150806 Time passes. ruari - 150809

Ruari’s left school, Fraser’s about to start.

fraser 150809

Sometimes, more than others, you feel that time is moving on.

Golden Lane – 24 May 2015

Chamberlin Powell & Bon designed the Golden Lane Estate in London before they designed it’s larger and more famous neighbour, the Barbican. They’re both outstanding, but I prefer Golden Lane.150524 London Sketch Club-1

We went for a visit with HTA’s London Sketch Club and the London Society. The ‘kids’ weren’t that impressed, which certainly ups the ante next time I’m reviewing their work.

Ikea-1

It’s a bit windy and not that warm but this could well be summer, so the real kids and I played outside whilst Julie did some shopping.

2405 Baked PotatoBaked potatoes for tea.

Cycling & Swimming – 10 May 2015

Catching up with Tom and Ray at the Etape Caledonia. Tom talked me through what to do if you have a bike crash in downtown San Francisco, as he’d just done. I may have over emphasised his beat up look, but not by much. The next day we thrashed round the 81 miles in the wind and the rain. Perth - 090515Tough if you like cycling in the sun, perfectly fine if it’s the grit in cycling that you like.

AinslieParkLeisure-90515Before that, a coffee and a sketch to mark the first time all the kids have gone swimming without me.

DelayedTrain-110515Kings Cross, waiting for the late last train to Edinburgh.

Drama – 6 May 2015

Work is about making things and sketching is about learning from some of the great things others have made. A week spent looking at inspiring and dramatic development. SawsweeHockBuilding-280415This is O’Donnell & Tuomey’s Saw Swee Hock Building for the London School of Economics, more drama than you’d think would fit on such a tight site.

victoriastreet NEW2

Victoria Street in Edinburgh, linking the Grass Market with George IV Bridge in spectacular fashion. A six storey pedestrian street sitting on a lower level that climbs from single storey to three storeys whilst looking like a crescent but mostly running straight. Other sketches of these two locations should be here.

Knockhill - newMost spectacular of all, the dramatic construction of the third Forth Bridge.

SoftPlay-030515With the kids at soft play. The flags and pennants are on the Britannia outside. FraserWatchingDustyFire&Rescue-020515

Fraser watching a Dusty drama. The next few days will see drama too, as our political parties try to sort out a hung parliament. I’ve just realised that most people don’t realise that Nicola Sturgeon, the undoubted star of the whole process, isn’t actually standing. Dramatic days ahead.

Outdoors/ Indoors – 8 April 2015

The kids being chased round the garden of Grays Court hotel by Henry the resident dog. Our slightly rowdy bunch spent a warm and sunny afternoon in their elegant, calm garden. Grays Court - 8 April 2015

Back in Edinburgh we are inside waiting for the hailstones to stop and the icy winds to die down. watching the lorax - 12 April 2015

Luckily some of the excellent Dr Seuss books are being made into films. We stayed in and watched ‘The Lorax’.

Boats, trains, boys – 12 April 2015

Admiring the Britannia on the last day of the Easter holiday. britania 12 april 2015It’s an interesting tour: a glimpse into a world where hierarchy must be emphasised in everything from crockery to wall panelling to drink, otherwise the illusion might slip.

We’d spent some time in York, having fun and looking at trains.

br class 31 - 09 april 2015fraser - 090415This might look like boys activities, but we all enjoyed it. stockbridge arts club - 31 march 2015Back home, the Stockbridge Arts Club had it’s first meeting. It’s a foil to our partner’s “Book Group” and might take a little while to find it’s core purpose…

dundee station - 03 april 2015Waiting for a train in Dundee, thinking about what the new station might be.

Cheshire street draftSomething we looked at earlier this year in London, but didn’t get.