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DESCRIPTIONPavement calada pavimenTazione S id e w a l k Contents Following page: the word for pavement translated into American, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Gujurati, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Russian, Japanese and Portuguese 06 10 12 14 18 26 32 Inspiration Aesthetic Dumping Ground Introduction Ben Wilson 06
Following page: the word for pavement translated into American, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Gujurati, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Russian, Japanese and Portuguese
06 10 12 14 18 26 32
The streets tell thestories of the peoplewho walk them. Over the passage oftime these pavementshave become markedwith the trails of peopleas they leave their litterbehind along with theirtrails of footprints
ion Pavements are our universal home in the city: a shared
space that we use every day. However, their utility and value are seen in different ways by different people. For some they are a means of traveling from A to B; they are a means of communication; they have inspired songwriters, artists and poets.
"Underneath all its engineer-ing and operation, there is the revelation and realisationof something which is in the nature of a work of art".
Although referring to the Tube, this quote from Frank Pick, thefirst Chief Executive of London Transport, could equally refer to the pavement.
The inspiration for this project came when visiting the Tate Modern and City Hall - the preliminary visual research tasks we were set. What struck me was how instinctively I was drawn to look up when exploring my environment. I always recall myfather telling me that it was only by looking up that I would discover the unexpected.
A person who looks down at their feet is considered to take a narrow, rather than visionary, view of the world.
I wanted to look in another way.
Alan Fletcher calls this The Art of Looking Sideways.
I started looking down to see what I would find...
Ive been walking in the same way as I did missing outthe cracks in the pavement
Ive been walking in the same way as I did missing outthe cracks in the pavement
The street is the one public service that we use every day. It is the basic structure of the city. If well designed and well maintained it can have a positive impact on our lives.
The Manual for Streets is the bible that public authorities consult when designing our streets. It is intended to ensure that good design practice is implemented consistently, but sensitively, across the UK.
The key recommendation of the Manual for Streets is that increased consideration should be given to the place function of streets. This function is essentially what distinguishes a street from a road, where the main purpose is to facilitate movement.
According to the Manual the sense of place is fundamental to a richer and more fulfilling environment and the choice of surface materials has a large part to play in achieving a sense of place.
Streets have five principal functions in all. In addition to those of place and movement, streets need to allow for access, they often need to provide room for parking, and they accommodate drainage, utilities and street lighting.
Closer inspection of the pavement reveals that it is more than just the surface we walk on. It is a canvas for communication where messages are recorded and signs to aid navigation can be found.
The surface is used as a bulletin board by councils, utility companies and the people who dig up our streets. Our pavements and roads are littered with coloured marks. These seemingly meaningless series of dots and lines are a hieroglyphic language.
They mark the position of the network of underground pipes and cables so that road gangs avoid them when they dig up the roads and pavements.
They indicate to the road marking crews where to paint the yellow lines and zig zags that dictate where we should park or which direction to travel in.
The traditional approach to paving materials has resulted in the rather drab streets that are found in the UK - repetitive shapes, simple patters and single pigmented colours.
Today the use of contrasting colour, pattern or texture to create patterns which can be symbolic (eg to delineate a route within a shared surface)or merely decorative
The regular pattern of paving slabs is interrupted with raised tactile surfaces. Known as tactile paving these are, carefully designed and placed to assist visually impaired pedestriansas they navigate the city.
We take this structure for granted. We use it as our dumping ground. We take the last drag on a cigarette and drop the butt; we spit out gum and leave it where it falls; we finish a can of Coke and rather than finding a litter bin we leave it to roll to its resting place in the gutter.
It starts life in a wrapper with anice notice on the outside that says:
please use this wrapperprior to disposal.It then enters the mouth where, mixed with saliva and often respiratory pathogens, and occasionally blood if you have recently been to a dentist for teeth cleaning, it is masticated and then given its exit in the form of excrement. This excrement is either spat on to the pavement or disposed of in other ways and carries with it certain dangers. As it hits the pavement, it is colloquially known as a gum turd. This gum turd may retain viruses and bacteria for as long as it is wet
Lord Selsdon of Croydon
The pavement has inspired poets, artists and songwriters.
Pavement art has been recorded in Europe since the 16th Century. In Italy, itinerant artists would decorate the streets with images of the Madonna using chalks and pastels. They became known asI Madonnari.
The first known street painter in the US was Sidewalk Sam, who began painting on the streets of Boston in 1973.In
tion Pavement art developed in another direction, in the form
of graffiti, the most high profile proponent of which is Banksy. However, Banksy was not the first artist to use the street in this way.
That honour goes to Blek le Rat, a Parisian artist who started decorating the street in Paris in the 1980s. He is credited with inventing the life-sized stencil to produce works quickly, and which Banksy uses.
Over the following pages we look at some contemporary pavement inspired work.
Go once in the street with a spray can. Spray your signature. Then go back the day after. Im sure youll go back. Because when you leave something you leave part of yourself
Blek Le Rat
Ive made up my mind, Dont need to think it over If Im wrong, I am right Dont need to look no further, This aint lust I know this is love But, if I tell the world Ill never say enough cause it was not said to you And thats exactly what I need to do If I end up with you Should I give up, Or should I just keep chasin pavements Even if it leads nowhere Or wouldit be a waste Even if I knew my place Should I leave it there Should I give up, Or should I just keep chasin pavements Even if it leads nowhere
Ben Wilson started decorating chewing gum on the pavement about 7 years ago in Bethnal Green. His aim was to create a path through London, something he has not achieved. He decided to paint on the chewing gum left behind by Londoners for practical reasons... because he was painting on something already discarded, and which sat on the pavement, he could not be arrested for vandalism.
Steve Wheen is a video producer, and currently a student at Central St Martins. He created The Pothole Gardener and is part of a growing number of pothole gardeners sprouting up around the world. The movement started in the California College of the Arts around 2008. Pothole gardeners aim to highlight the poor conditions of our roads and pavements, and to bring a smile to the faces of people who spot them.
Wabi-Sabi is the most conspicuous and characteristic feature of traditional Japanese beauty and it occupies roughly the same position in the Japanese pantheon of aesthetic values as do the Greek ideals of beauty and perfection in the West. Wabi-sabi can in its fullest expression be a way of life. At the very least, it is a particular type of beauty.
It has long been associated with the tea ceremony and developed as a reaction against the overly ornate, decorative objects
that had come to dominate the ceremony by the early 16th-century. In some ways, it can be viewed in a similar light to Modernism which was itself
a radical departure from19th-century classicism andeclecticism.
An attempt to define the aesthetic system was made by Leonard Koren in his bookWabi-Sabi for artists, designers and philiosophers. He b