public space
  • Faroese urban art?

    Faroese urban art?

    I photographed this weird collection of beautiful orange little lines on the dark grey earth in downtown Tóshavn on the first of September of 2017. The fact is that I had already seen the intriguing lines, of exactly this same type, in one or two other places in the city, on the pavement. Although they may have been made on purpose by somebody, perhaps a more plausible explanation (I thought) was that they may be simply licks from machines used for construction or city maintenance works... Whatever the case, I found them truly wonderful!!

    In fact, in my detours through the city, this appeared to me something of a desert from the point of view of city art. The only certain sign I saw was this beautiful collection of hand prints on a white wall in a very narrow alley (if I remember well, there was an art or design studio at the corner, what helps to explain the presence of this otherwise concealed work of urban art):

    There is, nevertheless, a little space in downtown expresely dedicated to city art, the name of which I did not see or record. I can only provide this photo I made. See the daring red lines steming out and even crossing the street:

  • Noble materials: stone (2)

    Noble materials: stone (2)

    In the streets of Paris, full of its old stone houses, during an academic visit to France in 2008, my PhD thesis mentor, a Tibetan professor with good background of life and academic involvement in Europe, expressed his longtime held admiration for the prevalence of stone as building material in the continent, so much more perdurable than the wood traditionally used in Tibet, China, Japan..., where historically a royal palace had all chances to succumb to fire, to the ground, sooner or later.

  • Noble materials: stone (1)

    Noble materials: stone (1)

    Stone is one of the most obvious and readily available noble materials to be chosen for manual work. But, before showing you some examples, let me today bring this photo (edited to erase all the yellow chinese characters, leaving only one as a focal point), which I took not far from my home in Beijing. Chinese have an intense appreciation for the aesthetics of the stone in its natural state, which they use very often as decorative element in urban spaces, sometimes (as in this case) adding the human touch by way of written texts. This coalition between nature and culture departs greatly from the type prevalent in the West.

  • Noble materials: stone (3)

    Noble materials: stone (3)

    Europe, in fact, mastered the art of stonemasonry and stonework. I have always marvelled at the old cathedrals, palaces, castles and, indeed, just houses, squares and streets in general! This fantastic workmanship of the stone is basically a thing of the past: nobody can do it anymore to such high degree of mastery. It is lost forever or, if not yet so, for the most part of it, in the brink of extinction.

    (Pictures taken in Segovia, Spain, October 2016)

  • Space crafting-2 (español)

    Space crafting-2 (español)

    Las verdades están latentes en las cosas,

    no apresuran su propio nacimiento ni lo retardan,

    no necesitan el fórceps obstétrico del cirujano,

    para mí lo insignificante es tan grande como cualquier otra cosa

    (¿qué puede ser ni más ni menos que un contacto?).

    Los sermones y la lógica no convencen,

    más profundamente penetra en mi alma la humedad de la noche.

    (Solo vale aquello que prueba su validez a todo hombre y a toda mujer,

    solo tiene valor aquello que nadie niega).

    Un minuto y una gota que brota de mi ser sosiegan mi cerebro,

    creo que los trozos [terrones] húmedos se convertirán en amantes y en ojos,

    y es un compendio de compendios el alimento del hombre o de la mujer,

    [y son un compendio de compendios las carnes de un hombre o una mujer] 

    y es una cumbre y una flor el sentimiento mutuo que les une,

    y se ramificarán infinitamente de esa confianza hasta hacerla omnígena

    y hasta que todas sus partes nos deleiten, y nosotros a ellas.

    «Canto de mí  mismo»-30 Walt Whitman, Hojas de hierba, versión de Francisco Alexander. Barcelona, Ediciones Tesis S. A., 1986, p. 149. He modificado la ortografía respecto del original y he añadido entre corchetes traducciones alternativas mías.

  • Space crafting-2 (English)

    Space crafting-2 (English)

    All truths wait in all things,

    They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it,

    They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon,

    The insignificant is as big to me as any,

    (What is less or more than a touch?)

    Logic and sermons never convince,

    The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul.

    (Only what provides itself to every man and woman is so,

    Only what nobody denies is so.)

    A minute and a drop of me settle my brain,

    I believe the soggy clods shall become lovers and lamps,

    And a compend of compends is the meat of a man or woman,

    And a summit and flower there is the feeling they have for each other,

    And they are to branch boundlessly out of that lesson until it becomes omnific,

    And until one and all shall delight us, and we them.

    "Song of Myself"-30, Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 1881-82 edition. The Walt Whitman Archive, Gen. ed. (, Ed Folsom and Kenneth M. Price. Accessed January 4, 2017.

  • Space crafting-1

    Space crafting-1

    The pictures are a bit old (I took them in July 2015), but the message they portray is a classic that never dies. They show part of the decoration of one of Starbucks coffee houses in Beijing. A lovely one, they got it just perfect! (alas!, I seldom visit that cafe, it is too far away from home, too troublesome the public transportation ride for me!).

    It is all about space, that thing that surrounds us everywhere we are or go. It is about space transformation, one of the components of my suggested guidelines for the future development of and beyond Craft Humanitas.

    I want space around not only to surround, but actually to embrace. I want space to speak to me with the language and aesthetics of humanity, of crafthumanship. Tired of the aseptic, polished, facile, flat order of today's urban environments. Do you still remember the meaning of cozy/warm/homey/welcoming?...

    Space craft is not 

                           a vehicle used for travelling in space!