Chatham Placemaking Project

chatham

Everyone likes to knock their hometown. The grass is always greener, as they say. But Chatham’s degeneration, particularly over the last decade, has left me feeling like my criticisms aren’t completely unfounded.

I came into the world in Chatham, in the middle of what is now a housing estate. I studied at Fort Pitt. My Granddad docked there when he was in the Navy. Like all of its (former) residents, Chatham has been the setting for some of my favourite memories. Even so, I simply couldn’t divorce myself from the place quick enough. (I won’t pretend that had nothing to do with wanting to recapture my freedom after uni though)

As much as we love to put our towns down, there’s also a small part of us that’s quite defensive of them. I’d love to see the town get better and to be proud of where I come from. It would be great if Chatham could be associated with it’s history rather than unfortunate stereotypes, news headlines and a high street of transient discount shops.

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A day in Brighton

I spent last Saturday in one of my favourite haunts; Brighton. From Street Photography to Street Art, my first stop was Cassettelord’s Fast Forward exhibition.

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Casettelord earned his name after rocking up head to toe in cassettes for an all-night fancy dress party in Brighton. Now, his colourful markings on the cityscape have quite a cult following across the UK. “Cassettelord is perhaps a secret ‘Time Lord’ – aiming to transport us all back to the visual world of our childhood. Where brightly coloured characters, objects and shapes collide with a super-hero comic book world”

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Double Take – Street Photography

This weekend I visited Adam Harrison’s Double Take exhibition in Maidstone. On show was a selection of his street photography which captured the extraordinary everyday.

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I really liked the way the photos were exhibited. They were spread around the walls, undulating over the raised levels at the back of the room, always remaining in the viewer’s eye line. This made it feel like you were walking around the street and witnessing these moments in real time. The prints were also placed directly on the wall. It wouldn’t have made sense to have such raw and honest images framed and presented in a formal way.

My photographs of the work don’t do them justice, so please visit his website to see a collection of them in their full glory. After reading of course 😉

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Words

So I let the blog slip a little these past couple of months. However, I’ve been itching to get back into writing for quite a while now. I tend to fall into the trap of thinking that I don’t have anything worthwhile to say. But, I started this primarily for myself and have missed the rather cathartic process. So here I am. I have a couple of ideas in the pipeline but I wanted to get back into the swing of things first. So rather aptly, I’m going to share what I’ve read this month that had me itching to put fingers to keys.

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Workspaces

While I was looking through a client’s case study the other week, I came across Kontor. It’s a network for workplace design, letting you browse real projects, the products used and interior designers that created them.

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It got me considering how much of an impact our work environment has on us; in terms of productivity and innovation. Would a clean and pleasant environment suffice or do elaborate designs really stimulate further creativity. Are they over-stimulating? Are they not really for the workers at all but about brand image? It’s an interesting topic, and one I considered for my dissertation. Don’t fear, this blog post won’t be several thousand words long (or so throughly researched, I’m afraid).

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Ads of Christmas Past

A certain department store will be unveiling their new Christmas advert tomorrow. Ahead of this, I thought I’d write about a few that have come before. Yes it’s a bit early for Christmas – apologies to all of the grinches out there! However, it’s never too early for corporations to start exploiting the festive season for some healthy profit. Which is the purpose of all of these heart-warming adverts at the end of the day. Still, the commercialisation of Christmas is another blog post in itself.

Holidays are coming


This is a Coca-Cola advert that aired almost two decades ago, some time after the ‘Holidays are Coming’ campaign’s inception in 1995. Look familiar? It should do, it’s largely the same advert we see to this day. Rarely would a company to stick to one campaign message for so long without changing tacts. 20 years is a long time in advertising!

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