Week 13

When reflecting back on my Week 1 blog entry, I still stand by my 3 comments I made about a particular city although now have more to add.

  • My first comment is about how disconnected the city seems to be from the natural environment. You could say that the city likes its neighbours, loves itself even more. You can also say that not just the city itself, but most buildings within the city seem to love its neighbours except the one obvious building that loves itself.

  • My second comment refers to the very concentrated urban areas vs. the natural areas. There seems to be a high concentrated areas where all buildings are located, and are not spaced out.

  • My third comment refers to the city layout and roads. From what is shown in the second picture, the streets do not seem to be in a grid layout plan, making the areas and streets look somewhat disorientating.



Shown in this picture is a thoroughly out of place building. Although it may stand out like a sore thumb, this creates an essence about it that I think some people have glossed over. It makes a statement, it screams all eyes on me and it has accomplished this motif. It is a landmark in a central location. If one were to walk the streets, this building would act as a guide in which direction to travel.  In saying this, I’m sure this city/town has a strong cultural statement or identity surrounding buildings and architecture. Displaying this large obtrusive building diminishes this ideal and identity of the city seems to be upholding.image two

This town is a very organic shaped city. It has been developed around the coast line, and may have been a port city with revenue of exporting and importing goods. You can see certain distinctive zones and “districts” outlined. (By the closeness of buildings, the shapes, colours etc)1st Entry 002

It can be seen that the majority of the buildings are facing the water. This, to me, symbolises that the city has a strong relationship between the water and itself.

This subject has given me a greater insight into city design and urban forms than I previously had 13 weeks ago. Now when I am walking a city or even a street, I pick up on the small subtleties of the city that I may not have recognised before. I enjoyed research about another City and its history. It developed my knowledge further into a city’s development and identity that it creates itself or even the people who inhabit it create.

In regards to future design, this subject has allowed me to better understand the need for when certain design methods should be used, how they could be used differently and the effect that it may have to the people and environment. It has not fully taught me the key to designing, but it has given me a much needed framework in which I can work from and am glad of that.

It was useful to have class mates work easy available to comment on during the beginning of the semester. This was because it became a tool in which to develop my understanding of something in particular further. It gave me an insight into how other people have explained or visualised something that I may have done completely different. It was also interesting to see how other have viewed my work, and what their opinions were.


Week 12 – Student Negotiated Assignment


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I cut down my brass piece to the size I wanted. This was down with a dremel. I then scrubbed the plate to become as clean as I could. This gets the grease and dirt of the surface so your image sticks better.

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With my OHT print, I secured the print to the piece of brass on one side. This was done so the piece would not move and smudge during the ironing process. At the hottest heat, the iron was pressed firm to the back of the brass for around 20 seconds, or until hot. The plate was flipped back to the front, a piece of paper was placed over it and the iron was again pressed firm down, while moving for around 1 minute. This fused the black ink onto the brass plate.

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This is the outcome after the ironing process. Very hot! If the image didn’t work as nicely as I wanted it to, the ink was scrubbed off  and everything was then repeated again.

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If the image came out with some patches where the ink did not fuse, a sharpie was used to fill in the gaps.

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The plates were then placed into a  hot chemical solution bath. This is where the etching process starts. The solution eats away at the parts of the plate where the black ink is not located. This process took around 20-30 minutes. I noted that the hotter the solution, the more the images gets etched.

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Once I was happy with the etched image, I placed the plates under running water, rinsing off the chemicals and scrubbed away at the plate until all the ink was removed.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the finished assembled piece. I had 5 face plates that lay on a board covered with hessian sack material. I also added a two reference maps. One was an image of Africa with Egypt marked out. The second was a zoomed in image of the historical map, land growth of Port Said itself.



The way in which Port Said has been governed, designed and developed has been done by the influences and actions of a variety of people.

For the last 30 years, Port Said has been striving for its identity on the map. The first colonials to inhabit the city, in the 1860s, designed buildings with projected and steel balustrades which reflected the cultural bases of colonial architecture. These buildings were designed for human use and were socially preferred, at the time, as well as climatically suitable. Mixes of Colonial and Arab designs then started to be developed. These designs involved sets of architectural references and fragments of various historical styles. These architectural styles were immediately undercut by the accompany loss of any cultural meaning directly relevant to the lives of the urban population.

In 1922, Egypt declared independent from Britain. This national Egyptian epoch caused tensions within the city of Port Said. From this a revolution started.

The city became a symbol of anti-Europeanism, and denounced its centuries of Colonial History.

Attempts to revive the city after its partial destruction in the wars of 1956, 1967 and 1973 were not completely successful. This resulted in a loss of much of Port Said’s collective memory as a colonial city and spaces did not adapt to the nationalist era.

Today, NGOs and activists are in protest to save the historical architecture and heritage of Port Said. Investors and building developers are now buying up buildings and blocks of the city to demolish and replace with quick to build developments that can create a higher income return fast.

With the demolishing of the heritage buildings of Port Said, one is also demolishing the identity and history of the city. Once claimed to be the most orderly and beautiful cities of Egypt, Port Said is now a mishandled city, quickly losing its once prosperous identity.

What Port Said was and what Port Said is, has been designed and developed by the influences and actions of people.  

Week 9 Memory = Identity


tirana-4Triana, Albania

Edi Rama — the mayor of Tirana, Albania, for 11 years — was an artist before a politician.

“I still paint. I love the joy that color can give to our lives and to our communities,” says Rama, “I try to bring something of the artist in me to my politics.”

Tirana, Albania’s capital city, was downtrodden when Rama took office. The city budget was squandered, corruption was rampant and crime was the norm. But Rama had an idea to raise the spirits of his town — he painted a grey building a bright orange.

As Rama set out to have more of the city painted in loud colors and bold designs, he met resistance from other countries in the European Union. He was asked to opt for more neutral colors.

“I told them no. Compromise in colors is grey,” explains Rama. “When colors came out everywhere, a mood of change started transforming the spirit of the people … People started to drop less litter in the streets. They started to pay taxes. They started to feel something they’d forgotten … Beauty was giving people a feeling of being protected. This was not a misplaced feeling — crime did fall.”



In my opinion, in order to preserve a cities identity, you have to preserve its history. If the history is rubbish, create a new identity. Tirana has done this. Right now in Port Said, historical buildings, that once made the City a popular tourist attraction, are being torn down in order to make way for developers and their bulldozers.

This article explains this: http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/0/55386/Heritage/Egypts-threatened-heritage-Port-Saids-history-brea.aspx.

This idea of demolishing and re-design has goverened the start of my Project 3 work.