Archive for February, 2008

Aquarium design competition

A large gallery featuring the winners from a 2007 international aquarium landscape design competition… Almost a case study (ouch, excuse the pun) in ‘creatives outside the creative industries’ — they might count themselves as ‘designers’ or ‘landscape gardeners’ or ‘crafts makers’, but I’d be willing to bet they show up in government statistics as ‘pet […]

You Can Be an Art Collector Too

Spaghetti Gazetti brings news that there’s to be a free event at the New Art Gallery Walsall, “You Can Be an Art Collector Too” (6th Mar 08, 6pm-9pm).

Passenger trains through Sutton Park?

Interesting; passenger trains could once again run through Sutton Park, on what is probably the nation’s greenest urban rail line but currently only carrying freight. The Park, for those who don’t know it, is one of the largest urban parks in Europe and has existed for over a thousand years (since the time of Mercia). […]

The old BIAD

Oooh… can we have the new £150m BIAD look like this, please? Just replace the cogs with a few shiny bits of hi-tech kit, and give us free campus-wide wi-fi, and we’ll be sorted… Corner of the Machine Room by E. M. Southall. Part of the history of BIAD page on

City-centre public art, online

Now that Birmingham has the money for New Street Station, Urban Initiatives are on board for the city-centre masterplan, there’s a date for the Library start (24th Nov 09 to end Xmas 2012), the new BIAD is almost underway, and various others schemes worth billions in the pipeline — the following websites might be useful […]

The Public opens 28th June 08

This afternoon’s Express & Star has the opening date of the £51m The Public arts centre — Sat 28th Jun — and further details of what the building will contain. It’s been a long time coming, and a winding road to get the place built and open. It’s good to see that it’s been swung […]

The brain drain

The ‘brain drain’ appears to be back. A new OECD report, based on old 2001 Census data, has revealed that there was a huge ‘brain drain’ from the UK at the turn of the century. It was the biggest exodus of talent and brains since the war. 1.26-million British graduates were living abroad at that […]

4talent interview with Jamie McKelvie

Channel 4’s 4talent: Central England website has an interview with comics creator Jamie McKelvie — featured on D’log a few weeks ago — about his West Midlands-set solo graphic novel Suburban Glamour.

Useful videogame research 3.0

A Powerpoint summary of the ‘top 10’ most perceptive and useful findings from videogames research in 2007/8. The findings that stuck me as most interesting… 7. Altruism & affection: (Aki Jarvinen). “There is an unexplored design-space in [ finding a way for players to pay attention to the ] fortunes-of-others and attraction emotions” [ i.e.: […]

Brief encounter

DP muses… “now that the renovation of New Street Station is underway, what do we as interested and articulate citizens want from it? I see the contenders have been identified. Would it be remiss to draft a collective letter and post it to each of them, setting out our visions, expectations, and calls for dialogue? […]

“Who ya gonna call?”

Think you’ve got spooks? Want them investigated? The West Midlands Ghost Club makes regular field-trips. Don’t have any spooks? Not even a soot-sprite? No, I don’t believe in them either. Not inclined to sit on a camping stool in a damp dark graveyard for six hours? Well, you can always stay at home and browse […]

M.A. History of Art & Design

BIAD is recruiting now for this postgraduate degree: Master of Arts in the History of Art & Design. The course starts September 2008, at Gosta Green (top of Corporation St., Birmingham).

SMS-powered bicycle locks

Nice idea; joggle a locked-up bicycle and the nearest CCTV camera will swing around, zoom in, and take pictures of the bike and the junkie trying to steal or vandalise it… “When the [motion-detection & SMS-powered] system was piloted in Portsmouth last October through December [08], bike crime was reduced by 90 per cent”

Senseable cities

How to visualise the conversations produced by a city’s minds, as their chatter flows out around the earth? How to map the millions of outsiders who might be peering into your city neighbourhoods? MIT and partners have prototyped some working models of how those flows might be visualised for New York, in real-time… “New York […]

Steam-powered spaceships

If you don’t manage to see the eclipse of the moon (tonight, 3am through cloud), you might console yourself with steam-powered spaceships over Wolverhampton (Feb 27th).

Victorian Photocollage

Oh, this is good to hear about, if a little far off in both time and geography. The Art Institute of Chicago, always a place to cherish the unconventional in photography, is to stage an exhibition of Victorian Photocollage (10th Oct 09 — 3rd Jan 10)… “Sixty years ahead of the avant-garde, aristocratic Victorian women […]

No Merritt

Amazing. On Feb 15th in Coventry there was a major launch event for a new type of engine. A new type of engine. A new, better and cleaner, type of engine — one which is not some theoretical pipe-dream, but which has undergone more than ten years of R&D, is fully patented, and is now […]

Snap Galleries in 2008

The Snap Galleries — specialising in rock and pop photography, and located in 2,000 sq.ft. of Birmingham’s Fort Dunlop — have their 2008 exhibition schedules out… The shows include, among others: the first UK exhibition of Bob Dylan from 1966 by Barry Feinstein + Elvis Presley from 1956 by Alfred Wertheimer + Britpop Icons by […]


Fab ‘n juicy: get Microsoft Visual Studio Professional Edition; Microsoft Expression Studio; XNA Game Studio 2.0; SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition; and Windows Server Standard Edition for free. All these packages are now available for free to bona-fide U.K students, as full legitimate versions, as part of Microsoft’s just-launched DreamSpark initiative. No time-bombing, no nag-ware […]

Maps 2.0

I don’t usually follow what the latest models of mobile phones are doing — that’s a full-time job best left to rich students and marketing types. But this seems worth noting. The beta of Nokia’s Maps 2.0 has introduced a new pedestrian satnav feature, for Nokia’s location-aware phones. It’s designed to aid urban navigation while […]