Saturday, June 3, 2023


Shots of the power station from my morning walk. You can see the pylon giants beginning their stroll across the desert. Ten league boots personified. In fact I can't help wishing their personalities were enhanced in subtle ways to bring a smile to our lips.

We tend to demonise large scale infrastructure these days, especially if it's connected to fossil fuels, even though it has dragged so many people out of absolute poverty and enabled standards of health and hygiene that were unthinkable two hundred years ago.

Of course we are going through another important energy transition now and I've supported that for 50 years now in my own little way. But history tells us that these things take time and forcing change through, based on ideology, is unwise.

But I'm getting off topic. I was just thinking about how we can give a human face to heavy engineering. The Victorians were quite good at it I think, and it spilled over to the modern era in structures like the Battersea power station. Maybe a slightly less mechanistic and rule-bound mindset would help.

Just a thought.



Bing Maps gives a nice clear footprint for all the buildings. Scaling up screenshots to match the Cadmapper file I inserted at the beginning helps me to fine tune the parameters on my apartment block families and set the relative positions.

I have three copies of the same group for Spain Italy and Russia. How to colour them differently? I created a project parameter, text, instance, varies by group. Type the names of the countries into the individual blocks. Set up view filters for each country and choose colours.

Wikipedia tells me that International City was planned for 60 thousand residents. That's a scary number. People coming here to work, often supporting families back home. That was me for the first 10 or 12 years. Now it's just my home, so this is one way to understand it better.



Sketching on my phone this morning, out on the balcony. Even at 7am it's quite sweaty out here. Kind of like a gentle sauna so not unpleasant.

To understand is to "stand inside". That's the etymology. Drawing, painting, sculpting, (even in their digital form) are ways of engaging physically with a subject: mingling your body with ideas and structures outside ourselves.

Literal representation is a red herring,or can be. I take it as a starting point for an exploration that blends conscious and subconscious abilities of my mind and body. Remain alert for the unexpected. Follow your instincts. 



The subject is the large power station close to where I live, and the pylons that emerge from it like new-born giants, striding across the desert. But the medium is also the message. A Samsung note phone that is super-glued to my existence, taking photos on demand, cutting out interesting portions and sending them to SketchBook Pro, one of those packages that Autodesk bought, failed to monetize, offered for free for a while, then sold on.

It's drawing, on layers, with various bells and whistles. I focus on what I know well, becoming fluent and intuitive. Trying to blend decades of predigital drawing experience with this extended toolset.

Cumulative embodied learning. Finding meaning in the daily experience of the place where I live.




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