m1x1x1 Nobody's done it before.

Scarborough
Bicycles
Graphic Design
Photography

by Jose Ongpin
After smoking a bowl.

After smoking a bowl.

Finally mounted the cutaway tube train carriage drawn in ink on vellum.

Finally mounted the cutaway tube train carriage drawn in ink on vellum.

Overview 27 Nov

Overview 27 Nov

Latest update 27 Nov

Latest update 27 Nov

1995/1996 Tube Stock template

Also see http://m1x1x1.tumblr.com/post/35902051329/overall-scene-of-it-all
Overall scene of it all…

Overall scene of it all…

I’ve realized that most of the time outside of my 9 to 5 day job now involves drawing trains of the Underground. By the end of the year I should have a 19”x24” hand-drawn poster, however that may end up to be, and I told myself not to fall into tendencies of unfinished work. 
Anyways, here is another completed template on the Moleskin—Piccadilly Line 1973 Tube Stock on the bottom, Bakerloo Line 1972 Tube Stock on the top.

I’ve realized that most of the time outside of my 9 to 5 day job now involves drawing trains of the Underground. By the end of the year I should have a 19”x24” hand-drawn poster, however that may end up to be, and I told myself not to fall into tendencies of unfinished work. 

Anyways, here is another completed template on the Moleskin—Piccadilly Line 1973 Tube Stock on the bottom, Bakerloo Line 1972 Tube Stock on the top.

Its another Wal-Mart Sunrise #walmart #suburbia #scarborough #agincourt (Taken with instagram)

Its another Wal-Mart Sunrise #walmart #suburbia #scarborough #agincourt (Taken with instagram)

#dentonia #victoriapark #scarborough #apartments (Taken with instagram)

#dentonia #victoriapark #scarborough #apartments (Taken with instagram)

The DVP (Psychogeography)

At 7:40 am on a Tuesday morning, crawling at 10 km/h speeds after exiting Highway 401 and into the Don Valley Parkway downtown-bound can be more than just a task of lane-changing, trying to get into the fastest-moving lane possible without breaking a sweat or exhibiting frustration as thousands of cars make their way from the suburbs to Downtown Toronto. I am in my car, my right hand shifting the cogs away, and feeling half-awake as I toddle down the freeway’s sloping grade navigating through the Don Valley. Affectionally called the Don Valley Parking Lot, the freeway is the only major high-speed access to Downtown Toronto, as a result of years of clashes between folks who have differing thoughts and opinions about Toronto’s transportation solutions for the next century. The moment I am on the DVP at the latter half of the hour means I get to have the opportunity to observe the drivers around me (without jeopardizing myself or anyone in the process) and to think about how they behave as they drive, how there are minute little bits like the frequency of brake lights, weaving, spurt of the moment acceleration moments, and finally the drivers themselves.

There were times where I stared at the Parkway from someone’s window, 21 storeys above that offers a commanding view of the curving belt of asphalt and concrete as it winds its way to the skyscrapers and the towers of Downtown Toronto. The above photo was taken from her house, long exposed to show the beauty of the Parkway the way I saw it. Metaphorically, freeways are part of the arterial lifeblood of a city’s transportation system, moving cars at high speed and bogged down during rush hour as if bottlenecks in our own veins and arteries clog up our blood and increase the pressure after years of irresponsible dieting. The drivers around me during morning and afternoon rush hour are, just like myself, driving with the intention that they need to get to work, school, or play while having a plethora of emotions not many other drivers around would care for in my opinion. I see drivers with mixed emotions, rarely happy but preoccupied with thoughts about the workday ahead of them, the obligations they have at home, or as I would think most of the time, sentimental memories that create a silent and private connection between them and the freeway.

I have a sentimental connection with the Don Valley Parkway. Half of its 13 15-kilometre route are memories involving road rage and serenity at different moments throughout my history with the freeway. Somehow the archaic design of the Parkway from Highway 401 to Don Mills Road has prevented drivers from moving as efficiently as the urban planners thought ideally in the 1960s - futuristic high-speed bliss. I would take a shortcut to skip this, but nevertheless it can be jolly fun if you are patient enough to go through it. The other half, downtown-bound, is with that friend of mine who lives 21 storeys on an apartment building where the above photograph was taken. Somehow, the latter experience is a huge contrast; traffic flows faster, and simply having someone to carpool with, let alone someone as a great friend, makes the driving experience to school so pleasant and, as I mentioned, sentimental.

Other times, when the traffic flows and volumes are light, that 15-kilometres is spent in just 15 minutes moving at speeds above 100km/h or more (I tend to speed and enjoy the meandering curves, though I should slow down and enjoy more the luscious green scenery). Simply navigating through it safely with a few lane changes and great appreciation for the natural and man-made beauties drivers can see as they wind their way up or down the freeway can either be a white-knuckle experience, or just similar to a stroll in the park. The sentimentality I have had with the DVP is what makes it all so meaningful for the consideration of studying psychogeography and how it has created a special connection between myself and the built environment.

At this point, there are so many things I’d like to explore, such as carpooling and psychogeography and creating a signature piece through my education as as a graphic designer to make the connection and having meaningful results throughout. From the 401 up north, I am more inclined on keeping my eyes on the road rather than seeing a lady talking to a colleague via her headset in her white Mercedes-Benz and making observations about it. Though I have had the opportunity to think, to observe, and to just have an almost religious experience simply standing on an overpass looking at rush-hour traffic on the DVP. The drivers - who are they, where are they coming from, what do they do for a living, why are they alone and others carpooling with someone, and if so what is their relationship with the ones they are carpooling with, and so on. 

The Don Valley Parkway, to me, is not just a 15-kilometre freeway with a maximum legal speed limit of 90km/h. To me, it has sentimental value. A few hours ago, I drove a friend home, who has had a profound influence in my life during the past two years, through the DVP at evening rush hour. I was surprised that, as it is the first Monday after March Break, that the freeway flowed well and traffic volumes were lighter than usual. I expressed my amazement for this as usually the DVP at anytime during the week (even weekends) that traffic volumes seem to be consistently the same and slowdowns are expected. The northbound way up is sometimes just a routine drive up home, but when you think about it, where are all these drivers or people in automobiles, motorcycles, and buses coming from; are they driving up from a Leafs’ game, from a night out as passengers via taxi, or are they off to their lovely abodes in the suburbs, missing their families and looking forward for a nice, relaxing dinner. 

There are simply thousands of stories out there, and I think just by observation they are all to be thought out and to be looked into through our freeways. Of course I won’t just try and stop traffic and ask people questions, but for me I just gotta wonder and think about it all. Especially the Don Valley Parkway.

Tuesday 3/22/2011

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