Alexandra road estate: the British heritage of an American architect Neave Brown

Yesterday I have decided to take a walk around the block, to clean my head and feel inspired again. I walked towards Camden, completely ignoring the passengers and focusing only on my thoughts as well as the environment. A lot of times I have passed through this one interesting place but never actually wondered what it is.

I want to show you one of the finest gems of London’s architecture. This one stands in Alexandra road and is called Alexandra road estate; a weird place that could be called an actual concrete jungle as it is mainly made of concrete and is full of beautiful plants.

Architect Neave Brown, who has died this month at the age of 88, was the brilliant mind that designed the Alexandra road estate in 1960s. The housing estate was completed in 1978 and was well known since that.

The Alexandra & Ainsworth Estate (also known as Alexandra Road) is the most famous of the projects completed during this period – others include the Dunboyne Estate, also by Neave Brown, Benson & Forsyth’s Branch Hill and Maiden Lane, and Peter Tabori’s Highgate New Town.

520 council housing flats of marvellous brutalist architecture appeared in a lot of movies as well as music videos and architecture lovers still go there to take a look at something different; houses that changed a view of high-rise housing. The place also includes a park (which is now being reconditioned), school, community centre, youth club and heating complex.

The development has been given a rare Grade II* listing by English Heritage in recognition of its architectural significance

For nearly 50 years the architect Neave Brown lived in London, Camden borough. The last place where he lived was one of his designed houses, in Dunboyne Road estate, Camden. Not surprisingly, the place is a prototype of the Alexandra road estate.

Some of the flats of the ex-Local Authority duplex are now on the leasehold and could be viewed even from the inside.

Take a look yourself:

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More about the place and the architect:

http://www.neavebrown.com/

http://blogs.bl.uk/sound-and-vision/2017/09/neave-brown-alexandra-road-estate.html

https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2017/oct/20/neave-brown-architect-council-housing-beautiful-riba-gold-medal

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/jan/12/neave-brown-obituary

https://municipaldreams.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/the-alexandra-road-estate-camden-a-magical-moment-for-english-housing/

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Faces: music artist Undveld

As far as I remember, my first encounter with electronic music was when a teenage me discovered house music, later on my brother introduced me to drum and bass and my friends to techno and more. What moment, artist or track was the very first introduction to electronic music to you?

My first introduction to electronic music was when I was 12 or 13 years old when I got my first personal computer. I used to spend a lot of time on “YouTube”. I don’t remember the first track I heard, but it was by D.A.F for sure.

How did your taste changed during the years? Do you listen to different kind of music than before?

It has changed, and a lot. At the time when I was 12 or 13, I was mainly listening to electro and metal. Throughout the years I discovered more genres and sub-genres that really caught my ears. Now I’m more into darker and industrial sounds for example; techno, experimental, industrial, ambient, drone, noise, EBM and etc.

What is the most enjoyable part of producing music? Or is it the whole process?

The whole process is enjoyable. I wouldn’t produce if it wasn’t fun!

This month you will release your EP called The Reach, under your latest project named Undveld. What is the idea behind it?

The Reach is an imaginary location which is similar to our planet earth. It’s full of despair, melancholy, hatred and love. I like to imagine about events or places that don’t exist in the real world but have similarities to the environment that we live in.

The Reach has pretty unusual names of the tracks. For example, Neverland förlorades or En sista dans.  What do they mean? How do you pick names for your tracks? Do you have a vision, deep meaning or do the names come naturally?

Naming the tracks depends on the whole visual of the concept that I want to perceive through sound. If it has a blurry concept or if it is just an improvisation there might not be an accurate title.

Where do you get inspiration from: other artists and music, nature, other places?

I find inspiration in everything that is around me (people, places, events, feelings, emotions and etc.)  Mostly I find inspiration in places I’ve never been before. (Nature, cities, abandoned places and etc.)

I believe that we live in the golden age of electronic music. However, do you think that nowadays it’s harder to get recognition?

I think it is hard to get recognised because people nowadays tend to follow what is popular unlike what is underrated, new, fresh and what is always evolving into something more interesting and futuristic.

As a young artist you have been discovered already, yet you prefer to stay anonymous. Why?

Music has nothing to do with my identity; it only has a connection with my visions, stories and ideas which I perceive through sound. People need to relax and dig deep into the music not into the person behind the music.

Who are your ultimate electronic and non-electronic music icons?

I try not to dwell too much on one or several artists. I’m always open-minded to new and different sounds and artists. But of course I do have some favourites that I come back to time to time. For example; Abdulla Rashim, Drexciya, Varg, Pye Corner Audio and etc.

Writers get writer’s block (an inability to produce a new work, a lack of ideas).Do musicians have musicians’ block? If so, how do you cope with it?

From my point of view we do have this block. Only if you’re working on a concrete idea and it lacks of something but improvisation and experimentalism has no borders and no blocks. Every improvisation can be a new idea.

Listen to  Undveld 

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(photo credits: Domantė Nalivaikaitė)

Faces: Dancer Audrius Biskis aka Shinta Irukandji

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When did you start dancing? What moment was your introduction to the world of dance?
It was always around me but as an activity that I love it got into Me twice.Once unconsciously at childhood and second time at the age of 16, when My body was already ruined by my laziness. But that time I said “Yep this is what I want to do for living”. I was at form 11, teachers looked at me like ” You must grow up and realize that You need to take exams and get serious… “. One teacher even told “he will never be a dancer”, cause I actually had no cordination, little balance, no musicality or a nice body. All that was a huge work ahead. I did not even realized about it just because I was enjoying the process so much.
What is dance for you: a way to express yourself, a hobby, a feeling, maybe a colour or a combination of things?
Dance is everything and I by that I mean that it’s an action through which I learn and evolve. I have a good imagination so for me my dance is like a dot from, which goes around in 360 degrees, like everything else that is in my life. I bring things out of dance into my life and the opposite: I bring ideas out of life around Me into My dance.
What is your favourite dance style? 

Definitely Hip Hop but since now it’s mixed up with many other styles I can’t assure You that My Hip Hop mindset is the same as other Hip Hop dancers. I do not even care about it when it comes to Me and only Me.I care only when I teach. I tend to transfer only basic and authentic info with the least influence of my dance and most influence of my personality and character ( I think this is my best side).

When was the first time when you tried to dance solo? Do you prefer dancing alone or with the team?
I’m always solo. I prefer being alone and so it is with dance. But, You know, when You are alone for most of the time in this World, You find out a lot that You want to share. That is when You come up to the point when You prefer team over being alone.This happened this summer when I realized that I can not take my journey on my own anymore and I need to put most into team.Everything that I saved inside me for myself must be given away just to each specific team member.
When You collect so much as I did And become full You, You realize that it’s time to become empty again and give it away.

 

For some people it is hard to even speak without having their words prepared in the head and being alone on the stage sounds like a nightmare. How is it for you? How does it feel, to be alone on a stage? Are you still scared before the performance?

I’m always ready.  No matter how hard I work, I always feel that something is missing and that is essence of life and expansion.

Sometimes it has to be a nightmare, sometimes a romance, a comedy…it’s up to the audiece and what they want to see. I just come up to the stage and reflect them the emotions, not me. I have no more aim to express myself cause I’m pretty sure no one really cares about me, all they want to know is knowing  more about themselves.  That is why I go to perform on the stage.

Or just to have fun.If people around Me have fears I will show them that. If they have love I will show them love. I will reflect any emotion.

How to cope with the fear before going on the stage?

There is no fear inside of me, only fears outside of me. It may sound crazy but as an artist I can be crazy. If You are able to focus and take control not only of Your body but of Your mind as well,  nohing will bother You. I am not saying that anything scary or wrong can’t happen. It can. But if it’s gonna happen there is nothing I can do about it and You need to stay focused.

What was the most awkward/funny/scary moment before going to perform/ while performing?

During performance I fell down straight on my ass and it looked like I just sat down.
Another one was jumping of the stage during competition and falling down on my face, which, surprisingly, did not hurt but looked really painful.
Third was my showcase in Estonia when I flirted with one of  the female judges during performance and in the end I made her blush, even turn red. She was laughing because my showcase was about sleepin over and leaving my money at her house.

What keeps you motivated even when you don’t have energy?

When I do not have energy I rest, when I have energy I dance.
Every dance reminds me of a different story that is written. However, when you improvise it is different. Is it harder to think about a story that you want to show on the spot?
There is no need to create a story everytime. Sometimes it can be just a feeling or certain vibration or an emotion creation.
However, when it’s a showcase there must be a story, when it’s improvisation there must music that vibrates trought air to your body. For me improvisation is like this: no story, most of time just soundwaves.

 

Where do you get inspiration from?

Anime, Marvel, afro culture, lately a lot of eastern dance culture is around me.

Your dancing career is marked by medals of the first place as you have participated in many competitions. What was the most memorable one? Where do you plan to participate in the near future?
There is some  winnings. I do not count them but I promise that this month I will get 2 more! Every winning is pleasant but just for a very little period of time. And that is good cause otherwise I would have mental illness like some dancers who live by their past winnings.If I would win today, tomorrow I would be same guy I was before winning.I do not count, I do not remember, I do not care. That job is made by my mom. She shows all the medals and cups to relatives, friends and so on .
What advice could you give to the readers who would like to try dancing but are afraid of dancing in front of others?
Just do it for Yourself, when You will feel ready ,You will go and dance for others.

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Faces: Fashion designer Jakub Nowacki

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I remember when I was a kid. I used to make clothes for my dolls even from the old jeans or tissues. Hoverer, I grew out of that. When did you feel that fashion is your world? Were you little or the realisation came later, maybe during your teenage years?

I think the realisation firstly came when I moved to England when I was 11. I mean it was crazy I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t know the language. I started drawing and designing, but then I learnt the language and made friends and didn’t really have time to do that anymore. It was when I was 16 I was confronted by my parents about going to art college with no previous art background. I didn’t really care, I just wanted to do my thing I guess. That’s when I really realised that that’s what I really want to do for the rest of my life.

Where do you get inspiration from?

Church and porn.

Where do you look for models? Do you ever model yourself? Do you feel good in front of the camera?

I drape on myself a lot in the first stage of my design process, however I like my work to be shot on someone who I believe this garment is made for and fits beautifully. But I do love being in front of the camera.

Try to describe the process of making a piece of clothing: Do you have to draw your ideas? Do you imagine materials and fabrics in your head already?

I definitely like to dig a bit deeper than drawing and fabric choices first. I like to start with a concept or an idea that could evolve into something interesting. I like collecting imagery and draping all kinds of stuff related to my concept on my self to see how I could show my idea through the silhouette. Then I’ll collage and draw stuff out, But I hate designing, I like to touch things and stick them on myself to see if the image is right.

Where do you look for fabrics and other materials? Do you buy them only?

It depends, I used to drape a lot with things that my mum would want to throw away or I found on the street somewhere. I find fabric shopping really stressful, I actually hate it.

What is the most enjoyable part in making clothes: Drawing, sewing, presenting the collection?

To me it really is the final image.

What is your favourite piece of clothing or accessories?

I love shoes.

What is your favourite fabric and colour?

My favourite fabric is probably a duvet and my favourite colour is red.

What is the idea behind your latest project?

My last project was based on a muse, one of my best friends at uni Molly.

Who is your ultimate fashion icon?

Rick Owens.

Have you ever been judged because of you look, your clothes? What advice would you give to the readers who have their unique style but are afraid of bullies? 

Of course, I mean if you don’t get judged you’re doing something wrong. Fuck bullies, I honestly don’t even pay attention to that kind of behaviour, or just beat them up.

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Faces: photographer Evelina Viselgaite

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What dragged you into the world of photography? When was the moment when you actually realized that this is your thing, your path?

I would say my main influence was and still is my dad, as he was the one who taught me many things about cameras and photography itself. I think when I was really focused on getting into it, reading about it, trying new techniques I really enjoyed it and I knew I wanted to do something I enjoy.

Where do you get inspiration from? People, places, music, other artists?

Absolutely everything.

Do you prefer digital or film photography? What is your favourite camera?

I am currently in love with film photography, mostly because you really do create a photograph from scratch, which is fascinating. Film photography has a whole new different feeling, you never know how your photographs will turn out which makes you think and carefully consider every single shot. I don’t really have a favourite camera, I’m one of those people who believe that it’s the person behind the camera that really matters rather than the actual camera.

What is the most interesting part in the whole process of taking photos? Preparing for the photoshoot, looking for locations, taking photos, editing or something else?

Since I am shooting on film the most interesting part for me is photographing and then getting my film developed and hand printing/scanning work, then I can really see how it turned out which is always exciting.

Where do you look for models?

Social media (facebook, instagram etc.)

Your “craziest” photoshoot?

I would not consider any of my work “crazy”, however photographing naked bodies of girls was perhaps one of the most difficult shoots I have done.

What is the idea behind your latest project?

It is a documentary of my everyday life from a Lithuanian’s perspective which explores the fears that I have for the future of my country. It’s in dialog of my dad’s work which was made in the time of celebration when Lithuania was becoming independent from USSR. The concerns that I have is losing the freedom that we have regained only 27 years ago. I feel like people don’t appreciate freedom anymore and take democracy for granted, with this work I want people to understand that we shouldn’t be doing that.

Nowadays almost everyone has a camera and the internet access. Do you think that social media changed the industry (Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest etc.)? Is it harder to get into photography because of that?

I think media has created a platform for sharing work as well as free access to it to everyone, which is great, as many people are able to see your work. I think it made it even easier to get into photography and get noticed as you can see all kind of work and get inspired, however there are a lot more photographers in the industry therefore it is hard to pursue a photographers career.

Whose works are a huge influence to you?

I really like Martin Parr. I have been to one of his talks at University and I absolutely loved it, he is such a simple person yet his photographs are really interesting.

Writers get writer’s block (an inability to produce a new work, a lack of ideas).Do photographers have photographer’s block?

Definitely, if you’re doing a project for a long period time you get stuck, therefore it is good to mix things up and do something different for a while, that way you take a break from over thinking a situation you’re stuck in and get new ideas.

As we are taking photos every day of everything, do you think that it is important to save visual memories? What advice would you give to the readers?

I think it is important to save visual memories as long as you’re enjoying these moments rather than photographing for the sake of photographing. I think it is important to not get soaked into the process itself and enjoy the memories first.

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Believe

Nurses, doctors, pilots, students, truck drivers, models, singers, writers, activists, presidents, teachers, architects, moms and much more.  This is a free world, full of strong and brave women.

Hey girl over there, believe in yourself! Believe that you can be whoever you want, you can go whenever you want and achieve even the craziest dreams. You have rights and you are equal. You are a human being and you are important.  And even if you feel alone today, that is not true. We are here to support and love every sister in this planet. Join us12345678

Audio Assessment 2. News report. The Oscars

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One of the biggest and most awaited event of year in the film industry is The Academy Awards. In other words, “Oscars”, is a group of twenty-four artistic and technical honors given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to recognize excellence in cinematic achievements in the United States film industry as assessed by the Academy’s voting membership. The various category winners are awarded a copy of a statuette, officially called the Academy Award of Merit, which has become commonly known by its nickname “Oscar.”

It shares recognition of the entertainment industry as that of the other performance awards such as the Emmy Awards (television), the Tony Awards (stage performance), or Grammy Award (org. Gramophone Award to recognize outstanding achievement in the mainly English-language music industry).

Not only actors, directors and producers, but also celebrities and the rest of the world has eyes on the event.  The awards, first presented in 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, are overseen by AMPAS. This year iconic event ceremony, honoring the best films of 2016, was held on February 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre. The ceremony was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and was broadcast on ABC.

The complete list of winners was posted shortly afterwards the ceremony and could be founded everywhere, from the official page, to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Snapchat. The next morning 89th Academy Awards ceremony was covered by the newspapers all over the world, however, not only winners and best or worst dressed guests were reviewed. 2017 Oscars will be remembered not only for memorable or beautiful moments, but for the mistakes and other following weird and funny events or unusual celebrities behavior, such as Nicole Kidman’s Grinch clapping. For sure, whole world is talking about the film world event of the year.

(Newspapers headlines in the UK the morning after the 89th Academy Awards)

The biggest and the most scandalous mistake in the Oscars history was when La La Land was wrongly named Best Picture winner, when the real winner was Moonlight.

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Audio assessment 1 AS I STARE INTO NOTHING

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For centuries fashion has been an art form, a way to express yourself or a way to prove that it’s something more than just a trend. Fashion lets us to explore with colours, materials, fabrics and the wildest ideas. It shows the world in a different way and that beauty is in diversity.

Today we gathered with young and aspiring londoners at the Stoke Newington gallery to see Adam Frost debut fashion show called ‘As I Stare Into Nothing’. In a collaboration with Leo Carlton Adam Frost presents a genderless collection that reminds  us of a trippy journey of Alice in the Wonderland.

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Artsy environment, glittery paintings on the walls, loud electronic music waves and more than a hundred fashionistas let us go to the deeper search of the true meaning of fashion.

Designers, models, photographers and art students share their thoughts of what is fashion for them.

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(Photo credits David Julian Quin)

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SHORT HISTORY LESSONS

According to The Times of India , the history of fashion shows remains vague. In the 1800s, ‘fashion parades’ periodically took place in Paris couture salons. American retailers imported the concept of the fashion show in the early 1900s. The first American fashion show is likely to have taken place in 1903 in the New York City store Ehrlich Brother.

Women and men fashion has been changing and evolving differently, however, it started to mash up when women started wearing pants (boyfriend jeans, suits and etc.) and men started to wear purses or even high heels (even though that high heels were originally invented not only for women). Pink is no longer only for girls, while baby blue is no longer only for boys. Fashion does not define your gender, race or sexual orientation. Fashion nowadays is about sending the message and showing that our world is even more colourful than we think. Fashion today is freedom to be whoever you want to be and be proud of that.

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