Saturday, 3 December 2011

right so  I've finally settled on designing an Archive that charts, broadly, changing natural phenomena in Iceland. Tuesday coming up I have to give a presentation on my project so far which should be alright but of late I've been becoming more and more worried that my reasoning for my thesis makes no sense, and that I've succeeded in muddying any rational train of thought that might have been at the basis of my argument with a series of dazzling non sequiturs. To me it seems there's a logical thread to the assertions I'm making, but then I would say that wouldn't I?

For posterity I suppose, and because I feel sometimes that the more I type out my thoughts the more legitimate they become, these are some pages from a book i made to try and set down my sequence of ideas. The real one's printed on A5 sugar paper bulldog clipped together with two sheets of corrugated card, for those interested. Commenting doesn't seem to be the done thing on blogspot but I'd welcome any thoughts

Monday, 28 November 2011


here's a short film of the poetic vessel I was describing in the last post. I'm trying to minimise my end of year suffering by being sporadically proactive now and to this end I've started making print ready book pages about every stage, all the time, forever. This is what I say about this, in that:

combining footage of the poetic vessel as it marshalls and accumulates iron filings with footage of the birth of Surtsey and current webcam images of the Island and Reykjavík, the film illustrates my interest in the act of constructed registering and quantification of larger phenomena as a means of  their appropriation.

so there you go.

Untitled from Lauren Li Porter on Vimeo.

Thursday, 10 November 2011


This title would have been capitalised in its entirety were it not for the fact that that d with a crosshair requires a short period of googling, copying and pasting. I'm a busy woman. To prove this point- to business!- Joining tumblr has had the horrible side-effect of making me really obsessed with how many followers I have and now I don't want to write lengthy ruminations about my Architectural thoughts, lest they think me a lamoid and leave me for cooler climes. I can't deal with this beast I've created in any other way than resurrecting this blog for the sole purpose of being a ramble platform, so this is what's happening.

So then,
massive geyser going off at Geysir. Something nicely apocalyptic about the light and clouds here that pleases me NO END.

We got back from Iceland on Tuesday morning after the double trauma of extreme sleep deprivation and being escorted to the border with our four litres of confiscated booze, having had one grim hour of sleep in a duvet fort in front of misfits. 
I don't think it's any exaggeration to say that this last week has been the best holiday I've ever had, everything about the company, the landscape and the experiences made it perfect, rarely have I laughed that much and despite basically pleasing ourselves in terms of where we went, felt like I learnt so much about a place. I think it was good to be there with the imperative to have a bit of an Architectural optic about it as well, just walking around becomes magically much more informative, or you start to draw parallels that become pertinent later. Magic's the wrong word here.

Spent most of our time in the city, climbed the tower of Hallgrímskirkja, wandered around the streets cooing at everything and saying Takk a lot. On that first day I was so taken by how bizarrely toylike everything looked from above. Well obviously distance has that tendency but in Reykjavik the houses are this mad aggregation of colour and form, all orientated in whatever direction the plot or whim dictates. What I liked particularly was how from the smallest one storey houses to the grander almost american gothic mansions, there's a common use of gaudy corrugated sheet metal that makes everything look like variations on a theme. And if that sounds like a criticism, it's not meant to be, I thought it was one of the definingly charming things about the place. 

The best day though, was Saturday when we took a minivan out towards the national park, geysers, waterfalls and all those things that tourists like though in this case it was fairly obvious why because it was all so compellingly beautiful. Or I was just carried away by the strange light you get there, and it's quite eerie and cool to drive down a road where on both sides you see nothing but land going on for miles, sometimes broken by really unnaturally straight lines of trees or water, and then a single church alone in the landscape. Either way, gorjuss. Then at night we went to the blue lagoon which was as surreal and lovely as you'd imagine, then ate burgers in the van. Between us we actually ate about 18 burgers that day and this is no joke. snow joke. Wish it'd snowed, then this joke would be fair game.


I didn't choose my site(s) until the last minute really but I'd had this idea since the poetic vessel project of focusing my thesis around engineered means of negotiating changes that take place outwith human control, or that come about as the result of chance event. A sort of appropriation of the process of time and changing trends through quantifying them. I want to make a little film about the thing I made to illustrate that but it was basically a clock motor that turned two magnets round a closed space, gradually accumulating more and more iron filings and at the same time affecting suspended objects that hung around them. The idea was supposed to be one of interaction between both these two variables; the set motion of the hour and minute hand, the unpredictable and progressive movements of the filings made visible, mapped somehow through a construction that sits somewhere between creating a spectacle and being a mute illustration of a natural phenomenon over which I have absolutely no control.

That might make a minimal amount of sense at this juncture but anyway it led me down the lines of thinking about how we use physical touchstones as sort of tactile mnemonics, (Auntie Joan's button box got me thinking about this, and a biscuit tin i found in her house of old family photos) aide-memoires that just through categorisation and fabrication become totems of something larger or remembered. I want to investigate how people document tendencies, trends and circumstances as they disappear from view. In the knowledge that something has a finite existence, why and how do we document and file the artifacts produced, what intentions do people have to make them accessible? I've always been a collector, I can sympathise with the impulse to obsessively and possessively hoard functionally useless objects together and split them apart to make sense of them through some imposed logic.

Anyway, my first thoughts program wise were centered around Surtsey and its accelerated rate of erosion, how this could be exemplary of the uniquely young, ever-changing geology of Iceland as a whole. Initially I wanted to perch something on the coastline leaning out towards Surtsey itself, and have a corresponding module of some kind that reached back towards it from the edge of the actual island, in place of the research hut that's occupied twice-yearly. But then this would only ever be a diagrammatic link as it's 40km offshore, and placing whatever this building is (not a museum, an archive maybe? i wish there hadn't been so many 'repositories' at the mac of late) in Reykjavík could be argued to make more practical sense as it would actually be accessible. This suggested a coastline, quite exposed site. I wanted something that had a bit of context though too and I've found a place that borders a quite gross industrial site on one side but also has amazing views of the harbour skyline and access to the sea, a bit of landscape to it. Could be a possibility but then again there's also this second site that I really like (mostly because it has a series of really attractive boats that I would like very much to draw) on the harbour itself.

That one really does dictate some kind of ship industry based program, it's right on a yard where a huge, photogenic ship's being repaired for the last time before it gets retired in two years. I had this idea, completely erroneous as it turns out, that ship-breaking and recycling was a massive deal on the decline in the city. Glad I found out now that this is not the case, I need to be wary of this nasty habit I have of imposing imaginary things that I find romantic onto a real life situation, just because it's a hypothetical project. Though there's no reason why I couldn't do something that records ship-building as an activity. When I was walking about the site I drew a load of (to me) alien and interesting objects which is what gave me this notion of people creating their own narrative through categorising items according to personal understanding. That's poorly expressed, I don't mean celebrating ignorance. This is already way too long, I'll elaborate on it as I go along. 

I was talking to my friend David about there maybe being something in the contradiction of records held in physical archives and endless virtual banks of data and he mentioned the idea of how virtual information, available on a screen at one moment in time, can be deleted 4evah without any shift in its physical existence. Could be a piste to pursue but would need a lot of substantiating, and I'm not sure if either site bears much relevance. I think when I start to use embarrassing txt msg abbreviations, sorry brevies, it's time to stop. So I shall. lol.

Monday, 17 October 2011


I've been neglecting this blog for an age, having been consumed by the wave of tumblr peer pressure though not entirely sure why, because this is clearly much nicer, and nice is what I'm all about. In the interim, I've moved back to Scotland, started fifth year and bought a return trip to Reykjavik.
Might rededicate this one to Architectural things and keep the other for silly drawings and such.

If you're interested in either of those two things,
on a related note of contrition, here is a drawing i did recently of Kut-O, which if you know me you'll know of because I go on about it all day long.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

dirty things I see on the walls on my way to work.
walls way work

Saturday, 2 July 2011

good deed for the week- stayed up all night doing this drawing for a friend of a friend, who partially as a result is now a real life proper actual Architect. Instant karma- the day after i had the best interview of my life and now I'm starting an internship in a really interesting and busy practice as soon as I get back from barcelona. Well good. Though not so much for the urban building project. à voir à voir.

Thursday, 30 June 2011


Wednesday, 29 June 2011


moving back into the tiny room in the turret tomorrow and in the process of throwing things out/putting things in boxes to throw out at some indeterminate point in the future, I found this under my bed. The last time my mum went back to Kut-O for the first time since she was 12, one of the cousins gave her a collection of photos from her childhood that she'd never seen before or had thought lost forever. Which is quite amazing really. The nice thing about photos and diaries and whatever is that you forget basically everything apart from the bare bones of the events, so after a while images become your only means of thinking about that time and they seem completely comprehensive. Actually is that nice? or is it depressing? either way, this is a drawing of one of those photos, my mum is in the yellow dress holding the hand of my mai yee. I had this idea ages ago of drawing a story suggested by the photo collection, then asking my mum for the real story and drawing that, but through a potent mixture of laziness and being otherwise occupied, i never did. 

as an aside, today I updated my website to include the main images from the île hybride urban project just finished this semester. IT IS HERE IF YOU LIKE THAT SORT OF THING

Monday, 27 June 2011

my friend has this massive box of stamps and typography artifacts, the best being a box containing a complete set of metal stamps of a complete font. The A's I like especially but just as a set it's a lovely object anyway, heavy for its size and combining the twin joys of being quite cute and necessitating careful reorganisation afterwards. God I miss that button box. 
Did this when said friend was taking a shower. Wish I could think of something witty to write rather than just my name, incorrectly.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

instead of work

When I have loads of work to do I have a few standby activities that I like to use to increase the workload:time remaining ratio. 
This year they have been
1) Using photoshop very poorly to imagine what I would look like with a bowl cut, then agonising over whether or not I would indeed like a bowl cut. (on the evidence of the above, quite silly) Then I worry that as someone who has had a fringed bob for my entire life that I'm cycling though a series of stereotypically oriental haircuts. Finally realise that this is not the most pressing issue in the world and cease photoshopping. 

2)Examining arm hairs with a degree of assiduity that would be impressive were it not being directed towards to the sole aim of identifying and tweezing out duplicate hairs occupying a single follicle. This preoccupies me at the best of times but in the face of anything to do becomes an all consuming obsession.

3)Scouring health based question and answer websites, particularly the sexual health sections on yahoo answers. Sometimes makes for quite tragic reading. 

Saturday, 25 June 2011

oo helmut jahn you lovely axonometry drawing wizard. Could I do this with autocad and watercolour? probably.

Friday, 24 June 2011

I didn't do this, Alice Brownfield and Tom Sykes did. Eee but it's lovely. I'm going to collect together a load of wonderful images to inspire me in this dark period of impossible workload I'm now entering into.
Outwith of its being a gorgeous drawing though I have no idea what's going on, there's a seductive and completely incomprehensible little blurb on the AJ website that goes along with it, and they've pulled out the phrase 'The site sits at a junction in time' presumably as a thing that's supposed to clarify the whole affair for you. Well, it doesn't.
it reminds me a lot of some drawings by smout allen that have been all over the ugh....'blogosphere' of late.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

axonométrie du projet urbain que je viens de finir (hier). C'était, sans rire, le meilleur rendu de ma vie entière. Je peux penser à peine d'un façon dont il aurait pu être plus positif et même les critiques étaient vraiment constructives et sensées. Bref, très contente.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

you look like a canal to me. This took bloody ages.

Friday, 17 June 2011

things en cours de travail

Aujourd'hui j'ai pris ce qui va probablement s’avérer d'être le dernier vol ryanair destination Paris de l'année, et c'est une sensation un peu bizarre après neuf mois des allées et venues. Voici ce que j'ai pomponné dans l'avion pendant les dix minutes où je dormais pas.

Thursday, 16 June 2011



Sharkey- won him at a fairground and kept him for about five years. Died due to parental neglect when I went to uni. So sort of my neglect too. Neglect anyway. 
George- swam into a huge ornamental shell. Believed he had been eaten by Sharkey so didn't investigate until much much later. 
Smoky Lee- sexily named fish who was hounded by Sharkey until she died. Too sexy for her own good.
The Licorice Duke and whatever Emer's one was called- I think this pet shop was perhaps not a good pet shop, as these fish died incredibly quickly and they once sold me a dead sea snail, claiming it was asleep. When the first one died we tipped it off kelvinbridge and said a few words, but with the second we kept it in a jar of water on the mantelpiece for about three weeks behind a birthday card, and by the time we finally flushed it away a greasy silver scum had formed on the surface of the water and he was all limp and translucent, like he'd been boiled for a very long time.
Little John, Little Greg, New John and New Greg- the majority of these were those flat bottomed fish who are impossible to keep alive for any length of time. Apart from New Greg, who was more recognisably a goldfish but who looked pretty sickly at the point of purchase and then deteriorated, infecting all the other johns and gregs in the process. Dick.
The Big Man- world's most massive and invincible fish. 
The Wee Men- four tiny orange fish. Your Majesty, the only one we bothered to name due to his long regal fins died and I think this is no coincidence.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

I have a really strange (some would say backwards) way of using photoshop, like I just think it's an inconvenient way of drawing things that takes more time. Until I embrace fully its possibilities I'll probably continue to do things like this. His hand looks like a whisk.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

pervy cat

here- a big pervy cat, peeking at women washing themselves. From me to you.

Untitled from Lauren Li Porter on Vimeo. (music: Blinking by The Balky Mule)
This is a little animated film I'm making for my current project on housing/urban design on a difficult, isolated site. I presented it alongside THIS LITTLE BOOK about urban insularity and island spaces. It was the first time i'd spoken in front of everyone in French for more than 2 minutes so I was by turns shitting myself and really pleased. It went well.

Monday, 9 May 2011


 Quelques screenshots de la petite animation sur lequel je suis en train de travailler pour notre 'projet de logement'/cirque/île. D'une manière ou d'une autre, à un certain point à l'avenir, tous ces trucs silly vont s’avérer hyper pertinents, utiles, incroyables. Voilà mon espoir. hum hum hum.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

'conceptual' (ugh) initial drawing of the isle hybride, a mixed-use island of leisure and housing occupying a morsel held between Paris and Pantin by a moat of water, railroad and motorway. Going to start using italics always and forever. It makes it look like I'm placing meaningful insistence on every word and gesticulating a lot, eyes narrowed.


two lovely morsels of omelette (spellcheck wants me to spell this 'omelet'), sitting in my mouth like horrible little fangs. Need to get out more.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

travail en cours.. le site avec un grand blanc vide où notre projet devrait être. vu que l'exposition final à glasgow est dans un mois je commence à m'inquiéter.