Institutions

The Future of Open: Photos by Nick Ierodiaconou

The Future of Open research project by the London OI included live events starting 1 July - 3 July through an exhibition, with fringe events in the evening, followed by a live speaking event on the 6th July 2013 at Mother London.

An exhibit of projects illustrating Open across a range of sectors and domains, including education, community projects, technology / hardware, and finance.

Taking the Future of Open exhibit to Mother London at 10 Redchurch St, EC2.

Tristan Copley-Smith presents Open Creatives, a proposed archive of open source digital files across the creative field.

A shot of the Share Your Idea session at the Future of Open event where individuals pitched ideas that could be shared or supported through an Open Institute.

Visit the http://www.oi-london.org.uk/ to share your ideas, and stay tuned for upcoming events.

You can also follow the Open Institute on twitter @OI_Ldn

-OT

The Future of Open: Video by Nick Ierodiaconou

 

video above

captures some of the 'Future of Open' day held Saturday 6th July - a day of futurescoping, sharing ideas and practice in the applications of Open both present and imminent. See the blog for access to the full stream of events on the day, plus slides from presenters. Enjoy!

Read a summary of the event from the OI blog here.

Visit the http://www.oi-london.org.uk/ to share your ideas, and stay tuned for upcoming events.

You can also follow the Open Institute on twitter @OI_Ldn

-OT

The Future of Open: exhibition & debate by Nick Ierodiaconou

Join us to explore The Future of Open at a series of events including a drop-in exhibition and a day of debate and conversation. This is an open call to propose, test, and lead the development of a 21st Century Open Institution. Use the links below to attend and help shape OI London, or drop us a line to host a fringe event in the space.

More information on events here.

Visit the http://www.oi-london.org.uk/ to share your ideas, and stay tuned for upcoming events.

You can also follow the Open Institute on twitter @OI_Ldn

- DS

Open Institute London website launch by Nick Ierodiaconou

How open are cities? That’s an important question, about social justice and democracy, as well as economic growth and the prosperity of the city in the 21st century. We know that cities are often places of innovation – engines for new ideas. What is less clear is how, as they 'succeed', they can continue to offer the generous conditions that enabled that innovation happen. As traditional commons – parks, pavements, libraries – are being joined by new kinds of commons around shared knowledge, open big data and resources such as Wikipedia, Creative Commons, FabLabs and Trade Schools, this project is asking: what are the new urban Commons, and how should they be governed?

This is an open call to co-develop a 21st century Open institution, starting with the OI London.

London has plans to develop an OI – an ambitious infrastructure that seeks to offer new opportunities for Open education, enterprise, and everyday life for its citizens.

This could be achieved via a range of shared resources; spaces, tools, and platforms. Which are then put them in a commons, where anyone can access them.

The first instance of the OI is being developed in London, backed by £50m investment from the government. And the institution itself will be shared so that other cities can create their own OI.

Visit the http://www.oi-london.org.uk/ to share your ideas, and stay tuned for upcoming events.

You can also follow the Open Institute on twitter @OI_Ldn

- DS

Future Practice: Conversations on the Edge of Architecture by Nick Ierodiaconou

Future Practice: Conversations from the Edge of Architectureis a new book by Rory Hyde exploring emergent roles for architects in the 21st century.

Future Practice features a conversation with Indy Johar from 00:/, amongst the likes of Bruce Mau; Reinier de Graaf & Laura Baird, AMO; Mel Dodd, muf_aus; Wouter Vanstiphout, Crimson; Camila Bustamante; Steve Ashton, ARM; Matt Webb, BERG; Bryan Boyer, Helsinki Design Lab - and a host of others.

An except from Rory Hyde's conversation with Indy Johar:

RH: One of the other themes I'm really interested in your work is your approach to economy. I found a quote where you say: ‘it’s time for architects to start reading the financial papers’. [3] You seem to take it much more seriously than many architects or other people in this space. Economics is a territory that’s normally relegated to the developer or clients, we don’t seem to worry about the money except how much the building costs. How do we reclaim this territory? Is it about getting involved with business models, business plans, thinking about how this thing might make money?

IJ: It's all the same act. The idea that we can disassociate one aspect from another aspect is an illusion. It’s an illusion of a seventeenth century Enlightenment model, where we figured out that we could deal with the world in vitro, you could take architecture and isolate it, you could take the business model and isolate it, you could isolate different components, and say ‘hey, if we isolate it, we can deal with it in effective ways.’ That is an Enlightenment model of how you organise the world. Now, what is becoming apparent in the world we're living in, is that in vitro modelling of the world isn't able to cope with the complexity, i.e. the externalities all those models were generating. So carbon is just an externality of a model which doesn't take account of certain things. It’s an in vitro business model. That’s the more fundamental problem, that I think we’ve reached the end of this siloed idea of building stuff. That’s the systemic issue.

We are talking about building ecosystems where there are no hard divisions between the built environment, the value model, between the impacts it has, between how it absorbs carbon, what materials it uses – it’s about seeding an organism, and I don’t think you can make such hard distinctions between things. I always use the term ‘design venturing’; I think great entrepreneurs seem to be pretty good designers frankly, they tend to have a very good eye for those things, because they use the same skills. So I think it’s about this method of how you build systems, the ‘architecture of systems’, as opposed to the ‘architecture of brick buildings’. That shift is one of the big things we are seeing, because this in vitro modelling doesn’t work.

...

RH: It’s probably useful to talk about your Compendium for the Civic Economy now, as it seems to be the perfect manifesto of that idea of the spatial and economic ecosystem. What is the Civic Economy, and do architects have a role to play in it?

IJ: In a sort of high level sense the Civic Economy is an idea about how technology and a deep democratization of process is liberating a new way for people to organize themselves locally, and to actually create institutions and organizations which are fundamentally focused on a civic purpose. They can be for-profit, not-for-profit, it doesn't really matter. It's a new citizen method of organizing micro acts which can create a virtuous social, environmental and economic cycle. So whether it’s the 68 FabLabs all around the world, The Hub, or Community Kitchens, all these projects in the book are about the synthesis of social capital and investment capital to create a performative impact.

Now, the role of architects is huge, but it’s about place-making as opposed to the design of a physical product. Hosting and creating those flows and networks, seeding them, and allowing them to iterate, is what the 21st century architect will be doing, which is hugely significant. This is acutely democratic in terms of influence and power – there is going to be no single leadership, but democratic leadership. So I think the role of the architect is hugely significant, I just think it’s a new type of architect. And I think this is part of a longitudinal trend, this democratisation of capital, democratisation of power, democratisation of leadership, and this post-management world is opening up all sorts of new challenges.

Read more about Future Practice here.

And if you'd like to order a copy, go here.

- DS

A Right to Build: the next mass-housebuilding industry by Nick Ierodiaconou

A Right to Build looks at the UK housing crisis and how self-provided housing can scale up as a sector to provide a solution in the 21st century.

This week, RIBA announced the winners of the President's Awards for Research. A Right to Build, headed by Alastair Parvin and David Saxby of Architecture 00:/ in collaboration with Cristina Cerulli and Tatjana Schneider of the University of Sheffield, was awarded the President's Award for Outstanding Practice-located Research.

See other winners and commendations for the RIBA President's Awards for Research here.

Have a look at the full publication online here.

- DS

"We have a last mile crisis" by Nick Ierodiaconou

From the HUB Westminster blog, an opinion piece written by Co-Founder of HUB Westminster and Director of 00:/, Indy Johar.

During the last year I have had the privilege to travel far and wide – talking to some of the great change makers from across the world. I have met well educated and articulate people seeking to reinvent the social economy  through new platforms for giving, sharing, contributing and trading – covering all sorts of markets – clothing, food, energy markets – corporate structures and financial systems. All of which very impressive, and yet I have left many of these amazing conversations unsatisfied, with an empty feeling that was until recently undefined and certainly not understood by me.

For outside these amazing meetings, as I recently witnessed in San Francisco their is a growing reality of homelessness and unemployment viscerally visible while the remnants of capitals from the last boom perish in a waft of smoke and hopelessness. Depression, crime and disenfranchisement increasingly prevail in the every day lives of the people. It is these problems that will not be vanquished by the elaborated speeches & civic technology of educated men.

Don’t get me wrong, we need to build these new platforms and civic markets and they are essential in rebuilding a radically democratic economy. What worries me is that unfortunately, we have destroyed the last mile in the chain to enable for this new social wealth created by the platform economy to be distributed in every last corner of our developed world...

Continue reading here.

 

-DS

Cadogan Café London Competition by Nick Ierodiaconou

Excerpt from Architects Journal:

Emerging stars and newcomers on the Cadogan Cafe shortlist

Architecture 00:/, Carmody Groarke, NEX, Duggan Morris Architects, TaylorSnell, and Pernilla Ohrestedt have been named on the shortlist to design a £2 million café off the King’s Road in London

Organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants on behalf of Cadogan Estates, the two-stage competition to design a replacement for Gelateria Valerie in Duke of York Square received nearly 150 expressions of interests.

The scheme will sit next to the main thoroughfare to the Saatchi Gallery and within the larger Duke of York development, masterplanned and designed by Paul Davis + Partners.

Fingers crossed for 00:/, the competition winner is announced in December 2012...

-DS

Open Institute to be featured at City Hall by Nick Ierodiaconou

00 have been commissioned to exhibit an interactive display of their plans for the Open Institute to a global audience at London House (formerly known as City Hall) during the Olympics and Paralympics. The Open Institute will be a new civic accelerator institution for London, and the UK as whole; its aim is to do for technology, invention and creative entrepreneurialism what the Tate & Barbican have done for the Arts.

In recent years, 00s former home at Old Street has witnessed the explosive emergence of a cluster of technology and web startups. So much so that it has been dubbed ‘Silicon Roundabout’. Yet the roundabout itself, from which the area has taken its name, remains a conspicuous gap. The Open Institute will transform the roundabout into a civic institution; an extraordinary public space, a peer-to-peer university, a platform for investors and startups, and somewhere to go if you want to learn to code, to invest in the next big innovation, host events, or to turn your invention into a profitable business.

If you’re interested in shaping, supporting or being part of the project, do get in touch with us.

The Compendium for the Civic Economy: a quick genealogy… by Nick Ierodiaconou

So the Compendium for the Civic Economy is now at the printers and will be launched on Thursday with NESTA and Cabe – for visual evidence of the printing process, see pictures below (taken last week). We’re in countdown mode, but thought it’d be good to tell a bit about the genealogy of this book. We started talking about this idea here in the office in late 2009 / early 2010. On the one hand we realised that projects we had been involved with over the past few years, like Demos’ Urban Beach in Bristol and the Hub, all suggested a way of practicing spatial interventions which did not fit comfortably with the dominant urban policy narrative of the time – but which opened up powerful possibilities, experiences and conversations. On the other hand we recognised the deep crisis of purpose in the world of regeneration and place-making – a crisis that had become glaringly obvious in the wake of the financial crash, but that of course had been latent for a while, the inevitable result of the woefully thin value often created in the real-estate driven ‘regeneration’ projects of the past decade.

So we wanted to make manifest a wider range of initiatives, projects and ventures that collectively showed a glimpse of the way forward.

This was all about operating under a different set of parameters. After the crash, the absence of ‘big public’ or ‘big private’ funding made ‘more of the same’ classic physical infrastructure-driven projects not just pointless but actually pretty much impossible to achieve. So what were instead the projects that were relevant, viable, purposeful to pursue? We had organised an early series of debates about this together with the Architecture Foundation, and it also became the question that led to our book project and its 25 detailed case studies. The case studies range from citizen-built edible public spaces andmember-led supermarkets to new communities of practice for social entrepreneurs, and from locally funded superfast broadband and self-commissioned housing to peer-to-peer ride sharing websites. What the book shows is how these are based on the initiatives of an increasingly wide range of civic-minded pioneers in the private, public and social enterprise sector, and that crucially they are built on local strengths – whether existing or latent social networks, people’s skills and aspirations, or dormant physical assets.

In the office, we sometimes spoke about this project as a ‘critical coffee-table’ publication – because we realised it needed to be both highly illustrated and analytical. After all, we wanted to show, on the one hand, the tangible quality of the projects that we had researched, and on the other hand reflect on what is required to create the fertile ground for this economy to flourish and grow. Therefore we aimed our book to help build an evidence base of existing projects, and to give pointers to the kind of policies, attitudes, prototyping projects and conversations that local leaders (whether in Local Authorities or otherwise) now need to engage with if they are genuinely going to unleash trajectories to build new shared wealth.

The result? It’s in print, see below, and to be launched on Thursday. And more importantly, it is part of an ongoing conversation – we build on the research and / or practice of a wide range of people like Robin Murray, Tessy Britton, Umair Haque and organisations like Space Makers or those collected in the Spatial Agency project – to name just a few. Our book is part of a discourse that itself is flourishing and becoming ever more powerful – in sum: to be continued…

JB

Compendium for the Civic Economy: Official Launch 12 May 2011 by Nick Ierodiaconou

Finally, after more than a year of blood, sweat and tears (and just a pinch of hard work), 00 will be launching its newest publication; Compendium for the Civic Economy – a book that showcases 100 existing civic initiatives that are transforming local economies and places in the UK and abroad. The official launch is scheduled for 12 May 2011 at 8.45-10.30 AM and will be hosted by NESTA at 1 Plough Place, EC4A 1DE, London.

Speakers include Pam Warhurst (Incredible Edible Todmorden), Sam Coniff (Livity) and our own Indy Johar.

To register for the FREE event, please visit:http://compendiumcivic.eventbrite.com/

From 12 May, the book will be freely available online atwww.civiceconomy.net – please check the website and/or our twitter profile @civic_economy for updates.

TA

Launch of London Hackspace in Hoxton by Nick Ierodiaconou

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 dorkbotevents.

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

NESTA Local Knowledge : A case study on innovative places by Nick Ierodiaconou

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

Rethinking Community | Do Dream Pledge by Nick Ierodiaconou

  [iframe width="360" height="270" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/11308306"]

A draft of our current thinking on neighbourhood development powered by the community told through animation here. How might our neighbourhoods be if the ideas and resources were crowd sourced from by the community "do"-ing instead of an outside developer imposing a way of living and doing in cookie cutter fashion? How might a people be inspired to "dream" if the amazing stories within their communities were made known to them - to understand that it is ordinary people that can make change happen? In a time of low resources, how could a community come together and "pledge" to regenerate itself  through the power of the masses? We think this is a future worth shaping - one in which dreams of the community drive a sense of place from the ground up to rebuild our neighbourhoods in a way that empowers people and enables the community to be active citizens.

AF

PS. We're trying this medium out following the success of our animation at the World Architecture Forum last year. Expect to see a few more 00:/ productions. In the meantime, hope you enjoy this...

00 Changing Practice_ RIBA Research Symposium 2009 by Nick Ierodiaconou

Last Thursday Indy spoke at the RIBA Research Symposium 2009 Changing Practice, along with an interdisciplinary mix of practitioners, theoreticians and researchers including Anne Lacaton, Keith Bradley, Stephen Hill, Liza Fior and Jonathan Charley. The symposium aimed to provide a context to present the challenges and opportunities to architectural practice - to look at and question the ways in which we operate. Amongst the talks there were some inspiring examples of how architects have strategically challenged the status quo, along with passionate rallying calls for us all to take responsibility for changing the profession. It will be well worth downloading the papers from the RIBA Research website when they become available.

Welcome to the age of Civic Capitalism [The new Darlings] by Nick Ierodiaconou

The following article in the FT gives hope - and finally direction - that a new form of capitalism can be born - that works with the principles of everyday democracy - rather than over empowering the "levering few" to create a pusedo autocracy [where leadership defeats accountability] Don't get me wrong the current mutual model has its problems - one of the most significant is the ability to socially innovate as the need for accountability often defeats leadership/entrepreneurship.  This to me presents the interesting organisation challenge - in the mutual model - a need to combine everyday legitimacy [in scale] with leadership to deliver the sustainable innovation.

Article attached.

Darling to give backing to mutual model

By George Parker and Jim Pickard

Published: March 20 2009 20:03 | Last updated: March 20 2009 20:03

Alistair Darling will next month signal strong support for mutual savings banks and building societies when he sets out a white paper on strengthening Britain’s financial system.

The chancellor has spoken warmly about the mutual model, embodied in institutions such as Nationwide, which tend to run a less risky business model, based on savings and lending. The Treasury is assessing potential legal or regulatory changes to help mutuals ahead of the white paper.

“That would include mutuals and credit unions. Having institutions which fund themselves using different models is good from the point of view of financial stability.”

Although Mr Darling accepts that some mutuals can be run just as badly as banks such as Northern Rock, he believes they are less likely to use “extreme” funding models or to depend so heavily on wholesale money markets. Building societies have only 20 per cent of the mortgage market, down from 59 per cent before the wave of demutualisations sparked by the Building Societies Act of 1986.

Since then, the number of mutuals has fallen from 110 to 55 – a fraction of the 1,700 that existed in 1900.

Occasionally there have been conversions in the other direction, such as four years ago when Bristol & West was bought from Bank of Ireland by Britannia. Mr Darling is under pressure from within the Labour party to revive the sector. Michael Stephenson, general secretary of the Co-operative party – which numbers 29 Labour MPs among its members – said there was a “unique” opportunity to remutualise parts of the banking industry.

He said the mutual model was the obvious way forward for Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley. The two institutions could be consolidated into a single new building society which would be owned by its members, he said. Alternatively existing mutuals could be given the right of first refusal when the pair were sold.

This idea has won the backing of the influential Compass group of left-leaning MPs, which wants to go further and mutualise other high street banks.

In theory the process would be easy, given that a new building society needs only £1m of funds and at least 10 members. But there could be a large cost – to either the government or members – in setting up a new entity, especially if it has large debts.

Treasury officials have signalled that Mr Darling would prefer to sell Northern Rock back into the private sector at some point for a profit.

Supporters of the mutual model admit that it is not perfect. Four of the weaker brands have been bought by stronger rivals in the past year to prevent their collapse. It has emerged that Dunfermline, Scotland’s biggest building society, is in effect up for sale after becoming loss-making.

But a spokeswoman for the Building Societies Association said that the time was ripe for an expansion of the sector, given that its model tended to lead to cheaper borrowing rates. “Customers are fed up with the plc banking model, this is a good time for alternative models.”

the software of...sharing software by Nick Ierodiaconou

For some time now I have been thinking about the issue of new social techs that allow us to share everyday resources more efficiently - Streetcar being an excellent example: using existing technologies it allows users to approach the logic of Just-In-Time delivery for such a basic parameter of life as private transport, underpinning a much more efficient use of a resource that for most people sits dormant most of the time: the car. In industry, dormant capital goods represent waste. The same logic applies for many resources, be they consumer goods or business resources, which are merely means to an end - in this case mobility. There are so many examples across many sectors, from books (an obvious one) and gardening / DIY tools (or toys) to office desk space and underprogrammed community halls. If we succeed to intensify their use, we achieve higher living standards whilst minimising waste and therefore, environmental impact. This requires social innovation - the use of social techs to make this possible. The roll-out of public libraries (or public baths, for that matter) in the 19th Century is a good example - a social innovation (clearly not a technical one) which built new institutions in working-class neighbourhoods to improve quality of life. They answered a need in their time by taking an existing concept and creating an organisational and physical infrastructure to create intensified use, enriching the public realm.

I thought that, like Streetcar, the urban bicycle renting schemes of Paris and Barcelona were an excellent example - a new sharing software that combines available technologies to answer a contemporary need, enriching the public realm and laying the basis for a new sharing ethic in our cities, which itself could nurture social capital and underpin a new development cycle in our social-economy, creating new civic institutions ...

Yes. But. See last months report on Paris here

They get nicked. Or trashed. Or dumped. Or 'exported'. The Curse of the Free Rider is everywhere. A New Commons depleted.

So, we have created the institution and the social tech but not found ways to validate and reinforce the collective behaviour norms required to sustain it. The very software of this sharing software failed - (it's like pissing in the pool, really).

So now what?

JB