How urban spaces can preserve history and build community

Can public spaces both reclaim the past and embrace the future? Landscape architect Walter Hood has explored this question over the course of an iconic career, with projects ranging from Lafayette Square Park in San Francisco to the upcoming International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina. In this inspiring talk packed with images of his work, Hood shares the five simple concepts that guide his approach to creating spaces that illuminate shared memories and force us to look at one another in a different way.

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Festival of Manchester – new one-day event is ‘for the people, by the people’

Launching on 1 September in Platt Fields Park, the event promises ‘a fling of fun for all the family’ (and that’s Manchester School of Samba in the picture)[…]

Source: Festival of Manchester – new one-day event is ‘for the people, by the people’

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Jewels in the Night Sea: Luminous Plankton Captured in the Dark Waters of the Osezaki Sea

Japanese marine life photographer Ryo Minemizu focuses his lens on some of the tiniest and most abundant life forms in our oceans. His series Phenomenons explores the diverse beauty and extravagant colors of plankton, and is shot amongst the dark waters of the Osezaki sea near Mount Fuji. To capture the small creatures Minemizu sets his shutter speed to just a fraction of a second, while ensuring that his own movements don’t disturb the surrounding organisms.

“Plankton symbolize how precious life is by their tiny existence,” he explains. “I wanted other people to see them as they are in the sea, so it was my motivation from the beginning to shoot plankton underwater, which is quite a challenge. Most plankton are small, and their movements are hard to predict.”[…]

Source: Jewels in the Night Sea: Luminous Plankton Captured in the Dark Waters of the Osezaki Sea

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1663. Upfest 2018 (14)

Natural adventures

I think this is the one, my favourite piece of Upfest 2018. The reason this works so well for me is that I have long admired this wall for all its textures and character and have photographed it before when it had no graffiti at all (I have searched through my pictures, but can’t find the ones I have taken here in the past, which is really annoying).

Kowse, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018 Kowse, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

The artist, Kowse One, is not even mentioned in the Upfest programme, and this certainly isn’t an official wall, but he did work on a fabulous collaboration with Braga Last One ( to come). I think he comes from Marseille, but beyond that I know little of him.

The piece itself is perfect in every way. The use of the rendered part of the wall and its juxtaposition with the bare brickwork, the colours used contrasting so…

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This is not a time to lie

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The Celi-Shack

So this weekend, I had the chance to visit Canterbury (one of my all time favourite places) with one of my best friends. We got the train down – as there is no way I am driving in Canterbury. It’s like a never-ending maze, especially if you’re not very good at following Google Maps. Sorry, we got the train down and spent the day wandering around the towns. Acting like tourists, as we do every time. I’d like to say that by luck I stumbled across the place that I’m talking about but I didn’t. I had done my research, looked at reviews and even messaged them to see whether they were going to be in town that day.

As a Coeliac, it’s difficult for me to find places to eat. I can’t just walk into any restaurant. It takes extensive research, phone calls and messages for me to decide…

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Spanish ”Carnaval” through the eyes of an Irish man.

The Double Hop

So I woke up on the 17th, went downstairs for breakfast and braced myself for the biggest parade of the year. However, this wasn’t Saint Patrick’s Day and the date was February 17th. It was the morning of the Carnaval parade in Torreperogil and instead of a hearty fry I was going down for some churros and chocolate. In this article I will share with you my experience of the 2018 Torreperogil Carnaval.

My understanding of what it is.

Now, I could be wrong but Carnaval seems to be a festival to mark the start of lent. So while we’re doing our best to mix up some eggs and butter for pancakes, the Spanish are throwing a premature Paddy’s Day-esque party behind our backs! Having said that, they were more than welcoming so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt 😉 .

What happens at ”Carnaval”?

Carnaval bears many…

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Brazilian Criminals Knitting Their Way to Freedom

Knitting their way to freedom, the maximum security prisoners who get a day off their sentence for every three days they work for luxury fashion label.

Poring over their fine-quality crochet, the prisoners of Brazil’s Arisvaldo de Campos Pires maximum security penitentiary are a model of concentration.

And it’s no wonder, when you consider what’s at stake.

Thanks to a collaboration with Brazilian fashion designer Raquel Guimaraes, the inmates have one day taken off their sentence for every three days of knitting they perform.

The designer turned to the prison for help in 2009 when she had trouble finding knitters for her Doiselles label, which specialises in beautiful knitting and crochet work.

She trained 18 prisoners sentenced for crimes ranging from robbery to murder, and their work is now exported globally, including to America, France, and Japan.

The hand-made pieces, which are strictly quality-checked, are also sold in 70 stores…

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Newmans of Leguevin

One of the traditions I had forgotten about after we left was Carnaval. This is not to be confused Carnival, the party hearty festival in Brazil or the masked ball time of year in Venice.

Think of Carnaval as a cross between Halloween without candy and Guy Fawkes Day without the fireworks. I remember that our prior hometown of Leguevin had a Carnaval each spring and was pleasantly surprised to see that our newly adopted hometown of Pibrac scheduled one as well.

The idea of Carnaval is that come springtime, the town makes an effigy – ‘Monsieur Carnaval’ – and put’s him ‘on trial’ for all of the wrongs that he committed last year. Then they torch him (like on Guy Fawkes Day), thus ‘guaranteeing’ good weather, abundant crops and – who knows? – fertility in general.

Alas, the first six months of this year being ‘crappy’ (an official meteorological…

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Here’s what happens to your knuckles when you crack them

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