Auckland – West                          Mainly West of Queen Street – seen through my lens

March 5, 2013

Counting: 1, 2, 3, …

Filed under: Buildings,Mathematics,Wynyard Quarter — paul @ 9:50 am
Viaduct Events Centre

Viaduct Events Centre

I am sure there is a good reason for it.

March 2, 2013

Three Times Cafe Beaubourg

Filed under: Mathematics,Not even NZ,Physics,Theme Day — paul @ 7:19 am
Morning after?

Morning after?

The City Daily Photo theme for March is “Cafe Chairs”. In addition to yesterday’s Auckland shot, these images hark back to an all too brief visit to Paris last year.

All three photos were taken on early morning sorties, and only later did I realise that obviously I had a bias for the furniture (and people) at the Cafe Beaubourg in the Rue Saint Merri, next to the Centre Pompidou. As I searched the web, I found that this is also the home of the Café Beaubourg Institute of Mathematical Physics. It is probably a fair assumption that the institute was not in session at those times.

From their website:

The Café Beaubourg Institute of Mathematical Physics promotes the advancement of our understanding of the Physical World.

Intellectual rigor, freedom of thought, and humanity are among the most respected values of the Institute.

By “Physical World” we understand the current subjects of Physics, but also human history, psychology, economy, sociology and geopolitics. We like Quantum Mechanics, but adopt a “wait and see” attitude. We like Big-Bang theory of the universe, but believe that there are infinitely many more layers in the physical Universe that our current models integrate. We perceive Mathematics as an (unavoidable) extension of the human natural language.

Better than in the “office” ambiance of present-day university laboratories, we prefer to engage scientific discussions in the warm atmosphere of a Parisian Café, our main headquarters being at Café Beaubourg.

Early Customer

Early Customer

Morning Stroll

Morning Stroll

August 1, 2012

Littered with Numbers

Filed under: Kelston,Mathematics,New Lynn,Sport,Theme Day — paul @ 6:01 am
Numbers and Puddles: Ken Maunder Park Bridge

Numbers and Puddles: Ken Maunder Park Bridge

The City Daily Photo theme for July is “Numbers”. Check Facebook for other participants. Or click here to view thumbnails for all participants.

The Ken Maunder Park Footbridge connects Kelston and New Lynn, crossing a tidal estuary that is a tributary to the Whau river. This is a relatively new replacement of an older bridge, and I had not visited it until a couple of weeks ago. The pavement is littered with numbers — just what I needed for August Theme Day!

I found it intriguing that a wavy pattern emerges on the surface if one is at some distance, but this is not noticeable when one looks up close.

There is an interesting Flickr page about the background of the design, I reproduce the words of the designers (The Letter Q):

The brief for the project stipulated that’s the sports from local playing fields and clubs be expressed in the work.

The starting point was to look at the various scores from the club points tables and the fields of numbers which express and measure sporting performance.

Numerals were then used to generate a sequence of running shapes. The sequence shows several phases of movement on one surface and can be followed from one end of the bridge to the other.

The sequence takes inspiration from early photographic studies capturing the structure of bodily motion.

The material used for the surface is a ‘bendable concrete’ called Flexus™, and they have some more documentation regarding the bridge on their website.

Some history of the Ken Maunder Park by Phil Hanson can be found on the Timespanner’s blog.

Littered with Numbers: Ken Maunder Park Bridge

Littered with Numbers: Ken Maunder Park Bridge

Wavy Patterns: Ken Maunder Park Bridge

Wavy Patterns: Ken Maunder Park Bridge

August 31, 2011

John Lyall at Lopdell House

Filed under: Art,Mathematics,Titirangi — paul @ 7:37 am
John Lyall - Artist's Talk

John Lyall - Artist's Talk

The current exhibition “Wood for the Trees” at Lopdell House in Titirangi brings together works by five artists: John Lyall, Michael Shephard, Russell Moses, Tanya Ruka, Derek March. Many environmental and historical ideas are touched upon throughout.

John Lyall’s contribution is entitled “Forest of Curves: Afloat”. It is a catalogue of seven “curves”, constructed from offcuts and found/collected timber and everyday materials. Some of the pieces (or maybe their precursors) were used as floating ornaments on various ponds or harbours. This is from his exhibition notes:

“Bush and agribusiness, nature and culture: the curves reflect a European intellectual heritage washed up on our far-flung shore and left to wreak havoc. It is the cruelty of extreme beauty, that pared back shape, those subtle changes of radius, a seemingly serene intransigence but mathematics is at the heart of surveying, mapping and building.”

Big tensions – playfully resolved, with a mischievous glint in his eye, by John Lyall, who appeared in this blog before.

Go see the exhibition, it runs to October 9; and if the curves – or some of their representations – are not your cup of tea, you will find something amongst the other works in the show.

Read about rose curves. Read about the lemniscate of Bernoulli.

The Rose Rational (John Lyall)

The Rose Rational (John Lyall)

The Lemniscate of Bernoulli (John Lyall)

The Lemniscate of Bernoulli (John Lyall)

December 8, 2010

How to Draw a Circle

Filed under: Mathematics,New Lynn — paul @ 7:14 am
How to Draw a Circle

How to Draw a Circle

Painters getting ready for some circular art work near the New Lynn Railway Station.

“A circle is the locus of all points equidistant from a central point.”

November 13, 2010


Filed under: Art,Henderson,Mathematics,Reflections,sculpture — paul @ 6:57 am
Dodecahedron by Neil Miller

Dodecahedron by Neil Miller

Find more weekend reflections at James’ Newtown Area Photo.

When I visited the Waitakere Trust Art Awards Exhibition at the Corban Estate Arts Centre in Henderson yesterday, I discovered this platonic solid hanging by the entrance to a workshop. A regular dodecahedron in red. I got talking to sculptor Neil Miller whose studio it was, and learned that this was a leftover from an earlier exhibition of his which featured all the platonic solids.

A window frame was leaning against the wall behind, just in the right place to give a nice reflection; or does it? Looks like the glass being perfectly transparent where you expect the reflection — you reflect upon that!

February 23, 2010

More Mathematics

Filed under: Buildings,Mathematics,New Lynn,Walls — paul @ 7:44 am

I have started ‘collecting’ corner shops. Shortly after I had taken a picture of this, the Croydon Dairy, the painters appeared, decking it out in a new livery, promoting mathematics big time. Had to do a re-shoot, of course (and change the title).

February 12, 2010

Peter — Titirangi Village Barber

Filed under: Mathematics,People,Titirangi — paul @ 8:23 am
Peter -- Titirangi Village Barber

Peter -- Titirangi Village Barber

Meet Peter, village barber in Titirangi. Here he is welcoming me (through the mirror) for a haircut. He opened shop in January, planting a barber’s pole outside Lopdell House, and a sign “Barber Room” points up to level 2 of this house of culture. He fills an obvious gap in the array of local amenities, and the view from his vantage point is for free.

Mathematical footnote: a popular version of Russell’s paradox defines a village barber as a person who shaves those people who do not shave themselves, and only those. You’ll work yourself into a lather if you then ask the question: does the village barber shave himself?

Edit: Lopdell House is undergoing major renovations; Peter is now located at the Soul Centre at 18 Huia Road, just around the corner. Phone 0272 612 615.

Lopdell House is back in action, and Peter the Barber has again a room (2 floors up). Same phone number: Phone 027 261 2615.

Peter is now working from home by appointment (motto: “appointment beats disappointment”), phone 027 261 2615.

Update from Peter’s Facebook page: The Barber room has a new Room, same address but im inside in the front room of the house very cosy on these chilli days look forward to seeing you there 0272612615 for bookings.

February 9, 2010

Geometry in Te Atatu

Filed under: Art,Mathematics,Te Atatu — paul @ 8:31 am
Möbius Gate

Möbius Gate

This Möbius Gate (2002) by John Lyall plays with the Möbius strip known to all of us from childhood days. It is found at Te Atatu Peninsula’s Jack Pringle Park (map).

Since the Möbius strip has only one side, but all known construction materials are two-sided, something has to give…

Read more about the Möbius strip.

February 4, 2010


Filed under: Abstract,Buildings,Mathematics,Walls — paul @ 9:34 am
Geometry ath the Tank Farm

Geometry at the Tank Farm

The sun plays geometry with the tanks at Auckland’s tank farm at Wynyard Point.

Learn about history and plans for the tank farm, and check the area out by webcam.

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