SCI Arc studios, when I visited in 2009

Why the ‘jug-and-mug’ model of education is not the future, but well past its sell-by date, and why we might want to use the potential of digital learning tools in order to create more physical studio spaces on campus

Fiat advert reproduced in the book ‘Human Space Utopia’ by Colin Ward (Penguin Education, 1974)

Does anyone have information about this Fiat advert from the early nineteen-seventies? I found it reproduced in the extraordinary 1974 book Human Space Utopia (Penguin) by the great English anarchist writer Colin Ward (also author of the stone-cold classic The Child in the Cityand read Shumi Bose on that.)

The crisp Krone-esque copy and layout typical of the time is actually difficult unpick. It either conveys either a wilful disregard (“Our job is simply to sell what people buy without questioning the morality of that”) or a broader care for the environment (“As a car manufacturer, we know that cars…

Image made for the front cover, based on a photo of Infield’, an installation by Linda Tegg at ArkDes, comprising a biodiverse meadowland planted in the asphalt car park by the entrance to the museum and accumulating life throughout 2020, and framed by geometrical shapes drawn from a Herbert Bayer postcard for the original Bauhaus in 1923. Typeface is Untitled Sans by Klim.

An offering to frame the design process for this new European Union proposition; plotting a course through a minefield, planting seeds for a meadow

Ever since the President of the European Union, Ursula von der Leyen, dropped the idea of a New European Bauhaus into her State of the Union speech on 16th September 2020, I’ve been discussing it with members of the European Commission team working on the proposal. …

A further update on the One-Minute City projects I’m working on here in Sweden. Building on the coverage in Bloomberg CityLab, Fast Company wrote about the project recently:

And then a great, thoughtful piece in The Guardian covering the project as it extends to Gothenburg and Helsingborg:

Our partner ArkDes also produced a short video to help articulate the project, featuring some of the partners and collaborators in the project, as well as my key collaborator at Vinnova, Filip Kjellgren. It’s in Swedish, but with English subtitles.

Further, the EIT Urban Mobility Academy (an initiative of the European Commission)…

Interesting research, based on studying 26,000 Europeans, indicating that “the effect of bird species richness on life-satisfaction may be of similar magnitude to that of income.” The researchers note:

“An increase in bird species richness by 10% is related to a raise in life-satisfaction approximately 1.53 times more than a similar proportional rise in income”.

Obviously the usual causation and correlation issues apply, particularly with something as slippery (flighty?) as researching the presence, range, and impact of bird species across spatial dimensions. But even if species richness is a proxy, “it may prove that managing for bird diversity is a…

The ‘one-minute city’ idea I’ve been developing, as part of the backdrop to our Streets mission here in Sweden, is featured in Bloomberg CityLab. Zooming into the currently en vogue (though ancient, timeless) 15-minute city idea, the one-minute city focuses on the immediate streetscape, exploring models for co-designing, caring and maintaining the street together, and thus shifting systems and cultures around mobility, biodiversity, culture, conviviality, and so on. It draws inspiration from numerous sources, as Feargus O’Sullivan notes, which I unpack a little across various Slowdown Papers — such as Ron Finley’s gardens with LA parking lots, Linda Tegg’s Infield meadow at ArkDes, Michael Sorkin’s ‘Sidewalks of New York’ model, Nordic cooperatives and public luxury, Arup’s ‘Daylighting Melbourne’ adaptive strategy approach, and ultimately Small pieces, loosely joined, post-traumatic urbanism patterns. More to follow: I’ve been documenting all this for sharing soon.

Make way for the one-minute city (Bloomberg CityLab)

“The G.E. machines will have a generating capacity that would have been almost unimaginable a decade ago. A single one will be able to turn out 13 megawatts of power, enough to light up a town of roughly 12,000 homes.” This is interesting for a number of reasons, not least the sheer scale meaning it covers district-level energy needs—if it’s combined with energy efficiency measures. The simplest way to a zero-carbon future involves shifting our wasteful habits; yet it’s seen as the hardest thing, from a policy or commercial perspective. That is a little cowardly. After Fukushima, the relevant Japanese…

If Apple is seriously considering producing a car, it is further evidence that Silicon Valley is interested only in capitalising on the last century’s ideas, rather than genuinely addressing the challenges of today and tomorrow. Apple has made a success of waiting until a linked bundle of technologies mature before producing their most polished incarnation—but surely this particular product is done. It’s not that the car isn’t useful for many; clearly, after several generations of exclusionary policy, hard-coded into infrastructure, it’s not going anywhere fast. It’s just done, in terms of innovation, and declining, in terms of relevance. As I’ve…

Dan Hill

Designer, urbanist, etc. Director of Strategic Design at Vinnova, Swedish govt’s innovation agency. Visiting prof UCL Bartlett IIPP + Design Academy Eindhoven

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