Is technology cooking us?

Article for The Guardian (UK) in 2000 based on my CHI lecture. What happens to society when there are hundreds of microchips for every man, woman and child on the planet? What cultural consequences follow when every object around us is ‘smart’, and connected? And what happens psychologically when you step into the garden to […]

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Designing the space of flows

(This is a chapter for a book published in 2000 (by 010) on Benthem|Crouwel – the wonderful architects of the -now gone – Netherlands Design Institute and, in their spare time, of Schiphol Airport) Are buildings a liability? The eminent Spanish economist Manuel Castells, whose first speech in Amsterdam was by invitation of the Design […]

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Interview with W magazine

(1999) Q] Do you believe a new century will spur different thinking in terms of architecture and design? Why or why not? A] A new century, with 100 or 1,000 years stretching ahead, will prompt us to focus with dramatic new intensity on the consequences of design for the environment. Expect to hear much more […]

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On design awards

Domus Magazine asked me about design competitions and awards. Question 1 – the idea of “good design” Your question reminds me that years ago, the British Design Council used to proclaim that “good design is good business” . But it was always hard to define good design, let alone to demonstrate a link between good […]

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Nine surprising new job titles for facilities managers

Summary of a lecture to an international meeting of Facility Managers in 1999. How are we to design modern space? saturated with information and systems; complex but incomprehensible; an exhilarating human achievement, and a terrifying prospect, at the same time. Management of work environments, in particular, is moving centre-stage in discussions about innovation, learning, and […]

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Experimental school environments

Slides used in my lecture to an expert meeting at the European Commission in Brussels in 1999. BE CRITICAL, BE HUMBLE (1) * ICT is not content – it is a tool * teachers are extremely suspicious of machines * they are right to be so (radio, film, tv, VCRs, PCs) * not to mention, […]

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Design and elders: The Presence project

Imagine a world where every second European adult is over fifty years old. And where two-thirds of disposable consumer income is held by this age-group. By 2020 this will be a reality. There will be huge demand for services that enable older people to live independently in their own communities as they age. But although […]

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Lost In Space: A Traveller’s Tale

As well as being thresholds between land and air, modern airports are gateways to complexity. Through them, we enter the operating environment of global aviation, surely mankind’s most complicated creation.

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Tokyo: Begin The Next

In 1990, Japan was at the height of its ‘bubble economy’. It popped, spectacularly, two years later.  In Tokyo, cement trucks sport the slogan, ‘Begin The Next’. Buy sellotape at the cornershop, and the bag carries a slogan: ‘Perhaps We Are At The Beginning Of A New Renaissance’. Ride Honda’s new Dio motorcycle and an entire […]

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