A “design for living”? Perhaps more for working?

I was in Manchester recently and had to drive into the heart of the city.  The one-way system seems designed to keep cars out, rather than helping traffic circulation but I got there in the end.  The (very nice) hotel I was in had windows that opened fully, which gave me a chance to continue my occasional series “view from my hotel bedroom window”.

The one-way system has had lots of changes recently and not all car sat-navs have up-to-date info.  This arrow, which has been turned through 180 degrees, is a good indicator of that.  I loved the symmetry of the elements and the little bit of newer yellow paint where a service trench had been cut and covered.  The empty parking space was astonishing!

In the glass-fronted office building opposite my room there were many stories to be seen about humanising the workspace.  There were potted plants and personal photos were placed on desks.  I preferred the unseen and accidental landscape found behind things.  This red tape was stuck on the back of a large cupboard pushed up against a window.  Isolating it has allowed the reflection of my hotel to become more visible.

Looking up, the large monolith of the 14-storey office building opposite was quite impressive.  Described as one of Manchester’s, “most prestigious office buildings”, it’s a vertical factory for making money, with workers in little cubicles.  Shooting upwards, and then correcting the converging verticals in Photoshop, made a regular pattern that has subtle differences in each rectangle.  If you got all the staff to co-operate you could make words or pictures with the blinds.  There’s a project for someone!

The modern world contains so much in the way of accidental graphic design.  It’s always worth getting higher so you can look down as well as up.

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