I LIKE TO RIDE MY… Fresh off the back of Boardman’s Beelines, cycle shop Bikesy has made a handy Manchester map, based around the familiar Metrolink map, to show people that locations across the city region may be closer on two wheels than you think, taking just a minute to cycle between some stops. In total, Monsall to Victoria takes 12 minutes, or MediaCityUk to Deansgate can be cycled in 20 minutes – and if you get tired of cycling, you can always leave the bike and hop on a tram.

Historic England Eynesham Oxon

Crop circles caused by the burial of pre-historic funeral monuments

HOT HISTORY… You may have seen it first in the ghostly garden of Burnley’s Gawthorpe Hall, but the ongoing hot weather over the summer has caused previously invisible archaeological evidence to be revealed in fields across the UK. As the grass has lightened, the marks left by prehistoric settlements and ancient sites have grown greener and clearer as the grass grows at a different rate, leading to some new discoveries for Historic England. The heatwaves have led to one of the busiest summers in 20 years for its aerial archaeologists, and finds include sites from the Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron Ages. Read more on cropmarks by Historic England here 

Urbinfo GraphPRETTY PEAK… There are now more cranes on the Manchester skyline than in the pre-recession peak of 2005, according to the latest research from UrbInfo. Across 110 schemes, there are supposedly the most apartments, hotels, and offices on site than ever in recent memory. There are 17,500 flats being built, buoyed by the recent start at Renaker’s Crown Street and the continuing work at Owen Street; 1.7m sq ft of offices, pushed up by Muse at New Bailey, Ask at Embankment and Allied London at St John’s, and 2,000 student bed spaces, dominated by Downing at River Street and Unite at New Wakefield Street.

MIGHTY PEN… As 3D pens, which can literally draw in air, gain in popularity with architects, artists, and amateur enthusiasts alike, the finished products have become more refined and mind-boggling. Lix, which claims to produce the world’s smallest 3D pen, has showcased some of the best pieces created with its product, definitely making it onto THING’s ‘most satisfying’ list…

3D ART from LIX PEN on Vimeo.

BEACH TIME… Ever wondered what starchitects do with their downtime? Well wonder no more, as world-renowned Norman Foster is providing regular updates of his holidays on Instagram. A fondness for inflatables, toy planes, and old-school beachwear all feature, plus the architect enjoying some quiet drawing time on the back of a giant unicorn. Whatever works…

Norman Foster Hat


Foster Unicorn

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