Joëlle Payet

Fog And The Architecture Of Water

I am amazed by the physical and cognitive effects of the representation or the simulation of fog in art works. When looking at some paintings by Turner or Whistler, I can actually feel the thickness of the fog in my mouth. I remember well the ‘climatological and sociological’ experiment of Antony Gormley’s Blind Light. Visitors…

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Living Large In Narrow Houses

Architect Bassam El-Okeily describes the concept of The Narrow House (see photo below, taken by Tim van de Velde) as follows: “What‘s a house? A space to live, To project our happiness between four walls, Then to spread out our vanity outside these walls. Can there be space for something else? A space for our melancholy, our scars,…

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From Design To Hacktion

Fabrique | Hacktion designs small-sized objects to twist and improve urban and collective spaces. Recharges for mobile phones rehabilitate declining phone boxes. Grafted to public walls, coat racks create hospitable places. Light signals on top of train ticket machines enable the travelers to check the state of the terminal from a distance.

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  • Review: IN SITU

    We destroy and rebuild cities every day. We strive to map every inch and connect every bit of them. We inundate them with signs, messages, sounds. Do we understand them better in the end? Do we know ourselves better? No. We just go on and hope we’ll find some answers. What if we were actively…

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    The Origami Phone Concept

    For being light, strong and recyclable, cardboard has been used a lot lately in architecture and design. The Chinese designer Chengyuan Wei also chose this humble material to revisit the phone design. Composed of simple components, the Origami Phone unfolds from flat into a minimalistic 3D handset. Simple and functional, a good design lesson. The…

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    Urban Agriculture, Part 1: The Community Gardens

    In 1932 Frank Lloyd Wright presented the so-called Broadacre City in his book ‘The Disappearing City’. “The Broadacre City, where every family will have at least an acre of land, is the inevitable municipality of the future… We live now in cities of the past, slaves of the machine and of traditional building. We cannot…

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  • Turn Off The City Lights And Gaze At The Stars

    With all the ambient light and the pollution of modern cities, delightful moments when you can lie and gaze at stars are rare. Régine Debatty from We Make Money Not Art spotted a lovely project that will delight the Londoners. The Urban Stargazing installation by the French product designer Oscar Lhermitte “focuses on bringing back…

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    Swing In The City

    Swing sets have been a popular playground activity for children for ages. When growing up, opportunities to enjoy this simple pleasure in public spaces are fewer. I am still refraining myself from using swings in parks because our serious societies and over-complicated urban environments do not expect me as an adult to use them. Anyway, since safety is so important, swing seats available in public spaces are now over-engineered to fit children only. Lately, I’ve been searching for interesting projects that explore the impact and the power of this simple playset in urban spaces.

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    Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today?

    Cover of 'Obsessive Consumption'

    What did you buy today? Do you remember things you bought last week? What about their price? What was your emotional connection to buying these items? Desire? Necessity? Joy? Guilt? Consumerist societies make us buy everyday, think we need to buy and forget about the meaning or the story of our purchases. Depressing? Then let…

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