Archive

criticism

My first step towards posting more has been to get the WordPress app. It’s available for free in both iOS and Android flavours.

I have strong dislike for branded products, particularly those that think they deserve to replace the thing’s actual name*. Some might call my phone an iPhone, but in reality it’s just a phone. It may be several hundred times better than any other phone I’ve had but I refuse to let it get ideas above its station. Suffice to say, I’ll be reviewing the iOS version. I also think it’ll be more of an ongoing review as I’m yet to try out all the features.

The iOS version currently has 3 out of 5 star rating, with reviewers citing instability issues. However, on first impressions it seemed less crashy than the other reviews had claimed. Then it crashed and what you are reading is my second attempt at writing this post (I assure you I was a lot more witty the first time around). Still, this was the first and only time it has crashed on me so I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt due to me having several other apps running needlessly in the background.

Otherwise, writing is pretty straightforward with a series of tools (link, format, quote etc.) displayed above the keyboard. You can apparently add photos and videos although I haven’t found an excuse to do this yet.

There is a feature that allows you to save a draft but it relies on your Internet connection. This is a shame because I’m a big fan of drafting. There’s probably some joke about architects and drawing boards in there but I’ll save that one for this year’s Halfitecture Christmas Cracker Collection**. Still an offline backup would be a welcome. Unless they patch one in, I think I will resort to drafting posts in the phone’s much more stable Notes app and cut&paste into WordPress when I’m ready to publish.

The app does have a stats page, showing info like your blog’s traffic etc. but that isn’t particularly something I’ll desperately need when I’m away from my pc. Perhaps more useful is the “read” page which collates all recent posts from any WordPress blogs you happen to be following.

One final minor problem I had is that it can make the task of publishing almost too easy. I’ll admit this one is mostly my fault (again) but it’s the reason I accidentally published this post after only writing two lines. It would be useful to have a “You sure you want to publish these two lines, dumbass?” prompt.

Finally there’s the matter of the cost. You can’t really argue with the price, considering it’s free. In fact, there are other versions costing a few quid which apparently suffer from the same issues as the free version. If you think about it that way, the free one’s even better value!

So, in summary, publishing with the free WordPress app is easier than in the phone’s default browser. However, due to the app’s lack of stability or useful features, I doubt I’ll be relying on it for much else.

* The exceptions to this rule are Hoover (because my grandad used to sell/repair ’em) and Sellotape because “sticky tape” is an abomination.

** Last year’s collection featured a total of two crackers, corresponding to the number of decent jokes I’d made up all year. They also contained a paper hat each and a colorful hula hoop (y’know, for kids). Currently they hold the world record for being the only crackers to date to be wider than they were long.

I need to finish a paper for tomorrow but some images of Peter Zumthor’s Serpentine Pavilion have just emerged.

I’ll comment (hopefully after visiting) in a few days but for now, more information can be found below.

http://www.bdonline.co.uk/news/first-pictures-from-serpentine-gallery-pavilion-2011-by-peter-zumthor/5020616.article

http://www.bdonline.co.uk/technical/serpentine-gallery-pavilion-by-peter-zumthor/5020460.articleZumthor's painting overlaid on the technical plan and section.

Probably the best advice I was given about one of my university projects was from Peter Salter.

Salter’s the type of architect who has only been commissioned to design a handful of buildings due to his unconventional approach to design and construction, besides his general awesomeness. On this occasion, he was invited to come and evaluate our studio’s final projects during and as I was an admirer of his work, I particularly wanted to hear his feedback.

Unfortunately he was quite unconvinced by my proposal to the point of saying “I just don’t get what you’re trying to achieve here”. Some architecture tutors, at this point, would leave to for a coffee or cigarette without explaining what they didn’t understand but to his credit, Peter continued ripping my scheme apart for a good half hour.

I think the best part of the discussion was that while it’s important to be emotionally attached to the building you’re designing, it was probably the first time I really felt a building actually change in my mind during a review, rather than in the studio afterwards. Previously, I had been too precious about my designs, despite knowing that an architecture school environment is aimed at developing your talents, not just being an arena to show them off.

Salter didn’t redesign my building for me, and the final design changed considerably from the scheme he saw, but it was a grounding experience that has honed way I question my designs ever since.

Building Design have just featured a brief summary of one of his lectures from 1991 (together with Chris Macdonald) and it reminded me how little press he receives compared to how much he rightly deserves.

There’s also some beautiful images by archidose of his work here.
Light monitor