These 5,000-year-old trees have emerged on a beach in Mid Wales after peat was washed away during the recent storms. Thought to date back to the Bronze Age, the shin-high stumps became visible for the first time when the peat which once covered them was washed away in torrential rain and waves pounding the shore. The oak and yew stumps were once part of a forest that covered the whole area before it turned into a peat bog and was eventually overwhelmed by water.
Iwan Baan is not as interested in what architects build as he is in the beautiful ways that people appropriate the spaces once the planners are gone. In today’s talk, Baan — whose breathtaking image of lower Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy hangs on at least one of our walls — shows incredible images from communities thriving in ways that seem quite opposite to the uniformity of suburbs. First, Baan takes us to Chandigarh, India, where people inhabit buildings created by modernist architects Le Corbusier in very different ways than expected. Then, Baan takes us to Caracas, Venezuela, where an abandoned 45-story building has become a miniature city. From there, Baan takes us to a Nigerian slum built on water, to a community in Cairo thriving amid recycling heaps, and to an underground village in China.
Baan’s talk will have you marveling at human ingenuity. In it, the photographer shows 154 images. Since they appear rapid-fire, Baan has selected some to share here, where you can take your time and appreciate the details.
Axel Einar Hjorth, Utö dining table, circa 1932. Material pine wood. Manufactured by Nordiska Kompaniet, Sweden. Hjorth had a strong primitive modernist period during 1930s and Utö is part of this period. / Phillips