Thursday, May 10, 2007

In 1207 Briggate was split into burgage plots; a monetary rental system developed Leeds as a commercial centre. These plots are still evident in the street layout but are considered too small for modern retail.

Monday, April 30, 2007

images from pip!

bins - how much rubbish can the weekend generate?

holy trinity window - religious imagery left in the dark/secret spaces

late night maniquins - in the window for a reason? made me think of the red light district in amsterdam

selfridges - loved all the rubbish and wrapping materials piled behind the door.

light - flower, looks even better when the lights go on - like the juxtoposition between revealing/ diluting the (natural) dark and the artificial imagery of a aluminium flower.


phils pics

hullo all,

so here's some pictures, taken of ls1,2 and 3 under the cover of darkness... unfortunately, i have no deep reasoning for them, they were images that caught my imagination.

loving your research amelia/eva/luce - am quite jealous of all the interesting public art seminars you all seem to have been on! some really interesting stuff amelia about the plotting of the town - sorry i haven't had time to do any'd be great to have some more time on this...

right, trying to add images, but the blog wont let me, so i'll sign up to a google acc and make another attempt!


Friday, April 27, 2007

I agree!
So much to say I'm abandoning the 5 words for now.

Amelia - I was really struck by two of your images - SHOPS and PLEASURE TIME.

Eva - yes the layering of materials. No consistency - this lies in the planning policies of Leeds, or lack of them.

I met John Thorpe the civic architect for Leeds on Tuesday. He's spent the last 4 years drawing Leeds city centre, and trying to develop a strategy for the development of the city beyond a planning policy that is based on land use only.

I think Amelia may have hit on something with the burgage plot idea - this reminds me strongly of John's drawings of Leeds today, and how it can be seen as a mosaic of areas. Also did you know that Burmantofts comes from the burger man's tofts? or something like that - Eva do you remember that from the research we did for the walk?

Also it is good in terms of postcode relationship.

Guess the problem is how to do it in such a small space.

I don't have any pictures just now. When do we need to finish the design by?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

City centre ponderings

What has always astonished me about the city centre, as Amelia noted, is the amount of layering. In which ever direction you look, the skyline is made up of layers of new and old, red brick and glass, ornate lettering patterns and flush mirrored fronts. There is little coherency throughout Leeds City Centre and things seem to pop up in a slightly hap-hazard fashion, so wherever you look you see patchworks of overlapping materials, shapes and designs.

I am also always struck by the amount on clocks there are in the city centre....! Here are a few examples - the post office one has an interesting reflection, reflecting back into the city behind.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007


5 words...(and phrases)

bubble peddlars
festish of commerce
hidden uniformity
rolling down towards the river

xxx images should follow soon, if i get to click around town in daylight!

Monday, April 23, 2007


Sorry my pictures are all a bit random and not great. I was not very inspired! I did have one idea that I think is better than the below. The idea is to take a picture of a bus stop queue at work home time. Unfortunately I wasn't in Leeds at the right time. It isn't very Leeds specific but it is city centre specific and points to the fact that people go home out of the centre. Fits in with some of the project ideas.

The below images mainly ref. to the idea of the city as a place of commerce (perhaps a bit obviously?!). The bottom one is the exception and is supposed to illustrate some of the building materials that formed my 'words' in previous post. Also attempting to represent the historical alongside the new in some of the images.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


My Leeds words (with a few digressions) are:

Trade/Commerce…2 for the price of 1
Buliding (Subwords: Red brick, Portland stone, concrete, glass)
Club Culture

A little while ago I read a book about the history of Leeds and was interested in how Briggate was created in 1207 when the Lord of the Manor of Leeds, split the area up into burgage plots. (Eva will recall that a man mentioned this too at an otherwise boring Chatshow presentation!).

2 things about this interest me.
1) Tenants paid for their plots with money, not agricultural labour. This helped Leeds develop as a commercial centre because tenants had time to pursue a trade.
2) The long narrow shape of the burgage plots meant that yards and buildings have followed this shape. So their legacy can still be seen in the street today. Recently reading a planning proposal for a new development of the “Eastgate and Harewood Quarter” (where Chinese arcade and car parking currently is, extending down to markets) one of the justifications given for needing this development was that the size of buildings on Briggate provided limited retail space, not big enough for today’s stores.

(If you want to read more about burgage plots see:

Not sure how this will turn into a badge, but it’s a possible beginning! Also I had the idea of doing an image that shows the historical growth of the city centre. Probably it would appear as patches of different colours representing the shape of the centre as it expanded. I wonder when postcodes got created and if they ever change or grow?

Another interesting focus might be the markets?

I haven’t been to take photos in town yet, but here is a map showing burgage plot layout and an image I quite like that I already had.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Attention all Monitor members - you need to post 5 images and 5 words about Leeds City Centre postcodes 1,2&3!!!

EVERYONE has to do this! No slacking