/ David Shaw / City & Land

We have an office mantra that we would like to make a difference to people's lives. In our City and Land CoG we seek to do this through creative planning and promotion of high quality people centered places founded on research and policy development.

Sometimes it is good to practice our thinking and there is a step process to deliver it. The first step is to observe, to not take for granted what we walk through and hardly notice each day. It is our environment - however we can become sedated by it as it is. We lose the means to discriminate the inadvertent result, complacency.

It is a line of thought we need to break. Observation is one way. It starts by looking, but crucially not just simply accepting what you see for what it is. Looking asks why something is the way it is. There is an embodied questioning in the proper look.

So what might we see when we look - character, scale, age, colour, how everything fits together - the list seems endless.

We asked in our office for everyone to take a look and bring back their observations to a discussion. What was surprising was how big a role the holes in the city fabric played in these observations - how damaging the these empty pieces of city are but how inured we can become to the damage they do.

The first task is to spot them, now the challenge is what we do with what we have found.