human endeavour, photography, thoughts and ideas

Human Endeavour to exhibit at Format International Photography Festival 2011

Posted in Degeneration by humanendeavour photography on November 30, 2010

With our project Degeneration we have been invited to exhibit at the Format Photography Festival as part of the collectives encounter.

Yasmina Reggad, curator of the exhibition writes;

“During the past 10 years in Europe, photographers have been developing a new form of working, discussing and sharing their personal work. The collective is not only a dynamic platform for photographers to guarantee their independence and identity, but also a creative hub to produce collective artwork.

Photo-Festivals in collaboration with Format International Photo Festival bring together every two years some of the most talented and active photo collectives to celebrate and promote this emerging culture in the UK.”

The exhibition is themed around the ideas of Walter Benjamin’s ‘The Flâneur’.

The festival runs from the 3rd of March to the 4th of April 2011.

The collectives work can be viewed at the blog

To see the Format Festival Press release

Danny Wilson Memorial Award. 2010 Brighton Photo Fringe

Posted in Uncategorized by humanendeavour photography on November 19, 2010

Alex Currie, Simon Carruthers, Oliver Perrott and Richard Chivers were shortlisted in the Danny Wilson Memorial award. The award was for the best emerging to mid career photographer in the Brighton Photo Fringe.

The photographers were shortlisted for their exhibition Degeneration, the show has been a great success with over 1500 people coming to see the show. The group of photographers are now looking to evolve the work and tour the show around the country.

The photos below are from the exhibition at the Bellis Gallery Brighton.

Spending cuts trap Britain’s poorest in boarded-up ghost towns.

Posted in Uncategorized by humanendeavour photography on November 18, 2010

Spending cuts trap Britain’s poorest in boarded-up ghost towns

Peter Booth from the Guardian 18.11.10

Up to 30,000 houses scheduled for demolition may be left standing as £5bn Pathfinder project is cancelled

Tens of thousands of residents in England’s poorest communities are finding themselves trapped in streets filled with demolished or boarded-up houses after an ongoing £5bn Whitehall housing renewal project was cancelled.

Residents living in mostly Victorian terraced homes in parts of Birmingham, Salford, Teesside, Merseyside, Lancashire and South Yorkshire that were due to be refurbished or demolished and replaced with new housing are in limbo after the government’s Pathfinder scheme was halted in October’s comprehensive spending review.

Brendan Nevin, the academic who helped devise the initiative under Labour, told Channel 4 News that over 123,000 of England’s poorest residents are directly affected by the decision, which has left residents marooned among homes that have already been demolished or boarded up as part of the aborted programme. He said 30,000 properties scheduled for demolition may now remain standing and over 37,000 may not be refurbished.

“Failure to complete this would be a disaster for the communities involved,” he said. “It really is without precedent for us to stop a programme like this in its tracks without having a plan B agreed between local and central government. If you wanted to hit the poorest people, this the very programme you would pull.”

He added that the nine areas in the scheme account for almost half of the poorest 1% of neighbourhoods in the country.

Remaining homeowners have seen the value of their properties drop dramatically after agreements with local councils to sell their homes for demolition were withdrawn, leaving them with little prospect of moving. Some had let their houses fall into disrepair in anticipation of moving out, but now face having to stay indefinitely.

The Department for Communities and Local Government said the decision was made “in order to rationalise funding streams, make savings and take a more disciplined approach to government spending and introducing a new regional growth fund (RGF).”

“We need to get away from top-down targets,” said a spokesman. “The last government’s Pathfinder scheme had too great an emphasis on demolitions encouraged by targets set by Whitehall. We will support renewal schemes led by local authorities, where they have the backing of the community.”

The RGF is a £1.4bn, three-year fund to stimulate “long-term, private sector-led economic growth and employment”, overseen by Lord Heseltine, who will advise on the bidding process.

“How can they leave people in such a vulnerable position?” said Khadijah Sadiq, a single mother of two who lives in one of the three remaining occupied houses in a street in the Werneth area of Oldham, where the rest have been sold to the council and boarded up ready for demolition.

“I am in limbo. I can’t move forward and sell this house and I can’t live here. The ceilings are falling in, the gutters are broken and when it rains the roof leaks and there is damp in the bedrooms.”

The council had agreed to buy Sadiq’s two-bedroom corner terrace for £97,000, and she was on the verge of putting down a deposit on a £106,000 home when it became clear the council no longer had the money. Now she cannot sell her home and complains that what was once a thriving community has become dangerous.

“It’s like a dumping ground, and all the young lads get together at night time,” she told Channel 4. “Because it is so dark I have had to phone local police a few times to come. You feel like a prisoner in your own house. I don’t come out at night; I’m thinking: ‘Who’s going to be there behind my door?’ I feel so scared.”

The original plan under Labour had been to use £5bn of central government funding in a programme to knock down or refurbish homes in areas of the north where the housing market had collapsed and the housing stock was considered to be below an acceptable standard. The policy was to sell off areas to consortiums of private developers and social housing landlords for regeneration.

Only £2.2bn of the total budget had been spent by the time it was announced that the project would be cancelled, while the private sector has invested an estimated £4bn, Nevin said.

In Liverpool, hundreds of residents remain in streets in the Anfield area that were scheduled for demolition. Homeowner Ros Groves said a whole generation was growing up amid dereliction.

“We were asked to sign up to a commitment, which was going to take 15 years to do, and then all of a sudden it looks in jeopardy and we’re halfway through a project,” she said. “You just can’t do that to a community. If you ask a child around here to draw a picture of a house, it will have boarded up windows on it, or sheeting, because that’s what they’ve been used to walking to school. You know it’s that kind of mentality that you’re feeding into them kids.”

The project was controversial from the outset with “save our homes” campaigns springing up in some areas scheduled for demolition. Some residents argued the homes were fundamentally sound and often of historic architectural interest and merely neeeded refurbishment. There was also criticism that some councils involved in the scheme deliberately hastened worsening conditions in some areas by failing to look after amenities.

The withdrawal of the scheme after such a controversial process may make it difficult for people to trust the government again on long-term housing plans, Nevin warned.

“I think it’ll be very difficult for the coalition government to liaise with communities such as this in future if it reneges on the commitments that have been made,” he said.

Park Hill Flats Sheffield

Posted in Uncategorized by humanendeavour photography on November 17, 2010

Park Hill Flats Sheffield.

Posted in Uncategorized by humanendeavour photography on November 17, 2010

The Park Hill Flats, a social housing estate in Sheffield, were inspired by Le Corbusiers Unite d Habitation and were viewed as revolutionary at the time of construction. They were built on the site that previously occupied back to back housing. The flats were described as streets in the sky, with wide gangways that a milk float could drive along. The flats are currently undergoing regeneration with most of the estate boarded up but with several tennants still living in some of the flats.

Photo. Alex Currie ©

Photo richard chivers ©

Photo Alex Currie ©

Photo richard chivers ©

Le Corbusier by Elizabeth Darling.

Posted in Uncategorized by humanendeavour photography on November 15, 2010

Le Corbusiers town plan, ‘La Cite Industrielle’, was his first attempt to create a modern form of the city, built entirely from concrete. He worked alongside Germans as part of the ‘Deutche Werkbund’ design group.

  • Maison Dom-Ino, Corbusiers standardisation of house type.
    • Made from concrete and indended for mass production.
    • Whilst standardised so it was also flexible allowing customisation.

A Purist Architecture

  • A modern city  is needed for modern lifes new demands.
  • ‘The house is a machine for living.’ p15.
  • His desire was to replace the chaos of contemporary architecture to allow a state where nature and machine co-exist in a state of equilibrium. Termed ‘Machine-age classissism.’
  • Corbusier began with with his housing designs with the ‘Immeuble-villa’

Maison Citrohan’The Immeuble-villa’ was a maisonette unit with a double height living space, alongside which was placed a garden. Corbusiers intention was for each unit to be stacked vertically, or horizontally to create small housing blocks.’ p 13

  • The Maison Citrohan was of a similar design, but placed on stilts.
  • Their designs were to be functional and suitable for mass production.
  • Only one set of these designs were built, at Pessac new Bordeaux.
  • His main designs were for wealthy families and individuals.
    • These designs relied on basic elements from the above.
    • But for appearance he developed a basic grammer and set of 5 rules.

The Five Points of a New Architecture

  1. Pilotis; to life the house off the ground.
  2. The Free Plan; the framed construction of the building allowing the interior space to be organised as desired.
  3. The Free Facade; Since the external walls were not load-bearing, they could be divided up wherever necessary by windows or other apertures.
  4. The Ribbon Window; a long horizontal window
  5. The Roof Garden; Intended to replace the ground covered by the house and bring its inhabitants into direct relationship with nature.
  • The main body of the house was to be away from ground level.
    • Internal furniture was to be deisned to be functional and not decorational. Pieces were to be built into the fabric of the building.

The City of Tomorrow

  • Corbusiers first design for the reformation of town design was in 1915 with the Ville Contemporaine.


Ville Contemporaine

  • To replace a chaotic unorganised mess with slims and a lack of nature he proposeed a zoned city where things like housing, indistry and administration occupied specific areas.
    • These would be connencted by networks for cars, trains and planes.
    • Contrete allowed to build high giving room for parks.
  • In his city plan for 3 million at the heart was a traffic terminus, then high rise glass skyscrapers for the central commercial district. Then housing for those who worked in the towers.
    • A green belt seperates this from the manufacturing area and another divides the housing for those working in the factories.
    • However this design was seen as elitist as it subordinates the workers to the outskirts of the city.

Towards a Monumental Architecture

Pavillion Suisse

  • Pavillion Suisse was a residential student housing block that represented a movement into a new phase of design.
    • It was a reworking of his 5 points where there was now a grander and more powerful architectural language.
  • His design also changed eg, the Pilotis were now irregular.
    • his approach to finding a completely modernist movement.

Brutalism and Spirituality; The Post War Work

Unite d’Habitation

  • Post war Europe meant a shortage of housing and Corbusier was approached by the French government.
    • Unite d’Habitation was a culmination of all Corbusiers pre-war ideas about housing and the city combined into one.
    • Corbusier wrote that the block would ‘provide while silence and solitude before the sun, space and greenery, a dwelling which will be the perfect receptacle for the family.’ p22
  • Its design is similar to a giant bottlerack with units slotted in for living and leisure.
    • Most appartments were doubel height.
    • Accessed from corridors or ‘streets’ running through the centre of th building.
    • Dotted around the building are things which help make it a community; such as clubs, meeting rooms, shops and on the roof a recreational area.
  • Alike most of his work concrete was left untreated. This was know as ‘beton brut’ and gave the name to the period of work Brutalism.
  • This block was seen as a sculpture to the ordinary people living in the block.
    • It had much influence over other european architecture such as the Alton West estate in London.

Alton West London

  • He also explored the brutalist aesthetic in a number of other ways into beautiful and spiritual buildings.
    • eg. Notre Dame du Haut which was rebuilt from concrete but also included pieces of the old destroyed church into a beautifully curved organic structure.
      • He wanted to create a spiritual place and so used carefully designed windows to filter light and the was also a cavernous space.

Notre Dame du Haut

  • His greatest challenge came from India to design a city plan for Chandigarh. He designed not only this but four government buildings and several monuments.
    • On the exterior were deeply inset balconies called brise soliels to shelter inhabitants from the sun.
  • Corbusier died in 1965.
    • He has taken the blame for much of the pood design of modern cities with his 5 points.
      • Yet he had no control over how his ideas would be used.
      • Even now his designs are seen as very different and fresh in many ways.

Simon Carruthers. The Ferrier Estate, Kidbrook, London.

Posted in Uncategorized by humanendeavour photography on November 14, 2010

Simon Carruthers has been investigating the Ferrier Estate in London.

The Ferrier Estate is a large housing estate located in Kidbrook South London. It is considered one of the worst and most notorious estates in Britain.

The estate is a typical example of system built social housing in Britain from the 1950s to the 1970s.

I have posted a few comments that were made by the public, on the blog The Rat and Mouse about the Ferrier Estate.

I bought my 4 bedroomed house from the G.L.C.on the Ferrier in 1979 before the right to buy was introduced I was already living on the estate but in a maisonette. My neighbours eitherside have been rehoused as they were council tenants therefore leaving me isolated.The Greenwich council has offered me �94,000.00 if I take this offer I would be unable to buy a property in this area and as I am 70 in July my chances of getting a mortgage is nil.I have been told that they would accept me as a Council tenant this would mean paying rent from my State pension. The council says that they are paying market prices for our properties but as the only sellers since the regeneration was announced 7 years ago is the council in the right to buy scheme there is no market value.

Posted by Dennis Eve at June 8, 2006 10:02 AM

My family lived on the Ferrier from 1971 to 1982. We moved from the dive that was the Walworth Road, to the Ferrier, which at the time felt like we had moved to a paradise in comparison. A lot of people who didn’t know the Ferrier throughout the 70’s, would probably consider me “Stark raving mad”! Given the estate as it is now, I would fully empathise with their view.

We had a fantastic time through the 70’s, even the occassional street party! There did seem to be a community spirit about the place throughout this time. So when mum & dad eventually decided to move to Orpington, we did so with a rather large lump in the throat!! Until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t seen the Ferrier since the day we left back in 1982. I was visiting my sister in Blackheath, when on a whim I decided to take a small detour and visit the “Old Girl”. What confronted me was enough to bring fleeting tears to my eyes! “What the hell had people done”! “What has happened to the pride of people to allow all around them to descend in to a Shit-Hole”! Please excuse the language…But aptly applies to this third world monstrosity before me”! It was all I could do, to beat a hasty retreat from this hovel, and to try and leave the estate with those wonderful memories of “The Ferrier” in tact! RIP Ferrier!

Posted by Doug Berry at October 29, 2006 7:09 PM

i have lived on the ferrier for 7 years now in a one bedroom flat.i now have a 2 year old and a baby on the way.the conditions of my flat are discusting and dangerous for my child.its unfair and the council refuse to move me until the last minute.i live in leclair house and the block is in very poor condition with urine in the lifts and human excrement on the landing which i cleaned as i could not stand the smell lingering under my front door.the landings are dark and cold a bit like my flat really.we need to move on with the times and 2018 is still a long way off for demolishing as conditions are the same as when the ferrier was first built.with big windows that open really wide and blow out heating which is nackered there is no heating facilitie in the bedroom so winter is freezing in there.also the hot water system is rubbish.and the block as had its intercome cut off since 2003.i went to see my local mp today and got know were what a joke. kelly

Posted by kelly at May 26, 2007 8:36 PM

bang bang ferrier gang well we will always be on dis estate coz dis is our endz we stay out to late in teleman square we are da hood rats of da estate fuk haters ferrier til i die

Posted by merts at June 7, 2007 2:00 PM






Patrick Keiller ‘Robinson in ruins.

Posted in Uncategorized by humanendeavour photography on November 6, 2010

Still from Robinson in ruins.

After 13 years since his last film, ‘Robinson in space’, Patrick Keiller has released a new film called ‘Robinson in ruins’. There is an interesting review at the guardian

Alejandro Cartagena Urban Holes.

Posted in Uncategorized by humanendeavour photography on November 6, 2010

suburbia mexicana: urban holes by Alejandro Cartagena

“I am looking for places that conserve a trace of the demolished architectural structure that in a sense speak of the political-economical situation of a country that is finding a way to inject its economy by turning their backs to growing centrally and promoting and subsidizing the mass construction of housing complexes in the out skirts of the metropolitan area. urban growth depends and causes deconstruction in inner city areas. different from other urban renewal and growth plans of more economically strong countries, like that of chinas’, where the government uses its power and plans to displace people out of their homes in central urban areas, developers here only seek to find the cheapest land in order to generate bigger profit. land in downtown is highly overpriced by market speculation, making investors look to un-urbanized land to create new developments that are lacking of all kinds of infrastructure” Alejandro Cartagena.

Esteban Patorino Diaz Salamone Brighton Photo Biennial 2010

Posted in Uncategorized by humanendeavour photography on November 2, 2010

In Salamone (1998-2001), Esteban Pastorino Diaz explores the architectural legacy of Francisco Salamone who practiced in Argentina during the 1930s and 1940s. Diaz has produced large format images taken at night using long exposures. These dynamic forms are rendered luminescent and eerie, consolidated by the surrounding darkness that serves to underline the Fascist nature of this architectural design.