265cos_Phormium follows function: a NZ flax in Peckham

The history of Phorium is in New Zealand. The plant itself had been used for centuries as medicine by the Māori. The plant was brought to Britain during the 19th century around the time of major colonisation of New Zealand. The plant makes a large clump of leathery, strap-shaped leaves, with tall panicles of small, tubular flowers in summer and produces a lovely variety of four colours for foiliage. The plant itself is not hardy for the British climate at H3 and needs sheltering in winter conditions. H3 being the Royal Horticultural Society’s hardiness rating for coastal/mild areas. So let’s see… The plant needs no maintenance and only dead leaves need to be pruned during the spring time. It is prone to potential pests and diseases so keep this in mind. The final height of the plant is between 1 m – 1.5 m (3.2 ft – 4.9 ft) and the final width is between 1 m – 1.5 m (3.2 ft – 4.9 ft) blob:https://web.whatsapp.com/79cf5559-9690-47e7-977f-416bc00e74f8
Phormium Sundowner: https://www.gardenplantsonline.co.uk/product/phormium-sundowner-new-zealand-flax/?attribute_pa_potsizel=10-litres




acq_The Football Project: Pub Football Opta/misation

What if: pub football was “Optamised” to the level of Premiership Football? With data analytics ready for post-football pub review? What if a 5-a-side field had 6 cameras linked to your Smartphone for inclusive speculation: heat maps, stats, footage? This idea was borne in a pub, The Eleanor in East London, in a chat with Stuart Norfolk: for transparency. That’s important. (Stuart: this blog doesn’t aspire to collect Followers: it is simply my archival, digital sketchbook space. To propel innovation, relevance, rigour and fun – my four research goals with any project. Anything we discussed belongs to our conversation and can be taken down, or out, if necessary:) This kernal of an idea is to be developed but could include the following values: TBC>>>

265cos_The architecture of the White Picket Fence.

The picket fence is a type of timber fence often used decoratively for domestic boundaries, distinguished by their evenly spaced vertical boards, the pickets, attached to horizontal rails. The white picket fence came to symbolise, particularly in the US, the ideal middle-class suburban life: the nuclear family with its 2.4 children, a dog, a station wagon, a large house and peaceful living. With his film Blue Velvet, David Lynch deployed the picket fence as a visual ploy to subvert suburban living as “stultifying at best, soul-poisoning at worst. The visual monotony of a given neighborhood’s cookie-cutter architecture becomes a predictable stand-in for the unthinking conformity of the community’s expectations, as well as the narrowness of the denizens’ dreams and desires.”

265cos_Brick walls, slate roof

The materialisation of our Costa Street project in Peckham is merely a contemporary interpretation of the traditional two-storey semi-detached house. Formally this was a central entry, with framed windows and a pitched roof;  materially, brick walls and a slate roof.

Gossip as discourse.

Whilst studying under Peter Cook of #Archigram at @TheBartlett in the mid-nineties I was exposed to architectural discourse as tittle-tattle. Yet as this article in @TheObserver suggests, gossip unlocks the secrets of power: or rather what I experienced as an exposure to the back story of architectural politics.

265cos_ slate v brick

Slate (roofs) and brick (walls) are ubiquitous building materials in London and thus can readily facilitate planning consents through ‘normalcy’. On the other hand the architect in her quest for innovation is always asking: how can I contribute something new to the dialogue between brick and slate? She did a quick mock-up… TBC


  • xylothic conversion
  • taiaha
  • inclusive Māori carving

Amin Taha_15 Clerkenwell Close as three short films.