Pipe Dreams

"How do we define ugliness? There is no Boyle's Law to tell everyone precisely what beauty is"

George Nelson

The above quote is from George Nelson's notes on what he referred to as VISUAL POLLUTION. We are currently pondering whether he would have classified our collection of pipes as such, too. 

 Credit: Yasumi      Location: Hackney Wick, London

Credit: Yasumi      Location: Hackney Wick, London

 

 

 

 

 

When I was about 11, I went on a school trip to Paris. The building that made the biggest impression on me was the Pompidou Centre. A cavernous, colourful construction with its inner workings deliberately exposed as part of the design. I liked it immediately, I thought it felt alive and somehow, honest. I've liked exposed pipes ever since.

 Credit: Yasumi       Location: Here East, London 

Credit: Yasumi       Location: Here East, London 

 Credit: Yasumi       Location: Hackney Wick, London

Credit: Yasumi       Location: Hackney Wick, London

 

 

 

 

 

Pipes are often regarded as unsightly and as a consequence are concealed whenever possible. Yet there are instances where they just have to be in plain sight e.g. drain pipes. Urban living and the modernisation of traditional homes cannot always accommodate ways to conceal pipework so they too, are left exposed. In more industrial areas, pipes are part of the environment  and we almost expect to see them.

 

 

 

Pipes are Super Ordinary because they are everywhere, yet often overlooked. It came as a welcome surprise to receive  photos from friends and readers of pipes that they had noticed both on their travels or on their own stomping grounds.

 Credit:  Bloomzy        Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Credit: Bloomzy       Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands.

  Credit: Morravid       Location: Tel Aviv, Israel

Credit: Morravid      Location: Tel Aviv, Israel

 

 

 

 

We like pipes because they annotate a building. They are in a way, like veins, carrying out vital functions to keep buildings in healthy shape for their inhabitants.

 Credit:  Sarah Jeanne Lombardo       Location: California, USA

Credit: Sarah Jeanne Lombardo      Location: California, USA

 Credit:  The London Parchment      Location: A railway depot in Singapore

Credit: The London Parchment     Location: A railway depot in Singapore

 Credit: Yasumi       Location: Mukogaoka-yeun, Tokyo 

Credit: Yasumi       Location: Mukogaoka-yeun, Tokyo 

 Credit: Yasumi        Location: Bow, London

Credit: Yasumi        Location: Bow, London

 Credit: Yasumi       Location: Brick Lane, London

Credit: Yasumi       Location: Brick Lane, London

 Credit: Yasumi        Location: Hackney Wick, London

Credit: Yasumi        Location: Hackney Wick, London

I like the way they can ruthlessly cut across a wall in all manner of shapes. Yet despite their randomness, they quietly tell of an underlying reason for their composition. Whether they are highlighted with contrasting paint or made more subtle with matching paint to their attached wall, there is something honest about leaving them unconcealed. 


Special Thanks

As ever, we are mightily glad to be able to share the observations of others who notice more during ordinary moments in their lives. Today, we've had pipe pictures from:

 Emma from Bloomzy lifestyle blog

Priya from The London Parchment stationery blog

Sarah Jeanne Lombardo, graphic designer from California.

Mor Ravid from Tel Aviv, Isreal