TOBIAS BENJAMIN LEVER









EXPANDED PRACTICE 01

We went on a group trip to Portobello to gather research and content to then work from in our sketchbooks. Though the market was interesting and lively I found the bold towering Trellick Tower really took my breath away. Trellick Tower was designed in a brutalist style by Erno Goldfinger and was completed in ’72. The tower is now grade 2 listed and is 98m tall, in this area it really does stand out like a sore thumb. I was drawn to the building as I have always liked seeing it in music videos and film as it seems to crop up often. Following the trip I began to really research the history of Trellick Tower to understand its wider context. The 1950’s was a decade that set out to transform Britain. After the Destruction of War, It was time for a fresh start and for new ideas to go to the forefront. There was a real sense of hope for the future. There was a determination for architects to rebuild the towns and cities in a bold new style and Trellick Tower represents this in an incredible way. I wanted to gain a better understanding of Brutalist Architecture so I continued to look at the work of Golderfinger. Trellick Tower as with many examples of Brutalism has a rough, industrial look to it, it feels almost cold and uninviting. 

From an architectural point of the view it exposes the structures rather than concealing them as other buildings do. Upon researching Trellick Tower I came across the fact that it was the building that inspired J.G. Bullard’s 1975 dystopian novel ‘High Rise’ which has recently been made into a brilliant film. This link forced me to think about the kinds of people that live here and what their lives may be like. Using some of the poetry of Kate Tempest’s and some of my own ideas I began to create these little stories of lives lived in Trellick



BIG DEBATE

The build up to this event has been tense, shadowed in secrecy, keeping hush about who or what we are defending in the biggest university debate of 2017.

Mickey Mouse!!! Last week I shoved my hand into a battered old pillow case and rummaged around, what looked like a shredded invoice, and pulled out a small slice of paper with the words ‘MICKEY MOUSE’ printed on it. I proceeded to dash this straight into my wallet and keep it locked away until my group meeting the following day.

The deciding day crept up real quick, we lock the door behind us and get straight to business. I flip open my prehistoric MacBook and quickly wham up the Keynote presentation I merged together the night before. The debate hasn’t even begun yet and I’m already defending the childhood Disney legend, until… one of the girls in the group shows the Rolling Stones lick and I am torn, TORN! Part of me wants an easy victory, is there anything else as iconic as Mickey Mouse? Part of me wants to go with what I find more inspirational and iconic. We went with the mouse.

ANNNND… we’re off. Pitched against Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting, easy, but a somewhat bitter sweet victory, and that was the re-occurring theme for the remainder of the day. After lunch was the iPod, their group suffered a hideous downfall when they tried to attack us with an anti Mickey Mouse propaganda video, made in 1936, Big Mick was created in 1928, see ya, iPod. We swiftly move into the finale and have to argue why a cartoon mouse is more iconic than David Bowie, tough fight. After copious amounts of, unnecessary, cat fighting, and actually shouting at my friends, we ended with a draw, the claps for Mickey were definitely louder but considering how much Bowie has influenced my existence, I’ll happily take a draw.


PRESENTATION

Today was nice, fuck that, today was mega decent. I had to present my research and findings for the top secret (eyes only) mission I’m currently working on and I got real constructive criticism for my work. Top day. 


BRIEF 01

My current brief is a secret (so keep ya gob shut), but what I can reveal is that I joined forces with a few friends and went to a secret location to research the shit out of it.

We arrived as a group of four, paid £3 to get into what is essentially an outdoor restaurant, then almost immediately became a football team-sized group of alcoholic student degenerates.

Our research got off to a great start, lapping up the tantalising mixture of sights and smells from the assortment of pop-up street food vendors.

Vibrant colours everywhere and dimmed lighting, from the copious amounts of squirrel caged lightbulbs, under the dark evening sky really dragged my inner hipster out of the gloomy grotto I stuffed him at the end of the last academic year.

After consuming our banquet of tastebud exploding grub we proceeded to attempt to drink our own body weight in beer and pina coladas. As for the rest of the evening, I couldn’t tell you, but I’m putting this one down as a succesful recon mission.


PECKHAM

Day three of year two and it’s lecture time, and I’m staying awake for these ones.

It’s good to be back after what seemed like an endless summer, everyone is in high spirits and my ears are fully perked up in preparation for my first lecture of the year. An incredibly insightful two hours whizzed by and I get to participate in a class field trip to the world famous Peckham.

A painfully long Uber ride drops my group at the top of Peckhams, somewhat gloomy, high street and we set out in search of a heavy dosage of local culture, in the form of grub.

Strolling about the town on a brisk, sunny Tuesday afternoon and the first thing that triggers warning signals is the severe lack of pedestrians, for a place that’s supposed to inspire an epiphany of cultural ecstasy, I’m struggling to motivate an emotion of whelm.  

In amongst the dirty buildings, tucked down an alleyway, that resembles the mouth of a river, is a beaten up burger van doused in the remains of previous stickers and decals left behind from, potentially, failed business models, with just the names of the five wraps he sells written in a sharpie. This was, and probably will forever be, my highlight of Peckham.  

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