22 April 2020

AFTER COVID Story five –  Le Corbusier’s observation that a house is a machine for living in was first properly realised in his Villa Savoy. Shorn of structural convention and historical precedent, it is designed for flexible living, one based on a philosophy capable of ‘an infinite number of combinations of plans’. He would go […]

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14 April 2020

AFTER COVID Story four –  Art has always had an access problem, its hallowed institutions – physical or otherwise – protected by gates to which the privileged few possess the keys. However, deny the gatekeepers (as the COVID-19 lockdown does) their keys, and something quite extraordinary happens: the gates fly open, the world rushes in, […]

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9 April 2020

AFTER COVID Story three –  The situation that we find ourselves in at the moment needs no introduction — ‘we are all in this together’ — is a commonly used phrase to describe the collective experience the globe is currently undergoing. The speed in which it has taken effect is both fascinating and scary. A […]

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6 April 2020

AFTER COVID Story two –  Follow the news and you may be forgiven that the abiding image we have of panic-struck supermarkets serves as leitmotif for a world that has lost its way. On the contrary, the salutary effect of COVID-19 has been a supercharging of everything fundamental to the making of the good community. […]

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3 April 2020

AFTER COVID Story one –  The most obvious irony of the effect of COVID 19 is the fact that our enforced isolation – what Lord Hennessy calls the atomisation of society – has resulted in the most creative examples of togetherness. For me, chief among these has to be the vocal leader, the inauguration of […]

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22 July 2019
University campuses should be more like Glastonbury

    The following was published in Architect’s Journal (May 2019). A response to the slowdown in university-funded architectural projects, it’s a rallying cry for other – and much better – ways of creating campuses that attract, involve, and created a sense of belonging in students. As the higher-education gold rush recedes, the design approach […]

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26 September 2018
The rise and rise of the empathic developer: creating value for all

I was lucky enough to chair the panel in a recent webcast How experience design creates value for everyone. It’s the first in a series in which FreeState partners with The Urban Developer to examine all things great and good in the world of experience design, with a particular focus on developers. We were joined by Frasers Property Australia’s Rory Martin, […]

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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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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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