Monday, 12 March 2012

Dream Walking - The Space Station and the Key Brothers

Another instalment explaining the ideas behind the clues from our Dream Walking event. Last one next week!

Clue: The Key Brothers, know as the Flying Keys, broke the flight endurance record in 1935 by walking on the plane while still flying so they did not have to land for maintenance.
Crossed Keys are the symbol of St Peter's keys to heaven and are found on old tiles and buildings around Nottingham.  Can you find crossed keys here?

It's all about flying machines this week. Under the red brick pillars on St Mary's Gate, near St Mary's Church, we placed an image of the Key Brothers' plane, the Curtiss Robin, with a man walking on the wings! The Key Brothers constructed a catwalk so that they could walk across their plane whilst still airborne. An amazing, daring attempt!

We made the connection with the keys (put together with our theme of flying we discovered the story of the Flying Keys) when we saw the illustration of the crossed keys tile, found here in the 14th century.  The illustration is located on the wall just underneath where we placed our image.

There is also a Cross Keys pub near here, on Byard Street, which may have been the original  brewery and alehouse of the nearby 12th Century St Peter's Church.  For more on the long history of the Cross Keys Tavern, visit their website.

Clue: A permanent observatory to look down upon the Earth and out at the universe.

The Pod Office, at the junction of Fletcher Gate and Bottle Lane, is a brand new, award winning modern building. We looked at it for some time, it seems to be made of modular pieces and gleaming white walls overlapping walls, and irregularly placed windows. It's architecture is intentionally contemporary in style and suggests newness, the future. We started thinking about space exploration, the idea of the pod and the style of the building with its sections inspired the idea of the International Space Station.

I was lucky enough to visit NASA at the Kennedy Space Centre some years ago and see part of the Space Station being made and a section launched into space on its journey to connect with the rest of the Station under construction. The Space Station is built in parts, or pods, each country involved building a part on earth and then bolting it together up in space.  I saw the part built by the Italians! The idea of this working space centre of the future, built in pods, and the modern building of the Pod Offices seemed to fit well, so we placed an image of the Space Station on the Pod's curving wall.

There are some great images of the Pod Office building, inside and out, on their website, here.

We are planning a small book as a result of the Dream Walk, with images and words about walking and looking and thinking sideways! Follow this blog to keep up to date on our progress, you can subscribe by email, follow with Google Friends Connect or follow us on Facebook, all these can be found in the right hand column at the top of this blog.

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