Sense of Place Project wins high commendation at HCA Awards 2010

November 1, 2010

00:/ worked with a multidisciplinary team on the Sense of Place pilot project to test methodologies for mapping people’s sense of place in the Soho Road area of Birmingham as a driving force for a more bottom-up approach to masterplanning and area regeneration. The project recently won a high commendation at the Home & Communities Awards 2010. It was the only project to be highly commended within the category of ‘Leadership of Place’.

At the awards ceremony, Sarah Montague (Radio 4’s Today programme presenter), said: “The judges were particularly impressed with the project’s approach to engaging and empowering residents to make a difference to their lives and community.”

The community website http://www.sohofoundation.org.uk has been created to capture, harness and drive existing community initiative using the banners “Do (take action) Dream (about the future) Pledge (work together)”. A four minute film (made my 00:/) summarising the learning from the project can be seen by clicking here.

SH


SOAR WORKS, Sheffield – Work well underway

October 18, 2010

The steel frame to the north block of SOAR Works is now erected with the steel decking installed. Things are really taking shape and you can imagine the scale and quality of the spaces. I got very excited about the openings in the roof decking ready for the upstand rooflights. A lot of effort was put into laying-out and detailing the decking by ourselves and the sub-contractors. Metal floor deckings are used to cast the concrete slab and are generally concealed. Seeing it on site in its shiny splendor makes us happy with our decision to not have ceilings but exposed it. The view from the scaffolding tower allows you to grasp how amazing the view will be from the second floor conference room. At the end of last week the groundfloor slab was cast – I hear the finish is remarkable so when we have photos I will post.

SH

Ps I am also very happy with the women size site boots that the site manager (Dave) has now got me. A lot more manageable (and stylist) than the size 8 steel foot cap wellies I was previously struggling about site in!


00:/Teambox

October 6, 2010

We’ve just launched a new 00:/Teambox service!

Teambox (www.teambox.com) is a collaboration platform based on a micro-blogging system – we’ll be using it to share out project development discussions both internally and with collaborators.

We’ll be hosting our own installation of Teambox on our servers, so it will be a secure way to share project-specific files and conversations.

You can find the new resource here:
www.domain00.net


(what) form follows (which) finance

September 28, 2010

00_Whatformfollowswhichfinance

I wrote this short provocation piece about changing urban project finance for an Academy of Urbanism roundtable organised last week with the Prince’s Foundation. It is also inspired by the project we are building with CABE and NESTA: a Compendium on the Civic Economy.

“It is a truism that in the rapidly changing economic, social and policy context, we will require a different set of mechanisms and pathways to unlock the investment streams required to re-think places. And if it is still true that ‘form follows finance’, this inevitably implies a different place-making mode. The financial logic underlying the Urban Renaissance has collapsed – so what will replace it?

The answer to this question is a contested terrain. We can, however, identify multiple emergent practices, some of which have been with us for some time now whereas others are more incipient. It is possible to outline some of the characteristic dynamics of these new practices. In particular we suggest three main parameters of change:

crowdsourcing fundng

market-making

use as service…”

[see 00_Whatformfollowswhichfinance for the rest of the 2 pager]

JB


open source table design

August 12, 2010

The (LDN) Petal Table is the first in a series of open design products we will be relesing to help you make your own co-working environments. Share, edit, remake for your own needs and to tell your own stories. Let us know what you think. And if you can – it would make us smile if you credited us…


Launch of London Hackspace in Hoxton

August 3, 2010

London Hackspace had their space warming party on Sunday to celebrate their move into Cremer Street Business Centre so I went along to find out what was going on. As soon as you enter there’s the thrill of a workshop crossed with a mad inventors lab. I saw angle grinders next to a half repaired (or deconstructed?) bike, old school singer sewing machines, a workbench, an amazing open source 3D printer by makerbot industries that replicates itself and other tools and machines that i dont know the name of. Oh and a disco ball with flashing ligts. Hackspaces as i understand it, are places where like minded people can get together and tinker around, invent, make, play, exchange ideas and tips on many things. They describe it as a communal garden shed. I thought it might be limted to a few techy boffins playing with circuit boards and computer parts but that was just my limited interpretation of hackers. Actually the members of London hackspace don’t define hacker activity to a particular area. One described hacking to me as the act of taking, remaking anything – at London hackspace, this currently includes a planned knitting class (referred to as the first type of programming language), a lock picking sports club, bike repair shop, as well as the more techy activities of playing with circuit components and a tesla aerial (just because it made a cool noise when 4000volts was run through it).

There are quite a few precedences for hackspaces – I had previously come across the more well known ones such as the NYC Resistor in New York and c-base in Berlin – the Hackspace Foundation networks these spaces together. There’s clearly a real community feel to the crowd – faces being recognised from gatherings such as hackdays and dorkbot events.

Having decamped from a shared space with an archery range where they were located for a year, London Hackspace are hoping this move to their own space means that they can grow their membership but also have the room to really have fun. The monthly membership is £40 (less if you can’t afford that) it’s 24/7 access, a proudly anarchistic operation(there are no strict rules or preset definitions of what goes) and people act very much in a shared spirit evidenced by the donated tools and kit and their openess to talk to anyone that is curious in learning.

There was much conversation on the fact that spaces and places like this don’t exist easily, particularly in London because of the commercialisation of space. How do we value these activities that are beyond hobbies but not quite “work” – yet their value in creating a skill and knowledge base is invaluable – and primarily the self taught education of exploring by doing and making. This is the real classroom that should be present in all neighbourhoods – not only do spaces like this spread knowledge and other ways of learning, they are a class in civil society itself. Go down to check it out.

AF


Working with architect’s of the future

July 30, 2010

For the third year, 00:/ ran the Futureversity (formerly Summer University) ‘Get into Architecture’ course for young people who are interested in a career in architecture and related fields. It was a pleasure to run – the group was so inquisitive and creative.

SL


Scale-Free Schools

July 27, 2010

To a surprising extent, the educational architecture we have inherited today still reflects the Victorian, industrial-age mindset which conceived it. Although we no longer think about education in that way, we still design schools as institutional factories for mass-education: purpose-built, expensive, one-size fits all.

As so many aspects of learning and social knowledge sharing have been revolutionised by new technology, the architecture of our schools has lagged behind. This project we’ve been working on in the office sets out to find smarter, leaner, more responsive architectures for 21st century learning, which require us to think beyond simply the design of buildings.
AP

Lets teach our kids to be entrepreneurs instead of lawyers…

July 26, 2010

Inspiring talk from Cameron Herold at TEDxEdmonton on the need to encourage kids to be entrepreneurs. Its witty with stories from his own childhood in the skills he picked up in the everyday – from collecting unused coathangers from neighbours to sell on to the drycleaners to recognising a demand market in the form of 70 year old pensioners playing bridge and selling them sodas. Aside from the amusing anecdotes – the key issues here are that our educations systems and societal expectations are all geared towards pushing kids into fitting into box a, b or c. Those that don’t fit are viewed as wrong, troublesome or in need of help. And the result is a society that is simplistic in its approach to innovation and work. If you don’t fit in a certain way in a few professions you sit outside of mainstream economics and highlighted as an issue or problem to be solved (centrally) using the resources that are being gathered by an increasingly fewer number, or perhaps artificially sustained through the public purse in a seperate accounting column that does not deal with the systemic issues, or create the space to recognise that there is an issue in the first place.  I’d recommend pairing up this video with this article from the Economist “In search of serendipity” a review of ” The Power of Pull” by John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison, which describes  theose connector people in business that make things happen. The article describes how the book presents a case for a different approach to business – that the platform technologies of today ie the internet, – challenge the top down approach to business that is perhaps still the standard in business schools. These are skills with nuances that cannot be translated solely into textbooks. As described in the article, “the “power of pull”, a term the authors define as “the ability to draw out people and resources as needed to address opportunities and challenges.” They propose a three-pronged pulling strategy. First, approach the right people (they call this “access”). Second, get the right people to approach you (attraction). Finally, use these relationships to do things better and faster (achievement).” Is our education system or even societal structures able to identify, understand and nurture these qualities as part of the story of enterprise and innovation?

Time to rethink the way we educate the next generation to be more prepared by reunderstanding how we value skills.

AF


NESTA Local Knowledge : A case study on innovative places

July 22, 2010

00:/ were selected and commissioned to contribute to NESTA’s Local Knowledge report collection of essays on Innovative Places. Our case study explores The Hub King’s Cross, a workspace, members club and business incubator. It is centred around a series of flexible spaces for individual work, meetings and events, and is unusual in many ways such as its intensity of utilisation. Using qualitative interviews and roundtables with key individuals involved, we analysed The Hub’s underlying place-making strategy which seeks to create fertile conditions for different types of innovation. The analysis emphasises the importance of thinking both about physical parameters and about social and organisational tactics in order to succeed at fostering a different culture of daily behaviour amongst the users.

This is what we call place making for innovation – a necessity for 21st century entrepreneurialism. Have a read – see what you think…

AF/JB