I have to admit that I might not have been entirely clear in my previous post about Venn diagrams, rifts and Egon Spengler. Behind all the mucking about with sci-fi analogies, it’s simply an attempt to use a drawing language that makes me think about aspects of projects and problems that may usually be overlooked.

During the last few days I’ve spotted a couple of other examples that might provide similar inspiration. Firstly, DfL’s Green Grid proposals for London examining the green infrastructure between 6 areas of the city; described in Kieran Long’s AJ editorial like this:

You probably will have noticed that the AJ has been tackling urbanism in a serious way in recent weeks … But time and again while researching these features we have come across the same problem – no-one has a drawing that can adequately sum up a strategic approach to a place. For this alone DfL should be congratulated.


source: Architects’ Journal 13.12.07

Secondly, whilst hiding – during a post office party hangover – between the pages of a Calvino book, I found my favourite author citing dialect instead of drawing as a tool for fixing these liminal spaces:

Lexical richness (as well as richness in expressiveness) is (or rather, was) one of the great strengths of dialects. Dialects have the edge on the standard language when they contain words for which the standard language has no equivalent. But this lasts only as long as certain (agricultural, artisan, culinary, domestic) techniques last – techniques whose terminology was created or deposited in the dialect rather than in the standard language, Nowadays, in lexical terms, dialects are like tributary states towards the standard language: all they do is give dialectal endings to words that start off in technical language. And even outside the terminology of trades, the rarer words become obsolete and are lost.

I remember that the old folk of San Remo knew dialects that represented a lexical wealth that was irreplaceable. For instance: chintagna, which means both the empty space that remains behind a house that has been built (as always in Liguria) up against terraced land, and also the empty space between the bed and the wall. I do not think an equivalent word exists in Italian; but nowadays the word does not exist even in dialect; who has heard of it or uses it now? Lexical impoverishment or homogenization is the first sign of a language’s death.

source: Hermit in Paris – Italo Calvino

I found this gang of hellraisers staring back at me from the pages of a book in the dentist’s waiting room this week, looking like they’d just stepped out of some liminal rock ‘N’ roll space. When assembled in this fashion they were fittingly called The N’Betweens.

For extra festive season points, who can tell me the name of the band they would eventually become?

guess the band

Clue: IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!

Update: Slade! Although for the life of me I can’t work out which one is Noddy Holder.

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