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ring the changes

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Ring Cycle

London's Olympic bid is nothing if not multinational.

A reception for the great and the good, hosted by London First, featured a rousing series of speeches on the top floor of Canary Wharf, none delivered in a London accent.The speakers included Canary Wharf chief exec George Iacobescu (Hungarian), the chief executive of EDF Energy, Vincent de Rivaz (French), and London bid chief exec Barbara Cassani (American).This prompted the thought that London may be the most international of the competing cities, and perhaps the variety of accents on offer could be the makings of a marketing campaign Meanwhile, a campaign of a different sort begins on 17 September at the Empire Cinema, Leicester Square, starting at 9.30am. It is a briefing on a competition to design the London 2012 Olympic logo, and is open to all.The winning design will attract a prize of £10,000, which is about 2.5 per cent of what you would pay a top graphic designer for such a thing.Democracy and economy combined.

Ring cycle

To Birmingham for the swanky Selfridges preopening party.The Future Systems building is brilliant, a real gem and light years away from the more everyday architecture of the Bullring Centre as a whole.A host of rich and famous were on display at Selfridges, including Amanda Levete, Zeev Aram, Sheridan Coakley and Eva Jiricna.But what about Jan Kaplicky? He sneaked off to London early, after a press preview, missing the entire event.

For shame!

Allergic to Ground Force, the irritating BBC makeover programme? If so, you will be delighted to learn that Tommy Walsh, the cheery chappy builder who gets things done, is perfectly capable of running into trouble when it comes to the planning system. Last year, he hacked down four protected lime trees outside the Victorian house he bought in a Hackney conservation area.He is awaiting news of whether the council goes for the full £20,000 fine.Not content with that, according to the Mail on Sunday, On his wick Stepping out he has now demolished most of the house and rebuilt it to his own tastes, also without permission.

Alan Titchmarsh is obviously required to calm things down.

Art's sake

While the Rolling Stones take on board less than flattering comments about their oldie appearance, at least Ronnie Wood has another string to his guitar.Guests at next week's Royal Academy opening for the Lloyd Webber show, featuring Andrew's collection of PreRaphaelite and other Masters, will be able to see a work of a rather different nature.This is Ronnie's tableau, The Ivy, commissioned by the Lloyd Webbers and featuring many of their friends, pictured in London's most theatrical diner.Alas, the work will not be with the other Masters, but in the RA restaurant.

Birkhäuser's new book about Cedric Price came off the presses just after his untimely death last month. Re: CP Right recipe is edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist, and includes contributions by Arata Isozaki, film-maker Patrick Keiller and Rem Koolhaas. It also includes a series of 'Price Cuts', collage and cuttings produced for the AJ.A note appears on the front cover: 'Best before 1 May 2006 (by this date the author may have changed his mind)'.Astragal detects celestial chortling.

Features on bright young things are a staple diet of the London Evening Standard. Its latest list contains an architect, Tom Bartlett (30 - how young is that? ).His main claim to fame seems to be working for Jade Jagger.The Standard notes:

'He lives alone in his Kensal Green office-cum-flat with his whippet, Olive, occasionally gracing celebrity parties.'Ooh-er!

The beautifully organised memorial event for Ian Davidson, held on the South Bank next to the Oxo Tower last week, was both celebratory (a terrific youth band incuding Ian's son Will) and moving.Of the speeches, the most memorable was by his daughter Lucy, just about to start university, who spoke with sincerity, humour and love.

Scarcely a dry eye in the house.


Namecheck Congratulations go to Ian Firth of consulting engineer Flint & Neill Partnership, London SE1, who wins a bottle of bubbly for correctly identifying the three changes we made to Zaha Hadid's Cincinnati Art Museum (right). Can you spot the three changes we've made to Daniel Libeskind's Imperial War Museum North (left)? Post your entry, to arrive by first thing Monday morning, to AJ Ring the Changes, 151 Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4GB, or fax 020 7505 6701.The first correct entry pulled out of the hat wins the champagne.

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