Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2015/07-w1-3 Moments July 2015 weeks 1-3

Vienna, Austria; Danube University Krems; Krems, Austria; University of Surrey; Guildford, UK; London, England; Toronto, Ontario.

Austrian Airlines Toronto to Vienna
Austrian Airlines Toronto to Vienna. Just realised that I’m breaking my personal rule to fly across oceans on a carrier with a Canadian flag. Direct flight for short trip trumped brand preference. Fortunately, the Austrians aren’t known as an aggressive culture. I expect to nap, and wake up in Vienna. (OS 72, still boarding at Pearson International Airport YYZ) 20150702
Danube University Krems
Danube University Krems. Small university campus just one street by two blocks up hill from small town. Attending pattern language conference, PURPLSOC is third within a year. Would have meet practically all Christopher Alexander scholars by now, may focus down in future events with some interested in collaborating. Shortest lead time ever, 8 hours on plane, 3 hours on train, 1 hour to find campus, barely time for lunch, check-in and shower before first speaker started at 2:30 pm. (Danube University Krems, Austria) 20150703
Wellenspiel, Krems
Wellenspiel, Krems. Conference dinner by the Danube River in Austria. Weather has been warm, around 30 degrees C and sunny. Mountain altitude, air is clean. Some familiar faces from prior pattern language conferences. (Krems, Austria) 20150704
Closing ceremony at PURPLSOC
Closing ceremony at PURPLSOC. Network of yarn symbolises colleagues meet over a few short days of intense interaction. Tangle is tossed in parachute to create a knotty mess. First learned this at PLoP 2014 in Illinois. (Danube University Krems, Austria) 20150705
S7 platform, Praterstern
S7 platform, Praterstern. Morning commute to airport from Vienna city centre hotel on suburban line S7. Started journey a little earlier than originally planned, discovering that I would be sitting nearly 30 minutes, as trains don’t run more frequently. Austrian efficiency means trains run on time, so the best surprise is no surprise. Flights to London Heathrow will be connecting, lowering airfare and adding miles. (Praterstern, Vienna, Austria) 20150706
Glass overhead walkways
Glass overhead walkways. From Frank Whittle at south to Alan Turing at north, buildings connected to encourage random interactions between researchers walking and thinking. Design of campus with buildings below 4 stores an antithesis of skyscraper thinking. Statue of Turing on plaza a little further north may be overearnest recognition, as he was never part of this university, and would only come home to Guildford on weekends while a teenager at boarding school. (University of Surrey, Stag Hill campus, Guildford, UK) 20150707

Stainless steel sculpture and fountain
Stainless steel sculpture and fountain. William Pye (1969) “Narcissus”, with spray of water on west side of small lake in northeast Stag Hill campus. Terrain at university is scenic but hilly, signs posted that accessibility may lead to indirect routes. British summer morning is cool, wearing long pants in anticipation of afternoon rain. (University of Surrey, Guildford, UK) 20150708
Main entrance to Guildford Cathedral
Main entrance to Guildford Cathedral. Angel musicians engraved in glass by John Hutton are inset into bronze doors. One glass panel was vandalised in 2009, and restored by a protégé of the original artist a year later. Guildford Cathedral was consecrated in 1961, one of three modern cathedrals of the Church of England, the others in Liverpool in 1978, the other in St. Albans in 1877. Cathedral is by the south end of the university, had afternoon stroll up and down hills as a break from sitting. (Guildford Cathedral, Surrey, UK) 20150709
Bridge NGL 15/X49
Bridge NGL 15/X49: Public footbridge beside Guildford Viaduct over River Wey rail crossing reflects British multifunction design, as pedestrians served as well as as trains. Narrow path on south side of New Guildford Line (NGL) starts from Woodbridge Road at the east, to Woodbridge Meadows on the west. Forest naturally shades the path. Route jogs closer to rail built at higher level, going around the Sea Cadets camp. Low stress walk to university in the morning, steps at west end not so welcoming for the cyclist hoisting his ride. (Guildford Viaduct over River Wey, UK) 20150710
SIEYP panel
SIEYP panel: Post #ISIE2015 panel #SIEYP2015 Symposium on Industrial Ecology for Young Professionals looks forward on directions for research. Audience of over 100 graduate students and postdocs could shape the future of the field. Panel includes: Reid Lifset (Yale U.), Ming Xu (U. Michigan), Chris Davis (U. Groningen), Noa Meron (Tel Aviv U.), Weslynne Ashton (IIT), Megha Shenoy (independent, India), Chris Kennedy (U. of Toronto). Afternoon will have self-organizing groups for discussion. (Lecture Block, Stag Hill campus, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK) 20150711
Millennium Bridge
Millennium Bridge. St. Paul’s Cathedral across the River Thames, from the third floor cafe of the Tate Modern. Truncated reservation by B&B in Guildford opened opportunity for single Saturday night in London. Museum is one of the few cultural institutions open late. (Tate Modern, London, England) 20150711
Saatchi Gallery front ramp
Saatchi Gallery front ramp: Grandfather watches French child enjoying kickboard, running in circles up the steps and gliding down again and again. Saatchi Gallery opens at 10 a.m. on Sunday, I arrived a few minutes early and sat on a bench next to Duke of York Square, by Sloane Square. After opening, a quick tour of the galleries was worth the trip, evening with the confusion of rerouting to the tube after the British 10K London Run shut down bus services on the streets. When I left the gallery 45 minutes later, the child was still running around in circles, and I noticed others also behaving well on skateboards around the shopping district. (Duke of York Square, London, England) 20150712

Richmond Adelaide Centre Courtyard
Richmond Adelaide Centre Courtyard. A perforated wall and partial shading aims to give a quiet outdoor respite in the shadows of downtown towers. Hidden behind a wall facing a busy westbound one-way street, pedestrians are more likely to find the spaces than drivers teaching by. (Richmond Adelaide Centre Courtyard, Toronto) 20150713
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