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PhotoStories | The Streets of Marrakesh

PhotoStories | The Streets of Marrakesh
Continued from here. The streets of Marrakesh are chaotic, sure, but they aren't threatening. The men of Marrakesh do return your curiosity in healthy measure, especially if you are a woman with a camera. There are those who like to try and make an unfair profit on your foreign naiveté - as an Indian though, I come with an inbuilt con-radar. Then there are others who painstakingly explain their craft to you and then give you a discount they can barely afford, just because you listened. The women mostly huddle about in groups, or go about their business in measured, somewhat…

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PhotoStories | Chaos in Marrakesh

PhotoStories | Chaos in Marrakesh
Coming as I do from India, chaos is something I'm quite familiar with. Familiarity though, does not imply intimacy, or even comfort. Familiarity just makes you less afraid of chaos - it ceases to be the "other", something to be intrinsically distrusted. Chaos makes me uncomfortable but curious. It's when I start to channel that curiosity into looking closely, I start to see the parts that make up the whole, I begin to find a place of relative comfort. Three days aren't enough to go much deeper than the surface - I'm but a flaneuse, a watcher, a voyeur - but three days are enough…

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Urbanism | The themes for 2014 (and beyond) Part 1

Urbanism | The themes for 2014 (and beyond) Part 1
This has been sitting in my writing notes ever since the first week of January when, satiated with a wonderful year-end trip deep in southeast Asia, I sat down to think about what 2014 is going to be like in this all-encompassing, jargon-filled world of urbanism. I was going to call these the top buzzwords in urbanism initially, but I couldn't help but admit that leaving aside the compelling twenty-first century urbanist propensity to jargonise everything, it is hard to ignore that this is what's happening in the world of thinking about cities and places and that at least a…

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Design | Re-Imagining a Co-Working Space

Design | Re-Imagining a Co-Working Space
While I am an urban planner + place brander by day, long time readers of this blog would know that I'm always seeking out interesting side projects that exercise my creative muscles in some way. So when in August, good friend Anjali Ramachandran, who works as the Head of Innovation at PHD, invited me to collaborate with her for the David Pilton Hub Challenge at NABS, I all but jumped at the opportunity. Our entry was shortlisted as one of the finalists in the competition, but to our disappointment, we didn't win! Anjali and I spent a lot of time in…

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Urbanism | Place Engagement through Art at Bankside

Urbanism | Place Engagement through Art at Bankside
I have written about Candy Chang's thoughtful urban installations before, and therefore I am delighted to hear that she is bringing her work to London through the next few weeks as part of the Merge Festival at Bankside. The festival is a celebration of the rich cultural heritage of the area, and it aims to encourage public engagement with the place through a series of installations and art projects and performances over the next few weeks. Candy Chang brings her "Before I Die" installation to the festival - the installation has travelled to several cities around the world and has…

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On Photography

"Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst" - Henri Cartier Bresson. True, very true. If you started with a digital camera, make that your first 30,000. Perhaps even 50,000.  But don't let that stop you from keeping at it. In fact, above all and beyond everything else, insist on keeping at it. Remember though, that unless you get to be a pro (and there is a long, long way to go before you get there), less is more - less editing and less equipment. The more you edit, the less integrity your initial photographs will have. They might look prettier…

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PhotoStories | Snippets from Rome

PhotoStories | Snippets from Rome
OK, this has got to be the longest break I have taken from the blog! The last few months have been crazy busy - mostly in a good way. I travelled to Crete, Rome and New York, got my knee sorted, took one of the biggest plunges of my life and launched my own consultancy, and also managed to work on a couple of really cool projects. It's August now and it is time to take a breather. Just for a bit, though - I have more exciting things happening and I will be sure to share them with you…

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PhotoStories | A little over four years’ worth

PhotoStories | A little over four years’ worth
If you are wondering why this blog has seen such little photography action over the last few months, please put down those protest banners and please don't demand your money back*. The reason for this state of affairs is that back in December, The Flaneurbanite's knee threw a tantrum and has since been acting like a  total brat. So there has been very little walking, no flanerie whatsoever, and as a result, very little photography (apart from random instagrams, which I wouldn't  want to waste your time with). But then I also realised that it's been four years and a bit since…

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Urbanism | Book Reviews

Urbanism | Book Reviews
1. A Guide to Archigram 1961-74 | Dennis Crompton Princeton Architectural Press, Bilingual Edition, 2012Paperback, 447 pages             A radical group of young architects - Warren Chalk, Peter Cook, Dennis Crompton, David Greene, Ron Herron and Michael Webb - burst onto the British architectural scene in the 1960's with a rather futuristic and technocratic manifesto for building, which they called Archigram. Archigram was a movement, a philosophy that  sought to reinvent the 'Modern', and at the same time reject the prevailing post-war British interpretation of it. The stocky book, the second edition, has been compiled by one of those architects, Dennis Crompton and and is…

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Urbanism | City At Play – Of Talking Lamp Posts And Whispering Mailboxes

Urbanism | City At Play – Of Talking Lamp Posts And Whispering Mailboxes
Does this blog need one more wonderful example of using creativity, art and technology to to foster engagement with the city? Of course it does! Watershed, a cross-platform cultural and art production agency based in Bristol, UK,  recently commissioned a competitive award called the Playable City Award 2013. The idea was to encourage the use of creative technology and art to create a sense of challenge and surprise to encourage people to interact with the city - in this case, Bristol itself. The winning entry by London based experience design studio PAN, does exactly that, and how! Titled "Hello, Lamp Post!", it will enable citizens…

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Urbanism*Design | Two fantastic LED interventions

Urbanism*Design | Two fantastic LED interventions
If you've been following this blog, you would know that in keeping with my interest in place making and destination branding,  I am a keen follower of art / design based interventions in public spaces that foster new interest in, and therefore engagement with the space - you'd remember I highlighted this in Candy Chang's work last summer and in this fabulous temporary landscape intervention in Jaujac, France. But what you probably don't know is that I also have a personal love affair with lighting - I think I might have some moth genes in me, as I am drawn…

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Urbanism | Exploring London’s layers through The Blitz

Urbanism | Exploring London’s layers through The Blitz
I have a deep fascination with maps and mapping and am always on the lookout for interesting ones. So I was delighted, when thanks to The Monocle (one of my all time favourite magazines) I came across this interactive map at bombsight.org that shows every single bomb that was dropped on London by the Luftwaffe during The Blitz in the Second World War between 7th October 1940 and 6th June 1941. (click to enlarge screenshot or go to www.bombsight.org) At its zoomed out version, it shocks and boggles the mind, because it looks like not one…

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Photostories | Autumn comes to Barnes

Photostories | Autumn comes to Barnes
ontinuing with the Barnes explorations - I've had a hard time looking beyond the obvious prettiness of Autumn arriving in this leafy neighbourhood. While I hate the passing of summer like everyone else, dreading the onset of Autumn, the increasingly dreary mornings and evenings, the longer nights, the cold blustery winds, autumn has a knack for growing on me. The flaming yellows, orange, reds and purples, the beautiful light - that still retains a bit of its summery warmth, and of course daily fresh carpets of inviting scrunchy leaves - who could resist Autumn's sneaky charms? So just as it…

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Photostories | Exploring Barnes – 1

Photostories | Exploring Barnes – 1
nce upon a time, I used to live in Chiswick. And if you know me in real life you would know just how deeply I was in love with the place. Turns out, that after vowing to never move out of Chiswick as long as I live in London, I did. I think that's down to the whole vowing business - Murphy's Law of Vows or something - but I digress. So I bid overly sentimental goodbyes to Chiswick and moved to Barnes. Now I always knew that Barnes was a lovely place, but what I did not know was…

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PhotoStories | The Moon And The Crane

PhotoStories | The Moon And The Crane
And a few minutes later... The first picture was clicked on my iPhone 4S and Instagrammed ("flaneurbanite", if you're on Instagram), the second was clicked with my DSLR and is entirely unedited. ~ All images in this post are the copyright of Shilpa Bhatnagar, all rights reserved. Please do not copy, download or use anywhere else without explicit permission.

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Urbanism | Of Loneliness in The City

Urbanism | Of Loneliness in The City
Last week, I listened to a talk by Leo Hollis, historian, urbanist and author, at a wonderful event by Salon London (I give away this last detail quite reluctantly, as I'm a big fan of the Salons, and extremely selfishly, would be loathe to see them become too popular!). Hollis spoke about Why Cities Are Good For You - also the title of his upcoming book. I'm a staunch believer in the goodness and greatness of cities (surprise!), and had a moment of intense agreement with Hollis at the beginning of his talk when he threw out a question to…

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PhotoStories | The Show Goes On

PhotoStories | The Show Goes On
I live in West London and have this amazing view from my living room towards East London. In 4 years of living in this place, I have seen those trees change colour, drop their leaves, and grow back again many times - alternately revealing and hiding bits of the city behind them.   I have seen The Shard coming up at alarming speed, almost like a rabid mushroom, on that horizon - or what passes off as the "skyline" of London. In fact the most alarming thing was suddenly spotting it one day, realising it's there, after a few months…

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Urbanism | The Art Of Urbanism

Urbanism | The Art Of Urbanism
With all due respect to my chosen profession,  I think that all too often, we urbanists and designers (and I include myself here!) can come across as stuffy, jargon-spouting bores. I think more often than not, we end up alienating the masses in our discourse rather than including them, which should be the central aim of all urbanism and design discourse. This has been one of my pet peeves over the last few years, and if you get me started, I'll happily provide you with a 30 minute rant on the topic. However, that won't be today, because I have…

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Everything Else | Would you like some British Irony with that?

Everything Else | Would you like some British Irony with that?
This last weekend, trying (and failing) to ignore the rather over-the-top and seemingly endless celebration of Queen Elizabeth's reign, I couldn't help but think of the words of Sarah Maguire, Director of the Poetry Translation Centre at a Persian Poetry event that I attended at the Asia House a fortnight back. When an audience member familiar with the Persian language commented upon the loss of the sense drama and vivid imagery that is typical to Persian literature, in the English translations, Maguire, rather defensively and quite emphatically, attributed it to the British sense of understatement, and that the "British do…

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PhotoStories | London City – Old versus New

PhotoStories | London City – Old versus New
I don't know about you, but to me it feels like I haven't posted a London photostory here since forever! I was recently running some errands in the City of London area, and couldn't help but notice the juxtaposition of the old and the new. Whether beautiful or jarring, I think that nowhere else in London is this juxtaposition so stark, so compelling, and so worthy of a second look. I would have clicked more except for the blazing, searing sun beating down my back that forced me to retreat into the nearest air-conditioned cafe after the first few shots.…

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Design | Ikea’s going Indian

Design | Ikea’s going Indian
A friend just tipped me off about this - Ikea has just launched an India-inspired limited collection! It's a story of three firsts for Ikea - India, Pinterest and Facebook. Called True Blue, the collection draws upon Indian design influences, all in the colour blue. And Ikea seems to be testing out Pinterest and Facebook as platforms for the collection, with a specially designed microsite that encourages participation through these platforms. On one hand, I'm very pleased with the idea of Ikea expanding into Indian design, and I see marketing sense in limiting themselves to a "blue" theme, but on…

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Urbanism | Container Urbanism

Urbanism | Container Urbanism
I was thinking about how shipping containers seem to have become the new pop-up urban spaces for any number of uses  - from retail, to culture, to even hospitality - and thought of the term "Container Urbanism".  And then I thought to myself, "what a brilliant term to describe the trend!", and was patting myself on the back for coining it - until I googled it and realised that others thought of it a little before I did. Dang. Missed nomenclature glory aside, it is certainly something to sit up (pop up? OK, no bad jokes) and take notice of.…

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Design | The V&A Illustration Awards 2012 Shortlist

Design | The V&A Illustration Awards 2012 Shortlist
Speaking of illustration art, the high-priestess of design academies, the V&A has announced its shortlist for the 2012 Illustration Awards. Chosen out of more than a 1,000 entries from across the UK, the shortlist that spans four categories, is a treat: Book Illustrations 1. Cathy Maclennan: Bunny Bunny Catkin 2. Laetitia Devernay: The Conductor 3. Rob Ryan: A Sky Full of Kindness Book Jacket and Cover Illustration 1. Matthew Richardson: The Outsider 2. Vicky White: Can We Save The Tiger 2. Petra Börner: Emma Editorial Illustrations 1. Stefano Morris: Henry’s Demons 2. Luke Best: Chilvaric Fiasco 3. Nick Lowndes: Small…

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Design | City Illustrati

Design | City Illustrati
I often trawl Etsy and other art sites for handmade illustrations, and it never ceases to surprise me just how many talented folks there are in this world! I love Etsy for how it has made this talent accessible to everyone, and for the artists, a brilliant platform to showcase their work. I will be running a regular themed series here on my favourite illustrations from near and afar, called Illustrati. For me, this will serve as a visual scrapbook of the handmade art I love, and for you, it will hopefully serve as inspiration to make your own, or…

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Urbanism | Would you exchange your car for a lifetime of tram journeys?

Urbanism | Would you exchange your car for a lifetime of tram journeys?
In Murcia, Spain, the new tram service offers a lifetime pass to citizens, in return for their cars ---- Last summer, the city of Murcia, Spain made big news because of their radical new initiative aimed at cutting down congestion and pollution in the city. The idea was simple, but pretty radical and as as far as I know, never tried before - the city government and the tram company Mejor en Tranvia offered free lifetime tram passes to citizens in exchange for one of their roadworthy cars. At that time, I thought the idea was brilliant, but I was…

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Urbanism | The Life and Death Of The Great British High Street

Urbanism | The Life and Death Of The Great British High Street
It Might Be Time To Lay The Great British High Street Down

High Street, Ringwood, Hampshire Showing the Regal Cinema. Photochrom Co. Ltd., Tunbridge Wells. Sixpence (by Air Mail to France); postmarked 1959. The Regal Cinema building on the right is now boarded up and at risk.

 Once upon a time there was romantic notion. Although romantic, it had its roots in reality, the reality of the times it was conceived in. And so it went on to go beyond being just a notion. It thrived, and that was a good thing, but then the notion…

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Design | A Marrakesh Way to Pause

Design | A Marrakesh Way to Pause
La Pause I have a strong itch to wander and it usually shows up about once in six weeks. It also tends to be fairly specific - travel for me is not just a getaway, it's the lure of a specific feeling, the call of a tangible mood, which seems unattainable unless I take myself to that one place that has caught my imagination. Travel for me, is also often closely linked to the aesthetics of the place - a sensory, and sensual coming together of the natural and man-made. I have been trying to plan a trip to Marrakesh…

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Urbanism | An unusual urban landscape

Urbanism | An unusual urban landscape
"Tapis Rouge!" A grass carpet installation runs through the entire length of the French town Jaujac

All images (c) David Monjouin t

In response to a brief to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the village's arts and nature trail programs, Marseille artist Gaëlle Villedary created this 1,400 feet long landscape in the French town of Jaujac. The living grass tapestry stretches across the length of the town. It has apparently been a huge success as people instantly took to engaging with the installation - walking or sitting on the grass, or following its trail down into…

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Design | The Start Of Something Brilliant

Design | The Start Of Something Brilliant
An Object Used To Create Art as an Object Of Art Itself Fumiaki Goto, a Japanese designer, has taken the simple, ubiquitous graphite pencil and turned it into a piece of art - no, strike that - a fully functional piece of art that can be used to produce art itself. Working as part of the designers' collective bril, Goto explains that the thought behind this was just to extend the process of making ceramics, which is what regular graphite pencils are, anyway - ceramics made of a mixture of clay and graphite. He modified the process to create an extended ceramic shape,…

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PhotoStories | Bruges By Night

PhotoStories | Bruges By Night
Continued from here and here If you've ever visited Bruges by night, you know where the cliché 'picture postcard perfect' comes from. In fact, I think the words 'stunning', 'picturesque', 'breathtaking' and 'ridiculously pretty' come from Bruges too. What do you think? ~  

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Urbanism | Sharing Space In London

Urbanism | Sharing Space In London
A bold new initiative in London erases boundaries between pedestrian and vehicular traffic

The New Shared At Space Exhibition Road, London (source: www.dailymail.co.uk)

London just grew up a little. Or so one hopes. A radical new initiative has just been implemented at the busy museum-lined Exhibition Road in South Kensington, where all visual as well as physical barriers between pedestrian and vehicular traffic have been removed. For the first time, people are being trusted to behave themselves and share their space on the road - cars, bicycles and pedestrians alike. [caption id="attachment_1506" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Exhibition Road:…

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PhotoStories | Belgium Bits [2]

PhotoStories | Belgium Bits [2]
Continued from here. [divider2] Bruges was picture postcard perfect, a tourist magnet and a bit too perfect. Perhaps it was still my travelling-at-Christmas feelings talking. But it was pretty. And prettiness makes for nice pictures (even if I say so myself).               But prettiness of a certain kind only lasts so long. If you've seen the movie, In Bruges, you'd know what I'm talking about. If you've not, go watch it now - you have no idea what you're missing! And then, go to Bruges. ~

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Urbanism | The Most Beautiful Video of London. Ever.

A Stop Motion Video Made by You Tube user Anatoleya From Fleet Street to Holborn Viaduct. A wonderful effort with magical results. Crank up the volume a notch, and watch this in full screen mode. It's well worth every moment of the six and three quarter minutes. It made me fall in love with London once again. ~

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PhotoStories | Belgian Bits [1]

PhotoStories | Belgian Bits [1]
For those who used to follow this blog in its earlier avatar, I know it's been ages since I posted some real meat (read photographs). But as you now know, it was because I was busy building this new web-home thing. Hopefully, you'll still come around to have a look at the pictures and tell me what you liked (or didn't). Here we go. This time, I've brought you bits of Belgium, from a brief trip over Christmas. I always find it a bit strange to visit a major Christmas celebrating country at Christmas time (with the exception of UK,…

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Design | There Is A Tree In Your Room

Design | There Is A Tree In Your Room
Bringing nature in. Literally. You've heard of tree houses, of course, but how many times have you seen a house or a room built around a live tree? How wonderful must it feel, to be so palpitatingly close to nature in the comfort of your dwelling. How...magical. ~ *I am not the owner of any of the images in this post. The images have been collected from various sources over a period of time and I could not find original credits to any of these. If you're the owner, please let me know and I'd be very happy to credit…

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Urbanism | A Gimmick for Atheists

Urbanism | A Gimmick for Atheists
I am usually with Alain de Botton on things. Not this time.

Tom Greenall Architects' visualisation of Alain de Botton's "Temple for Atheists"

Alain de Botton's Temple for Atheists idea is laid out in his new book "Religion for Atheists". His premise is that some of the world's greatest buildings are devoted to religion, and even the most staunch atheists find these buildings attractive. Why shouldn't atheists therefore have their own monuments to atheism - he asks - buildings that celebrate peace and perspective, for example? On the face of it, it sounds like a good…

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Design | A Warm Inviting Room

Design | A Warm Inviting Room
This picture makes me want to be there  [ via ] [divider2] I first came across this picture on desiretoinspire and I've never forgotten it. Everything about this room (and the way it has been photographed) speaks to me - the furniture, the woven back chairs, the chandelier (ooh, the chandelier!), and the lighting, the warmth. Just what I need on this cold February day (and perhaps you do, too). ~

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Everything Else | The Crazy Morning Series

This post was first written and published on an older blog in November 2005. Part of a series I used to call The Crazy Morning Series, because I tended to have them a bit too often.   Recently I have been suffering from an avalanche of work. So I have been forced to do what I steadfastly avoid doing - bringing work home. So, Thursday night I sat up and worked for hours, until one of the files on my flash drive refused to open. More relieved than flustered about that, for I couldn't have tolerated any more of it,…

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Urbanism | Who is weighing the Aerotropoli?

Urbanism | Who is weighing the Aerotropoli?
The economic evidence is compelling, but is anyone measuring the carbon impact of Aerotropoli? I recently watched Christopher Choa's talk on Airport Cities on the Intelligence Squared network, and it got me thinking. I have personally worked on three major airport city projects in my career so far, and researched several others in the process. In each instance, as exciting as the possibilities have been, at some level, I have been uncomfortable about the environmental implications of the radical new urban forms we are creating. True, there are very compelling economic arguments as Choa reveals in his talk (around the…

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Everything Else | Bombay Again

Everything Else | Bombay Again
This post was first written and published on an older blog in October 2005. Another trip to Bombay - three days of hectic work, traveling, missing meals and some socialising and serendipitous-bumping-into-friends. It was the first time that I didn't so much as get to look at the beach or the sea, except a couple of taxi drives near Haji Ali, which incidentally looks absolutely breathtaking, lit up at night. I was informed that they are going to bring the monument down for it has irreparable structural damages. What an awful pity. I tried to capture the beauty while driving…

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Design | Cities of Paper, Cities of Clay

Design | Cities of Paper, Cities of Clay
Two simple city-based toy / decorations that warmed the cockles of this urbanist heart Remember Lego City? Of course you do.  But if you're anything like me, you're eyeing the set of the nearest kid around you. (Oh come on, if they can have it, I can have it. Who's the urban planner here?) But then recently, I came across two entirely different city-simulations that you can 'build' or 'lay out' - but even more than that, what won me over was their sheer simplicity.   Paper Town is what it says on the tin - a town made entirely…

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Urbanism | A Georgian skyscraper derives inspiration from the past

Urbanism | A Georgian skyscraper derives inspiration from the past
A new skyscraper design in Georgia manages to look slick, while paying homage to the vernacular. In keeping with the tower craze that has hit the emerging economies of the world, Georgia has just unveiled its own. The 'merely' 250m tall Ad Astra may not compete in height with the Burj's and Petronases of the world, but caught my attention for its seemingly vernacularly-sensitive design. Atkins, who designed the tower, say they were inspired by the quintessentially Georgian brick and stone watch towers that dot the north east of the country, and Ad Astra is a modern, sustainable reinterpretation of…

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Urbanism | Seed Bombing: A New Form of Urban Warfare?

Urbanism | Seed Bombing: A New Form of Urban Warfare?
 [This post was first published at Spotted By Locals in October 2010]

Banksy's Flower Thrower

It’s not new but it’s suddenly gaining new ground (pun unintended!) in cities across the globe. A number of eco-warriors are waging war against neglected lots in cities, and their choice of weapon is a little Seed Bomb – a little pod of packed soil containing live seeds of flowering or easy-growing plants that can literally be littered onto derelict un-concreted land in the hope that they will take root and create a Guerilla Garden where there was only dirt before.…

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Urbanism | Airport Cities

Urbanism | Airport Cities
[This post was first published at Spotted By Locals in August 2010]

Prof John D Kasarda's (somewhat oversimplistic) diagram of Airport Cities

Airports in the 21st Century are no longer just transit points. With unprecedented levels of global connectedness and air travel, they’ve become the new places to live, work and play. They’re increasingly becoming places to conduct business, entertain and be entertained, to rest and relax, to exchange knowledge – and since they’re very often the first point of contact for passengers with the cities and regions these airports serve – a showcase for the…

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Urbanism | The Politics of Street Art

Urbanism | The Politics of Street Art
[This post was first published at Spotted By Locals in April 2010]

Banksy at Rivington Street, London. (c) Shilpa Bhatnagar

It’s often covert, seldom pretty and almost always controversial. Its perpetrators have been branded as criminals and stars alike. Like it or hate it, Street Art, or graffiti, as it is usually called by opponents, is an urban phenomenon you cannot ignore. From the East End of London to the suburbs of Paris and the alleys of Lisbon, urban authorities seem to be in a perpetual state of war with this phenomenon. Often seen as subversive…

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Urbanism | Vertical Landscaping

[This post was first published on Spotted By Locals in March 2010)]

Caixa Forum in Madrid (by vladimix on Flickr via a Creative Commons License)

When I read the last post on urban farming, I immediately thought of the next big thing: vertical landscapes. I find the concept rather fascinating and have been following developments in the field. It isn’t news anymore that our cities lack adequate lung space. As our world gets more and more urbanised, city populations are growing at an unprecedented pace, which in turn, means denser, taller cities, and not enough green space. Another…

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PhotoStories | Postcards from Italy…3

PhotoStories | Postcards from Italy…3
continued from here I know this blog channels the spirit of flanerie, and that, by common understanding, is more about cities than lakes and pristine countryside. But then again, this blog is also about photography, about the beauty of the moment, and I strongly believe that beauty must be shared. Even if it makes me look much more like a hopeless tourist than a flaneur. For this week therefore, a few more postcards from Italy.

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PhotoStories | Paris Je T’Aime (Paris, I Love You)…4

PhotoStories | Paris Je T’Aime (Paris, I Love You)…4
Others in this series, here And the last few bits of lovely Paris...Until next time. Sigh.

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PhotoStories | Paris, Je T’Aime: The Street Artist of Marais

PhotoStories | Paris, Je T’Aime: The Street Artist of Marais
Others from Paris, here When you look at this... A version of this famous painting - Rembrandt's "Titus, le fils de l'artiste" ...would you believe, it's being drawn live by this guy? Yes, as I was as astonished and impressed.  

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PhotoStories | The Business of Being Parisian…2

PhotoStories | The Business of Being Parisian…2
continued from hereLike London or Delhi or Bombay or New York, Paris is more than one city. There's the Paris of the garish tourists, for no outsider can match the finesse and grace of the true Parisian, and there's the Paris of the classic and nonthreatening seediness, if there's a such a thing, in Montmartre. There's the Paris where I narrowly avoided being robbed*, and there's the Paris of the puppet artist who shooed away an ice cream quaffing American from his shop but warmly welcomed wide-eyed me. There's Hausmann's Paris, of course, and weaving through all of this is…

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PhotoStories | The Business of Being Parisian

PhotoStories | The Business of Being Parisian
Others from Paris, here  

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PhotoStories | Paris Je T’Aime (Paris, I Love You)…(3)

PhotoStories | Paris Je T’Aime (Paris, I Love You)…(3)
(Others in this series from Paris, here) "The solitary and thoughtful stroller finds a singular intoxication in this universal communion. The man who loves to lose himself in a crowd enjoys feverish delights that the egoist locked up in himself as in a box, and the slothful man like a mollusk in his shell, will be eternally deprived of. He adopts as his own all the occupations, all the joys and all the sorrows that chance offers."  ~ Charles Baudelaire on the Flaneur. and the story continues...

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PhotoStories | Paris Je T’Aime (Paris, I Love You)….(2)

PhotoStories | Paris Je T’Aime (Paris, I Love You)….(2)
...continued from here. In large part, what makes Paris Paris, and keeps it what it is, are the Parisians, the people of Paris. I met a few really nice ones, and spotted a few interesting ones... ...like these two little boys, play-dancing on a busy street in Montmartre, oblivious to the bustle around them...   br /> ...or Monsieur Carry PlasticBag In Mouth. New form of paparazzi protection? :) More to come, soon.

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PhotoStories | Paris Je T’Aime (Paris, I Love You)…(1)

PhotoStories | Paris Je T’Aime (Paris, I Love You)…(1)
The Flaneurbanite's fallen in love. With Paris. It happened almost at first sight - just like in the movies. Four days of a whirlwind romance later, she's back in London and pining away. It had to happen, it was meant to be - a flaneuse is bound to fall in love with the city where it all began... so far, she only knew Paris through Baudelaire's walks. Now she knows it as her own, her very own. Paris, Je T'Aime... The love affair begins :)

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PhotoStories | Postcards from Italy: Varenna

PhotoStories | Postcards from Italy: Varenna
...previously: Como Varenna Just one of the picturesque villages around Lake Como that we spent a day in. Varenna is more or less two parts - the lower lake side, full of awestruck tourists like us, and no surprise that, for the lakeside is indeed that pretty - and the upper town, which we just stumbled upon in our exploratory spirit.  Varenna remains with me. :)  

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PhotoStories | Postcards from Italy: Como

PhotoStories | Postcards from Italy: Como
I know I disappeared again after my grand proclamation of being back. Oh well, what can I say - all I have to offer is the usual excuse of work, life, and holidays. I hope these vignettes from my last holiday in Lake Como will appease you for the time being. Como More tomorrow.  

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PhotoStories | Last Night’s Perigee Moon

PhotoStories | Last Night’s Perigee Moon
I was probably one of the only people on the Earth last night who were completely unaware of the fact that we were about to have this dazzling moon. I noticed it only as I returned home from a day out - and then raced upstairs with my camera for a few shots. The moon, as it looked to me, last night. Stunning. :)

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PhotoStories | Dusk at Twickenham Riverside

PhotoStories | Dusk at Twickenham Riverside
On a freezing cold day in March, spent walking around in a relatively run-down area of London because work insisted I must; cursing the weather and my inappropriate sense of dressing-for-the-weather, I found redemption on the riverside. The Twickenham Riverside is not the most stunning of places next to the Thames in London, but it was calming enough (if not warming), to make the day seem worthwhile. What made it even more worthwhile was that I was carrying my new camera, and had a glass of red wine in me. Presenting some of the very first pictures from my very…

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PhotoStories | Hipstamatised Kuala Lumpur

PhotoStories | Hipstamatised Kuala Lumpur
As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I've been travelling a whole lot recently. Most of it has been of the hectically-working-while-being-severely jet-lagged variety, which leaves little room (or consciousness) for taking pictures. On my last trip to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) though, I was forced to slow down and take notice - by a massive but beautiful thunderstorm - and then, I had to take pictures. But it was one of those rare moments when I wasn't carrying my camera, weighed down as I was by tonnes of paper and a laptop (sigh, work trips...and being tiny) and…

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PhotoStories | A Day’s Walk’s Worth – 2

PhotoStories | A Day’s Walk’s Worth – 2
(continued from here) ...and as fleeting as the breeze on Pondicherry's seaside promenade, the flaneur passes, leaving no trace, but bringing back a few snippets, just a day's walk's worth.

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PhotoStories | A Day’s Walk’s Worth – 1

PhotoStories | A Day’s Walk’s Worth – 1
  How long does it take for a flâneur to find that little blister in the fabric of the city to be able to start peeling its layers away?  A few days? A week? A month? How many years? Certainly more than a single day, spent walking around in flip-flops under a 30 degree Centigrade sky, meeting the incredulous amusement of the local auto-rickshaw drivers, and the mostly closed doors and windows in Pondicherry's French Town - very French, a little Indian and just a vague hint of old Dutch. The only hope I had then, was to bring you…

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PhotoStories | And we’re back!

Yes, it's been a long time away, and I've missed you, I've missed the blog, I've missed the pleasure and the hard work of clicking and posting, I've missed replying to comments and watching you come and go...but not for a moment did I give up or forget - I've been meaning to come back, and here I am again. My personal all-time favourite picture on this blog, and certainly the one that attracted the maximum attention in 2010. Just because, I love this picture and I'm proud of it (and because no post on this blog can be sans…

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PhotoStories | Bohemian Spitalfields

PhotoStories | Bohemian Spitalfields
I have often wandered into the Old Spitalfields Market even when I don't quite intend to be there, and have ended up spending hours walking through and by the fashion markets and the vintage shops. It is perhaps the eccentric bohemian hidden in my closet that emerges to fish these scenes out. If you like what you see here and have an affinity for the East End like I do, you might like the first few books listed on the right hand column of this page. As for me, I'm plotting my next escapade into the old notorious alleys of…

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PhotoStories | A Passage To The East End

PhotoStories | A Passage To The East End
Behind the money making powers; behind the glass and concrete towers; behind The Suits and the expensive watches ticking to the work day; behind the booms and the busts and the redundancy pays; behind the lunch sandwiches and Friday pints...lies one of the many streets of the East End of London. I wandered into one of them and brought back a few snapshots.... ...and something tells me they hide more than a few stories. I'll be going back for more.

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PhotoStories | Places Between Spaces – 1

PhotoStories | Places Between Spaces – 1
When you walk down a city street, do you peep in the cracks? Do you wonder what lies beyond the hubbub, behind the facades, in that space between places? I do. I poke my nose and camera into those crevices that hide in the mosaic of the city. And often, I stumble upon treasure. These are, what I call, Places Between Spaces. Like this narrow alley hiding in a crevice on Oxford Street. Peep in, and you'll likely have to make space for the person blocking your view - for the mouth of this crack is only one-person wide. Step…

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PhotoStories | Hints

PhotoStories | Hints
Why do we travel? Pico Iyer, in his famous essay of the same title, says, "...the first great joy of traveling is simply the luxury of leaving all my beliefs and certainties at home, and seeing everything I thought I knew in a different light, and from a crooked angle". Close to my heart, this Mr. Iyer, for he often says what I mean, and puts just the right words to what I think and live by. You have no doubt noticed my absence here for the last couple of months. I traveled to Portugal in March and soon thereafter…

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