the Wheat and the Chaff

Category: Architecture

The End


Source: Matt Baron, Cargo Collective

Time to say goodbye.

This blog has formed part of an important personal journey for me over the last couple of years. I’ve treated The Wheat and the Chaff as a repository for interesting stuff from culture to collect and share amongst a handful of friends – the only people I ever expected to read it other than myself. For years that has been pretty much been the case. This week changed that and made me personally aware for the first time just how quickly things can escalate and spread nowadays.

A post from last year, credited to, but reproduced without permission from another site and author, suddenly generated a shit load of buzz and attention. The buzz and attention was completely warranted – it’s a brilliantly written labour of love on an emotive subject that has struck a chord with many. The recipient of it was not. Interestingly, despite the article being posted nearly a year ago, its sudden second-life illustrates that ‘stock & flow‘ aren’t necessarily exclusive in the internet age.

The author was credited upfront and the site was linked at the end of the piece, but this completely failed to recognise the way that people consume information in the age of the internet. As a result, my blog was credited with the piece rather than the original site. I don’t know how it was discovered on my blog with zero visibility rather than on the original site which has a far bigger readership, but it wouldn’t have happened had I directed people to the original source upfront. For that I’m sorry.

My blog has always been a hobby. But for many others, the content they create on their sites is their livelihood, and it’s unfair when that is potentially impinged upon through the thoughtless behaviour of others.

The content on this blog could only be described as ‘eclectic’, from plenty of bolshy strategic thinking and ad land oddities, to Houston Rap, random tumblrs and British Suburban decay, and for that I’m proud. It’s always been about the stuff that I want to read, which has meant I’ve sometimes played fast and loose with copy and pasting. And I forgot along the way that I’m not just collecting a scrapbook for an audience of one.

So for me, this hobby has run its course.


(check out the rest of Matt Barron’s portfolio here)

(and go here, it’s great)


An ad break made from Lego


To celebrate the upcoming Lego Movie, media agency PHD  took over an entire ITV ad break on Sunday with British ads remade entirely in their iconic building blocks. The first spot was an abbreviated version of the famous 2012 Vinnie Jones CPR ad for the British Heart Foundation. That was followed by 30-second ads, remade practically shot for shot, for, BT and Premier Inn. Short promos for The Lego Movie aired in between each of the spots, followed by a proper trailer at the end. A really nice stunt, really well done.


While we’re on the subject of one of my favourite subjects (Lego, not clever media buying), last night Tom Dyckhoff and the Culture Show explored Lego’s impact on architecture in a fascinating little doc that you can watch for the next few days on the iPlayer.

Brutalist Football


Having visited the San Siro, above, at the tail end of last year to watch a struggling Milan side somehow sneak a draw against AS Roma in a poor game that only came to life in spits and spurts, by far the most awe-inspiring part of the experience was the stadium itself. A huge concrete beast of a thing, with insane spiralling columns connected to an exoskeleton structure, it’s what would happen if HR Giger designed stadiums instead of Alien sets. It’s one of the most striking, ugly-beautiful pieces of design I’ve ever seen.

So I was happy to recently discover an entire tumblr dedicated to celebrating the brutalist architecture of football stadia around the world (rather than celebrating brutal footballers). Two of my favourite things brought together in one place.

Be sure to visit the site for all the locations of the photos featured below, and for even more examples, if you share my odd fascination with these incredible monstrosities of a bygone era.

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How architecture can save your life

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Architects wield more power than you think over your mental and physical wellbeing, as shown in a new interactive chart by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Beautifully designed by Link Studio, the interactive chart is called “Designing Communities, Shaping Health” and shows the myriad ways in which careful decision-making during the architecture design process can positively impact life.

Check it out here.

The Wired World in 2014: speed summary


Digital Intelligence Today have produced a handy speed summary of Wired magazine’s latest need-to-know tech trends for 2014: The Wired World in 2014.

London Deco

1Thibaud Herem, ‘the guy who draws those amazingly detailed buildings’, has a new book out just in time for Christmas. In London Deco, he turns his attention to art deco architecture across the capital, with predictably stunning results.

2 4 5 6 7

Get your copy now from NoBrow.

(via It’s Nice That)

100 things Chris Bailey learnt from his week of TED talks


From his brilliant blog, a Year of Productivity.

London risks losing its identity and soul


As the rich buy up property and ordinary people are forced out, The Observer ask experts and London residents what can be done to save our city.

50 ideas for the new city


The Urban Omnibus, published by the Architectural League of New York, has been collecting good “citymaking” ideas since 2009. Earlier this year, the publication assembled 50 of them into a special Ideas For A New City feature, and commissioned eight rather lovely posters to highlight some favourites (you can buy those here). Co.Exist detailed 8 of the highlights, illustrations of which are below.








Counterfeit Paradise: China’s copycat manufacturing culture is scaling

Paris, built 2007, Hangzhou

Paris, built 2007, Hangzhou

ORIGINALLY REPORTED IN WIRED: The shanzhai industry — China’s copycat manufacturing culture — is scaling. What started as “improved” local versions of iPhones has spread to buildings: on the outskirts of Shanghai, streets from the Netherlands, England and Sweden have been recreated; in the Changsha suburbs sits a full-sized Egyptian pyramid; and outside Hangzhou, there’s an Eiffel Tower. American photographer Matthew Niederhauser has been documenting these neighbourhoods and hopes to publish a collection, Counterfeit Paradises, this year.

Check out the original article here for illuminating descriptions of each of the odd locations featured.

Chateau Dynasty, built 2010, Tianjin

Chateau Dynasty, built 2010, Tianjin

Chateau Laffitte, built 2004, Beijing

Chateau Laffitte, built 2004, Beijing

Broad Town, built 1992, Changsha

Broad Town, built 1992, Changsha

Thames Town, built 2006, Songjiang New City

Thames Town, built 2006, Songjiang New City

Florentia Village, built 2011, Beijing

Florentia Village, built 2011, Beijing

Anting New Town, built 2005, Shanghai

Anting New Town, built 2005, Shanghai

Holland Town, built 2012, Shanghai

Holland Town, built 2012, Shanghai