Travel & Design Blog - BY YASMIN METZ-JOHNSON

Thursday, 10 October 2013

One for the road! - Endless Stair at the Tate Modern


Endless Stair by dRMM Architects

The reason for the beginning part of this titled post is that its my last post before I fly out to Senegal this Saturday! I've got a 6 months placement with an architectural design firm Atelier De'architecture which i'm looking forward to..

Last week my friend and I thought we would go take a visit to the Tate Modern as it had been a while since we both went. When we got to the former power station I couldn't help but notice a large amount of wood on the right of the Tate (I'm really short sighted!). As I walked closer towards it I then saw what it was, they called it the 'Endless Stair' which is the appropriate name as the interlocking staircases made from American tulipwood (CLT) wasn't going anywhere in particular, there was no end destination once you climbed the stairs, but the view along the River Thames.
More stairs..

Enjoy the view


The sculpture is the Landmark Project for the London Design Festival 2013. The piece allows the public to explore and analyse the structure designed my dRMM Architects. This was my first time seeing timber being used to this extent, it looked sustainable not in need of other materials for support. I think I underestimated the material as Alex de Rijke (Co-Founder of dRMM Architects) describes timber as 'the new concrete'. Who knows maybe we will see more use of organic grown materials like American tulipwood in the near future.







Inside the forever changing modern art gallery, the open space Turbine Hall was closed as works continue for the re-opening early next year. My favourite exhibition this trip was the Transformed Visions which showed the way artist chose to respond to the violence and war or of historical wars and battleships. A change I noticed and took part in was the gallery's new interactive board (that is opposite the cafe) the public could use to create work or their own, which could either express the time spent in the gallery or just a completely random drawing, which is then submitted by you onto the interactive wall that is shared with others work, a great idea as the people make the most of the experience/ time spent in the Tate Modern.




Photography by Mia Powell

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Monday, 30 September 2013

Brandy at the Indigo o2: The 90's

So Tuesday early morning I find out I'm going to see Brandy, (my friend won tickets and called me at some ridiculous hour to share the news). Obviously I was just as excited I liked the fact that it was so random, she didn't tell me she was applying for Brandy tickets? No warning what so ever!? Like anyone I didn't really know what to expect the only thing I was wondering was 'has she still got it?'. She was on top of her game in the 90's with R&B classics I still listen to. However its funny how most of her hits were release when I was still single digit ages, but with elder cousins who were teenagers at that time, I guess I grew familiar to Brandy's music through them. 


Winner's ticket ;)
Before Brandy came on stage she had 4 different supporting acts do their thing on stage (the most supporting acts I've ever seen for one show!) I didn't mind it though they were all really entertaining (Rachel Kerr, Ayah Marah, Dora Martin and Mike Hough). The lights went dim before we hear Brandy powerfully begin one of her most recent songs 'what about us', she began with a couple of songs from her Full Moon album before getting into her old school tunes which everyone was singing along too! She managed to please the crowd with her fierce dance routines with the backing of two dancers. A truly incredible show as she interacted with the audience also fitting in a short Whitney Houston medley. By the end of the show the crowd were practically crying for more! Chanting for her to come out one more time. Responding to our plea Brandy arrives on stage in a black leather studded jacket and performs her well known duet 'The boy is mine' which was the perfect way to close the show leaving everyone on a high.


Have you ever..
Angel in disguise
After the show I couldn't stop thinking how amazing she looked! she still looks like she was in her teens, just a bit less baby faced. I cannot believe the woman is in her 30's (not that it is old) she really did resemble who she was 20 years ago. I feel as if she just changed her hairstyle from her braids to weave (like most of us girls do). Brandy really did not disappoint, she has most definitely still got it going on!


Full moon
Going off the topic, I don't know about you but I had been watching The Big Reunion on ITV (its finished now but there is always itv player!) and I just loved it, it brought it all back for me, to my former pop junkie days, when pop music was actually bearable to listen too. When B*witched 'Cest La Vie' was mine and my sister's favourite song and when my friends and I made up a dance to every 5ive song there is! A time when pop music was innocent and the groups were aware of their young audience. It was an era where we had and still have music we can listen to and the song still holds the same morals and values, songs hold so many cherished childhood memories that makes me believe that the 90's was most definitely the decade to have been a part of (not bias at all).

The Spice Girls

TLC knew about crop tops from way back then..




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Friday, 6 September 2013

Skate King's X



 

I recently went to this pop up roller skating venue, located behind King's Cross station with some friends. This was their  first summer running it as they have been at a few festivals before going to the High Canopy at King's Cross. As soon as we got there I instantly liked the vibe as the DJ played inside the chained curtain skating ring. I'm so surprised I never fell down but skating is one of those things like anything, the more you do it the better you get at it, We all made major improvments by the end of the night in comparison to the way why we staggered on to the floor originally. As they say practice makes perfect! I would defienitly do it again as its a fun way to exercise also they sell food and some sweet mojitios, but obviously don't have too many of those before stepping out on to the floor.




I really recommend going its soo much fun when you get into it! - Make it quick though, this Saturday is the last day, do something out of your comfort zone..



All those wheels..


Me holding on..


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Monday, 19 August 2013

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2013 by Sou Fujimoto





Last Tuesday I went to the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens, this was my fourth visit to the gallery, I say that although I think I have only ever been inside the gallery once. I usually go to see the pavilion design which is usually located outside the gallery. The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is one of the most enterprising architectural programmes that happens annually. Every year in the summer since 2000 a highly acclaimed architect or designer is commissioned to create a temporary structure for the public, what they call the 'pavilion'. Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto was invited to create this year's pavilion.





From a distance the pavilion looked like a massive translucent but very much visible virtual cloud casually sitting on 10 acres of grass, I knew my mind wasn't playing tricks on me as I had read and seen pictures of this year's pavilion before hand, but that in all honesty is what it looked like from a far. Its almost surreal looking at it from the outside as you can clearly see people are sitting randomly in both the interior and exterior, what looks to the ordinary person as people sitting on thin air? However I knew there is no way that could be the case. The the outlining of the pavilion is out of steel (painted white) and glass designed for the square seats and steps. In Fujimoto's design statement he mentions how the greenery of the surroundings was his starting inspiration and the idea of creating a transparent structure that somehow blends in with the surroundings should then initiates an organic yet artificial landscape that can be used in a versatile way by the public. He pulls this off as inside the pavilion the space is used as a social area, with all sorts of people and different age groups congregating there, where refreshments are currently sold within by a sponsoring brand. Whilst I was in the pavilion I was thinking what else the space could be used for and what came to mind varied from performance space to workshop area. I admired the consistency and use of one colour as the few coffee tables and chairs in place are stained the same white as the fine steel bars influencing the calm and collective atmosphere. The circular discs roofing out of Perspex cleverly tiling each other, replicating the leaves the motion of the tree leaves as the wind came also plays its part.







I've only seen the last 4 pavilions but I think Sou Fujimoto's cloud is the most impressive. The experience is eye opening and interactive compared to previous Pavilions as you are able explore the site in a diverse way from different viewpoints creating more of a personal experience.



The pavilion will be on display for a while (until mid October) and is free admission why not check it out and make up your mind about Sou Fujimoto's Pavilion 2013.






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Monday, 5 August 2013

WIRELESS vs LOVEBOX! - Battle of the Festivals




Battle of the Festivals..

I know both of these festivals took place last month, however I didn't have a blog back then so there is no better time to review them than now!


WIRELESS BABY!
Suit & Tie? :Would have ben nice if they stuck to the dress code of their titled tour..

WIRELESS:


I had never been to a festival until this summer Wireless was the first (14/7/13) at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. I went to the Sunday show, the best line up if you ask me. Not only did I see my one of my favourite female vocals of the moment Jessie Ware ( her album 'Devotion' is my car album, one to listen to when your in traffic defiently! Calm's me down for sure) do her thing, I got to see the what they called 'The Legends of the summer' - Jay Z and Justin Timberlake. Now when the news first broke that these 2 were doing a collaborative 'Suit and Tie' tour together. I wasn't all for it,  I just didn't see the point. Jay Z had just finished WTT with Kanye West and Justin Timberlake was finally back on the scene after what felt like a very long time!.. Anyway I'm going off topic lets just say they proved me very wrong! The red dressed stage set really gave the festival feel especially in the heat! It was simple but it worked. Both Jay-Z and JT sang their classics and new material. I couldn't believe Jay-Z sang rapped 3 songs from most recent album Magna Carta Holy Grail. Justin sang most songs off of the '20/20 experience' as well my favourites from his very first album 'Justified' he performed Like I love You, Senorita and Cry Me A River, it took me back a little to think these tunes were released 11 years ago. I really enjoyed the collaborations amongst them. For Jay-Z's track 'New York' they 2 added a new twist, mixing the song with Justin singing the vocals of Frank Sinatra's New York for the intro and closing of the original which features Alicia Keys. Other collaborations of the night included Rihanna ( who was dancing away like 3 metres in front of me! - yes I was front row, I still don't know how we managed that one) as she perform Run This Town with Jay before the two gentleman closed Wireless Festival 2013 with JT's comeback debut track Suit and Tie. 90's hip hop duo A Tribe Called Quest also smashed it with their set coming back on to the stage after an encore. As for Nas I can't believe the man is 40! He's still got it and was a energetic crowd pleaser taking people back with old tracks like One Mic and If I Ruled The World. A$AP Rocky was another real entertainer, as he shared ASAP Rocky flags to the crowd and got the crowd hype for the rest of the day, as you can imagine the audience went crazy as he finished his set with 'Fxckin Problem'.
Nas
Long.Live.A$AP







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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Treat Yourself Tuesday!

Treat Yourself Tuesday!


I treated myself to a silver metallic look by purchasing these 3 items all from H&M. I didn't plan to buy all 3 but they were the 3 that instantly caught my attention!( I guess you could call it an impulse buy) The collection of sulphur ball studs range in size  which can be worn when going for a subtle look, whereas the bar chain necklace and the circular linked studs (very 90's like the ones my mum used to wear/ and Aunt Viv in Fresh Prince) are still subtle however more statement at the same time when wearing block colours.
Scissors and Cherries
Aunt Viv studs

 Studs £1.99
Stud earrings £3.99
Necklace £3.99
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