When I was young my Dad gave me a picture of a cartoon man picking up a paving slab in a city and finding grass beneath it.

The French 1968 rioters cried “Sous les pavés, la plage!” as they found the beach under the paving slabs they were hurling at police.

Something happens when you look at a townscape and reframe it. It is not easy, and sometimes your mind only sees it for a moment. But if you focus on the trees or the rise and fall of the ground, the landscape underneath pops out and dominates, like the two faces popping out from the vase. You see the town as built on soil rather than the grass verges as decoration of the town.

The built world is so very real, so concrete. We fit into the town and follow its signs. We bend to its will, somehow.

What would happen if we went barefoot in Tescos? What if we experienced buildings in the same way we experience sand and soil?

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