The idea of a safe place seems to have been hijacked by the need for secure places. They are not necessarily the same thing.
Feeling safe is central to our sense of wellbeing. So, what makes us feel safe? As always, the most direct way to answer that question is to ask people. Whatever their…Continue
Added by Sam Cassels on September 1, 2011 at 16:20 — No Comments
At the heart of deliberations about our cities and towns is an assumption about speed. Whether it’s economists debating the velocity of circulation of money or educationalists the rate of change of technology, the implication is that quicker is better. Ergo we need to plan for places that can move…Continue
Added by Sam Cassels on August 15, 2011 at 10:51 — No Comments
“I’ve started so I’ll finish . . . “ seems to be the rule when looking at masterplans – or indeed any Gantt chart laden project.
In the context of a project plan this makes a lot of sense. In the context of the real world it can lead to crazy outcomes. So do we cleave to the…Continue
Added by Sam Cassels on August 8, 2011 at 14:14 — No Comments
We need to change the Place. But that means we need to change the Silos. But that means we need to change the Organisation. But that means we need to change the System. . . . And so it goes.
John Cage famously wrote ‘Begin Anywhere’. In the real world – the one…Continue
Added by Sam Cassels on August 1, 2011 at 11:55 — No Comments
I’ve got used to hearing the statement “We’d get rid of that building but it isn’t worth anything”. My reaction is always the same: “I’ll take it then”.
Certainly, some buildings are falling down, some lend themselves to no obvious purpose, and some are mired in bureaucracy. But no value at…Continue
Added by Sam Cassels on July 29, 2011 at 14:53 — No Comments
Sometimes I get interviewed by journalists. No matter how carefully you choose your words the feeling persists that in amongst those seemingly reasonable answers to seemingly reasonable questions you have offered an unfortunate quote out of context.
So the choice is simple. Say nothing…Continue
Added by Sam Cassels on July 20, 2011 at 10:53 — No Comments
From the aircraft window a panorama exploited in a hundred movies. On the ground a reminder that the English language has a rival.
Travel shows us other ways of living and makes us reconsider the things we take for granted. Design is a way of imagining what those…Continue
Added by Sam Cassels on July 8, 2011 at 11:14 — No Comments
It’s winter in Sydney. Torrential rain, ash clouds, and stormy debates about the effectiveness of $16 billion investment in school buildings as a key part of Australia’s Economic Stimulus Plan.
It reminds me that what happens in our schools is important not only to our pupils and our…Continue
Added by Sam Cassels on July 1, 2011 at 16:31 — No Comments
The roads will be busy this Easter weekend. And those stuck in traffic will be asking why is everyone else going where I’m going? However, if the roads were empty the same people would be scanning the radio stations for news of some disaster.
We are uneasy when we are alone…Continue
Added by Sam Cassels on April 21, 2011 at 17:07 — No Comments
Popular anecdotes are like popular songs – for a while they seem unavoidable on every conference platform, and then they disappear. But just because something gets repeated to death doesn’t mean it’s not true.
Man walking at night meets someone on his knees under a streetlight looking for…Continue
Added by Sam Cassels on April 19, 2011 at 14:30 — No Comments
What are the right questions to ask? Do you ask the types of questions that tend to produce clear answers; the more vague questions with vague responses that perhaps matter the most; or the ones whose answers you suspect will have the most impact?
If the aim is to write a clear story…Continue
Added by Sam Cassels on April 8, 2011 at 11:15 — No Comments
Today’s word is ‘excogitation’ – to think something out carefully.
Design is rarely about surges of inspiration and flashes of insight. It is usually about a lot of hard work and perspiration. The American writer Gene Fowler famously said ”Writing is easy. All you do is sit staring at a…Continue
I recently heard someone at a conference refer to “early yearning” – a slip of the tongue for ‘early learning’. But the phrase captures exactly what we need to engender in design projects.
Whatever the engagement, the prerequisite for realising better outcomes is the desire for better outcomes.…Continue
Added by Sam Cassels on March 16, 2011 at 14:30 — No Comments
Whether a learning environment is in a hut or a skyscraper, the senses of place that matter to children are universal. These include a sense of light and space, a sense of scale, a sense of comfort and a sense of inspiration. Places that provide these are places that people, of all ages, want to be…Continue
Added by Sam Cassels on February 16, 2011 at 16:25 — No Comments
It seems that we are readily impressed when ‘ordinary people’ strive for Grand Designs – but do our bureaucratic utmost to prevent professional designers chasing the same high aspirations. This is perverse.
In other creative endeavours this doesn’t happen. Yes, we applaud when an…Continue
Added by Sam Cassels on February 4, 2011 at 17:02 — No Comments
Talk to the right people in the right way. Craft a brief that means what it says. And choose a decent designer who will create a thoughtful solution. Finding the Holy Grail for good design sounds easy.
We should all know by now how to do effective…Continue
Added by Sam Cassels on January 26, 2011 at 14:31 — No Comments
When I first encountered Sim City it had an option which allowed a Godzilla-like monster to rampage randomly through your newly created city. The initial reaction was either to panic or to pretend it wasn’t happening.…Continue
Added by Sam Cassels on January 12, 2011 at 18:05 — No Comments
I now have a clear desk. It looks better. I feel less claustrophobic, and I can find what I need more quickly. So why do I feel unsettled?…Continue
Added by Sam Cassels on January 6, 2011 at 17:00 — No Comments
Added by Sam Cassels on December 8, 2010 at 17:23 — No Comments
At the start of the Oscar winning film ‘The Departed’, directed by Martin Scorsese, the Frank Costello character played by Jack Nicholson says:
Added by Sam Cassels on November 19, 2010 at 10:30 — No Comments