The International Day of Peace, sometimes unofficially known as World Peace Day, is a United Nations-sanctioned holiday observed annually on 21 September. It is dedicated to world peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access. The day was first celebrated in 1982, and is kept by many nations, political groups, military groups, and people. In 2013 the day was dedicated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to peace education, the key preventive means to reduce war sustainably.
I photograph for a number of non-governmental organisations and charities that work towards building lasting peace or indirectly by improving the economic stability of a region, including International Alert, The Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC) and The Red Cross.
I recently attended the launch of “The Peace Perceptions Poll 2018”, a collaboration between International Alert and the British Council, in partnership with global polling agency RIWI.
Bringing together the views of more than 100,000 people, the Peace Perceptions Poll sought to answer questions around how people experience and respond to violent conflict, and how they think their government should respond to conflict.
More countries are experiencing violent conflict now than at any time in the past 30 years. People have been displaced from their homes at a rate not seen since the Second World War. The cost of conflict is currently estimated at US$1.04 trillion a year.
Conflict and violence appear on our screens every day. Whilst we all understand that conflict is detrimental to the economic stability of a country and wellbeing of the people it is more challenging to assess what can be done to prevent conflict in the first place.
The findings showed a clear public appetite for long-term conflict prevention, commonly termed 'peacebuilding'. There are no short term fix solutions with education and economic improvement being the top two elements voted for in the poll.
During the panel debate, someone from the audience asked the question that if the solutions are long term, then what should we be doing in the here and now?”
Our perceptions that peacebuilding is long term often means that people do not think that they can make a difference. With long term solutions of education and economic improvement we will always be in the “here and now” and there will always be conflict around the world. The Peace Perceptions Poll is a shining example of what we should be doing in the “hear and now” and also to what a difference we can make.
Take the poll at The Peace Perceptions Poll 2018
A range of new Flos designs were unveiled at an evening event on 21st June hosted by Atrium at their London Studio. I photographed the studio space and lighting before any of the guests arrived, and then captured the evening event.
Atrium is the largest independent lighting specialist in the UK, working with architects, engineers and lighting designers. They have a long term relationship with Flos and are their official UK partner. Flos is the leading Italian lighting brand, known globally for its iconic design and technology innovation, both in the decorative and architectural segments.
New arrivals for each collection in Home, Architectural and Outdoor included iconic pieces by celebrated designers, such as Arrangements and Overlap by Michael Anastassiades, indoor and outdoor lamp Bellhop by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby, WireRing by the Italian artist duo Formafantasma -for the first time in a new role of industrial designers.
Some stunning innovations in the professional systems were also showcased for the first time in the UK. These included Infra-Structure by Vincent Van Duysen, The Running Magnet, The Tracking Magnet and the all new Fast Track by Flos Architectural.
Designer Michael Anastassiades introduced his new designs and spoke about his commitment to Flos. The evening was hosted by Atrium’s Ulysse Dormoy and attended by special guests from Flos, clients and press.
I have been selected as a Nikon featured photographer on their “Inspirations” section of their Polish website.
This Polish language site was created to assist photographers in raising the quality of their art through education and inspiration. The site consists of three main sections. The first section is a tutorial, where technical information and ideas are presented as a support in educating photographers in the basic mechanics of photography. The second section highlights an “Author of the Month”. This section also employs an educational approach through the author giving concrete and practical assignments to the site’s users.
The third section has links to inspiring and interesting featured photographers from around the world.
I am a great believer that we never stop learning from our fellow photographers however much experience we have. I constantly find inspiration, and learn from, other photographers and hope that my pictures will do the same.
Last year I photographed the new RocketSpace Tech Campus in London. The campus is located in the Royal Bank of Scotland's old cash-counting facility in Angel, Islington. Natwest partnered with RocketSpace to help it enter the UK market. The project was designed by LOM architects, with Overbury as the fit out company, fdcreative designing the lighting scheme, and the photography was in collaboration with Project Pictures.
Since launching in 2011, RocketSpace have brought Velocity to the World’s Top Innovators, with 750 tech start-ups and 16 unicorns including Uber, Blippar, Supercell and Spotify. The new State-of-the-art campus is designed specifically for high-growth tech start-ups and is RocketSpace’s first new facility outside San Francisco. Services and amenities will accommodate the needs of growing tech start-up teams, including office-as-a-service, a multi-gigabit internet connection, cafe, collaborative workspaces, and a large event space. Members have access to hands-on workshops, peer group roundtables, trend talks and networking events, among other services.
The Brief was to create a flexible work environment for up to 1,500 people in the Regent’s House building which included converting the loading bay into a double-height state-of-the-art event space, and NatWest’s former cash vault into a lounge and games room.
The reception area was opened up and transformed by taking the walls back to bare concrete. Lighting focuses on the reception desk, seating areas and the Rocket Space Brand.
The upper floors have been divided into open plan dedicated workspaces and cellular office suite spaces using over 700 linear meters of acoustic glazed partitions. LOM has designed a completely bespoke desk system to maximise space usage and reflect the utilitarian aesthetic. Compact desk tops in lacquered ply sit above raw steel frames with cable management and slim-line pedestals to optimise ergonomics. All 1,000 fixed desks are powered height adjustable.
1200 tonnes of material was removed to create the events space, with the 1980’s building stripped back to its original concrete frame, revealing the blast proof reinforced structure, coffered ceilings and brickwork. A utilitarian workplace design includes exposed services, clean lines, steel and concrete with accent colours. LOM have also created bespoke signage. The presentation area is the gravitational centre of the campus and includes bleacher seating and a 24 panel digital screen for presentations, web conferences and gaming. The impressive double height space provides a shared social, interactive networking hub teaching facilities and a bar area. The internal volume has been optimised by introducing a new mezzanine level to accommodate media pods and flex-rooms.
The bank vault has been converted to a break out space and games room complete with bullion cages and vault doors. Banquette seating, plush upholstered furnishings, a cinema lightbox and ornate billiard table provide reference to the auspicious activities of a former cash vault. The vault doors, bolts protruding, have remained untouched. The lounge and games room was lit using a mixture of decorative pendants located over seating areas to create an intimate atmosphere. This was coupled with surface mounted downlights, linear LED wall washers and table lamps. The lighting was zoned and dimmed to create the desired mood providing emphasis on the soft seating and pool table. Curtains separate the various spaces.
The new RocketSpace Tech Campus really shows a commitment to UK innovation and enterprise by all those involved.
“London’s tech community continues to rapidly expand and drive innovation,” said RocketSpace Founder and CEO Duncan Logan. “Creating a physical presence here is critical to our expansion strategy and mission to build an ecosystem for innovation to thrive, across a global network of campuses. We are very excited about working with London’s tech entrepreneurs, who are creating some of the most disruptive technologies of the future.”