Yipster gentrification

Ian Martin proposes a regeneration scheme for Hartlepool via a process of ‘gamification’

MONDAY Feeling relaxed and energised after the weekend, ready to create some life-affirming epic space. Then remember I have to do some conceptual prep for a genocide memorial, have a mood plunge and take the rest of the day off.

TUESDAY Goddamn it, I’ve just spent the entire morning reconciling disparate elements to create – as per client instructions – ‘a unified alliance of quality spatial components within a singular whole’.

Now I’ve found a disparate element on the floor. No idea where it’s supposed to fit, and to be honest the singular whole seems to be working perfectly without it. Dilemma. Can I be arsed to take it all apart and work out where to insert this so-called ‘affordable housing’?

In the end I decide to leave it as it is. If anyone notices I’ll just rebadge one of the other disparate elements, or blame the economy.

WEDNESDAY Bang out a new holiday resort on the Italian Riviera. Yes, the luxury villas are high-spec but please don’t lecture me on the moral ambiguities of  ‘exclusive place-making’. For all I know disabled kiddies will be staying there, and I have a headache.

THURSDAY Propose a regeneration scheme for Hartlepool via a process of ‘gamification’. I’ve sketched in bouncy gaming platforms, giant gaming slides, a big bubble full of gaming possibilities, app-enabled Wi-Fi gameclouds, a rooftop gaming zone and an ongoing controversy about misogyny in the world of gaming.

The idea is that users can explore Hartlepool via gaming consoles and don’t physically have to be in Hartlepool.  This will enhance the town’s status by getting it on Google without having to install any expensive landmark art pieces.

FRIDAY A landscape upgrading day. With one elegant drag-and-drop I secure ‘additional seasonal solar shading’ to the rear of the scheme by plopping a tree in. Bosh. Capability Me.

SATURDAY Five-a-zeitgeist theoretical football. Austerical Mockery 3, Void Cloning 3.

SUNDAY Media review in the recliner. Extraordinary piece in the Creative on Sunday in which Bauhau the architectural dachshund controversially suggests that hipster gentrification may actually be GOD’S WILL.

In ‘his’ latest Woof Over Your Head column the extruded little bastard declares himself firmly on the side of those ‘brave and intrepid settlers who made East London bloom’. I’d never thought of haughty retro-normcore couples with their off-book opinions and parents’ deposits as ‘acts of God’. But according to Bauhau’s ghost writer – my friend the flamboyant and controversial Darcy Farquear’say – gentrifiers are part of a divine plan.

‘I cannot be the only dog living in the revitalised Chutney Meadows area to be grateful for its oft-derided “hipster culture”, which has brought God’s chosen dogs to a promised land to fulfil our destiny…’

He barks on like this for some time. How hipster dogs are creating value. How they and their human associates have turned Chutney Meadows from an area of deprivation into a desirable postcode ‘by displacing poverty and its associated pitbulls, Staffordshire terriers, etc, with creative energy, cultured caninity and a genuine sense of purpose…’

There’s a picture of Bauhau and friends enjoying the tasting menu at Waggy Mama, a fashionable brasserie for dogs on Chatsworth Road. Bauhau in prescription sunglasses and a little hat, quite the king of the salon.

His associates include a heavily-tattooed chihuahua, a shitzu dyed platinum blonde, a Pomeranian in a crop top and hot pants and a miniature Yorkshire Terrier sporting a fashionable short-back-and-sides. They look quite small and trembly in their skinny fit trouser suits and taffeta wraps.

Oh, hang on. Turns out the ‘human carer’ for the chihuahua with tats is millionaire cultural commentator and self-made pop-up Shayne Bellow. He’s pushing for the phrase ‘hipsters and their stupid dogs’ to be changed to ‘mixed-species urban pioneers’.

So this is where Bauhau – I mean Darcy – is getting his inspiration from. He’s even saying things like ‘go see Chutney Meadows, discover what can be achieved with cheap property in a rising market when God’s on your side. Virgin Atlantic are even talking about it in their in-flight magazine, bro!’

Bloody hipster dachshunds. Bauhau reckons he’s part of a blessed canine project now and has, inevitably, baptised his neurotic tribe ‘yipsters’. Idiot.

You know, scientists reckon only an estimated 8.2 per cent of human DNA is useful. That’s eight per cent more than you’d find in an architectural dachshund, I reckon.

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Updated: 19.10.2014 — 12:38