Category Archives: architecture
Epilogue – Themes While Bicycle Touring Through China
Shot from a Moving Bicycle 04 - The roads were mostly empty in the industrial areas.

After looking back through all 800 photos I shot while on bicycle tour through China with Mission Workshop and Factory 5, I had a hard time breaking it down to a cohesive gallery show.

What I began to notice were themes in the photos, not apparent as I flipped through the files, but when I printed out a selection of photos, they began to tie in together. These themes represent not only my eye for cycling in urban environments, but also my background education and professional career as an architect.

China really changed my perspective on the world as a whole. I saw beautiful landscapes destroyed in the name of progress and capitalism. I witnessed a precious and old culture wiped out to assimilate with a preconceived notion of luxury. Everywhere I looked, I saw western civilization to blame.

Globalization, our desire to own and consume had changed China. Granted I had no benchmark for the status quo, I could only gather enough information through examining the landscapes.

The Chinese build for the sake of building. Supply and demand is a skewed balance, tilted in the former’s favor. This growth is unwarranted and most importantly, uncontrolled.

So where did this bike tour fall into place? It was, after all, Mission Workshop’s idea. While I was given no direction, no instructions, I did have really, complete freedom to do what I wanted.

We had an agenda: test out the new US-manufactured Acre clothing while riding a bicycle through some of the most polluted areas of China and document the trip for a gallery show. Was it successful? I’d say so…

Which brings me to this post: a selection of 50 photos, all shot with my Mamiya 7ii and Kodak Portra 400. These photos break down into illustrative observations, all of which are noted in the photo’s title. Some are obvious, others are not.

You’ll see the themes fairly easily and I’d like to hear what you have to say about them. Feel free to critique / comment, just be polite and constructive.

Many thanks to Mission Workshop / Acre, the Factory 5 crew and anyone that helped us on this journey.

Jan 8, 2014 24 comments
Norman Foster’s Vision for a More Cycling-Friendly London
NormanFoster

British architect Norman Foster’s newest project proposal isn’t a giant building with a spaceship-like façade. Instead, it’s an urban adaptive reuse project:

Foster + Partners has unveiled a scheme that aims to transform London’s railways into cycling freeways. The seemingly plausible proposal, which was designed with the help of landscape firm Exterior Architecture and transportation consultant Space Syntax, would connect more than six million residents to an elevated network of car-free bicycle paths built above London’s existing railway lines if approved.

“SkyCycle is a lateral approach to finding space in a congested city,” said Norman Foster, who is both a regular cyclist and the president of Britain’s National Byway Trust. ”By using the corridors above the suburban railways, we could create a world-class network of safe, car free cycle routes that are ideally located for commuters.”

“To improve the quality of life for all in London and to encourage a new generation of cyclists, we have to make it safe,” he added. ”However, the greatest barrier to segregating cars and cyclists is the physical constraint of London’s streets, where space is already at a premium.”

The 220-kilometer SkyCycle, which has already received backing from Network Rail and Transport for London, would provide a safer and cheaper alternative to constructing new roads. Nearby residents would access the suspended pathway via 200 entrance points, all connected to the street by ramps and hydraulic platforms.”

Read more here.

Jan 7, 2014 7 comments
Eurobike 2013: Architectural Booth Details
Eurobike 2013: Architectural Booth Details

Architecture is in my blood. It’s in my eye, in my shutter finger and for the most part, mandates how I look at the world, including cycling. Life happens in elevation (not the climbing kind) and part of the reason I enjoy traveling overseas so much is seeing how serious people take presentation… Most recently, the architectural detailing of the booths at Eurobike.

I couldn’t help it. A majority of the bikes were either “WTF” or “What. the. fuck.” – I found it all incredibly disconnected from the US market in a lot of ways, which isn’t necessarily bad – but it made me hard to relate to the European market. Seriously, who the fuck wants an e-MTB? And that’s just one of the many moments I had over the past week.

One of the saving graces I encountered, amongst the bad marketing, body painting, weight weenie talk and general disconnect from “the ride” was the abundance of architectural detailing in the booths. While the European industry may not relate to me so much through their cycling language, I admired the attention to detail for a very ephemeral event. Hell, I seriously think more thought went into the booths than into the bicycle design!

Check out a few shots I snapped while navigating through the madness in he Gallery!

Sep 3, 2013 11 comments
Kinoko Cycles Looks Amazing!

As an architect, I can really enjoy looking through photos of the new Kinoko Cycles space. I’ve always wanted to design a complete bike shop, from the floorboards to the millwork and it looks like the designer went to town on the buildout. As part of any successful project, photos are of the utmost importance and the shots on the Kinoko Flickr look great. One day I’d love to check out the space in person!

See more photos here.

May 28, 2013 3 comments
NL Architects Design a Cycling Pavilion in China
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One of my longtime favorite Dutch architecture firms, NL Architects, just completed a schematic design for a cycling pavilion in Hainan, China. The elegant form of the roof is the shape of a velodrome, allowing people to race around in all-left loops. One critique would be the lack of spectator seating but maybe there will be a tower in the pavilion’s site to allow for that.

Via

May 22, 2012 4 comments