This week I have been thinking about functional beauty. The technology that surrounds us, fulfilling sometimes mysterious purposes that we don’t quite understand, and which possesses its own strange allure.
It’s so easy to walk past these metal objects that litter the landscape, dismissing them as no more than a minor detail. But stop and look and they become as elegant as any minimalist sculpture. They can fire the imagination too.
Take these three vents growing up beside a modern apartment block. They seem like entrances to half-seen words. Or perhaps the fledgling growth of some new bio-mechanical form of life. It’s easy to believe they might reach out to snatch an unwary passer-by.
Our lives can feel increasingly separate from the sights of nature. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t find beauty, sometimes in the very workings of our cities.
Damian Mark Whittle