ABC RN Blueprint for Living

Neuschwanstein Neuschwanstein

The White House White House

Sagrada Familia Sagrada Familia

Chrysler Building Chrysler Building

Unite d’habitation

San Giorgio Maggiore 6451994-3x2-700x467 San Giorgio

Robie House 

Suzhou Museum 

Glasgow School of Art 

Lake Palace, Udaipur 

Chartres cathedral 

A chat about design destinations (1st August 2015)

Grand Central Terminal6677742-3x2-700x467 Grand Central

FIAT factory at Lingotto Fiat

Potala Palace Potala

Flatiron Building Flatiron

Schroder House Schroder

St Basil’s cathedral St Basil's

Marie Short farmhouse Marie Short 

Rose Seidler house  Rose Seidler house

Adelaide Central Mosque  Adelaide Central MosqueFlickr/Mohamad Hisyam Mohamad Saman (CC BY-NC 2.0))

NSW demountable classroom

UTS Tower, Sydney  

Taj Mahal Taj Mahal

Palladio  Villa Barbero

Richard Buckminster Fuller  NIC REDHEAD/CC BY-SA 2.0

Eugene Viollet-le-Duc Big holiday 2012 part 2 073

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Chicago and UK 2013 125

Peter Behrens 

Shine Dome, Canberrashine dome  

NT Parliament House Darwin & Kakadu 2014 023

The Hanging MonasteryChina Taiwan 2015

Gateway Arch, St Louis 7529500-3x4-340x453

Jewish Museum, Berlin 7573278-3x2-340x227

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II 7625746-3x2-340x227

Viceroy’s House, New Delhi7651830-4x3-340x255

The Roxy, New York7662394-3x4-700x933

Einstein Tower, Potsdam7720630-3x2-340x227

Habitat 67, Montreal7751298-3x2-340x227

Palais Ideal by Facteur Cheval7785508-3x2-340x227

TWA terminal 7804898-3x2-300x200-jpgtwa

Turning Torso, Malmo 7831166-3x2-300x200-jpgmalmo

Palace of the Parliament, Bucharest 7843328-16x9-340x191-jpgbucharest

Florence station 7871790-3x2-300x200-jpg-smn

Horta museum 7888016-3x2-300x200-jpg-horta

Sirius building 7904750-3x2-300x200-jpg-sirius

Market Hall, Rotterdam 7955222-3x2-300x200-jpg-market-hall

Tulou, China 7992286-3x2-300x200-jpg-tulou

Paris Opera House 095

Bosco Verticale Flickr by CC by NC2.0

Edison lightbulb

Tatra cars

Dieter Rams

Kikkoman soy sauce bottle 

Geoffrey Bawa


The thong/ flip flop

Philippe Starck


The Land Rover

HSBC building, Hong Kong

Vacuum flask

Nakagin Capsule Hotel

Boeing 747

Joseph Hudson, whistle designer

Zippo lighter

Vending machine


Mon Oncle/ Jacques Tati

Summer palace, Beijing


Marina City

Planter’s chair

Good Grips

Le Corbusier at Pessac


Statue of Liberty

Juke Box

Gund Hall, Harvard 

The chandelier

Ritz and the grand hotel

The salt cellar

The classical column


The bullet train

Talking about bricks (The Last Half Hour)


Futurist buildings


Tubular metal

Arco lamp

Maison de Verre


Talking about vintage (The Last Half Hour)

The gel capsule

The electric juicer

Therme Vals


Ballets Russes




Ponte Vecchio


Slow Food in Turin and Bra


The harem pant

Finnish design (3 designs within a feature on Helsinki)

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Bauhaus segment (with pieces on Marianne Brandt, Josef Albers and Josef Hartwig)

Chichu art museum

Singer sewing machine

Open plan living

Corrugated iron

Tee shirt

Rex vegetable peeler

Chicago (with 3 buildings – Monadnock, Pleasant Home, Tribune Tower)

Louis Sullivan

Tea bag


Jean Prouve

Fez (with 3 buildings – Bou Inania, the Ville Nouvelle, Sidi Hazarem baths)

Wedgwood and Jasperware

Liberty of London and Liberty style


Villa Malaparte

Polypropylene stacking chair

The choker

Rotary clothes hoist

Sinclair C5

Budapest (with the Fisherman’s Bastion and Parisiana nightclub)

Heidi Weber and Le Corbusier in Zurich

The carousel

The Butterfly chair

Bavinger House

Engineered timber

Jet d’Eau, Geneva


  1. Breeze blocks
    I greatly enjoy Colin Bisset’s erudite talk,but I think his talk on breeze blocks leaves something out.
    He is an Englishman in Australia and I am an Australian who spent a little while in the UK. I think the terms have different meanings in the two countries. In Australia it is indeed a block with a hole for the breeze to blow through.
    In the UK it appears to be a concrete block with a high amount of cinders or “breeze’. Other than meaning ‘a light wind’ the word ‘breeze’ appears to mean ‘cinders’ or ‘fly-ash’ waste products of furnaces which are sometimes mixed in with cement.
    I need to add that I know very little about this, but think you should check
    Jeff Thompson

    • Thank you, Jeffrey. You are perfectly correct. While I mentioned the cinder concrete, I didn’t mention the etymology of the word, which somehow got lost in my final edit. I grew up with breeze blocks being those solid grey blocks so I was somewhat mystified when I arrived in Australia to find a breeze block meant something else entirely. Architect Sam Marshall has written a lovely book called, simply enough, The Breeze Block Book, which I recommend.

  2. We’ve lost out again Colin to those who forget the great predecessor to Blue Print for Living. It was a production dedicated to I remember two hours of Architectural heaven. I can’t clearly name and presenter, perhaps you would. Every week it was like being part of tutorial to the great design and construction projects of the past, present and planned.

    Now the ‘grandson’ of this brilliant effort has been reduced to a feel good mix of silly foodie shows, a mixed bag of ‘culturally significant’ sound bites and a presenter who seems often far to obligingly self conscious and self effacing to put a real seal of journalistic authority on the production and cement the show down as much as the bricks and mortar in the structures that the program is supposed to be celebrating. This all just seems suspiciously contrived to perpetuate the notion of keeping the naive listening public suspended on a drip feed of bits.

    With all respect, this may all be in good spirits but there was a lose to ‘Sporty’, what ?, and now Lost and Found has been relegated to the ‘Book Shelf’. More of the same naval gazing but who cares, give up back Architecture for the informed public who want specialist programs, by specialists in the field who are not reduced to ‘party goers’ by Aunties skewed view of the world for all the ‘nannies’ in the country.

    Who’s fighting the great fight with Aunties management for the disenfranchised 60 pluses who want real information, not somebody’s opinion. Opinion, endless endless opinion. Not a perfect science that’s for sure, just means perpetrating a herd like ‘follow the leader’ approach to a formula, ‘say it so it’s true’. This could be an episode of Bluey. I thought the ABC was about editorial best practice, well, it ain’t.

    It’s very disappointing, just seeing this PC cultural invading what was once a fine Saturday morning listening experience.



    • Michael, that is certainly heartfelt and I agree with much of it. I remember the very first time when I recorded something for the ABC the producer gave me a little tour of the various offices in Sydney and introduced me to some of RN’s notables. I remember thinking how like a university it felt, every office filled with books, and some, like Alan Saunders (the presenter I think you’re referring to), piled so high there was barely room for a desk. That all changed with a revamp, tearing down the individual offices and making everything open plan. I think each person was allowed ten books or some other paltry amount, the idea being that most information could be found online. Everything looked spick and span but it lost a lot. I think RN was struggling at the time with a dwindling listenership and it’s a tricky thing, trying to appeal to a broader base and perhaps inevitably some of the in-depth quality is lost. I think it’s true that media in general has become very opinion-based and the short attention span is shored up by shorter snips of information but I’m grateful that Blueprint and other RN programmes still interview so many academics (and I am grateful that I can drop in my own pieces on architecture). I don’t think all is lost, Michael, truly…

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