Week 46 - 24 March 2022

School

I've been loving the project I'm working on at school with Sanaa.

Our starting point was the fact that since the industrial revolution we've lived increasingly individual lives. What would it mean to have more collective daily practices?

A mapping of a living space

We'd done some interesting mapping exercises with people around their daily routines - one of which is pictured above. Our houses are still built around the assumption of a nuclear family, and our practices highly habitualised, making it hard to find our entry point when considering domestic space.

Looking for that entry point to the idea of collective in the domestic, a few more interviews led us somewhere that in hindsight feels so obvious - Neighbours. Maybe we hadn't noticed it because neighbourly relationships can feel like background noise to our lives, rather than something foregrounded. There's lots of academic research on the idea of community, but far less on neighbours.

The slow trust that can be built as neighbours is the a necessary foundation for any local initiative. For example, in Detriot in 2014 40% of people had no internet access. As a short term solution Benjamin Chodoroff setup a mesh network to allow internet to be shared. He said "I already talked to all my neighbours, that made it easier to setup because people already trusted me." More on this in the 99% invisible podcast episode 'The future of the final mile'

We've talked to people in many different housing situations across London and found a huge range of interactions with neighbours, many of which can only exist in the specific housing arrangement they live in. Like my friend Simon, who lives in a terraced house, and has his 12 year old neighbour cut through his house when he forgets his keys. You wouldn't get that in a block of flats. Or Bryony, who catches up with her neighbours when they're all cleaning their front gardens. Lauren calls her block of flats a 'ghost town' - it's got crisscrossing glass walkways to people's front doors in a huge atrium.

Just last week the guardian published an article about how Nextdoor is turning into a platform that encourages surveillance and hysteria. I wonder whether hyper-local social networks are destined to slip into this mode, without the connection that comes from physically sharing space.

Mater

I've been working on that website for Mater. I don't love the placeholder site - far more of my energy has been in experimenting with image compression techniques. Here's an example of where it's ended up.

An image compression test

Testaments

I saw an exhibition at Goldsmiths CCA. There were two pieces of work that I really liked by the door. I've written a bit more about them here: Testaments - Goldsmiths CCA.

Farming

Back on the farm! Part of the day was scattering green manure seed. It was a blustery day, so most of the work was understanding where the wind was blowing and letting it do the work for you. There's something quite dance like about it. Here's a photo of Robin and Ikuko at it.

Scattering seed

I'm in the process of designing a raised bed for my back garden.

This website

I've made some updates to this website. I've been taking notes in a sort of connected, Zettelkasten-light way for a while now and thought it'd be nice to publish them. Mostly to keep myself accountable for writing them in a way that future me can understand.

At the same time I made a few tweaks to make it a little more readable. Let me know what you think!

Last update: 2022-03-24 17:28