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TEDxLiverpool: An Internet of Nice Things

Back in July I had the great pleasure of presenting at TEDxLiverpool. It was an impressive roster of speakers, even if you omit the "TED royalty" of Sir Ken Robinson.

Over on his blog, Stuart Ian Burns has written an comprehensive round-up of the whole event, with videos of the rest of the talks.

carry on reading...

Night Sun

Richard Birkin has just released the online version of Night Sun, a rather beautiful combination of music, words and pictures.

The online version grew out of an installation that was part of Light Night in Nottingham earlier in the year. The installation was an interactive piece, where the music and visuals were triggered by members of the public touching and turning the crank of a toy music box.

carry on reading...

Exploring Smart[er] Cities with Constructing Excellence Berkshire

At the start of July I was down in Reading for a Constructing Excellence Berkshire event to explore technology and cities. Together with architects HOOP and urban provocateur Julian Dobson we tried to design something a little different to the usual talks or workshop.

With the help of Professor Tim Dixon we kicked off setting out the local situation and how technology could evolve in our towns and cities - with Tim providing a Reading perspective and me presenting some alternative "smart" city thoughts.

The attendees and presenters then split into two groups to discuss and brainstorm an open-ended question of what a smart city might look like.

Then, following a break for some food and chatting, we came back together to hear Julian a more people-focused Luddite Analysis of Smart[er] Cities". After which we broke again into groups to imagine life a hundred years hence, and what decisions and actions from today we'd look back on as inspired, and which we'd find appalling.

The format seemed to work well, with plenty of discussion between everyone and plenty of ideas and opinions traded.

Read on for my slides and notes for the talk...

carry on reading...

Poppies That Tweet

A view of the poppy bed

As part of marking the century since the start of the First World War, Let's Go Global were commissioned to run an art project taking a contemporary, conceptual view of the centenary.

It's a wide ranging project, spread across communities (centred on libraries) across Greater Manchester and anchored with an installation at Ordsall Hall in Salford.

Over the course of the project they're planting a hundred poppy plants, and wanted to connect what was happening with the poppies to the wider participants across the county. As a result they brought us on board to explore what could be done and then make it happen.

carry on reading...