July 2004 Archives

'the world's wife' carol anne duffy

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i hardly ever read poetry but started this at at jo's and finished the last few pages today. i liked

'I glanced at a buzzing bee, a dull grey pebble fell to the ground. i glanced at a singing bird, a handful of dusty gravel spattered down.' Medusa

and 'that birds are the uttered thoughts of trees' Little Red-Cap

my father died today sometime in the afternoon. i found out from mum when i phoned her at the end of the day

his wife is taking the body to pakistan probably tomorow. we were going to see him this weekend but i'm told that for the last few weeks he wasn't able to speak or to recognise anyone

when we were young he'd make us sit and listen to him reading the quran and he would tell us that it said that the purpose of humanity was to study the universe until we uncovered the face of god. the last time i saw him i told him that the last chapter of book 4 of "the nature of order" was entitled 'The Face of God' and i was going to take up the book this time to show him and get him to sign it

'the culture of building'

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"Any act of building is connected to all the others, and its success depends ultimately upon improving the overall conditions of shared knowledge and human relationships on which the production of the built world depends."

howard davis's book arrived from the canterbury library a day before book 4 of 'the nature of order' and as christopher alexander references it, i decided to read it first and gave book 4 to bill telling him i found the prospect of reading it a little scary and would appreciate him having a look at it first as the fantastic blurb quote on the dust jacket suggests that alexander will be remembered for providing the first credible proof for the existence of god

"The organization and design of today's buildings parallel the organization and structure of the building culture that produces them. The discontinuous and fragmented character of the contemporary built world corresponds to similar qualities in the building production process. If this relationship is not merely a coincidence, then it stands to reason that improvements to the built world depend on fundamental changes to the building culture that produces it."

architects and builders were traditionally trained in a system involving masters and apprentices working on real buildings. as architecture came to be taught more formally the approach of the ecole des beaux arts combined with the ideology of individual creativity propogated by the bauhaus has lead to the modern university system where students work on projects that will never be built

"In the end, the beauty of the built world comes from the people in it, and they all have a stake in its beauty and its ability to improve their lives. If this concept begins to be recognized by those concerned about the built world, then there is a chance that the hints of new and healthy ways of making buildings - the flowers growing through the cracks in the concrete - will begin to grow and develop into new and sensible building cultures that can make beautiful things as a matter of course."

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