03 oktober, 2014

Kristallen


The new glass building housing Lunds Kommun services is the touchstone for the development of a new area, right in Lund's downtown. Is it a metaphore for the Kommun's transparency? Anyway, I was there a few months ago for a meeting to start a project that was just now finished. More to come.

01 oktober, 2014

Ales Stenar


Early in the summer, I got back to Ales Stenar for the Midsommar's sunset. There are always all sorts of people going there at that day. This time, on the way back we met a group of indian backpackers and a swedish girl getting ready to spend the night there. The sky should be a wonderful sight there!

14 augusti, 2014

Marie Flood

So it goes when sketching becomes a tool for meeting people and networking. I had met Marie Flood some months ago, during the exhibition at Martas Café. She was there as part of a fanzine market and we talked about meeting afterwards to sketch together. And we did, during a sunny afternoon – way too sunny for this latitude. We sought the relief of shade and the comfort of caffeine and talked for hours about art, architecture, people and ourselves before we even laid pen on paper.


When we finally did, I was happy that I chose an A4 sketchbook, so that the background would fit together with her portrait. I also had the chance to go through Marie’s impressive sketchbook. It was inspiring for me not only because of the quality of her sketches, but also because she sketches mainly from her imagination – something that doesn't come naturally to me any more after years of sketching what I see. She says imagination is like a muscle and needs practice. I guess she’s right. It’s like every other skill.

Lunds Stadstheater, Folkets hus, dans- och musikal gymnasium på Kiliansgatan


22 juni, 2014

Urban hierarchy

It seems like city planner's first priority are buildings and structures. Then comes facilities for cars – cars occupy an enormous space in urban areas. After that comes cyclists and pedestrians. In the end, if there is any space left, they will plant a tree.

20 juni, 2014

Jakriborg is a neigbourhood in Hjärup, a suburb of Lund. Whoever glances at it from the passing train might find it very old and well-preserved in its quaintness. It’s not! It’s deceiving and mischievous. It’s the trickster’s doing.



It was actually built in the 90s by realtors Jakri AB as a pastiche of medieval building styles backed by modern building techniques – below these impressively high gables you can occasionally find a concrete base with underground parking. The streets were designed to mimic medieval vernacular urbanism, with curvy streets and narrow alleys but it all comes out too neatly. It’s not even local Scandinavian architecture that is pastiched, the whole thing just feels very Flemish or German.

Despite all this, the town common was nice enough to spend a few hours and have a picnic. The town is completely car-free in its inner streets and that certainly improves the quality of life for its denizens. Not a sound was heard for hours, except for a few neighbourly conversations. Doesn’t take medieval fake architecture to create nice living surroundings, but Jakriborg succeeds in that at least.

08 juni, 2014

Stress killer


If you experience high stress levels or unwanted anxiety, try these chinese balls. They are made from steel and have (in one fashion or another) been around since the 13th century, believed to promote health and longevity. So far I think they worked pretty well.

07 juni, 2014

Here nothing moves.

Yes, the trees are waving and birds are chirping but the rest remains silent and still. No one runs away when you take out your sketchbook. A walk down the graveyard can actually be inspiring.

29 maj, 2014

HSB Turning Torso i Malmö


HSB Turning Torso i Malmö
Santiago Calatrava arkitekten, skulptören och byggnadsingenjör från Spanien ritade Sveriges högsta bostadshus. Den skulptural skyskrapa är 54 våningar hög och vrider hela 90 grader från topp till botten!

Source: http://www.turningtorso.net/facts.html

The duty to sketch the common things


Thomas is a good sketching mate. He is patient and disciplined, which I am not. So, by a subtle sense of duty and companionship, he drives me from home (even when it's freezing cold) with the challenge of street sketching.



Different things flow from the pens and pencils when such a companion puts you outside of the comfort zone. He usually sits exactly where I wouldn't sit and sketches what I wouldn't sketch, because I wouldn't find it interesting or exciting enough. He does so, and so do I after spending a few moments in the tranquillity of everyday sights. The ability to permeate such sense and determination impresses me.


27 maj, 2014

Sketching at Ariman


One of my favourite places in Lund is Ariman, a bar that goes back at least one generation. For the young people, it's one of those places that has always been there, with reliable rock n' roll and cold beer. For the elders, it's a landmark and a meeting place for open discussion that goes back to the revolutionary 70s. It caters for both young and old, swedes and foreigners, in seemingly equal parts.


It has prime location both in commercial sense and in its exposure to the sun. When the vitamin D is pouring down upon the Earth, Ariman's tables outside in the narrow walking street are the place to be.


25 maj, 2014

Election day

Time to vote, time to rest.

Patio-houses of the Öresund region

In the eastern section of Lund lies a neighbourhood called Planetstaden. It's pretty much a cul-de-sac with one street that loops around 45 houses on a few hectares of land. Still, those houses hold great interest, because they comprise a housing complex designed by Jørn Utzon, the famed danish architect who came to design Sydney Opera House just a few years later.



Utzon presented this model of houses in a Skåne competition and applied the same project to four distinct locations around the Öresund, both in Sweden and Denmark (Lund, Helsingør, Fredensborg and Bjuv). The houses are inspired by danish barns, a patio with house on two sides and walled on the other two, so that further construction in each patio does not affect the exterior design. But this construction might as well (and probably was) inspired by mediterranean or chinese or middle-eastern patio-houses. It's such a successful concept that it's difficult to find a culture that hasn't absorbed it. 



The low-pitched inward-facing roof brings to mind some coastal town houses of the Mediterranean Sea or even the ancient roman colonial villas. The wide windows are easily identified with nordic or maybe japanese architectures. That special yellow-coloured brick makes us think about the rammed earth buildings of Yemen or Mali. It is an international design, no doubt, but also very much local. It is a design that is simultaneously vernacular and modernist. And apart from a few outside air conditioning units, it still preserves its original unity.

14 maj, 2014

A weekend at Göteborg

About a year after our first visit to Göteborg and to our favourite persian family, we were back again, and again for just one weekend.


Persians host people like the portuguese do: welcoming booze, loads of food and that warm familiar feeling of organized chaos.


Our persian/swedish/portuguese guide and friend took us to an iranian pastry shop, but it had little to do with Iran these days, except maybe for the staff. It was gleaming with those rich coloured pastry that Sweden has gotten us used to. Lots of berries, lots of sugar, lots of cream, yumminess in a slice.


Gothemburgians, like most swedes, lie under the sun as much as they possibly can. Here, they do it in the sloped shores of the canal, in a park where the city walls once stood, with warm coffee, food and drinks.


The sunny sunday took us to the house of a couple in the family in Lerums Kommun. Alsjö lake lies just by it. There, the neighbourhood is organized around the lake instead of a network of roads. The neighbours must agree on any construction or action that might compromise the neatness and the health of the lake. It’s the commons, an old kind of appropriation that still has a lot of significance around these parts. After a delicious bolognese we were on our way back to the south.



12 maj, 2014

Fruktsam presentation

On the 5th of may, the public edibles initiative Fruktsam held its first public presentation, starting off with some delicious hand-prepared jams and pestos made with hand-picked fruits in and around Lund and continuing with a presentation by one of its founders – Teresa Rauscher. She explained the fundamentals of the initiative – a project that encompasses locating, picking and preparing public edibles such as fruits, herbs and nuts. For that, they provide different tools and data, such as a harvest calender, a harvest map, a fruit-picker and many more stuff. They also hold study circles to discuss and share information about fruit and stuff.


Representing the city of Lund was Karl-Oscar Seth, who explained how the Kommun deals with public edibles nowadays and how can Fruktsam cooperate in the effective management of these precious (and widely undiscovered) resources in a win-win-win outcome (Fruktsam wins, the Kommun wins, the community wins, yay!).


Kim Nicholas finished with a scholarly look at the issue, presenting her own research on urban food forestry, and how can such initiatives as Fruktsam, help to bridge urban ecosystems and food production, taking advantage of already existing urban food-producing areas, creating tools and infrastructures to aid the planting, the mapping and the harvesting of public food.

10 maj, 2014

Seriefest at Stadsbibliotek

A surprise knocked upon our door: a comic book festival was happening in Stadsbiblioteket in the first weekend of our exhibition. So, just a few meters away from where we’re sketching and showing up our stuff – and in the same building – conferences about comic books were being held, a fanzine market was bustling with activity, battles between comic authors were raging! Such a happy coincidence!


The fanzine market was female-dominated. I guess the comic book guy archetype is quickly fading out. There was also a lot of manga-inspired comics, and quite a lot of comic porn! One group in particular drew my attention: Think Ink – a band of five girls who get together to make comic books. I bought one of their fanzines called The Art of Fika, a compilation of stories that revolve around fika – the legendary swedish habit of sitting down with, friends, coffee or tea and stuffing your face with yummy pastry. It seemed such a cool concept to draw stories around such a simple theme. And the artwork is pretty amazing!




On saturday a battle took place between four comic book authors. Energized by music, the artists would do a sketch based on a theme chosen by the audience. The themes that the authors had to negotiate with – fantasy, fishing and (my favourite) alcohol and dystopia – were fertile ground for the artists to harvest some pretty cool drawings in the five minutes they had. The fun bit was that they could also interfere with each other drawings.



On sunday, Holger – who is a skilled networker – had some conversations with the fanzine girls. He even got his manga portrait done in a sketching duel with one of them. Watching over was another girl, a shy teenager, with an impressive talent, who confessed her dreams of becoming an illustrator.