13 July 2018
122 Roseneath Street: the building that speaks and acts like a brand

I was introduced by David Mousa of The Urban Developer to Giuseppe ‘Pinot’ Demaio last year. Having worked stints in magazine publishing, editing and art directing, and as a senior art director for Nike, Demaio and his citizen-creative Local Peoples has since partnered up with a bunch of architects and developers to found Assemble. Driven […]

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5 July 2018
Creating the workplace as brand experience

In the cliff notes for the white paper How to Create Loyalty Beyond Reason, Jonathon Midenhall (Airbnb) and Neill Barrie (TBWA)’s check list for what makes an iconic brand includes the assertion that it must contribute – rather than reflect – culture. I love this, and especially in terms of the workplace, which for me, […]

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8 June 2018
Airbnb: workplace as advert for future employees

Read anything on what it is that a business or organisation needs to do if they’re going to attract and retain talent, and sooner or later you’re going to be directed to examples from California’s tech industry; and so to a Silicon Valley culture that places a premium on the importance of a work that […]

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31 May 2018
The film, the art of keeping it simple, and Alex Maclean

Just a very quick note to introduce you to FreeState’s brand new introductory film, most appropriately entitled What We Do. Do have a watch, but before you do, may I also introduce Alex Maclean, an old friend of FreeState, an older personal friend, and the maker of the film.

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25 May 2018
Making Smart work for real humans

Regular readers will know only too well my views on a certain brand of Smart city, which I shout from the highest point, and to anyone who will listen. Equally, you will know my similarly strident views on the rise of the building spectacle as designed by a latter day brand of super architect. Championing […]

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21 May 2018
Be like a Jordan: the role of a rallying vision in the making of places

Having had the opportunity to work with many a fine brand, I’m a massive fan of the vision well done. Truly innovative brands know that they are being judged not on the basis of their logos and what they say, but rather on what we – their target markets – say about them. It is our […]

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11 May 2018
Innovation cluster: social capital and the makings of a real knowledge quarter

Over the past few months, we’ve had several conversations with planners and entrepreneurs in Melbourne, London and San Francisco interested in ‘innovation clusters’, which in a nutshell describes the creation of live places specifically designed to generate and drive knowledge capital. This is a focus for many sectors, is generally specific to city-size placemaking, and […]

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3 May 2018
Not throwing the baby out with the bathwater: continuity and the art of the future-facing campus

Change, the future and how best to prepare is top of every strategist’s mind, not least the university educationalist, for whom the world of the student experience is fast becoming something of an obsession. And rightfully so, though a word of caution: when recently asked by a UK-based university as to what we thought the […]

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27 April 2018
Seoullo 7017: Skygarden and the quieting of the architect

In 1968, the literary theorist Roland Barthes published a short and incendiary essay Death of the Author, in which he argued that the intentions of the author ought to be separated from interpretations of the text. The author, he says, ‘is born simultaneously with the text, and is no way supplied with a being which precedes or […]

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27 April 2018
THE EXPERIENCE-READY CAMPUS: AUDE SNAPSHOT

We love interrogating our Experience Research and Thinking with those who run projects live and have plenty of insights to share. The AUDE conference this year, held at the University of Kent, was a brilliant opportunity to do just that!

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27 April 2018
The porous campus: why it’s good for the future of education

One of the key challenges facing our clients and friends across the board is how to attract and engage the world’s best talent. In the world of the university campus, best talent includes students, academics, alumni, industry, and partners, who all contribute to the successes by which universities are now judged.

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27 April 2018
First life, then spaces, then Gardens by the Bay: a narrative approach to placemaking

As a lesson in experience design for city makers, Gardens by the Bay is one of my favourite examples of the virtues of thinking about the start of a future place not in terms of an architect’s masterplan, but rather as a narrative journey that in itself is composed of and drills down into any number of further journeys.

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