Misty (or polluted) at Canning Town

Today, in the cloudless weather ordained by our omniscient short-term weather forecasters, I took a quite long walk beside the River Lea, out east. The clocks having just gone forward, there was suddenly a decent amount of daylight, so I took my time and just carried on walking, and now I am knackered. So, it’s quota photo time:

That was taken at Canning Town, where I was switching from the Underground to the Overground. It’s one of those I Just Like It photos, as in: I hope you like it too, but I realise it isn’t that remarkable.

There were no clouds in the sky, but there was something in the air. Mist? Pollution? Whatever it was, it had the effect of turning all distant objects from their usual appearance to a flatly uniform grey, like I’d pushed some kind of Photoshop button. Those are the Docklands Towers in the distance, looking flatly and uniformly grey. That one pointy tower makes the whole cluster recognisable. Increasingly, and as I think I am starting to say quite often here, I find myself valuing recognisability over mere beauty.

I don’t usually like it when street lamps get in the way. (Street lamps in London always get in the way, of every picture I ever try to take, or so it sometimes seems.) But I rather like the way these ones have come out. The nearer one frames the view rather nicely, and the more distant one poses in a dignified way, in a way that fits in well with the rectangular shapes in the gas-holder.

I totally trust the weather forecasters. I left my umbrella behind, and wore fewer clothes than ever before this year. And it worked. No rain, no cold. And not quite so knackered from carrying unnecessary garments. But still knackered. So that is all, and I wish you all a very good night.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

IKEA furniture – Lego furniture?

So I had a look around Dezeen to see what’s there that’s interesting, and their most popular posting right now is about IKEA. All I saw, for several days, was: IKEA. So I ignored it. But on close inspection, the posting is actually rather interesting. Its title is: IKEA switches to furniture that snaps together in minutes without requiring tools.


The fiddly ritual of assembling IKEA furniture is set to become a thing of the past as the furniture giant introduces products that snap together “like a jigsaw puzzle”.

The brand has developed a new type of joint, called a wedge dowel, that makes it much quicker and simpler to assemble wooden products. This does away with the need for screws, bolts, screwdrivers and allen keys.

My chosen destinations for furniture are charity shops, mostly. That or basic second hand places. Partly that’s an aesthetic preference. I take pride in the cheapness of my living arrangements, that being my preferred look. But part of that is because I have always assumed that flatpack furniture is indeed too fiddly and complicated to be relying on. Also, frankly, I basically just don’t like IKEA’s furniture.

But for those who do like IKEA furniture, it looks like it is about to get a bit simpler to assemble.

Thought. Does Lego make furniture? I just googled that question, and google answer number one was this:

A company is making furniture that is like giant Lego for your home:

This furniture is designed to be taken apart over and over again.

It is called Mojuhler and is flatpack, modular furniture that can be changed from a chair to a table in minutes.

You can fund the project on Kickstarter from about £80.

Nice basic idea, but scroll down and you get to pictures of brackets and screws! Screw all that, and not with a screwdriver. It looks more like Meccano than Lego, I’d say. It says on the right at that place that it failed to get its funding. If that’s right, I’m not surprised.

This is more what I was thinking.

One of the basic drivers of design is the desire to own bigger versions of the stuff you played with as a little kid. A lot of Art is like this, I believe. So, why not furniture too?

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog