Technology

Introducing @thruflo (a.k.a James Arthur) by Nick Ierodiaconou

00 have the pleasure of announcing an addition to the team - Thruflo, a.k.a. James Arthur will be joining us as our new lead developer. James is a self-described geek generalist, developer, and entrepreneur. More about James, from the man himself, below...

So what’s interesting about me joining 00? Well, what’s interesting is not me. It’s 00 and, more particularly, what 00 can do with a geek on board.

@thruflo's GitHub profile

In this day and age, a young man can’t escape his sins.

The best description of 00 I’ve heard comes from Scott Cain at the Long Run Venture. In the kick off meeting for the Hub Launchpad project, his description was “Rogue Architects”. 00 started designing buildings and now they build, what?

Alice Fung

Alice Fung: when architects go rogue.

Platforms is the short answer. There’s so shortage of craft skills or content. You just have to look at people like Joni and Lynton — world class designers and photographers on the side — or at projects like SOAR and WikiHouse to see that. However, what sets 00 apart is a long term strategic approach to building social infrastructure.

OpenDesk designs

OpenDesk: Joni’s sideline as a product designer.

 As an aside, this is my favourite take on the 00 name. It’s not that the house always wins, or the umpteen other interpretations, it’s a reflection that, at the heart of the practice, there is no IP. Ownership has been dissolved in order to build assets that everybody benefits from because nobody owns.

Skipping back to the last time I was gainfully employed, at Large Blue, I designed and developed websites, web architecture and campaigns — doing my best to understand and communicate how to use the web effectively. The first advice I would give was pretty self evident: to design for the medium.

Large Blue website

OpenIDEO: one of the platforms we built at Large Blue.

If you look at projects like the Open Institute, the OSLO movement, WikiHouse, etc, these are about building movements around open ways of designing, organising and doing business. And, as anyone who’s ever watched Seth Godin knows, building movements is what the web is best at.

FabHub

FabHub — one of the platforms I’m building with 00.

 So, whilst I’m working hard, with Nick, Ian and others, on specific web platforms like OpenDesk and FabHub, what I really hope that, with the weird way my head is wired, I can help these rogue architects harness the web just a little bit more.

Launch of 'The Future Is Here' by Nick Ierodiaconou

More photos from the launch of 'The Future Is Here' at the Design Museum - congratulations to the team at Wikihouse and Opendesk for all of their hard work!

The Wikihouse and Opendesk set up, ft. Wikihouse version 3 and the OpenDesk Cafe tables, Edie tables, and Edie stools. All designs can be downloaded for free and printed on CNC machines.

View of the exhibition as it fills up

A range of 3D printed items on display

A big crowd pleaser, a pair of Kuka industrial robots forever building and unbuilding a set of panels.

... And last but not least, a team photo of Wikihouse and OpenDesk! From left to right we have Ian Bennick, Lynton Pepper, Joni Steiner, Nick Ierodiaconou, Sarah Gold, Alastair Parvin, Alice Fung and James Arthur. Many thanks to all of those who have also contributed so far and are not pictured.

Photos from the event taken by Joni Steiner, Debbie So, and The Institution of Education & Technology.

Read more about the launch here.

-DS

Design Museum: The Future Is Here by Nick Ierodiaconou

00 will be participating in the Design Museum's exhibit, THE FUTURE IS HERE: A NEW INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, open from 24 July - 29 October. 00 will be exhibiting pieces by OpenDesk, a platform for open source furniture — designs available to print yourself or have it made for you, and Wikihouse, an open source construction set whose aim is to allow anyone to design, download and ‘print’ CNC-milled plywood houses and components.

More about THE FUTURE IS HERE:

We are in the midst of a transformation in the way we design, make and use the objects that we depend on. It is a transformation that will affect commerce, industry, and the way that we all live as profoundly as any previous Industrial Revolution.

Want to know your additive manufacturing from your 3d printing, and find out how the 'new industrial revolution' will impact your life? Or just want to understand more about how the things around you are made? Then visit The Future is Here.

The exhibition explores how the boundaries between designer, manufacturer and consumer are becoming increasingly blurred. Significant changes in the way objects are made, the materials they are made of and the type of objects that people use have the potential to affect commerce, industry and the environment as profoundly as any past Industrial Revolution. See some of these manufacturing techniques demonstrated in The Future is Here Factory and find out how they will change the designed world around you.

#FUTUREISHERE

Book your ticket in advance via the Design Museum Shop

- DS

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

TEDTalk: Architecture for the people, by the people by Nick Ierodiaconou

Full video available now - watch here!

Designer Alastair Parvin presents a simple but provocative idea: what if, instead of architects creating buildings for those who can afford to commission them, regular citizens could design and build their own houses? The concept is at the heart of WikiHouse, an open source construction kit that means just about anyone can build a house, anywhere.

"As a society we’ve never needed design thinking more,” says Alastair Parvin, but most people -- particularly those in cities of growing density and poverty -- can’t afford it. Parvin, who was trained in architecture but chooses to make a career looking for ideas beyond its conventional framework, wants to change that.

He is one of a team behind WikiHouse, an open-source construction set that allows anyone to freely share model files for structures, which can then be downloaded, "printed" via CNC cutting machine and easily assembled. Parvin calls WikiHouse a very early experiment, the seed of what he sees as design’s great project in the 21st century: the democratization of production.

Text from TED.com, read and watch more here.

Follow Wikihouse at @wikihouse or www.wikihouse.cc/

- DS

Innovate UK by Nick Ierodiaconou

00:/ is today exhibiting at the new, multi-sector, networking event ‘Innovate UK’ – a joint venture from the Technology Strategy Board and UK Trade & Investment. Uniting the highly successful Innovate and TechWorld events, Innovate UK - which takes place 11-13 March, 2013, at the Business Design Centre in London - will provide opportunities for companies looking to accelerate their growth through innovation, international trade and investment.

00:/ will share their latest thinking with an estimated 4,000 UK and international visitors, as part of a showcase of the most innovative work happening in the UK today. The event aims to drive economic growth by stimulating business-led innovation and opening up international trade opportunities.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board said: “All our exhibitors are specially selected by the Technology Strategy Board and UKTI to feature at the exhibition and are ones that can demonstrate truly innovative products, services or technologies that have been developed here in the UK. We’re very pleased 00:/ is taking part in the event and believe it is a great representation of the UK’s strength in innovative business.”

Nick Baird, Chief Executive of UK Trade & Investment said: "Over the last two years, businesses that attended Innovate and TechWorld collectively generated over £70m worth of UK trade; 65% of them identified new business opportunities and 77% said they learned something that would help them to innovate. By bringing the events together we hope to deliver even more success for UK businesses whether by helping them grow through innovation, international trade and investment or collaborative opportunities.”

For more information, visit www.innovateuk2013.co.uk

Follow on Twitter @InnovateUK

-DSX

Smart Cities, Smart Citizens, and Smart “Professionals” too? by Nick Ierodiaconou

On Friday, February 22, 2013, David Saxby, director of 00, participated in the "Smart Cities" debate organised by EDGE.

On Friday, I participated in one of the most engaging debates that I have witnessed so far on the theme of  “Smart Cities”. Organised by EDGE, and supported by the Italian  & Danish Embassies in London, and hosted by Buro Happold, the assembled group of circa 80 people managed to quickly move the debate beyond techno-utopias/dystopias of Big Brother type surveillance under-pinned by ubiquitous sensors and data. Yes, such an Orwellian possibility exists, but allowing the definition of Smart to be hi-jacked by corporate interests looking to monetise this domain, would be to capitulate at the first obstacle.

Re appropriating the much appropriated term, which Wikipedia helpfully defines as unlocking the “social and intellectual capital” of our cities, seems an essential first step in this task. Understanding smart cities as an opportunity for us to radically transform the “intelligence” that we as citizens and society at large can utilize to progress towards the ultimate goals that underpin aspirations such as the ubiquitous sustainability e.g. social justice, human knowledge, biodiversity, resource efficacy, etc.

Sensors, data, computing, are essential underpinnings of this greater “awareness” and create new abilities for micro-coordination in our actions - although I note we already have over 9 billion of the worlds most advanced sensors already distributed across the surface of our planet, and developed speech over 40,000 years ago (I wander whether the first thing uttered was a fear that someone could now report on your behaviour?) . That said, rather than the narrow technological potentials of the Smart City in , it is its ability to change our values and behaviours that seems most profound e.g. if we are can be aware of the provenance of everything we consumer, no longer we will be able to claim ignorance of socially or environmentally unjust acts; will new platforms provide us with new forms of (mediated) trust to share and cooperate in radically new ways.  The potential in this respect seems even more enormous, and relevant to today’s challenges than a fridge that tells me when to buy milk.

However, after a day of genuinely thought provoking  presentations and intense discussion – all anchored to a programmatic reality (there was a high proportion of engineers in the room) , the inevitable question of what shall we do arise. Compared to the genuine energy of early sessions, a relative silence fell over the room; a telling silence.

In the past two decades it seems that intelligent professionals, and I use this term uncritically, have become accustomed to expecting leadership to come from outside; to wait to be asked and to act as consultants to those who initiate or lead. We have become a source of answers, on a pay as you go basis. We have not needed to ask deep questions, make the fundamental propositions, or take the real risk of attempting something radically new.

As Wikipedia helpfully pointed out, Smart Cities are about unlocking our “social and intellectual  capital”. Perhaps that starts by considering how we are selves are doing things.

- DSX

A civic commons for Silicon Roundabout by Nick Ierodiaconou

Architecture 00 are continuing to lead proposals for a new civic institution for London at Old Street Roundabout. In the last few years, the emergence of an extraordinary cluster of young creative and technology startups around the area of East London have lead Old Street Roundabout to be dubbed 'Silicon Roundabout, and been part of the wider support from the government for Tech City across East London. Yet the roundabout itself remains something of a neglected underpass.

Working with local partners,  00 are developing proposals for a new civic space for London; an open 'commons', owned and operated in the community interest. It will be a building providing workshop spaces, exhibition spaces, event hosting, free workspaces, education and innovation accelerators: in short, a low-threshold point of entry for everyone – from the international investor to the London teenager who wants the opportunity to turn their idea into a startup.

The project will also include a significant upgrade to the whole public realm, including proposals to create a pedestrian peninsular, and safer cycle routes across the junction, which has become notorious as a cycling black-spot in the city.

Driven by the impetus of the local community and startups, 00 are working with the Greater London Authority, Transport for London, London Borough of Islington, London Borough of Hackney, the Tech City Investment Organisation to progress the project through technical feasibility stage.

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.

A new home for Mint Digital by Nick Ierodiaconou

00:/ have been working with the lovely folks at Mint Digital to design (and in some cases, help build) them a new home. We took a deliberately light approach to developing their space as a canvas to be both grown into and adapted as their needs, workflow and circumstances change – but rather than elaborating, we’ve got the following words from the Mints themselves:

“After a search that began in April last year, a spat with the Crown over a potential property and a two-month build, this has been a long time coming. But here we are. Last week saw Mint London move into its fancy new digs in Exmouth Market. The new place is more than double the size of our previous office in Vauxhall, giving us much more space. So much so that when all our boxes turned up, they only took up one small corner of the new office.

When we first laid eyes on the vacant lot, we quickly realised it would be silly to attempt this all by ourselves. We reached out to who, by now, I can call our friends and future collaborators, 00:/. The 00s would most likely be insulted if I was to call them architects; architecture just happens to be one of the things they do. They recently released the 'Compendium for the Civic Economy' and are currently working on an iPhone app. They took our ideas for the space, added a few of their own - in retrospect, Nick admits he's glad we didn't go for the 'stairs above desks' - and transformed an empty shell into what Mint now calls home.

There's a lot I could mention about the space but I'd like to draw particular attention to our desks. A bespoke design by 00, they are CNC cut and hand-finished. They feature two different tops, which can be flipped in four different ways, giving an insane 64 permutations per desk. Power and data is delivered to each desk via the ceiling, each made a feature of with LED lit pendants hanging above.

The best part, however, is that our desks are open source. Along with 00, we'll be releasing the CAD files for the desks, meaning anyone can get them CNC cut and made, or, improve on the design and share it back with the community.

We're not quite there yet with the space. In fact, I doubt we'll ever call it 'finished', but already, there seems to be a buzz about the place. Plus, the radically improved lunch options that Exmouth Market has to offer definitely help.

To mark the occasion, we'll be throwing a party mid-June. Look out for invites coming soon. Or, feel free to come round for a coffee sometime if you fancy a look-around. We're at:

Mint Digital Unit 100, Exmouth House 3-11 Pine Street, London EC1R 0JH

Lastly, a string of thanks. None of this would have been possible without Nick and Joni from 00, who did everything from designing the space, haggling prices on our behalf to building desks with us at 1 am, when I think Joni was meant to be on a date with his girlfriend. Thanks also to Indy and Alice at 00, who from our first meeting had me thinking about the project in a completely new light. Thanks also go to Iain, the project manager, who took every crazy idea us and 00 threw at him in his stride and only said no very occasionally, mostly to save us from ourselves. Thanks to Colin at Mint who has been slaving at this since we started looking, to David for letting us spend amounts of money that kept him awake at night, thanks to Andy and Cameron for trusting me and at no point saying 'What the hell are you doing?'. Finally, thanks to the Mints for bearing with 'we'll move in two weeks' for the last two months. I hope the wait has been worth it. “

Our collaboration with Mint looks to be one of ongoing fruitfulness, and 00:/ would like to add some extra special thanks; to Ian for the CNC cutting, to Owen for building up & finishing all the furniture & baffles so beautifully… and of course to the Mints themselves (particularly David, Utku and Colin) for inviting us to collaborate…

(ps: the open source table, the Open Desk, is coming very soon...)

JS

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

00Teambox by Nick Ierodiaconou

We’ve just launched a new 00Teambox 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

 

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

00 Sycamore Table prototype @Techhub by Nick Ierodiaconou

Friday night saw the launch of Techhub on City Road – a new workspace for tech start ups using a similar model to The Hub based on monthly membership subscription that can give you access to different subscription packages varying from drop in hot desking through to permanent desks depending on what you sign up for. Mike Butcher (@mikebutcher) of Tech Crunch and Elizabeth Varley (@evarley) are the people behind the venture having been in and around the tech community for some years, they decided one day that what was really needed was a place that could provide affordable workspace, meeting rooms hire and a space for events where members of the tech community from around the world could come and work together – or at the least work out of their homes for a short while. The evening was launched by Brent Hoberman – founder of lastminute.com followed by a live broadcast on sky news! With sponsors ranging from Pearsons through to Google, TechHub seems set to accelerate the way tech start ups are formed and work.

We at 00 were glad to be part of something so close to our way of thinking – and only down the road from us! So when we were asked to help out on the design, we took it as an opportunity to see what could be done on a shoestring budget to convert a very standard office space with office specification down to the ceiling tiles, into a space that would be more functionally suited to tech types. One of our solutions was the Sycamore Table (#sycamoretable) that we were able to prototype for the launch night. It is inspired by the Petal Table at The Hub (by Katy Marks) and we have learnt from our Hub experience that membership based organisations such as these, need their spaces to work flexibly and smoothly. So – the brief we came up with was that the table would serve the area allocated to hot desking area that could also be transformed into an event/hack space in a minimal number of moves making it easy for 1 member of staff to clear desks away. So the end result is this table you see here prototyped from MDF. The table can be collapsed to 1 leaf and mounted on wheels making it easy to roll to one side. It can seat anywhere from 3-7 persons with a variety of work modes – from ad hoc 5 minute meetings at the end of the table to standing up at the 3rd leaf or working alone but together around a communal table. It is powered by hanging plug in points that jack into the top of the table at a single point with a power points on the underside of the desk avoiding floorboxes and making the table easy to disconnect and store. The shape was defined by social curves that enabled collaborators to sit next to each other and share a screen more comfortably than if they were around an orthogonal rectangular table. The shape was also a counter effect to the office-ness of the space and allow multiple configurations in the space avoiding the repetitiveness of most office desk layouts – when you spend as much time working at a screen as these guys do, monotony is something to be avoided where possible! We will be making the final version with a few adjustments (such as universal adaptors to suit the international crowd of tech start ups as suggested by @edent), but if you’re interested in the real thing then pop down to old street and see how this venture takes off.

AF