Author Archives: cosmopolitanscum

About cosmopolitanscum

Journalist, writer, commentator, blogging about architecture, urbanism and design from a humanist perspective.

An interview I did with Christopher Lee in a different life.

Although he surely wouldn’t approve, it seems only right and proper to begin a Christopher Lee story with a Dracula anecdote. Actually, it is just over 25 years since Lee took the decision – as he puts it in his autobiography … Continue reading

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Architects: it isn’t always about you

The shortlisting of the architecture collective Assemble for the Turner Prize has been a surprise to most commentators in the architectural world. Largely because their story seems rather familiar. Here are a group of young trainee architects and their friends … Continue reading

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Some Very Shallow Observations Of The Milan Expo

I am currently writing an article which tries to answer the question what is an Expo for? following my recent trip to to Milan. And I’m realising, it is very hard to talk about the Expo from a completely objective … Continue reading

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The Dream of the 80s is Alive in Portland. Just.

A week before the death of Michael Graves, Portland City Council was locked in complex discussions in how to fund the refurbishment of his most famous work, The Portland Building. Home to a fair chunk of the city’s municipal administration, … Continue reading

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You’re The Only Star in Heaven

Jan Kaplicky’s drawings for NASA of the International Space Station are a triumph of that period in history in which our most expansive, ambitious infrastructure, the one that slipped the surly bonds of earth into space, was first conceived by … Continue reading

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Chipperfield is wrong about Berlin

It is tempting to see David Chipperfield’s eulogy to Berlin – in opposition to London and other cities – as sour grapes. The English architect is after all engaged in two particularly protracted protests from heritage groups regarding his plans for the … Continue reading

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Parliament in the abstract

I quite liked Bernard Porter’s suggestion in the London Review of Books that MPs should be removed from the Palace of Westminster during its impending refurbishment. But not for the reason he gave. To suggest that it is only by relocating parliament that “they … Continue reading

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Five of Ebenezer Howard’s ideas that may have accidentally been omitted from the new garden city proposals

  Here are a few extracts from Ebenezer Howard’s work Garden Cities of Tomorrow, which give an insight into some of the work’s more pioneering ideas, particularly those that may – for some reason – be overlooked in the planning of … Continue reading

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My Top 5 Black Fridays – in chronological order.

  PS There is a theme. Can you spot it? 1.  Friday 18th November 1910. 300 suffragettes from  Women’s Social and Political Union protested at Prime Minister Henry Asquith’s decision to shelve the Conciliation Bill, which would have extended the vote to … Continue reading

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Things That Are Not Mosques. No 35343. A Polish Church.

In the UK the Twitter the hashtag #thingsthatarenotmosques is trending because a member of the UK independence party press team suggested a poll about their credentials as a party of government was biased because it was taking place outside a … Continue reading

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