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舗 装 Pavement Выстилка ‫תפצרמ‬ 人行道 calçada pavimenTazione Πεζοδρόμιο S id e w a l k ફરસબંધી ‫ةفصرألا‬ 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

TRANSCRIPT

Page 1: Surfaces Book as submitted
Page 2: Surfaces Book as submitted
Page 3: Surfaces Book as submitted

járda

תפצרמ

BestratingTrottoir

Выстилкаફરસબંધી

Plasterungcalçada

舗装

人行道

ةفصرألا

pavimenTazioneΠεζοδρόμιοPavement

Side

walk

Page 4: Surfaces Book as submitted

Con

tent

s

Following page: the word for pavement translated into American, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Gujurati, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Russian, Japanese and Portuguese

Page 5: Surfaces Book as submitted

Intr

oduc

tion

Insp

irati

on

Aes

thet

ic

Sour

ces

& B

iblio

grap

hy

Com

mun

icat

ion

Func

tion

Dum

ping

Gro

und

06 10 12 14 18 26 32

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06

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…

Ben Wilson

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07

Intro

duct

ion Pavements are our universal

home in the city: a sharedspace 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...

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08

I’ve been walking in the same way as I did missing outthe cracks in the pavement…

Adele Atkins

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I’ve been walking in the same way as I did missing outthe cracks in the pavement…

Adele Atkins

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10

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.

Func

tion

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.

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12

Com

mun

icat

ion

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.

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Dum

ping

gro

und

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.

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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

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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

spira

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. I’m sure you’ll go back. Because when you leave something you leave part of yourself

Blek Le Rat

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20

Cha

sing

Pave

men

tsLy

rics b

y A

dele

Atk

ins &

Eg

Whi

te

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I’ve made up my mind, Don’t need to think it over If I’m wrong, I am right Don’t need to look no further, This ain’t lust I know this is love But, if I tell the world I’ll never say enough ‘cause it was not said to you And that’s 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

Cha

sing

Pave

men

tsLy

rics b

y A

dele

Atk

ins &

Eg

Whi

te

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Che

win

g G

um M

an

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.

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The

Poth

ole

Gar

dene

r

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.

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“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

Aes

thet

ic

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 believes it is an integrated approach to existence, spirituality, emotional well-being, behaviour and the look and feel of things.

Applying a selection of these rules, the pages that follow show observations of Wabi-Sabi on the pavements of London.

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27

“Gre

atn

ess”

exi

sts

in th

e in

con

spic

uo

us

and

over

loo

ked

det

ails

Page 28: Surfaces Book as submitted

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The

sug

ges

tio

n o

f nat

ura

l pro

cess

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Focu

s o

n th

e in

trin

sic

and

ign

ore

mat

eria

l hie

rarc

hy

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Bea

uty

can

be

coax

ed o

ut o

f ug

lines

s

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A b

eau

ty o

f th

ing

s im

per

fect

, im

per

man

ent a

nd

inco

mp

lete

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32

Pict

ure

cred

its a

nd so

urce

s

06

“The streets tell the

stories…”

Ben Wilson,

Chewing Gum Art on the Streetswww.youtube.com

07

“Underneath all its

engineering…”

Frank Pick, Chief

Executive, London

Transport, London Transport Museum

08 & 09

“I’ve been walking

the same way…”

Adele Atkins,

Hometown Glory,

from the album 19,

© XL 2009

10

Manual for Sreets,

The Department of

Transport,

March 2007

© Crown copyright

15

“It starts life…”

Lord Selsdon in a

House of Lords on

chewing gum tax,

31October 2006

19

“Go once in the

street…”

“Blek le Rat, the man

who gave birth to

Banksy”, The Sunday

Times, 8 June 2008

20 & 21

Adele Watkins &

Eg White, Chasing Pavements, from

the album 21,

© XL 2011

24& 25

Photo credit:

© Steve Wheen, 2011

26

“Wabi-sabi is the

most conspicuous…”

and

“a radical departure

from 19th-century…”

Leonard Koren,

Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers,

Imperfect Publishing,

1994

27 to 31

All captions

from Leonard

Koren, Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers

All pictures are

the author’s own

except where stated

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33

BibliographyBooks

Design writing researchEllen Lupton & Abbott Miller Phaidon 1996

Graphic Design Theory Helen Armstrong (ed.) Princeton Architectural Press 2009

Design as ArtBruno Munari Penguin 2008

Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & PhilosophersLeonard KorenImperfect Publishing 1994

David Hockney, A Bigger Picture Tim Barringer et al. Royal Academy of Arts 2012

Art of the 20th CenturyRuhrberg et al.Taschen 2000

Other publications

Manual for StreetsDepartment for Transport 2007

Guidance on the use of tactile paving surfacesDepartment for Transport

Civilised StreetsCABE 2008

Various guidance publicationsInterpave

Websiteswww.pavingexpert.comwww.wikipedia.com

Following page: the word for pavement translated into American, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Gujurati, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Russian, Japanese and Portuguese

Page 34: Surfaces Book as submitted

34

járda

תפצרמ

BestratingTrottoir

Выстилкаફરસબંધી

Plasterungcalçada

舗装

人行道

ةفصرألا

pavimenTazioneΠεζοδρόμιοPavement

Side

walk

Page 35: Surfaces Book as submitted
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