Clever cats



October arrives, and with it the influx into Cardiff of clever cats from far and wide. Apparently these days it’s all about the academic value for money, as opposed to the Old Git’s days when it was the price of a pint! So, perhaps an apt question to be asking is where are all those £9000 fees going to?

Well, locally it would seem that blue skies will soon fade into the memory, as the University of South Wales have been busy investing in shiny expansion…


For students of architecture, the last year has been a visual progression of modernist form and style. Whilst the Lloyds Bank building in the City of London pioneered the placement of internal organs on the outside of the body, we could have been forgiven for thinking the lifts here were an intellectual after thought, so why not tack them on the outside?


IKEA may have pioneered the flat pack way of constructing things, but there was an early hint that building costs could be managed if a large order was put in for colourfully packaged prefab slabs. Just peel and reveal seems to be the new construction technique.



Back in the day, the two-legged possession of Juno & Bella harboured the usual dreams of being a train driver or some kind of construction engineer. Blame could easily be laid on the gift of meccano for temporarily providing a distraction from the explosive attractions of a chemistry set. Yet, hindsight suggests that budding architects of the age were equally influenced by toys of apparently limited appeal…


Until we speak again, it appears that the University of South Wales is putting those fees to funding buildings that at least offer some visual interest.  20160911_095847



The Atrium is spreading it wings. Now, what is the price of a pint?

The Juno’s 2015

You can never have too many awards. The arts have their season across the early months of the year, and football and rugby are deep into their trophy and award winning season as Spring progresses towards the summer recess. Juno was no stranger to posing for award status confirmation, usually the ‘I am waiting for more food award’…

But, when not demanding food she also had an eye for the absurd. So here are the posthumous Juno awards for 2015:

Trolley [3]The Award for Having No Shops Anywhere in Your Locality goes to Atlantic Wharf in the old Cardiff docklands. And still the City Council give permission to relentlessly build more residential units.

Trolley [1]

Civic pride?







The Award for Sweeping It Under the Carpet goes to an alleyway next to the University of South Wales. It’s a Sunday morning and the streets are suspiciously clear of litter just a few hours after the late night/early morning weekend celebrations have subsided. Good of the revellers to place all of their detritus in one place (or was it just the wind patterns around the University building?).



Peppermint wrapped


The Award for Gift Wrapping a Building goes to Peppermint Bar & Kitchen on St. Mary Street in the city centre. Located on a prominent junction it can only be the attention-seeking hub for attention-seekers.

Until we speak again I am sure Juno would have wished that all of the absurdities in your life are award-winning!

Arse-end surveillance

I know… I said in my introduction to this blog that I wouldn’t lick my bits while addressing you all, but eventually every cat has to do what a cat has to do!

Lick your own

Feel free to lick your own by the way, it can be a great source of inspiration… why, just the other day, while I was abluting I couldn’t help but reflect on the limitations of modern day architecture. “What on earth are you on about?” you ask. Well, it suddenly came to me that all the inspirational creative design goes into the front end of buildings, and the arse-end rarely presents the most attractive of views. A bit like me really!

You talking to me?The Blade My A

So I thought I would put my hypothesis to the test to see what we can learn from the local area in Cardiff. Talk about ‘learning’… where better to check out this observation than the neighbouring University of South Wales? From a distance it looks like a jumble of boxes have just fallen out of an overflowing cupboard…

USW front [2]

Yet get up close and personal and it looks like someone put some creative thinking into producing a striking visual facade, rather than the more usual blandly boring box-like structures…

USW front [3]

Gently strolling towards the side of the building and you see the dramatic change in design principles, as we view the areas less well observed by the masses of the architecturally unconcerned…

USW front [1]

USW side view


Then, the coup de grace of my thesis, as we all recline in our pedestrian supremacy… and those pesky car drivers get their just desserts. The arse-end of the building offers nothing much of any visual delight. A car park is usually home to those who are more consumed in their own self-importance, and expressers of righteous indignation if they can’t travel their door-to-door journeys uninterrupted in their personal motorised cages. So why should they be regaled with visionary architecture?

USW rear [2]

Until we speak again feel free to undertake your own arse-end surveillance, in whatever guise sparks your creative juices. I will continue to be Inspired Juno on my meanderings around my local city.