Trophy buildings are over

Three developments are putting an end to the boom in landmark buildings. The first is over-supply. This year’s Venice Architecture Biennale show-cased literally hundreds of large, glamorous buildings that will be built in the next few years. But, precisely because they are conceived as spectacles, these signature buildings have started to cancel each other out.
We accord them the same perceptual status as an Armani ad on a wall in New York or Milan: we look at them, judge them in a glance – and then move on. That’s not a great return on all the time, work and money invested to bring these totemic edifices about.
A second development: buildings conceived as tourist destinations are hard to sustain in business terms. City-hopping tourists seldom re-visit the Guggenheim in Bilbao, for example, where visitor numbers are now in decline.The UK, too, is awash in landmark cultural buildings – conceived politically as large and expensive signs, and paid for with lottery money – that seem doomed to go out of business once their novelty has worn off.
The third development is the emergence of “sociability” and “liveability” as new criteria for urban design. The French – who with their Grands Projets invented the craze for trophy buildings – have gone off in a new direction – towards the development of live, participatory events as ways of adding value to a place.
Describing itself as the “land of festivals”, the region of Provence-Aples-Cote d’Azur, alone, published a 194 page catalogue for 2002 that lists more than 300 events and festivals.These range from land-art and arborescence, ancient music and falconry, to festivals of laughter, rythm, and fanfare http://www.laregie-paca.com
Formal cultural festivals have been booming in France for years, but the new craze if forles arts de la rue. So popular has street art and performance become that festivals on the subject are now staged every summer – in Chalon-sur-Soane and Aurillac. These events, which bring together street-level theatre, circus, music and dance, have spawned now well-known acts such as Royale Luxe, Iltopie, and Generik Vapeur (http://www.generikvapeur.com/)
Eyebrows were raised this summer when the French minister of culture, usually the epitome of high (read: expensive) culture, attended the Chalon event for the first time. And a professional asssociation for street arts has been formed to represent the artists and producers, and festival organisers. http://www.lefourneau.com/lafederation
Jean-Marie Songy, director of the Aurillac festival, says these events expemplify what he calls the “open city – the utopian ideal that a city as an open stage that supports freedom of expression”. http://www.chalondanslarue.com/
Some artists have mixed views about the growing attention. Caty Avram, founder of Generik Vapeur, warns that “these festivals are indispensable for bringing performers and programmers together – but we must take care that our street-level interventions do not evolve into spectacles observed by a passive public.We should always be looking for new locales, and for people not accustomed to our kind of actions”.
Olivier Brie, Director of Art Point M, agrees: “there are two real risks for a festival such as Chalon: the rain, and paying visitors”. (Source: Le Monde 20 July 2002)
“Street artists are rightly suspicious of passive spectacle” confirms another producer, Catherine Lemaire, director of a dynamic Ganges-based agency, Eurekart. “The trend is away from set-piece performances towards smaller, more intimate interactions. The thinking now is that every spectator can also be an artist”. eurekart@club-internet.fr (00 33 (0)4 67 73 98 40)
Lemaire observes that street theatre is becoming less aggressive and provocative. “Artists seem to have become less confrontational and more humane – less hard”, she says.”We are seeing smaller, more intimate events – and the emergence of troupes of one, two or three people – in contrast to the 15 or 20 we’d have seen a year or two ago. It’s not unknown now for an artist to provoke an interaction with just one person on the street”.
A second tendency, says Lemaire, is that street art is finding new types of locations.”Performers seem to be moving away from decorative balconies in the town square, in favour of the workplace, the shopping centre, or the factory”,
Every November, Lemaire organises the equivalent of a Cannes Film Festval in Montpellier – Label Rue – which brings together a selection of artists, and commissioners of events from throughout France. Lefevre, who has realised street art events in dozens of towns throughout France, Spain and Italy, selects about 40 acts and invites city and festival programmers to come and view them.
The artists do their thing in car parks, outside cafes and on the streets of Montpellier. There is music of all kinds – jazz, steel drum, morooccan fanfare, yeti chanting. There are graffiti artists, fire performers, and a sculptor, Patrick Lefevre, playing the saxophone a top a 15 metre pyramid of his own construction.
end

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Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (Helping set up a new instituion, Ivrea, Italy, 2000-2003)

ivrea.bldg.jpg
Doors of Perception’s John Thackara was a member of start-up team (and of the Steering Committee until the end of 2003) that established Interaction Design Institute Ivrea. This new research institute in Italy was supported by Olivetti and Telecom Italia. The Institute’s Director was Gillian Crampton Smith.
ivrea.foto.jpeg
The specific tasks of Doors were to:
– help develop and articulate the institute’s basic concept and organisational form;
– define and articulate the roles of, and benefits to, industry sponsors;
– organize an international workshop of experts to refine the research programme;
– write job and person profiles for professors, researchers and students;
– create and implement launch phase communications and produce inaugural event;
– organize a workshop for industry on new business models for interactive products and services.
ivrea.blue-light.jpg
For Panorama,the Institute became “a point of reference for the generation of new ideas and a new design culture.” Prestinenza called Interaction Ivrea “a model for the moribund Italian educational system”. Francesco Gavazzi, in a cover story for Corriere della Sera, proclaimed that “at Ivrea, students design new ways of interaction between man and technology”.
In 2005, the Interaction Design Institute left Ivrea and moved to the new premises of Domus Academy in Milan. There, the two institutions developed devise a new Masters in Interaction Design, which started in 2006.

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From shelfware to wetware: where next for design research?

In December 2002 I chaired a seminar in London, organised by the Design Council, which brought together 100 academics, designers and business people to discuss: “how to get the most out of academic design knowledge”. The Design Council will publish a formal report soon (I will link it from here) – but here are some half-formed thoughts (Philip Tabor) on the points that arose.
Designers and companies tend to understand ‘design research’ as:
– technology scoping
– market research
– product development
– trend forecasting
Most of the academics at the meeting said that these activities were not “research” as they understood the term.
Other kinds of value can be created by design research. Among these:
– knowledge about new processes and methods – to the extend that they can be documented and codified. People running large organisations generally value process innovations more than outcomes. But this is not a uniquely academic research activity: internet service companies like Sapient, and management consultants, do process innovation all the time.
– case studies and best practices: everyone wants them, but there’s a difficulty: a “best practice” is hard to document or make ‘objective’. Practices, by definition, are rooted in a social and technological context.
– Intellectual Property Rights (IPR): old-thinking companies want it, but an obsession with IPR stifles innovation.
– reflection, criticism, and evaluation of bigger picture: these lofty activities are badly needed, and are traditional tasks for academe. The problem arises: how to share the insights so gained with people on the front line whose attitudes and behaviours we want to modify?
– develop new business models: business school academics were active in this field during the early dot.com boom: remember “pure-play” business concepts? Nearly all these platonic concepts failed – precisely because they were not rooted in a context.
– develop new ways of working: the same proviso applies. Academic research can draw our attention to new ways of working (or “WoW” as Philips’ Josephine Green called it) – but I’m sceptical that academic research, by itself, can innovate methods out of context.
– understand people and communities: my tolerance for engineers and social scientists who claim to “understand people” is so low that I pass on this one.
– identify un-met needs and desires: the concept of an “un-met need” raises an equally large number of epistemological questions. That, too, is for another time.
It’s worth noting, too, that there is no single “design process”. Those words were used by different people to describe different steps:
– action research – iterative design in which build > trial > evaluate > learn > build repeat, continuously;
– scoping the domain – to identify broad-brush drivers and dilemmas;
– framing the initial question – on the basis that questions are more powerful than answers;
– assembling the actors – with an emphasis on the inclusion of people formerly known as users;
– obtaining resources – the process of designing and drafting project proposals, setting up projects, and co-coordinating them, is complex and very time-consuming;
– co-ordination and facilitation – the Sloan Business School’s Centre for Co-ordination Science (sic) reckons that coordination should be allocated 30% of time and money resources in many projects – but never is;
– sharing results – will never happen if left to the end of the project.
If I reflect, after the meeting, on success factors for design research, four of these stood out for me:
– locate at least part of the project in a real-world context. I heard no convincing examples of purely theoretical design research.
– Design research should involve the innovative re-combination of actors among the worlds of science, government, business, and education.
– If the results (and value) of design research are to be shared effectively, communication and dissemination methods need to be designed (and budgeted) in at the start.
– there’s an urgent (and so far not visible) need to develop peer-to-peer methods for research and investigations.
The list of barriers to the effectiveness of design research to emerge from the meeting was longer:
– limits of design knowledge; its epistemology (C Frayling);
– difficult to capture/represent – and thus share – a process;
(processes are often tacit and social, not objective);
– divergent ways of working (WoW);
– inadequate access to, or knowledge of, who is doing what;
– impoverished stores, or more properly flows, of knowledge and experience
– IPR/ownership issues stifle sharing;
– institutional constraints (professional associations, disciplinary divisions);
– funding bodies are too slow, too mono-disciplinary;
– lack of ways to measure effectiveness (Jamie Oliver story).
Conclusion
It was not clear to me, after the meeting, what the academy can or should do, that business cannot. I’m not persuaded that pure reflection, for example – “shelf ware”, as wittily described by Rachel Cooper – can be effective, or meaningful, if it is divorced from practice. I also fear that stores of knowledge, put together by academic researchers, may be less useful – remembering the recent failures of knowledge management – than flows of knowledge. I also wonder whether academia can, or should, deliver the just-in-time-research that fast-moving industries seem to need.
In the end, it is probably not a matter of either-or (academic vs. worldly research) – but of both-and. But even a both-and conclusion raises tricky issues. Systematic collaboration between academics and practitioners implies institutional and attitudinal transformation. Does this transformation process need to be designed?
On this last point, I was fascinated to read a paper by Yochai Benkler, Professor of Law at New York University, about Linux and the nature of the firm. Free software, or open source software, is a fifteen-year-old phenomenon in the software world. But, according to Benkler, free software, although the most visible, is one example of a much broader social phenomenon, commons-based peer production – a new mode of production in the digitally-networked environment.
http://www.benkler.org/CoasesPenguin.html
The central characteristic of this new mode of is that groups of individuals successfully collaborate on large-scale projects following a diverse cluster of motivational drives and social signals – rather than market prices or managerial commands.
This would be a worthy subject for a follow-up meeting.
See also my piece, Does your design research exist? at
http://www.doorsofperception.com/In+the+Bubble/details/50/

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From shelfware to wetware: where next for design research?

(In December 2002 I chaired a seminar in London, organised by the Design Council, which brought together 100 academics, designers and business people to discuss: “how to get the most out of academic design knowledge”. Here are some half-formed thoughts (Philip Tabor) on the points that arose)
Designers and companies tend to understand ‘design research’ as:
– technology scoping
– market research
– product development
– trend forecasting
Most of the academics at the meeting said that these activities were not “research” as they understood the term.
Other kinds of value can be created by design research. Among these:
– knowledge about new processes and methods – to the extend that they can be documented and codified. People running large organisations generally value process innovations more than outcomes. But this is not a uniquely academic research activity: internet service companies like Sapient, and management consultants, do process innovation all the time.
– case studies and best practices: everyone wants them, but there’s a difficulty: a “best practice” is hard to document or make ‘objective’. Practices, by definition, are rooted in a social and technological context.
– Intellectual Property Rights (IPR): old-thinking companies want it, but an obsession with IPR stifles innovation.
– reflection, criticism, and evaluation of bigger picture: these lofty activities are badly needed, and are traditional tasks for academe. The problem arises: how to share the insights so gained with people on the front line whose attitudes and behaviours we want to modify?
– develop new business models: business school academics were active in this field during the early dot.com boom: remember “pure-play” business concepts? Nearly all these platonic concepts failed – precisely because they were not rooted in a context.
– develop new ways of working: the same proviso applies. Academic research can draw our attention to new ways of working (or “WoW” as Philips’ Josephine Green called it) – but I’m sceptical that academic research, by itself, can innovate methods out of context.
– understand people and communities: my tolerance for engineers and social scientists who claim to “understand people” is so low that I pass on this one.
– identify un-met needs and desires: the concept of an “un-met need” raises an equally large number of epistemological questions. That, too, is for another time.
It’s worth noting, too, that there is no single “design process”. Those words were used by different people to describe different steps:
– action research – iterative design in which build > trial > evaluate > learn > build repeat, continuously;
– scoping the domain – to identify broad-brush drivers and dilemmas;
– framing the initial question – on the basis that questions are more powerful than answers;
– assembling the actors – with an emphasis on the inclusion of people formerly known as users;
– obtaining resources – the process of designing and drafting project proposals, setting up projects, and co-coordinating them, is complex and very time-consuming;
– co-ordination and facilitation – the Sloan Business School’s Centre for Co-ordination Science (sic) reckons that coordination should be allocated 30% of time and money resources in many projects – but never is;
– sharing results – will never happen if left to the end of the project.
If I reflect, after the meeting, on success factors for design research, four of these stood out for me:
– locate at least part of the project in a real-world context. I heard no convincing examples of purely theoretical design research.
– Design research should involve the innovative re-combination of actors among the worlds of science, government, business, and education.
– If the results (and value) of design research are to be shared effectively, communication and dissemination methods need to be designed (and budgeted) in at the start.
– there’s an urgent (and so far not visible) need to develop peer-to-peer methods for research and investigations.
The list of barriers to the effectiveness of design research to emerge from the meeting was longer:
– limits of design knowledge; its epistemology (C Frayling);
– difficult to capture/represent – and thus share – a process;
(processes are often tacit and social, not objective);
– divergent ways of working (WoW);
– inadequate access to, or knowledge of, who is doing what;
– impoverished stores, or more properly flows, of knowledge and experience
– IPR/ownership issues stifle sharing;
– institutional constraints (professional associations, disciplinary divisions);
– funding bodies are too slow, too mono-disciplinary;
– lack of ways to measure effectiveness (Jamie Oliver story).
Conclusion
It was not clear to me, after the meeting, what the academy can or should do, that business cannot. I’m not persuaded that pure reflection, for example – “shelf ware”, as wittily described by Rachel Cooper – can be effective, or meaningful, if it is divorced from practice. I also fear that stores of knowledge, put together by academic researchers, may be less useful – remembering the recent failures of knowledge management – than flows of knowledge. I also wonder whether academia can, or should, deliver the just-in-time-research that fast-moving industries seem to need.
In the end, it is probably not a matter of either-or (academic vs. worldly research) – but of both-and. But even a both-and conclusion raises tricky issues. Systematic collaboration between academics and practitioners implies institutional and attitudinal transformation. Does this transformation process need to be designed?
On this last point, I was fascinated to read a paper by Yochai Benkler, Professor of Law at New York University, about Linux and the nature of the firm. Free software, or open source software, is a fifteen-year-old phenomenon in the software world. But, according to Benkler, free software, although the most visible, is one example of a much broader social phenomenon, commons-based peer production – a new mode of production in the digitally-networked environment.
http://www.benkler.org/CoasesPenguin.html
The central characteristic of this new mode of is that groups of individuals successfully collaborate on large-scale projects following a diverse cluster of motivational drives and social signals – rather than market prices or managerial commands.
This would be a worthy subject for a follow-up meeting.
See also my piece, Does your design research exist? at
http://www.doorsofperception.com/In+the+Bubble/details/50/

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Trophy buildings are over: French turn attention to arts de la rue

Bad news for aspiring Frank Gehrys: buildings conceived as spectacles soon turn into white elephants. Mayors around the world are looking for alternative ways to develop their locality – ways that do not involve spending vast sums of money on trophy buildings designed by brand-name architects.
Three developments are putting an end to the boom in landmark buildings. The first is over-supply. This year’s Venice Architecture Biennale show-cased literally hundreds of large, glamorous buildings that will be built in the next few years. But, precisely because they are conceived as spectacles, these signature buildings have started to cancel each other out.
We accord them the same perceptual status as an Armani ad on a wall in New York or Milan: we look at them, judge them in a glance – and then move on. That’s not a great return on all the time, work and money invested to bring these totemic edifices about.
A second development: buildings conceived as tourist destinations are hard to sustain in business terms. City-hopping tourists seldom re-visit the Guggenheim in Bilbao, for example, where visitor numbers are now in decline.The UK, too, is awash in landmark cultural buildings – conceived politically as large and expensive signs, and paid for with lottery money – that seem doomed to go out of business once their novelty has worn off.
The third development is the emergence of “sociability” and “liveability” as new criteria for urban design. The French – who with their Grands Projets invented the craze for trophy buildings – have gone off in a new direction – towards the development of live, participatory events as ways of adding value to a place.
Describing itself as the “land of festivals”, the region of Provence-Aples-Cote d’Azur, alone, published a 194 page catalogue for 2002 that lists more than 300 events and festivals.These range from land-art and arborescence, ancient music and falconry, to festivals of laughter, rythm, and fanfare http://www.laregie-paca.com
Formal cultural festivals have been booming in France for years, but the new craze if forles arts de la rue. So popular has street art and performance become that festivals on the subject are now staged every summer – in Chalon-sur-Soane and Aurillac. These events, which bring together street-level theatre, circus, music and dance, have spawned now well-known acts such as Royale Luxe, Iltopie, and Generik Vapeur (http://www.generikvapeur.com/)
Eyebrows were raised this summer when the French minister of culture, usually the epitome of high (read: expensive) culture, attended the Chalon event for the first time. And a professional asssociation for street arts has been formed to represent the artists and producers, and festival organisers. http://www.lefourneau.com/lafederation
Jean-Marie Songy, director of the Aurillac festival, says these events expemplify what he calls the “open city – the utopian ideal that a city as an open stage that supports freedom of expression”. http://www.chalondanslarue.com/
Some artists have mixed views about the growing attention. Caty Avram, founder of Generik Vapeur, warns that “these festivals are indispensable for bringing performers and programmers together – but we must take care that our street-level interventions do not evolve into spectacles observed by a passive public.We should always be looking for new locales, and for people not accustomed to our kind of actions”.
Olivier Brie, Director of Art Point M, agrees: “there are two real risks for a festival such as Chalon: the rain, and paying visitors”. (Source: Le Monde 20 July 2002)
“Street artists are rightly suspicious of passive spectacle” confirms another producer, Catherine Lemaire, director of a dynamic Ganges-based agency, Eurekart. “The trend is away from set-piece performances towards smaller, more intimate interactions. The thinking now is that every spectator can also be an artist”. eurekart@club-internet.fr (00 33 (0)4 67 73 98 40)
Lemaire observes that street theatre is becoming less aggressive and provocative. “Artists seem to have become less confrontational and more humane – less hard”, she says.”We are seeing smaller, more intimate events – and the emergence of troupes of one, two or three people – in contrast to the 15 or 20 we’d have seen a year or two ago. It’s not unknown now for an artist to provoke an interaction with just one person on the street”.
A second tendency, says Lemaire, is that street art is finding new types of locations.”Performers seem to be moving away from decorative balconies in the town square, in favour of the workplace, the shopping centre, or the factory”,
Every November, Lemaire organises the equivalent of a Cannes Film Festval in Montpellier – Label Rue – which brings together a selection of artists, and commissioners of events from throughout France. Lefevre, who has realised street art events in dozens of towns throughout France, Spain and Italy, selects about 40 acts and invites city and festival programmers to come and view them.
The artists do their thing in car parks, outside cafes and on the streets of Montpellier. There is music of all kinds – jazz, steel drum, morooccan fanfare, yeti chanting. There are graffiti artists, fire performers, and a sculptor, Patrick Lefevre, playing the saxophone a top a 15 metre pyramid of his own construction.
end

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Does your design research exist?

An internet sage once said that a web page never accessed does not really exist. Does the same logic apply to your design research? If nobody ‘gets it’, when you present your results, has anything been achieved?
Over recent months, I have seen years of work by design researchers almost wasted because they did not communicate well. Here are a couple of stories about such near-disasters, plus 15 highly-opinionated tips for design research presentations at the end.
In Amsterdam, in February, I attended the seventh bi-annual exhibition of Young Designers and Industry, The show’s sub-title – “the unknown meets the unknown” – turned horribly true. Thirteen European companies, ranging from Heineken to Forbo Linoleum, had given research projects to groups of talented young designers from all over Europe. Their task was “to conceive of new concepts for products, services or strategies of the future”. A fascinating brief, good partnerships, plenty of time. How could they fail?
Here is how. The exhibition and presentation in this five month project took place in a splendid and theatrical loft in Amsterdam docklands. On entering, I was confronted by 13 mini-exhibitions, in bays down each side of the space. These exhibits were impossible to interpret or understand. Numbers were stuck on columns – but nothing told the visitor what these numbers referred to. Each bay contained jumbles of posters and objects – but there were no titles or captions to help the visitor understand what these jumbles were about. Groovy-looking young people hung about; but it was not clear whether they were visitors, exhibitors, or just lived there.
I asked each person in turn, I hope in a friendly way: “what am I looking at here?” “to what question is this project an answer?” and “what lessons did you learn from this project?”. After two hours I realised that, once again in this excellent series, some great work had been done. In one project, websites and wireless devices were used to help Dutch citizens find nature – which is often hidden away here. Noffit Yelloz, in another fine project, developed an elegant structure to hold potted plants vertically inside a stairwell for Europe’s largest plant distributor, www.waterdrinker.nl. A third team worked with Forbo Linoleum to produce terrific lamps and bowls. But I had to find all this out for myself. Nobody framed the event for people like me walking in literally from the cold. Many of the men and women in suits for whom the whole event was staged clearly had no idea what to make of it.
A few weeks after Young Designers and Industry, I found myself at HomeTech, in Berlin, an enormous trade fair for domestic appliances. Whirlpool Europe, who have a dynamic new design director, Richard Eisermann, had worked with design futurist Francesco Morace on a major lifestyle trends study. This inspired Whirlpool’s centrepiece at the trade fair, a beautifully produced exhibition of design prototypes called “Project F” in which large glass cases contained intriguing and well-executed…. objects. But it was utterly unclear what we were looking at – or why. I happened to tour the exhibit with a British design journalist who has eight million appliance-buying readers back in London. She walked right past the Project F exhibits with barely a glance; “what are they?” she asked – without stopping. These objects, I later discovered, were the results of months of investigation, by talented design professionals from several countries, into fabric care futures. Upon reading Whirlpoolls interesting book, which I discovered in a dark corner, I learned that the objects were “an open exploration of the washing process and the new relationship between products, spaces, and humans”. (The book is available from ray_isted@email.whirlpool.com)
Both Young Designers and Whirpool forgot to put themselves into the shoes of their audience. They focussed on what they had to say, at the expense of asking: what will it take, in this noisy and crowded environment, to engage a passing stranger’s curiosity and interest?
JT’s TIPS FOR POTENT PRESENTATIONS
It’s awful to see such interesting work head, unnoticed, for obscurity – so here are fifteen tips for presentations which I reckon apply equally both in a small presentation, such as a research crit in a university, or in a large, noisy, distracting trade event, like HomeTech.
Tip 1 Design the way you will present and publish your results at the beginning of your project, not at the end.
Tip 2 Budget generously for publishing results.I reckon the ideal is 30 per cent of the total, including people costs – but hardly anybody allocates that much. A budget for publishing results below ten percent means you don’t care if anyone outside your project ever knows what you achieved.
Tip 3 Assume I know nothing. NOTHING! The first two minutes – of my visit, or of your presentation – should answer the following questions that are rattling around in my addled mind:
“Where am I, and why am I here?”
“Who are these people?”
“What’s in it for me?”
“To what question is this story an answer?”
Tip 4 Always answer that last question! State, explicitly, the insight, discovery or invention you have made, that you are giving me to take away.
Tip 5 Kill your darlings. You will always have more things to tell me than time to do so – so tell me less. Never try to cram everything you know into a limited time by speaking fast, or in bullet point-ese. Inform about the things you have to leave out of your verbal presentation in a handout. If you make a good presentation, I will probably read it later. if you’ve bored or confused me, I won’t bother.
Tip 6 Avoid using the words “we are very interested in….”. I don’t care what you are interested in. I care what I am interested in.
Tip 7 Only tell me about your process or methodology if the process or methodology is the valuable thing I am going to take away. Otherwise stated: don’t tell me how you got there, tell me what you found when you got there.
Tip 8 Reassure me you have thoroughly scoped the territory, and that you are not about to tell me something 500 peoople already investigated.
Tip 9 Never, ever, present for more time than you promise to in the programme. If that’s ten minutes, do it in ten – not a second more.
Tip 10 For every minute you propose to present, allow one hour of preparation. For a ten minute presentation, in other words, you need to plan in ten hours of preparation before the Big Day. (I was taught this unlikely-sounding rule by Carol Harding Roots, who trains the Doors team how to present. She’s right).
Tip 11 Never rely on designed objects or media to tell your story on their own – whether they be posters, prototypes, videos, computer simulations, or exhibits. Real people, properly briefed – and ideally you, yourself – are far more interesting and effective than the glossiest poster or video in the world.
Tip 12 Don’t commission a special video for a public exhibition: they add noise, and hardly anyone watches them. If you have a big budget, spend the money hiring a celebrity chef to cook exhausted visitors delicious snacks – as Gaggenau did at HomeTech.
Tip 13 Treat PR consultants politely but with the utmost suspicion. They almost never get it, whatever it is – but will act as if they do. If your company insists you use a PR team, use them as support – but never give them complete control over your communications.
Tip 14 At the end of your presentation, or my visit, find a way to make sure we stay in touch – for example by saying, “may I call you next week?” or, “may I put you on our mailing list?”. (And don’t put my visiting card in a large goldfish bowl with all the others: study it with respect and awe, and then put it in carefully in your wallet.).
Tip 15 Get help. There’s no logical reason why a good designer or researcher should be a good presenter or communicator. Many great writers became great thanks to dedicated editors behind the scenes. Get an editor to finish your text. Pay a trainer to teach you how you to present.
Tip 16 Send me more tips. You surely know better tips than these (or disagree vehemently with mine) – so send your comments in to . I’ll put the best ones online here, and credit you. I particularly want to add the names of books, sites and people that have helped you become a better presenter or exhibitor. Let’s put an end, together, to failed research presentations.
Useful contacts:
The Doors team recommends Carole Harding Roots at Executive Presentations in London. Carole comments that it’s “better to look ahead and prepare than look back and regret.Good speakers create a spark to ignite the fuel of anticipation; they capitalise on their platform presence; they look the part; they stand and move with ease; they sound the part chr@executivepresentation.com
A good book on the subject is Getting Started In Speaking, Training or Consulting by Robert Bly (John Wiley paperback, 2001). Bly’s site, www.bly.com, contains a small arsenal of tools and services.

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Is carbon-based energy yuppy crack?

This article was written for Tornado Insider, the European business magazine, for publication in its November 2002 edition.
On a recent visit to Telluride, in Colorado, I was terrified to see a huge black Humvee draw up at the gates of a kindergarten. At the time, American newspapers were full of stories about a gun-toting maniac who had attacked a school, so I flashed to the image of a re-run. My heart raced as out of the Humvee hopped … a blond-haired, seven-year-old girl. Fear turned to indignation: who the hell takes a 30 kilogram child to school in a 3.5 ton, eight feet wide vehicle that does eight miles to the gallon? The answer is: lots of people, in the US at least: civilian sales of the Humvee are booming. The lease price is an affordable $350 a month, and if you ask about fuel consumption on the Humvee website the charming answer comes back:” who cares!” And you wondered why the US government had to invade Iraq?
Carbon-based energy is to yuppies as cocaine is to crack heads. We don’t need it, but we are addicted to it. The carbon dioxide emissions of someone in the industrialised north average 8,467 kg per year. Experts state that, globally, our emissions of carbon dioxide must be reduced by at least 60%. On this basis Friends of the Earth propose a target of 1100 kg per person.
How might that happen? Any ‘jump’ to renewables will be the result of cultural, rather than technological, transformation. By this I do not mean ecological gloom mongering, which tends to be counter-productive. An over-supply of bad news leads to denial, not to change. During a recent visit to Hong Kong, the story broke about the discovery of an “Asian brown cloud”. A team of international climatologists, led by Professor Paul Grutzen, whose work on the ozone hole won him the 1995 Nobel science prize, said that they had identified a10 million square mile, three kilometre thick, fluctuating haze of man-made pollutants that was spreading across the whole Asian continent and blocking out up to 15% of the sunlight. The cloud was described as a “dynamic soup” of vehicle and industrial pollutants, carbon monoxide, and minute soot particles or fly ash from the regular burning of forests and wood used for cooking in millions of rural homes.
This horrendous story only made page two of the local press and disappeared after a couple of days.
The academics were y reluctant to attribute individual weather phenomena to the cloud, even though it is clear the Asian climate has been disrupted in the past decade with a series of unseasonable and erratic rains, severe droughts, and fierce storms in Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, and elsewhere. This year the monsoons in many parts of India and south east Asia have either not arrived or have been particularly severe.” The Asian cloud is man-made so it can be eliminated”, said Klaus Toepfer, head of the UN environment programme.” To do so needs better burning technologies and we need to have cleaner traffic, and sustainable energy”. But Hong Kong shrugged, and went on with its business.
Many of the technology ingredients for a post-carbon energy regime are already in place: photovoltaic fuel cells, solar power, geothermal, wave energy, hydrogen, and the like. But these saplings will only grow into viable trees when some kind of eco-shock – to match the oil-shock of the 1970s – sweeps aside extraction industry vested interests and the institutions that support them. I thought this year’s floods might do the trick, but from a US perspective, at least, it looks like George Bush’s dog will have to drown before change happens.
Looked at from Europe, changes in attitudes towards energy issues are more evident. In Germany’s general election, the remarkably strong showing of the Greens indicated that the environment had been a central concern. And this was not just a protest vote. The Greens first four years in government delivered a tax on fossil fuels, an agreement to phase out nuclear energy, a huge increase in wind power, and an enforceable commitment to a fall in carbon dioxide emissions. German commentators argued that a key factor in the Greens’ success was the summer’s extensive flooding in southern and eastern Germany.
The US boycott notwithstanding, ratification by EU countries of the Kyoto protocol on limiting green house gases, accompanied by ambitious government targets and tax incentives for renewable energy, are good news in the long run for sustainable energy ventures which otherwise still face a distorted market with strong subsidies for conventional energy.
In Germany, environmental goods and services are now a larger sector than the steel making which once epitomised the country’s industrial strength. The global market for environmental goods and services is estimated at $335 billion and is forecast to grow to $640 billion by 2010, according to the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry
Interviewed in The Guardian, Rolf Westenhagen, energy and private equity analyst with Sustainable Asset Management, described how he reviewed about 1,000 business plans in setting up Sam Private Equity Energy Fund (the Energy Fund), which focuses specifically on sustainable energy opportunities. “We noticed some particular characteristics of the European VC market. Compared to the US, where 50% of our deals still originate, there is a lot of technological know-how in European companies, but the business side is often less developed. Part of it may be that European companies face smaller home markets, so they anticipate slower growth rates than their US counterparts, but it is probably also a cultural issue. As a result, the average size of deals is smaller in Europe than in the US. On the other hand, the current regulatory environment, specifically for sustainable energy, is definitely more encouraging in most European countries than in the US.
Our physical state of affairs is easier to analyse than the psychological one. Whatever kind of economy we are in – old or new – almost everything we design and consume stimulates wasteful flows of matter and energy. We buy more hardware than ever – especially new devices, however pointless. We print more paper, especially now our personal computers and laser printers are networked. We package more goods, especially now they have to travel so far. And it’s not just the objects we buy that weigh us down. According to Paul Hawken, in Natural Capitalism, only six per cent of the vast material flows in the US economy actually end up in products. In most of the so-called advanced or developed economies, he writes, the overall ratio of waste to durable products is closer to a hundred to one. This waste is enabled, fuelled and accelerated by information technology. The promise was that digital communication would bring lightness and dematerialization. But as Paul Hawken discovered, the amount of wasted matter generated to make one laptop computer is close to four thousand times its weight on your lap. And that’s just the wasted stuff. George Gilder predicts in his book Telecosm that, by 2006, internet computing will use as much power as the entire US economy in 2001 – some three trillion kilowatt hours.
“What is happening is not by intention” says Hawken, “so we can put aside the theory that there are ‘bad’ people that we can get rid of to make everything OK.The fact is that the rate of loss is deeply embedded – a systemic problem inherent in assumptions that have only recently begun to be questioned”. In other words, it’s a design issue, not an ethics issue. We are using the earth’s resources faster than we replace them. Design can help reverse this trend by changing the processes behind products, as well as the resources used to make them and use them. In this sense sustainable design is a driver of innovation. In the UK and France, for example, many companies companies already do so. Many are acting defensively, to meet customer demands or in response to regulation. Others, such as Sweden, Germany and The Netherlands, are more proactive, aspiring first mover advantage’ in an inevitable trend. Design for sustainability has been integral to innovation in Swedish policy for 20 years now.
The Jump

Incremental change can only be a warm-up, like the ride down the ramp of a ski jump, prior to a jump from one energy-using paradigm to another. Optimistic experts believe that innovation processes now emerging will deliver a twenty-fold improvement in our matter and energy performance by 2040. Dutch scientist Leo Janssen, for example, thinks in terms of multiple, interacting cycles of change: “better treatment of today’s stuff and energy usage can be achieved within a five year time frame. Cleaning and improving existing plant takes ten years. Replacing old plant with new, cleaner equipment is a 25-year process. Introducing completely new categories of product and service are a 30-40 year process. Re-building basic infrastructures, for reorganised infrastructure for example, mobility systems, takes 50-100 years”.
It took from the beginning of human history to the year 1900 to build a world economy that produced $600 billion in output. Today, the world economy grows by that amount every two years. Once implanted in culture and the economy, principles of sustainability can deliver rapid transformation – for example, `minimising the waste of matter and energy’ or `reducing the movement and distribution of goods’, or `using more people and less matter’. Once we shift from covering up symptoms, to the re-design of the systems that deliver us necessities, the possibilities are immense.
One of Europe’s leading experts on service design, Ezio Manzini says of the passage from today’s systems of production and consumption, to sustainable ones, that it will be “like changing the engines of an aircraft while it is still in flight. We need to move beyond the implementation of clean processes and technologies towards systems whose utilisation of natural resources is reduced to 10 percent of present levels. He says. “It may appear a difficult task”, understates Manzini, “but consider this: during two centuries of innovation until now, we reduced the role of labour in production by even larger proportions than those required now for matter and energy. We have done it before”.
There are four scenarios for the transition to energy and resource sustainability. Scenario one describes a step-by-step improvement of present products, the so-called “end-of-pipe” approach. A second scenario involves the radical redesign of products and services based on existing concepts. In scenario three, we develop alternative products and systems. And in scenario four, we re-design of all our agricultural and industrial systems to meet the goal of a fully sustainable society.
Re-designing whole business according to a service-and-flow model is a good example. In this system, manufacturers – and the designers and users they work with – stop thinking of themselves as being in the product business. They become, instead, deliverers of service. These services are enabled, or carried, by long-lasting, upgradeable, durable, things. In this book I call these material things, which are currently known as products, equipment. Mobile phone handsets are equipment; so is an Airbus 330. In design, we need to think of equipment is fetishized end-in-themselves. That said, equipment is nonetheless made of stuff, so it has to be designed to be to be materially light as well as light in the ways it is used.
Wall Street, never one to step too soon out of line, sees eco as a tech issue – but a promising one nonetheless. In an interview about ‘eco-tech’ with the Wall Street Journal in August 2001, equity strategist Mark Howdle was confident that “concern over environmental factors will generate a long-term trend among corporations to throw money into technology that could alleviate such problems as air pollution and energy waste, allowing companies to turn a profit from the exercise”. Howdle said he expected a critical mass to be reached that allows eco-tech “to blossom from an assortment of small business making windmills into a stand-alone sector” Such firms are less than 0.1 percent of European market capitalization right now but according to several analysts the sector has the potential to grow to as much as three to five percent of the European market over the next few years. “We are using the earth’s resources faster than we replace them” reported the UK Design Council in 2002; “design can help reverse this trend by changing the processes behind products, as well as the resources used to make them and use them. In this sense sustainable design is a driver of innovation”.
The global market for environmental goods and services is estimated at $335 billion and is forecast to grow to $640 billion by 2010, according to the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry. In Germany, environmental goods and services are now a larger sector than the steel making which once epitomised the country’s industrial strength. Design for sustainability has been integral to innovation in Swedish policy for 20 years now.
From end-of-pipe to whole-of-life

Many big companies, which think more naturally about processes, have gone further towards a whole systems approach. Their environmental management policies stress the importance of metrics – measures of success – so that green strategies can be justified to shareholders and investors.
At the whole systems level, environmental management encompasses the whole business framework, and thinks in terms of product lifecycles. It is no longer considered eccentric to promote basic principles of sustainability that would have sounded wacky in boardrooms a few years ago – for example, `minimising the waste of matter and energy’ or `reducing the movement and distribution of goods’, or `using more people and less matter’. In Natural Capitalism, Paul Hawken is blunt: we have to use less stuff, molecule; we have to use more people; we have to restore and improve, not just protect, the environment; and businesses have to make money. (> White House/Clinton story).
Our problems are invisible. Most of our collectively wasteful behaviours are hidden from view. As Jane Elder of the Sierra Clubs put it,” pollution never goes away, it just goes somewhere else”. Most of the loss and waste behind products we take for granted is hidden from view. Every product that enters our lives has what Paul Hawken calls a “hidden history” – an undocumented inventory of wasted or lost materials. Industry, says Hawken, “moves, mines, extracts, shovels, burns, wastes, pumps and disposes of billions of pounds of material in order to deliver the products we take for granted, but which are needed for roads and buildings and infrastructures”. Hawken goes on to list waste in the form of tailings, gangue, fly ash, slurry, sludge, slag, flue gases, construction debris, methane – and other wastes of the extractive and manufacturing processes. “The problem is not the limits of human nature”, says Hawken, “it is the limits of human perception, especially our perceptions of time and process. Copernicus took us out of the centre of the solar system; we now need to take ourselves our of the centre of the biosphere”.
Business is moving for self-interested reasons, which is fine. Delivering what consumers want is a powerful driver of innovation. Consumer demand for ‘green products’, services and infrastructures has grown strongly from the 1980s onwards. In his book Green Gold, business expert Curtis Moore describes these changes, as is the tip of an attitudinal iceberg. Moore found back in 1992 that nearly two out of three voters in Houston Texas, of all places, believe that “humanity is approaching the limit of the planet’s resources”. Respondents in numerous other polls since then say they are willing to pay more for environmentally sound products, but have difficulty finding them. Mintel, a market research company in the UK, found consumers willing to pay 13 per cent more for ‘green’ products.” The greenest of green consumers are also the richest”, according to Frances Cairncross of The Economist. Writing in her book Green Inc she quotes a ORI opinion poll that more than half of consumers earning over $18,000 a year are classified as “environmental activists”. Curtis Moore also quotes a Golin/Haris poll that 87 percent of respondents would boycott a company that is careless about the environment. Says Moore: “these results barely scratch the surface of a massive and compelling body of polling data that point to a commitment to environmental protection so deep and enduring that is it reconfigures global business”.

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Architecture and flow

An introduction to flow issues for the October 2002 issue of Archis, the main media partner of Doors for its conference.
What happens to public space when there are hundreds of microchips for every man, woman and child on the planet – and when most of these chips talk to each other? What are the implications for buildings in a world suffused not just with sensors, but also with responsive ‘smart’ materials, and actuators?
Right now, the military are providing most of the answers to those questions. They are driving developments in the use of sensors, tags and remote monitoring in the physical world. Military-funded researchers are developing an operating system for smart dust’s self-organizing sensors and effectors; these tiny devices, that can manipulate matter, will be able to form wireless networks without human intervention. John Gage of Sun Microsystems anticipates that we will soon sprinkle “smart dust” over battlefields – clouds of tiny wireless sensors, thermometers, miniature microphones, electronic noses, location detectors that will provide information about the physical world, and the people crossing it, to battlefield commanders.
Meanwhile, in business, companies are wiring up digital nervous systems that connect together everything involved in their operations: IT systems, factories and employees, as well as suppliers, customers, and products. The aim is to be able to monitor everything important in real-time. Companies are developing ‘dashboards’ that will measure key indicators and compare their performance against goals – and alert managers if a deviation becomes large enough to warrant action. Control-obsessed firms – among them GE, the world’s largest – aspire to convert their information flows into a vast spreadsheet. They aspire to create, as Ludwig Siegele put it in The Economist, not a new economy but a “now economy”.
This new wave of technology confronts us with a design dilemma. We are filling our world with complex technical systems – on top of the natural systems that were already here, and social/cultural ones that evolved over thousands of years – without thinking much, if at all, about the consequences. During the 1990s, we were told that complexity was ‘out of control’ – too complex to understand, let alone to shape, or re-direct. But ‘out-of-control’ is an ideology, not a fact.
Flows can be designed. The design agenda for flow has two parts: designing ways to perceive flows, and re-designing the design process itself. Firstly, in order to do things differently, we need to see things differently. We need dashboards for cities and buildings. We need to experience the systems and processes on which we depend, in order to look after them. We know, for example, that buildings consume a lot of energy – but we don’t ‘see’ heat flying out of the windows. If we did, our behaviour would probably change. Designing experiences won’t be easy: systems are, by their nature, invisible, and we often lack metaphors or mental models to make sense of the bigger picture. But many affective representations of complex phenomena have been developed in recent times: physicists have illustrated quarks; biologists have mapped the genome; doctors have described immune systems in the body; network designers have mapped communication flows in buildings. And as Malcolm McCullough points out in this edition, geodata industries are exploding.
The purpose of systems literacy in design is not to watch from outside – it is to enable action. The second challenge for design in the space of flows, therefore, is the transition from designing things, to designing systems – and from a project-based to a continuous model of the design process. Systems and processes never stop changing, so neither can design. As we move from a project model, to a continuous model of design – which is increasingly the norm in information technology, and in management consulting – we need new metaphors for what we do: games, simulations and play may be more appropriate modes of designing flows.

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Real-time design in the “world as spread-sheet”

An interview for the October 2002 edition of Domus Magazine with Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos of UN Studio

For thousands of years, most buildings and products were designed for a single purpose – but our task is becoming more complicated. We are confronted by the need to design hybrid environments that encompass space, place, time, and interaction. We have filled the world with complex systems and technologies – on top of the natural ones that were already here, and social-cultural systems that have evolved over thousands of years. These systems are, by their nature, invisible – so we lack the clear mental models that we might otherwise use to make sense of the bigger picture.

A new change is now under way: pervasive computing. Pervasive computing has many names: ubiquitous computing; ambient intelligence; the disappearing computer; things that think; things that link; smartifacts. The buzzwords describe the ways we are suffusing the world with not just with sensors, but also with responsive and smart materials and actuators. There are already hundreds of microchips for every man; woman and child on the planet, and most of these chips will soon talk to each other, in languages such as ‘Bluetooth’. Nobody knows what the consequences are going to be, except that these chips will find their way into most of the objects that surround us – buildings, airplanes, doors, door handles, clothing – even our bodies.

The US army is a big spender on wearable computing, for example. The military is also driving developments in the use of sensors, tags, and remote monitoring in the physical world. John Gage of Sun Microsystems anticipates that we will soon sprinkle “smart dust” over battlefields – clouds of tiny wireless sensors, thermometers, miniature microphones, electronic noses, location detectors that will provide information about the physical world, and the people crossing it, to battlefield commanders. Military-funded researchers are developing an operating system for smart dust‚s self-organizing sensors and effectors; these tiny devices, that can manipulate matter, will be able to form wireless networks without human intervention.

Meanwhile, in business, companies are wiring up digital nervous systems that connect together everything involved in their operations: IT systems, factories and employees, as well as suppliers, customers, and products. Their aim is to be able to monitor everything important in real-time. Companies are developing ‘dashboards’ that will measure key indicators and compare their performance against goals – and alert managers if a deviation becomes large enough to warrant action. Control-obsessed firms, among them GE, the world’s largest – aspire to convert their information flows into a vast spread-sheet creating, as Ludwig Siegele put it in The Economist, not a new economy but a “now economy”.

This new wave of technology push confronts us with a design dilemma. The design of Large Technical Systems, pervasive software, and the inaptly named ‘ambient intelligence’, is an almost unimaginably complex process. To be effective in such a context, design needs to be renewed, and transformed. But in what ways? And how? During the 1990s, we were told that complexity was ‘out of control’ – too complex to understand, let alone to shape, or re-direct. But out-of-control is an ideology, not a fact. Flows can be designed.

The design agenda for flow has two parts: designing ways to perceive flows; and re-designing the design process itself. Firstly, in order to do things differently, we need to see things differently. We know, for example, that buildings consume a lot of energy – but we don’t see‚ heat flying out of the windows. If we did, our behaviour would probably change. We therefore need ‘dashboards’ for cities and buildings, not just for big companies. We need to experience the systems and processes on which we depend, in order to look after them.

Designing these experiences will not be easy. Systems and flows are, by their nature, invisible, and we lack evocative metaphors or mental models to help us make sense of the bigger picture. But many affective representations of complex phenomena have been developed in recent times: physicists have illustrated quarks; biologists have mapped the genome; doctors have described immune systems in the body; network designers have mapped communication flows in buildings. And as Malcolm McCullough points out, geodata industries are exploding.

The purpose of systems literacy in design is not to watch from outside – it is to enable action. The second challenge for design in the space of flows, therefore, is the transition from designing things, to designing systems – and from a project-based, to a continuous, model of the design process. Systems and processes never stop changing, so neither can design. A continuous model of design is increasingly the norm in information technology, and in management consulting. Architecture as a service, rather than an art? Now there’s a thought.

UN Studio

Many of these trends are evident in the work if UN Studio. Its principals, Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, have particular expertise in the design of transport interchanges in projects that can last years. These have become epicentres of extraordinarily complex spatial and building design processes. Increasingly, in the design of these complex places, high-tech simulations and physical structure influence each other. The design of multi-modal, multi-functional, multi-temporal transport intersections is particularly advanced in the Netherlands, where van Berkel and Bos have been ‘designing inside diagrammes’ since the mid 1990s.

“The diagramme functions for us as a sort of mediator” van Berkel explains; “we see it as an external element, in between the object and the subject, which we use to introduce other themes and organizations into a project with the aim of escaping from pre-existing typologies”. Right now UN Studio use diagrams two ways. First, for what they call the “the proportioning” of information – representing visually, and where possible in real-time, variable phenomena for a specific location such as climate, budget, construction processes, orientation, and activities.

The aim is to have a generative, proliferating, unfolding effect on the project…not only during its development in the studio, but also afterward, in its public use”, explains Caroline Bos.

A project like Arnhem Central exemplifies this convoluted type of public construction. The high-density project concentrates 160,000 m2 of mixed programme (transfer hall, underground car park for 1,000 cars and 5,000 bicycles, tunnel, shops, offices) on a 40,000-m2 site. Six different transport systems converge on the station area. Every weekday 55,000 travellers move through the location as they transfer from one system to another. Movement studies [PICS] are the cornerstone of UN Studio’ design proposals: the analysis of the types or movement on location includes the directions of the various trajectories, their prominence in relation to other forms of transportation on the site, duration, links to different programmes, and interconnections. The “Klein Bottle” diagramme [PIC] served as a reference for the spatial transformation of a surface into a whole.

Van Berkel and Bos describe as “deep planning” the process by which they scan a site for its flow structure. “These scans reveal its real problems and potentials,” says van Berkel; “the flows of the physical movements of people and goods reveal the relations between duration and territorial use”. The typical product of deep planning is a situation-specific, dynamic, organizational structural plan, using scenarios, diagrams, parameters, formulas and themes, that encompasses the mapping of political, managerial, planning, community and private relations.

Recently, van Berkel and Bos have looked outside architecture for inspirational images and diagrams. “Francis Bacon called his paintings diagrammes”, recalls van Berkel, adding that Gilles Deleuze was fascinated by the ways Bacon transformed the human figure into abstract forms. “Diagrams are instrumental”, he emphasizes; “they refer to something. They are kind of map. Maps may look abstract, but they always point at something. Diagrams are maps that point at organization – which can be the organization of space, or time, or movement, or any abstract but no less real phenomena.

Diagrams are also a way to involve clients in the design process, and to modify the way a building is used through time. “When designing for people are in these perpetual motion environments”, says Bos, “ it’s a matter of combining circulation, with experiences they may have along the way. It’s not enough to design for pure movement: you have to build-in spaces, activities and intersections where people will leave the flow”. Pure movement is indeed bad for business. I recall an anecdote by Jan Benthem, master architect of Schiphol Airport, in which the commercial guys insisted he remove an area of seating to make way for another corridor of shops. The result was the opposite of that intended: revenues per square metre in the new shops, and in existing ones next to them, actually decreased. It transpired that the re-design had created a kind of canyon through which passengers rushed like white water in the Rocky Mountains – too fast to stop and shop. The seats were put back.

UN Studio pay attention to what they call “kaleidoscope moments” – the turns in flows where movement is tighter or more compact, or where you cross over other flows. “We are beginning to realise that obstacles to flow can be functional and add value, too” says van Berkel.”We work closely with infrastructure and traffic managers” adds Bos; “who usually have deep expertise about the possibilities, but also limits, in reconfiguring the flows of large numbers of people” Bos recalls a typically arcane piece of advice, that the heat generated by 20,000 people in an art gallery can damage paintings.

For their project to develop a pier in Genoa, Italy, UN Studio have transformed a 23,000 m2 harbour pier into a three-dimensional piazza. Four main clusters each address a different theme: entertainment, well-being, technology, and commercial experience. The design uses time-based planning represented diagrammatically as a circle of experience. Programmes in the piazza are organised around clockwise activities clustered on the basis of views, time of day, and time of year. Coffee can be taken in the morning sun with a view towards the sea; midday shopping offers shadow; evenings are spent watching the sunset. [PIC 24-hour distribution of active programs].

Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, principals of UN Studio in Amsterdam, are among the speakers at Doors of Perception 7 on the theme of Flow. The conference takes place in In Amsterdam on 14,15,16 November 2002.

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