I've been hired to shoot the 2014 version of Vancouver's Wallpaper* City Guide!
I'll be photographing the cool spots all over the city, including but not limited to; hotels, restaurants, galleries, attractions and architecture, beaches and businesses.
I'm looking forward to seeing my city from a tourists' point of view while getting some great shots of areas I've potentially never seen before.
It'll be available on shelves and online January 2014 so watch for it in stores and tell your design conscious friends to pick up a copy if they're looking for places to visit while in the city!
I came across this Etta James song while going through my library looking for different song, it's pretty funktastic.
(You Can) Leave Your Hat On - Etta James
I heard this Adele vs. Daft Punk mix after someone posted
it on Facebox. I'm not a huge Adele fan but the girl can
sing, and the mix works quite well.
Something About The Fire - Adele vs. Daft Punk (Carlos Serrano Mix)
Public: Architecture + Communication hired me to shoot
a few of their recently completed projects over the next few weeks so I thought I would post some of the images I shot
of their installations at Telus World of Science. I had a fun time shooting YoTopo and the outdoor classroom located in the new Ken Spencer Science Park. Part of why I love architectural photography is that I get to see how people interact with the architecture, and it doesn't hurt that the weather was beautiful.
If you're planning on checking out the next Pecha Kucha Vancouver at the Vogue Theatre on April 11th, one of the principals from Public, Brian Wakelin, will be presenting so you'll be able to see some of these images on the big screen.
Writing about Toys (1992) has been on my "to do" list for ages so I recently re-watched it to get re-inspired. This is one of those movies that did poorly with critics and at the box office but is actually one that is visually distinct and has an opposing message and theme to what normally comes out of Hollywood.
Directed by Barry Levinson (Rainman, Bugsy, Envy) and stars Robin Williams, Joan Cusack, LL Cool J, Robin Wright, Michael Gambon and Jamie Foxx' movie debut, the movie’s style and costumes are obviously influenced by the art of René Magritte.
The story goes, Robin Williams helps run a toy factory, Zevo Toys, for his ailing father who then passes away, leaving control to his brother, Leland, who is a military man and will run a tight ship. Leland has little interest in the toy business until he learns about corporate espionage, then his military training kicks in. He decides to start producing war toys, something that Zevo has decidedly never done before. This is where the story shifts into a battle between good and evil. The military takeover starts off as covert operations, then suppresses the very thing that made Zevo special. Williams leads the crusade against his uncle for all that is innocent and whimsical while learning how to grow up a little to win the heart of his kindred spirit, Wright, who also works in the factory. The overall premise for the movie, I find to be insightful and adds to a larger conversation about consumption targeted towards children and how certain toys encourage violence, and how the isolation can lead to the desensitization of society when it comes to violence on a grander scale, i.e. war.
As interesting as the ideas are behind the plot, the sets and costumes help tell the story and become their own characters that reflect the dichotomy of the situation. There’s a surreal, playful quality to the sets and the use of bold colours add to the fantasy of what working at a toy factory would be like. Conversely, the military influence uses camouflage, dark colours, shadows and extreme camera angles to reinforce the hostile takeover that sits on the horizon.
Visually, this movie uses distinct architectural influences, in its use of scale in creating illusion and artistic elements when creating spatial experiences. It uses repetition, line, symmetry, positive and negative space to establish a sense of wonder.
The genius of this film is that it addresses socio-political issues and consumerism; the very thing that keeps the military functioning at such a powerful level, and is illustrated using cartoonish visual effects that mask the severity of underlying real-world concerns. I recommend watching this movie for many reasons.
I came across this video on Twitter a month ago, that details The Living Building Challenge, a sustainable building model for international architectural projects, and learned that the video qualifies as a semi-finalist in the Focus Forward Filmmaker Competition. I can see why. It's nicely shot, informative and helps promote innovative sustainable design.
I've been following The Living Building Challenge since 2010, ever since my good friend, Tom Ngo and I won their design competition to design the award that is given to the projects that achieve various levels of certification status. It's pretty exciting knowing that the award we designed will be installed at sustainable projects all around the world. =)
THE LIVING BUILDING CHALLENGE is a Semifinalist in the $200,000 FOCUS FORWARD Filmmaker Competition. View more Semifinalist films at vimeo.com/focusforwardfilms/semifinalists. Learn more about the Competition and FOCUS FORWARD at focusforwardfilms.com
The Challenge: as we face imminent ecological collapse, visionary change agent Jason F. McLennan heads up a growing movement of deep-green design and inspires a revolution of humanity and heart.
I'm looking forward to these four movies, starring
Hollywood's big four top male actors. Based solely on
their appearance and style, I am visually intrigued but have
an inclining as to how much I'll really like them but it's
hard to judge from a two minute trailer, so hopefully
I'll be surprised and impressed.
OZ The Great and Powerful looks magical. I enjoy the fantastical quality and aesthetic of the computer generated imagery but I'm concerned about it being promoted as a Disney film and rated PG. This always means there will be juvenile elements that will either make no sense or turn it into a circus, see Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland as a prime example. I suspect there may be musical numbers that will act as intermittent distractions for the children that parents bring along. Hopefully any ridiculousness will be negated by dreamboat James Franco's presence.
Great Gatsby looks like an Art Deco lover's dream. This period piece twisted with contemporary music is a Baz Lurhmann specialty, see Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet that also stars Leonard Dicaprio as other examples of his style. I already enjoy the theatrics I see in the trailer and Leo D is one of Hollywood's best actors so I'm sure his performance will be noteworthy.
Oblivion is another post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, action-drama starring everyone's favourite, Morgan Freeman and Tom Cruise who I suspect, plays future Earth's version of a blue collar worker, his character type when he's not a spy with a mission. I'm not particularly interested in the storyline that appears to be Cruise searching for the truth and a woman he used to love, I'm interested in the imagined technology and the landscape of what's left of Earth.
World War Z is based on Max Brooks' book World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, stars Brad Pitt as Brooks, an agent for the UN Postwar Commission. It's another post-apocalyptic Earth scenario overrun by predatory zombies. I'm not looking forward to the gratuitous gore and violence but have had The Walking Dead prepare me for it, but rather the landscapes and inevitable architecture ruin porn. I'm not a big fan of Pitt and the vacant look in his eyes but would like to see how he saves the world, because you know he will.
I listened to these
songs a lot this month.
There's a small reception at the Staples House,
one of West Vancouver's notable modern homes next weekend for the recent release of Selwyn Pullan's new book,
Photographing Mid-Century West Coast Modernism.
I had an opportunity to visit the Staples House in the spring
to take some photographs and had a chance to talk with Kathleen Staples about art, architecture and photography, all my favourite things. It's always interesting to hear stories from people who have grown up in modern homes; it's a very different experience than with other dwelling styles. It's nice to hear such appreciation for modern architecture especially when it's so often overlooked or judged as cold and uninviting. I'm looking forward to hanging out in this house again and if I had a couple million dollars, I'd buy it, since it's up for sale.
To see more of my photos, click here.
These videos are pretty fantastic. They make me nostalgic for an era gone by. The way these designs are presented not only remind us that life did not need to be complicated but still offered opportunity for innovation, but that vision always looked towards the future, or what the future was imagined as.
It's interesting to see the birth of modern design in videos like these but it is also a double-edged sword in that it was also the birth of a hyper-consumerist culture which has led us to the problems we still face today. Arguably, design has become overly saturated by natural progression, it is proportional to the growing interest in profits and competition but also by more innocent motives, like basic improvements to objects that no longer fulfill an effective use.
Adaptations will, no doubt, always be necessary, however, it is the excess in design strategies and convoluted ideas that have unfortunately bastardized an integral part of human efficiency to the point where thoughtful design solutions are too easily overlooked. As a result, the design process, from idea to physical object, is no longer respected as it once was.
What I gather from my own research interests and design documentaries like these, is it seemed there were more risks being taken, more elaborate or philosophical concepts being explored in architecture, automobile design and everyday living inside the home. New materials, textiles and technologies were adopted to assist in the betterment of modern living, but we are learning today that these “new” innovations (ie plastics) are the major contributors to issues impacting contemporary life and health; our future, negatively. Perhaps it’s the Modernist in me, but I don’t necessarily think that all the stuff, things, junk, clutter, objects, etc need to be redesigned per se, but more importantly the materials used for manufacturing need to be improved to lessen the environmental impact of a grossly over-populated and still growing society.
These songs have been the stand outs for the last few weeks.
I guess I've been in a whirly-electronic-galaxy kind of mood.
Lonerism Album - Tame Ampala
Black Tin Box - Miike Snow featuring Lykke Li
Black Tin Box (BBC Radio 1) - Miike Snow
La Femme D'Argent - Air
I recommend watching this video synched with the song.
My Girls - Animal Collective
More photos of Animal Collective
at the Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park: