There are Six world heritage sites in Finland at the moment, heres the list, Suomenlinna, Old Rauma, Bronze Age Burial Site of SammallahdenmÃ¤ki,PetÃ¤jÃ¤vesi Old Church,Verla Groundwood and Board Mill, and Struve Geodetic Arc.
I found out by accident that I’d visited two already, Rauma and Suomenlinna, & they don’t differ from most of the others on the list worldwide, they are worthy buildings or places of natural beauty. But one howevever is a little different. The Struve Geodetic arc which I didn’t know anything about before I found it on this list. It is maybe the biggest thing on the world heritage list but contains no area of outstanding beauty or special built monument. It is a collection of coordinates for mapping the Earth before GPS. What is so remarkable is that so many countries have participated in it, it runs from Norway to the Black sea (I think it added to down to South Africa but I’m not sure) and at a time before these international efforts are thought of as having happened. Its the remains of an outdated method for calculating the earths circumference and has become mapping history but is important because of the idea and ideals it imbodies which allow us today through GPS and Google maps to use this information in more and more useful ways & Struve was the originator of this collective effort.
040406 update: I found this page from the Finnish National Board of Antiquaties which gives a good rundown of the six sites should you want more info.
I went ‘home’ to Edinburgh on Friday for the weekend coming back on Monday. I had a full programme but it didn’t feel too busy. Bought some food back from the UK I can’t get here (packet bread sauce amongst other things would you believe!), and got from Dad a copy of his new book to read. I ate at Petit Paris on the Grassmarket and went to the Mariza concert at the Usher Hall, which was totally fantastic. She sings with her whole self to be sure, its a great experience. Saw some friends and bought some cds at fopp. Travelling back and forth to Edinburgh will become easier when this happens. Cd list below…..
- Boards of Canada-the campfire headphase
- Herbie Hancock-My Point of View
- Gilles peterson Presents -the BBC Sessions Vol.1
- Susumu Yokota & Rothko – Distant Sounds of Summer
I have a Tommy Perman print on my wall bought at analogue. He is a great artist & one day I will listen to some of his music too. But in the meantime go to his website Surface Pressure and take a look.
After the bad attempt at an article on Finnish Architecture I found in my last post The Dissolving Corporation by Peter McKeith is the real thing. A report on current corporate architecture in Finland although its conclusions could be applied to most countries in the global economy currently. I have been meaning to link to this for a while, and it is very interesting reading because of the strength of its critique of Finnish and indeed current world corporate architecture and its atttudes. Commissioned by eva Finland’s buisness policy forum it might have made some important people a little uncomfortable as it condemed pretty roundly current corporate attitutes reflected in the architecture they procure. A note of caution,its a long article.
I’ve been listening too the bbc at work recently. I think unlike previous generations of expats you can keep in touch with almost all aspects of life from back ‘home’ and not feel so cut off. I can forinstance go to the news page to keep up to date and even watch programmes like the Ten O’Clock news or Question Time while I work at the office. On one level its like I never really left the UK. However I find I have a different perspective on things in the UK now I’m not living there. British Politicals seem so confrontational and empty of real debate compared to how I felt about it when I lived there, so my life has changed. But thanks to the bbc anyway for always being a click away. They have also been reporting on Finland recently see this article.
Happy birthday dad today,& congratulations again on your forthcoming new book! Buy one of my dads books here from amazon.com or amazon.co.uk. I have some great childhood memories of reading my dad’s books with him but don’t just take my word for it here is a quote of a review from Amazon
Giftwish… ahhhh what a wonderful book! I still re-read it from time to time. True, I am an avid fantasy reader and a big Tolkien fan, but I think Graham Dunstan Martin is a great writer, comparisons apart. Giftwish is the archetypal story of a boy growing up and passing tests in order to prove that he is the “chosen one”. But don’t be fooled by the apparently simplistic storyline. The language is superb, the descriptions breathtaking. I can close my eyes and see myself riding in the woods with Evan. Martin makes you go there, and actually care for his characters. If you like good fantasy stuff, i.e. are tired of sad ripoffs, give Giftwish a chance. And in the middle of Harry Potter fever, a book containing a fair share of magic shenaningans (and an interesting explanation of magic) is surely worth straying far from the beaten track.
So what are you all waiting for? go order…..
We went out on Saturday evening for the first time for months and months, and ate at a restaurant called Carelia. Quite unusual for Helsinki it has the atmosphere of an older age, and that’s because it has the interior of an old Pharmacy from the 1920′s. It really has that interwar art-deco feeling which gives it a certain atmosphere rare here.
The food was excellent, I always think its a good sign when the menu has quite limited choices, and the wine list apparently is very good as it comprises of wines you can’t get at alko which has the wine monopoly of distribution in Finland apart from Restaurants. Our wine really was excellent maybe edging out the food. Definitely worth considering if you have had enough of those trendy modern interiors most common in Finnish Restaurants
Scottish Parliament wins the Stirling prize 2005 which goes to show how much I know (see last post for my prediction!). Anyway a worthy and probably right winner as I think it fulflls the purpose of the prize the best out of the contestants.
This Saturday the winner of the 2005 Stirling Prize will be announced, while this article in the Guardian, interviews the people of Europes largest Housing estate which is about to be knocked down. My money is on the Lewis Gluckmans Gallery.
Of course the most used CAD package in the world is not ArchiCAD or AutoCAD but the sims 2 & think how much more FUN it would be to design with this package instead of the others. Which is why I love this post & wish I’d thought of it first. However I probably wouldn’t have reviewed it as well. It makes me wonder why Winy Maas doesn’t give up Metacity tinkering and just buy a copy of Simcity, or if we shouldn’t bother making models but maybe build them in virtual lego just order them.
Visiting Habitare and talking to some of the people at Solid Furniture (see previous post) put me in mind of the Pro-Am revolution talk hosted by Ulla which I wanted to go to but couldn’t make it luckily thanks to Ulla she podcasted it. It was about hacker, do it yourself culture, and was a very interesting talk and well worth listening to. With magazines like make and studios like fab lab this is obviously a growing phenomenon which is being enabled by the web because it can bring together a desire for something , technical knowledge, and production facilities easily. Also it questions the whole traditional role of design or rather ‘professional’ design, when anyone is enabled to personalise something.
Bio-fuel should be being utilised more. Long term fuel prices will only go up, and environmentally it is carbon neutral unlike fossil fuel. But what does the Finnish Government do about enabling this? The answer is less than nothing. Because of the potential loss of taxes a new bio-diesel plant being built in Porvoo may not even be able to sell its products in Finland! Why can’t the government be more pro-active in this? What about mixing tax breaks for bio-fuel with tax increases for heavily polluting vehicle classes, or converting public transport (its publically subsudised here I believe). But while everyone acknowledges a problem noone seems to be driving any solutions, its not that hard the answers are already here.
another article about Finlands target for biofuel
Me & Kirsi watched Finnish Wifeswap yesterday and realy enjoyed it. On the face of it we should have been bored by the whole thing, as the families got through the swap without any arguments, all changes made seemed to be pretty non confrontational and everything was taken in perspective and rationally. Are Finnish T.V. producers crazy? It doesn’t make for exciting T.V….The UK and U.S.A. versions are much more explosive and toe curling and are thus good entertainment of the best voyeuristic mind candy kind. But the Finns have managed to turn it into a sensible program which probably won’t do their ratings any good but gave us both a good laugh at the relative differences in Finnish society compared to the UK. The episode last night forinstance had a husband coming back from work not being allowed a customary beer on getting home, no problem he said to the camera, worse things have happened! In the U.K. version this would have been proof of the other families total moral/social delinquency and both parties would have exploded into a confrontation of fundamental life principals with a bit of swearing thrown in for good measure. Somehow I can’t think that families are that different in the UK and Finland, maybe its just british people are less aware of television and their image on it,or maybe its that there are different public boundaries of good taste!
Eero Saarinen is one of those strangely overlooked Architects for me perhaps something to do with his architecture being full of a kind of idealistic futurism that seemed to go out of fashion fast but Metropolis Magazine has some articles on him. Reconsidering Eero an interview with Jayne Merkel who wrote Eero Saarinen & Saarinen remembered.
I went to see Habitare 05 last weekend, which is Finland’s largest interior and Furniture trade show and takes place every two years and it coincided with Helsinki design week. We went to get a flavour of what is happening here and to look for some inspiration. I have put some photos on flickr as have some others go here to have a look. A couple of companies at either end of the spectrum stood out. One was solid furniture and the other was inr (Swedish) who do showers and were showing some custom special edition shower cubicles. One has laminated between the glass panels almost invisible speakers and lights, utilising technology only ever used before by NASA apparently….I didn’t ask how much it cost. At the other end of the scale was solid furniture from Helsinki, who basically made quality solid wood pieces. They have a limited but very beautiful range. The most interesting thing to me though is that they make pieces specially and will make your design for you with the help of their specialist advise.
OK now I have lewism.org up and running & have moved over my old posts from my original site! I have a design of sorts which has plenty of things I want to alter but is OK for now & it will be tweaked small amounts over time I think. The reason I came over to typepad was to give myself a permanent home on the internet and have the ability to play around with the content of the weblog without any real knowledge of programming languages. Now I canstart blogging again!