Photos, Thoughts

City Sign-ing Off


City Sign, colloquially known as Hajek Plaza (or as the artist himself referred, Adelaide Urban Iconography), is a significant art piece created by artist Otto Hajek in 1973–77, it was designed to be a form of artificial garden used as a public space in conjunction with the Festival Centre.

The final space departed from his original vision, replacing coloured tiles with painted concrete and garden beds and water features significantly reduced. As such, the space never won over the public and decades of neglect, plus a poor intervention in the early 2000s that separated it from the Festival Centre, meant it became even more isolated and forgotten (except for a brief appearance as the setting of the Festival venue Barrio).

I took these images over the two days before preliminary works began to disassemble the artwork in preparation for a complete redevelopment of the area. Despite it’s polarising nature, I feel it to be an important part of Adelaide’s identity and a symbol of both an optimism and embrace of the arts in the 70s as well as an an all too common example of a compromised vision.

Photos, Thoughts

City Playground


With it’s large scale, (faded) bright colours, and prominent structures of varying scale; City Sign became a welcome playground to explore for Naoto while I was taking photos.

It brings to mind Britain’s post-war brutalist playgrounds (and Assemble’s 2015 foam homage), which were interesting spaces for play and exploration without having typical ‘for kids’ visual cues.

Whilst many an adult may regard the space as barren and unattractive, a child through fresh eyes can perceive the space in an entirely different way.

Photos, Thoughts

The Pinecone


Much of Adelaide’s contemporary architecture is boxy and safe, fuelled by developers looking for maximum returns. Thankfully though, where private development has failed to inspire, the universities and government have picked up the slack.

The most outstanding example is Woods Bagot’s spiky diamond SAHMRI. The medical research building sits on a brownfield site overlooking the rail lines and the river, catching the shifting sun in it’s hundreds of triangular panels. I hope it serves as inspiration for more Adelaide buildings to follow.


Walking on Air


My first day original iPad was starting to feel long in tooth. Stuck on iOS5 and feeling increasingly slow, I resolved that when Apple finally got around to releasing a retina displayed mini, I would move on. Except that’s not how it worked out.

Despite the retina display and on par tech specs, I went with the Air instead. With the massive shaving of size and weight, the Air feels like a big-screen mini, rather than a “full size” iPad. It feels more like holding a nice magazine, and using it feels like those early days of owning the original all over again.

Coming up on Page 2

  • The return of m b v
  • Classic Shot
  • Bowers & Wilkins P3
  • and more…