Friday, September 30, 2022


Sika, alley, ginnel, there are many words in different dialects for those narrow streets where life seems to press in with greater vitality on all sides.

This collage combines a filtered photo and two Revit views to convey the design process that lead to such a stunning result on the Al Seef project.

Achieving that random, casual look is not as easy as you might think. It was a pleasure to work with a highly talented design team and to help to convert their ideas into a data rich digital construction model.

Al Seef was a brilliant project to work on. Lots of exciting content developments challenges.

There are pedestrian bridges that link blocks together at the upper level. Lots of different designs, never used more than twice.

I worked with Anes developing Revit families based on his hand sketches. Placing them in the project, and generating camera views for review and adjustment.

Happy Times for sure. You can’t beat a collaboration between artists with different skill sets and mutual respect.


Music is a collaborative art, and in my view you can’t beat a small group of musicians who can improvise, at least to the extent of responding in subtle ways to each other’s contributions.  The lack of this group interaction may help to explain my neglect of music in recent years.  I have spurts of activity but never seem to keep it going as consistently as I would like.  Here’s the second episode from the current spurt.

Amazing Grace


Now comes my second wedding of the summer.  Younger son Tom this time.  His in-laws live in Vancouver, so I get to see Canada “in the flesh” for the first time.  The flight took me via Frankfurt.

I sneaked in a quick look at the old part of Frankfurt during a 7 hour layover yesterday, or was it the day before, technically? Early morning light on the river and beautiful old buildings. Plus one tired old man, drinking it all in.


Vancouver in a summer mood. Street life on the East Side of downtown. Meeting up for lunch as my global family gradually assembles for the second wedding of the summer.

Pitched roof cabins, giving way to boxes with shopfront below and balconied flats above. Umbrellas and branding spill out onto the pavement. Or is it a sidewalk?



Lunch-Lady putting on the style with oriel windows. Modillions and cornices giving depth to the façade for once.

Much of what I’ve seen is lightweight and flat in a place where softwood reigns supreme, relying on colour, pattern and texture to catch the eye.

Maybe it all feels very different in December but my first impressions are bathed in August sunshine 


The final image is from International City in Dubai, where I live.  I was walking back from the corner shop: morning stroll to pick up milk.  I have processed it a bit to emphasize the nitty gritty aspect.

Growing up in Barnsley there was plenty of waste ground with discarded items, weeds, puddles.  So this point along the pavement reminds me of that.  The depression in the pavement is partly bad workmanship, no doubt and has been exaggerated by the outflow of condensate water from the ubiquitous A/C compressors that are essential for a sane existence in this climate. The burnt-out mattress springs have a sculptural quality, and from this angle, guide the eye into the wet, muddy patch that sometimes overflows across the entire width of the pavement.

Is this blight?  In a way, but it's also just the reality of life and the world.  It's a feature, not a bug, so best embrace it.  There are residential areas in Dubai that are wonderfully manicured, and I'm sure it would have been nice to have a sea view from my apartment, to walk around a lagoon in the evenings.  But happiness does not lie in being surrounded by niceness all the time.  We look for meaning and purpose.  It's good to have your feet planted firmly on the ground.