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Tsunami Box Extract

Have a read of the first chapter of the new Freerange-published book Tsunami Box by Gerald Melling.

Gerald is a partner in the award winning Architecture firm MellingMorse Architects. In 2008 they won the NZ Home of the Year 2008 with the Signal Box House Masterton, and their Samurai House is featured in the Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century Architecture. Their work has been featured in the following: The Listener, Architectural Review, Architecture and Design, Architecture New Zealand, Urbis, House and Garden, At Home: A Century Of New Zealand Design, World Architecture: A Critical Mosaic 1900 -2000.

Gerald has published several books of writing on NZ Architecture; Joyful Architecture: The genius of New Zealand’s Ian Athfield (1980), Mid City Crisis & Other Stories (1989), and Positively Architecture: New Zealand’s Roger Walker. (1985). He has also had his poetry widely published in Landfall, New Canadian Poetry, Post Cards from the Coast (1992), Illustrated Poetry (1968).

Click below to see read the first chapter.

Continue reading Tsunami Box Extract

Brown as brounge

No doubt some of you will have no idea of what I’m talking about with the word brounge.  Put briefly it is a Philosophy developed from the combination of the colours brown and orange.  I would refer you to the wiki page that we set up, but they took it down.  Freerange is going to occasionally show examples of Brounge things.  The first of these Video’s below is pure brounge goodness, and the second is derivative brounge.

do click to this link above. Its great.

Awesome Easter Things!

Now that the Easter holidays are rolling their way around the world, its time to take a end-of-season break, stop the daily grind and have some fun and relaxation.  Fun and relaxation might seem like an inappropriate way to observe the an event as brutal as a crucifixion, but hey at least he got resurrected.

Anyway. Here’s some funny shit.

A whole Catalogue of Barack Obama looking at Aweome Things!

Have a look at this hilirous photo series poking fun at stupid republicans. Click on the image for a catalogue of this awesomeness.

Happy Easter!

Marwencol recently boinged the amazing model world created by a recovering assault victim, Mark Hogancamp. The attention to detail on show is stunning, and coupled with a compelling and strange backstory, makes a visit to the site well worth while.

From ‘About Mark’ page:

After being beaten into a brain-damaging coma by five men outside a bar, Mark built a 1/6th scale World War II-era town in his backyard. Mark populated the town he dubbed “Marwencol” with dolls representing his friends and family and created life-like photographs detailing the town’s many relationships and dramas. Playing in the town and photographing the action helped Mark to recover his hand-eye coordination and deal with the psychic wounds from the attack. Through his homemade therapy, Mark was able to begin the long journey back into the “real world”, both physically and emotionally – something he continues to struggle with today.

See for the full gallery, and info on the recent doco about Mark’s work. The film picked up the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary at this year’s SXSW Film festival, as well as a bunch of other accolades. Keep an eye out for it.

Cc update

I’m completely confused by whats happening to the climate change movement.  Since China effectively destroyed any last trace of hope for something to happen at the Copenhagen Conference there has been a stunning silence from most parties.  It must be a tactic of withdraw, gather energy and re-strategize.  In recent days there has been a few interesting developments which I’ll link to here.

The first is Scientific legend James Lovelock, who is in his 90s now and awesomely is going to be one of the first people to head into space on a commercial space flight, has commented humanity is ‘too stupid to prevent climate change’, which is sort of insulting but one can’t help but feel that we are showing a remarkable inability to rationally change our behavior in the face of overwhelming evidence.

“I don’t think we’re yet evolved to the point where we’re clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change. The inertia of humans is so huge that you can’t really do anything meaningful.”

“One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”

This point seems worthy of discussion.  If the imperfect political democratic processes we use are too slow to deal with a crises, then how to we assure that the temporary seizure of the power is done reasonably.  The example of war that Lovelock is a depressing precedent for how executive power is often abused, think Iraq, Vietnam, Falklands etc.  This also raises the strange prospect that China iron grip over its large populous and industry maybe the one thing that can safe us from ourselves.

One of the more ridiculous statements made by Climate Change sceptics is that scientists are riding a gravy train of funding which encourages them to support CG.  Given the awesome power of Industrial and Corporate lobbyist and the clear examples of two-bit CG scientist skeptics getting flown around the world to promote the skeptic view this always struck me as a mis-directed charge.  Greenpeace has just released a report that gets in behind the lobbyists and shows the vast money that goes into supporting the corporate position.  Report identifies Koch Industries giving $73m to climate sceptic groups ‘spreading inaccurate and misleading information’

The obvious line to draw between these two articles is that its not so much humanity that is too stupid to deal with this crises, but that we are allowing ourselves to be held ransom by powerful self interested groups that to acknowledge a reality which might threaten their power or their modes of existence.

The question is, given limited time, how to we get out of this bind?

“Interesting, positive and insightful”

Tsunami Box has had its first few reviews, in The Dominion Post (Wellington Daily Paper) on Saturday, and Salient (Victoria University Student Mag).  I’m yet to read the Dompost one, (if anyone has a copy or bought the paper on Saturday in Wellington can they send me a copy?) but the Salient review makes the lovely concluding comments:

Tsunami Box does well to break with tradition in order to provide an interesting, positive and insightful read with a fresh perspective on how an architect with a strong desire to make a difference might apply his skills to provide a low-cost solution to the noble cause of disaster relief housing.”

Stuart Taylor, Salient

It should be noted too that this book is not just for architects and designer’s.  Gerald has been writing for well over 30 years and this is something like his 6th published book, while the topic is about design in difficult circumstances, the lessons of inter-cultural difficulties and dealing with post-disaster situations are ones we should all be learning.  Its a perfect example of how universal lessons can be drawn from specific examples.

Freerange Shoppe

Freerange has opened a shop.  Very shortly magazines, books and other exciting things will be available there!


Hi Gina, and everyone in Wellington, enjoy Gerald’s talk. Don’t let him fool you!

love bb