Friday, August 9, 2013

Transitional Christchurch - Public Art

So as you are all probably well aware I am doing my planning thesis on the transitional temporary uses that have happened in Christchurch in response to the earthquake and  in the last couple of weeks, I actually got to go and experience Christchurch and talk to some of the key people involved in pushing the boundaries of temporary and experimentation for Christchurch. It was awesome. The creativity in a city that is facing a long and slow recovery is astounding, and the public art in the city is of an amazing quality and content. So seeing as I have quite a few pictures and quite a few thoughts on transitional Christchurch I thought I would dedicate this post to the amazing public art I saw during my visit. 

Kaleidoscope Wall near Re:Start Mall

This "kaleidoscope" piece had the most amazing colours and was located on a wall near the Re:Start Mall (where I spent way too much time and money!). This piece really picked up the area, and was a huge change from the traditionally grey city centre that Christchurch had pre-earthquakes. 

Freak Container in the Re:Start Mall

The personalisation on some of the shipping containers actually in the Re:Start Mall was also amazing, this "freak container" near the amazing food truck area was one of my favourites. 

Portrait on the currently vacant Art Gallery

This large portrait is on the wall of what was previously the Art Gallery, but now remains unused. Also outside this art gallery is one of my particular favourite pieces...
The Gnomes
The giant, silver gnomes! What could be better then those two gnomes standing guard. I also really loved the "It's Coming Down" sculpture pictured below, which is actually 3m tall on the roof of a still standing building. 

It's Coming Down Sculpture

So that is all I have for you for now, even though the amazing public art in Christchurch appeared to be endless! I am flat out with work and uni at the moment but I will post again soon on the great transitional streetscapes and transitional urban design/architecture that has developed in Christchurch's Central City. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

The People's Market

Now today is both a bit of a preemptive post (because I am pretty sure this project will feature largely on "The Block" this week) , and at the same time I can't believe I haven't featured this sooner. The project I am referring to is "The People's Market", a community shipping container market located in a car park in Collingwood, Melbourne by Emerge Studio. This temporary and completely portable project, focused on the theme of "recycled garden" is even more impressive for being the first project two part Emerge Studio has created. 

The People's Market via Emerge Studio
Although at first glance it might appear like just another shipping container mall, when reading the thought process behind this project on Emerge Studios website, I believe a lot of attention has gone into making this project a high functioning and engaging community space. When looking at the mix of uses, including the COMA art gallery viewable 24/7, shops, cafes and bars and the flexible nature of the space it is clear that considerable thought has gone into making this a 24hr space Jane Jacobs herself would be proud of. Also come on, those timber trees are fantastic!

The PVC Pipe Container via Australian Design Review
I also love the fact that all the shipping Containers have a point of difference, whether it be a vertical garden, PVC piping (as above), Bike Wheels, or just the encouragement for graffiti and Street art around the back of the containers. This personalisation really helps to create an activated and interesting site, drawing the attention of the community. 

So what do you think of The People's Market, are shipping container markets simply building on a great idea or are they "overdone" in the public realm? I personally still think they are pretty awesome. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Creative Christchurch Transition

Some of you may know that the original purpose of this blog was to aid in helping me right my honours thesis for my town planning degree, and although I have been pretty side tracked by other cool projects here - I have still been busy working on my thesis in the background. So I thought seeing as it is already June (!!!) and six months have flown past, I would create a little update (okay, it was originally meant to be an info-graphic but my skills just aren't there yet!) on the key points of my thesis below. 

I leave for Christchurch on the 25th to conduct interviews with some pretty cool people so I can start the data analysis part of the thesis  and have this whole project completed by the end of October! If you are from Christchurch and have had first hand involvement with these temporary projects I would be stoked if you got in contact either here or via twitter and if you have 5 minutes, can fill out my survey here: It will be super appreciated. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Urban Change Maker - Joost Bakker

Oh yeah, the Urban Change Maker column is back! Do you ever dedicate some time to finally listening to a lecture or talk you have been meaning to and get absolutely blown away by what they had to say? Well, that is exactly what happened when I watched this Creative Mornings Melbourne talk () by todays Urban Change Maker - Joost Bakker

Joost's Melbourne Greenhouse Pop Up via Broadsheet Melbourne

Joost could be categorised as a lot of things; farmer, inventor, artist, designer and problem solver but at the heart of everything he does is his clear ethos - rethink your original notions of waste and products and collaborate and explore to inspire people to live sustainably. Joost has made particular efforts to improve the sustainability of the hospitality industry not only by developing the cool vertical gardens you see everywhere such as those featured on the Greenhouse Pop Up. In Silo by Joost, a hole in the wall Melbourne Cafe in Hardware Lane the act of simple stating that the cafe will not have a bin has lead to a huge range of sustainable and waste minimising solutions! 

Inside Silo by Joost via Broadsheet Melbourne

Asides from providing take away coffee (and I am sure a sustainably made reusable coffee cup is encouraged) Silo boasts the fact that it produces absolutely no waste. You even get to sit on top of the reusable kegs which provide the milk and other beverages for the cafe. I wont provide too much more detail when you can watch the video and check out Joost for yourself and be sure to visit for more information on other cool projects (e.g. rooftop farming and harvesting urine!). I know I want to learn everything I can about this talented problem solver!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Service Station

It is a pretty amazing feeling when all your favourite things come together in the one place right? Even if that place does happen to be Los Feliz, California on the other side of the world... As I was reading a few blogs I follow on a Sunday morning, not thinking about urban design or temporary uses at all I was suddenly blown away by this post on Oh Joy. It just goes to show that good things pop up when you least expect them too.  

The post in question was about a visit to "The Service Station" which is, you guessed it, an old service station that has been turned into an outdoor creative market place and event space. The Service Station houses pop up shops (in refurbished shipping containers), outdoor movie nights and best of all a Wednesday food truck night! As I said, all the things I love coming together in a cool themed space - if that doesn't draw crowds and keep people coming back to Los Feliz, I don't know what would! 

Food Trucks @ The Service Station via Oh Joy blog 

I just can't help loving the idea of taking traditional car dominated spaces and completely transforming them into places for the community to gather, oh and eat at food trucks of course. Not only that they have taken a relatively unattractive and unused space and turned it into a place of experimentation and practical urbanism and if you take a look through the galleries on The Service Station website you can see the community coming together and enjoying themselves in this new space! And I mean who wouldn't enjoy themselves if they had the chance to watch Back to the Future in a retro style service station! 

Pop up shipping container shops via The Service Station

The sad thing about this project is that city permits have made it so difficult that this space has had to close and is currently seeking a new space to start up. It is frustrating that despite the obvious benefits from a town planning perspective, these spaces are often either restricted or completely shut down because of issues with permits. It makes it clear that a more flexible approach to city planning is required pretty urgently to foster creativity and innovation in planning solutions. Not only do temporary uses need to work with the existing legislation, but existing legislation should become progressive in making way for temporary uses.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Be Back Soon!

Just writing a super quick note to apologise for my absence here on Urban Submarine and to thank you all for still visiting! The views I have been getting are amazing and it is so awesome to know there are so many people interested in new ways to revitalise our cities! While my thesis is kicking my butt and due dates are looming for May, I don't have a lot of time for writing, BUT I do promise I will keep an eye out for exciting urban interventions, and if I ever have any spare time there may be a surprise post or two. Otherwise I will be back at the end of Autumn to post in earnest over the cooler months! 


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Pop Up Picnic

On Wednesday, I attended a picnic, complete with rugs laid out on grass, in the middle of the city, just one block down from my work in fact. The Albert Street picnic was organised by UR{BNE} as part of the Brisbane City Ideas fiesta - showcasing the new draft city plan and I can't think of a better way to get people involved and commenting on the future of their city.  

The Super Cool Picnic Sign blocking off Albert Street
Not only did this picnic provide a fun way to get involved in city planning, it was also a great way to demonstrate how little changes, such as pedestrianising a street in the inner city can make a huge difference in how we interact with our cities. The use of temporary projects also presents a low risk forum to trial new ideas - and if they work, great and if not you get the chance to try again! 

Proposed Ideas for Brisbane up for comment

A Packed out crowed enjoying the green space
More of these events will be popping up around Brisbane over the next month or so as part of the UR{BNE} festival and I can't wait to see what else they have come up with. It is an exciting time to be living in Brisbane that's for sure.