german bus

could this day get anymore weird??????

Volkswagen Bus to be revived as an electric vehicle - cancelled in 2013, the classic Volkswagen Camper may find a new lease on life as an eco-friendly EV. The iconic “hippie wagon” may soon see a very apropos resurrection from the dead. Speaking at the New York Auto Show, Volkswagen board member Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser announced that the German auto company was working on a brand new camper concept - one that would run on batteries, rather than petrol, powering an electric motor driving the front wheels. Dr Neusser said that the new car would maintain 3 iconic design principles of the original Type 2 microbus, first introduced in Germany in 1950. “First the wide, solid, D-Pillar, second the boxy design of the center section; and, third, the front end must have a very short overhang.” In 2011, the company took a stab at an electric concept it called the Bulli, clearly inspired by the Type 2, but closer to a small van, with 4 hinged doors and 1 bench seat in the front and another in the rear that could be folded flat to make a sort of bed. The Camper, in comparison, contains a small mobile home with optional kitchen equipment and detachable canvas tents and awnings; seats that could be folded out into beds; a folding table, and a small refrigeration unit. Production on all VW Type 2 units, incl. the Camper, ceased in 2013. Production had been outsourced to Brazil after safety regulations introduced in the 70s in Germany meant that it could no longer be made there. In 2012, Brazil introduced legislation that went into effect on Jan 1, 2014, dictating that all cars made in the country must have ABS and airbags on both driver and passenger sides. VW decided that, rather than make a completely new vehicle, it was more cost effective to simply say goodbye to the Type 2 after 63 years of production. However, Dr Neusser now said that if the cost of production on the new electric Camper was feasible, the car could make it to market. The VW team continues to work on the concept.

Zuckerrohr Feld in Queensland
Fotografiert aus dem Greyhound Bus auf dem Weg von Cairns nach Townsville.

Field of sugar cane in Queensland
Photographed from the Greyhound bus on the way from Cairns to Townsville.

by aurinkato © 2008, All Rights Reserved
Please leave captions and credits intact!

格主專訪

這次的專訪請到 Beauty and Sorrow @oldhouseintaiwan 來與我們談談拍攝老房子的二三事。

—————————————-專訪開始的分隔線——————————————

• 成立 Beauty and Sorrow 部落格的機緣是什麼?

一直都喜歡老房子,在 Beauty and Sorrow 之前就只是隨意的拍下來留著給自己看而已。一年多前接觸了 Tumblr,發現這兒有許多特定主題的部落格,便開一個專門收集我喜愛的老房子。也是從那時候開始才轉變為有意識的拍攝。

• 您從事的工作或是來歷背景,與老房子有關係嗎?

其實我們應該是同事啊!我在雅虎採購部工作,一個與老房子完全無關的職業背景(笑)。(編按:絕無偏愛自家人)只是很單純的喜歡老房子,也喜歡拍照,希望能聚集一些同好,也讓更多人看見老房子的美好。

• 偏愛老房子的原因?

我認為建築是人與環境的互動,而老房子最棒的一點是它還多包含了時間的元素。每一間老房子對我來說都像是個有機體,從建造的初始就承載了建造者的期盼,之後隨著時間的推移,與歷任屋主一同呼吸,成長,蛻變,經歷輝煌然後老去。每間屋子都有它獨特的生命歷程。已經老去的房子呈現出來的一種凋零的美感也是我認為非常迷人的一部分。是時間成就了建築物特殊的美麗,溫度,氣味,還有獨一無二的生命力。

• 如何尋找老房子、拍攝景點,是有計畫地進行還是隨走隨拍?

隨走隨拍!各個城市或鄉鎮的角落都有美麗的老屋隱身其中,不管走到哪裡我總是會多留意身邊的環境,發現漂亮的老房子時總是感到又驚又喜。非常享受這種感覺。

• 對於都市更新的看法?老房子只有被拆這條路嗎?

啊……這個問題好難(笑)。其實我對於老屋拆改的感覺是非常矛盾的。老房子最美好的部分在於它的生命力,這是由時間和房子裡生活的人交互創造出來的。將房子拆除後除重新改建等於是扼殺了這個有機體。但是從居住者的實用層面來看的話,許多老房子的居住條件其實是不堪使用的。因為硬體設備的老舊還加上不合時宜的空間設計(即便在建造當時是極為前衛的),造成的不僅是生活上的不便,甚至還會有消防安全的問題。像是台北南機場公寓群,我非常喜歡的一個地方,就是這樣的情況。在老舊斑駁的建築物本體之上,被覆蓋上一層一層修補的痕跡,以及各種形式的外推、改建。藉由這些人為的改變,老房子不斷地擴展,延伸,吸收,於是凋零的同時卻又展現了極強的生命力。這樣子的衝突感製造出一個詭譎的氣氛,相當迷人!我相信都市更新是必然且必須的。但是要如何在改善居住安全及便利的前提之下去轉化這些老舊的建築,且不破壞原有的生命力,這也是我一直在思考的問題。

• 請將欣賞的台灣部落格與大夥兒分享?

Tumblr 上面真的有許多有趣的主題部落格!也隱藏了許多厲害的人物。藝術家陳以軒會在他的部落格這這分享攝影作品。Zero Focus 這個部落格有很多台灣的老照片還有台灣藝術家的作品。 另外有一些特定主題的部落格像是 Electric in Taiwan 收集台灣的電線桿(!),German Bus Stops 專門收集公車站。這些慧眼獨具的部落客透過他們獨到的觀察力,蒐集那些看似日常而又特別的人事物非常有趣,也帶給我不少啟發。

————————————–專訪結束的分界線——————————————–

感謝格主的分享,現在再看  Beauty and Sorrow,感受到的就不僅僅是老房子的生命力,裡面更有著格主 Iris 將之所愛轉為藝術的這股熱情及迷人之處,休閒時光漫遊在城市,探訪老房子的身影存在,真是一種現代浪漫,讓人嚮往,累積的照片安排妥當在部落格上架,行動組織力著實讓人欽佩,立正看齊!

圖片來源: Beauty and Sorrow

Words of Wisdom from a Fellow Traveller.

- Life is short. Keep in touch with your parents (he was in the UK to visit his mother in the hospice).

- Don’t leave money in the bank, invest it in property.

- Be prepared for an economic crash. It’s coming sooner than you think (2 years, he reckons)

- Never lose sight of reality. People are too absorbed in the virtual world and forget what’s happening around them (he caught me tumbling/tumblring on the bus).

- Having kids is a reality check, you have to be ready for them (I told him I got married last month and am looking forward to starting a new life with my husband).

- Don’t have kids till you are absolutely sure about your marriage. It’s the least you can do for your future children (he has 8-year-old twins and said he couldn’t imagine doing it without his wife).

- No one can escape the hardships of life. Just because things are going well for you now doesn’t make you invincible. You have a better chance of dealing with troubles if you are mentally prepared for them. It helps to be aware of things around you (again, don’t have your nose in your phone).

- Don’t take sleeping pills. You most probably have a zinc or magnesium deficiency so look to supplement them in your diet. Consult a doctor first.

- Get good food and get proper sleep, go for a run when you can.

- Don’t get addicted to coffee. It’s not good for the heart. You don’t need more than a certain amount of coffee to get through your day - always remember that.

I don’t usually pay attention to the words of middle-aged strangers on the bus/train/flight. People love to give me advice for some reason. But there was a tone of sincerity in his voice and I was grateful for his time. Hope this gets you thinking as well. - Zeba

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