Lunchtime Twist – 45min Yoga in the Perth CBD

Very exciting news for Perth yogi’s. A new spot in the CBD offering regular lunchtime (and evening) yoga.

The Yoga Vine (Donna Buchanan) has just opened up at 140william – above the Perth Underground train station and opposite the entrance to the Aviary.

They are offering yoga at 12.15pm and 1.15pm for 45 minutes every day of the week and a wednesday evening class at 6pm (1 hour).

Classes are only $10 – bring cash and your own yoga mat.

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Staring at the Stairs

Many clever people have spent considerable time and effort thinking of ways to get people out of their cars, lifts and off their bums for the sake of health and wellbeing for the community as a whole (and a very noble cause it is). Have you seen the Piano Staircase? Very very cool.

I recently read this article about the book Making Transit Fun! How to Entice Motorists from Their Cars by Darrin Nordahl,  and whilst I agree that it’s always a good thing to make day-to-day activities as fun as possible and I’m a strong advocate of being very silly, I think that people would use public transit more if it was simply more convenient than driving the car. I take the bus to work because the traffic and parking in the city make it quicker on public transport. It’s not pleasant for the most part but I would prefer the operator spent funds on more buses, training their drivers to use their brakes more gently and customer service rather than making my stop look like a strawberry. Your never going to make sitting on the bus with smelly strangers more appealing than the airconditioned, quiet (or jazzy) comfort of your own car.

However, there are some places where a bit of fun and good design would really make a difference. Fun end of trip facilities and bike storage at major transit stops/transfers which made it really nice to ride even part of your journey would be great. One of my colleagues stopped riding her bike to the train station because the bike lockers provided are just a pain in the ass to use, her bike was stuck in there for a while when the card scanner was playing up, they are ugly, frustrating, dark etc.

I work at 140william in the Perth CBD , it’s a truly lovely building which has won many design awards, is pretty great in terms of its environment impact, with a pretty speccy lift system running through the centre of the building to move us all about. I get pretty horrible motion sickness and so tend to use the stairs when I can to avoid head spins.  I often only need to go up or down 1 or 2 floors so it’s even more efficient. The stairs are just the emergency exit route of the building, they are not intended to be used for access and as such are cold, ugly, dark and pretty yuck to use. This is a brand new building, built to make life in it really comfortable and healthy, but stair access was not considered other than as Plan B for avoiding horrible elevator v. fire situations. This isn’t unusual right? What a shame! What if the stairs where well lit and comfortable to use, would you consider taking the stairs at your work place?

Here’s what the stair case at 140william looks like. In fact just after I took these photos the lights went off on me and I had to go down the last floor in the dark… terrifying.

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Maybe we should get a few hundred litres of paint (a selection of only a few colours so we don’t look insane – each floor already has a bit of a colour theme going which we could use) and get all the inhabitants to come and paint the walls. We’ll need some really really long paint roller poles and some professionals to make sure we get to the tricky to reach bits and that it doesn’t end up looking like a broken kalidoscope. Or we could hire an artist to paint a gigantic geometric mural spanning 14 floors.

Some sound dulling material/carpet on the landings to soften it up a little bit, and it would make the experience of using the stairs so much more appealing!

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Open House Perth

Something highly wildly inspiring happened in Perth last weekend (3rd and 4th of November 2012). Open House Perth!

We has an incredible time running around the city checking out our beautiful buildings from all sorts of angles we’ve never seen before.

We were one of the very luck few to get to the top of the Central Park tower (St George) which offered incredible views over the city from Fremantle to Joondalup, and equally incredible winds. Batman makes it look so easy perching on skyscrapers… its all an illusion, that cape would make quite the wind sock I’d imagine. It’s just not practical.

I have a newly re-inspired appreciation for Perth’s architecture and have spent the week spending a lot of time looking up. We don’t have much compared to the “big” cities, but what we do have is rich in history and beauty, you just have to investigate. Like most good things in Perth, you have to dig to find it.

I love that Open House Perth not only included landmarks but also the design studios behind them. As a urban planner /soon to be designer (ok ok its a few years away), I was constantly letting out little sqeals of excitment over seeing the beautiful working spaces our city offers for the industry. Hassell in particular was very exciting to see because I one day hope to call that space my own.

Have a squiz at the photos I took over the weekend here and let me know what you think.

Cannot wait for next year.

Follow up posts to come, perhaps one on my work space at 140william Gordon Stepherson House.