London Estate

September 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Over the past couple of weeks I’ve started compiling a bunch of my photos of housing estates from around London to put into a small book/mag style publication. As a little introduction…

The London housing estate has been represented in all forms and from a range of perspectives throughout its history. Often associated with crime and inequality, it is well-understood that inner city housing estates offer social cohesion and geographic opportunities that suburban living can not.

While their physical form can be dark, frightening and somewhat overwhelming these are much they same attributes as one would relate to the city of London itself. London – on the surface at least – is not a beautiful city. It’s beauty however, lies within its diverse population, networks and opportunities. Much the same as the housing estate. Rather than a place of isolation and desolation as is often portrayed by the mainstream, this short book will be a tribute to London’s housing estates.

By representing them as places of charm and intrigue, we can peel back the layers to show how they are places of immense wealth, beauty and opportunity.

More details soon.

Born & Raised – Toronto, ON

September 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

The problem with London

September 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

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I picked up the Evening Standard this week to see an article titled What I’ve learned from getting on my bike. With a CGI depicting how the incredibly dangerous Blackfriars Bridge could be improved with the implementation of Boris’ new proposals, I carried on reading.

Sadly, rather than expressing appreciation for the proposals, the journalist – Simon Jenkins – showed nothing more than the usual discontent for change. By outlining a list of negative implications that the scheme will have on cars, he is not only perpetuating the ‘us and them’ culture but is helping to further incapacitate the politicians and planners who are trying to progress a somewhat radical but much needed infrastructure project.

About the words, ‘much needed’. I don’t use them lightly. Bashing on about his sympathy for taxi and van drivers, the important fact that Simon has heedlessly neglected is that 14 bike riders were killed on London’s roads last year. 14.

Why did they die? Because of cars and trucks. Building infrastructure for bikes is not just some new idea to make a city more liveable. It is about making the city free and accessible for everyone (of all ages) without the need to spend money on travel. It’s also about saving lives.

London’s problem is that people get sucked into the negative narratives that people like Simon Jenkins dispel. People listen to all the ‘umms’ and ‘ahhs’ and at the end of the day, we’re left with pathetic excuses for public space and pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. Planners and politicians in London constantly try to appease everyone, but rarely ever, actually appease anyone.This city can do better.

We know what good bicycle planning looks like. Copenhagen and Amsterdam have been doing it for decades. Use that model and apply it to this city – it’s simple. Only then will we have cleaner air to breathe, improved high streets and urban vitality, and most importantly, less carnage on our streets.

The London Evolution

September 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

Havana Bikes

September 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

“Many people use bikes daily. Kilometres and kilometres on a bike. For example, I have my own bike, it is my official transport. To go here, to go there, not just for work. Wherever I go I use my bike.”

By Kauri Multimedia.

House of Vans, London

August 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Photos by Tom Payne

Photos by Tom Payne

The Old Vic Tunnels underneath Waterloo Railway Station was – just a few years ago – nothing more than a few damp and derelict railway arches. In 2009 the space opened its doors as an arts and performance space and hosted dozens of amazing musicians, including the amazing Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and saw the UK premiere of Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop.

After more than a year in disuse once again, the space reopened just a few weeks ago as House of Vans. Luckily enough, I was able to check out the new venue a few days after it opened. It’s pretty amazing.

Nestled away in the Leake Street corner of the Station, the space comes complete with a street course, bowl section, a couple of bars, art space and music venue.

Once again, London has proved that innovative and creative thought to architecture and design can over come even the tightest physical limitations. When compared to the Vans parks spread across the United States, the London setup looks a little small. But through incredible layout technique, the creators of this venue have somehow managed to create what is a probably a far more interesting and active space than any large warehouse could offer. The coolest part is that it sits just a few metres underneath a a major railway line in the midst of one of the most amazing city centres in the world.

Perfect for an afternoon skate, Friday night party…or both. Check it out.

Sunday chill

August 26, 2014 § 1 Comment

Photo by Tom Payne

Photo by Tom Payne

Cykelby #4, East London.

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