Wikihouse at NYC Maker Faire by Nick Ierodiaconou

A couple of weeks ago Nick, Alastair, Sarah and Joni from 00 flew across to Queens in New York to build a WikiHouse for World Maker Faire 2013.  It was a project cut by Shop Bot and sponsored and co-built with SketchUp and friends. With one of the best amateur construction teams we’ve ever worked with, we put 1150 pieces together to construct the chassis of a double house in 16 hours.

See a timelapse of our Wikihouse Maker Faire build here.

There were 175 CNC sheets, which took Shop Bot two weeks to cut. There were some crazy times towards the end of the pre-build when Alastair was altering the SketchUp model in the UK, whilst Nick simultaneously updated files in Greece, whilst Bill in Shop Bot loaded the plywood onto the CNC table.

This project was the biggest WikiHouse we have made so far. It was a great opportunity for us to test our newest WikiHouse system. There was a lot of learning during the build itself, and we have already been making changes to the system to “Design for mistakes. Try to design components which either make it impossible for the assembler to get it wrong or are designed in such a way that it doesn't matter if they do” (WikiHouse’s design principle number 10).

See a timelapse of our Wikihouse Maker Faire build here.

- SG

Alice and her baby bump! by Nick Ierodiaconou

Above: Alice and baby bump Moo.

We are delighted to announce that Alice Fung will be pausing her work at 00 to go on maternity leave early September (delighted about the baby, missing Alice of course). Alice has been working tirelessly on Hub Westminster and Hub Launchpad, with the latter launching in late September across London and Birmingham.

For anyone who is curious, Alice has not had any strange food cravings but she has compared the impact of her pregnancy as similar to "carrying around four laptops all the time".

We will miss you dearly when you're on maternity leave, Alice.


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.


Bow D.I.Y. by Nick Ierodiaconou

Together with Alma-Nac, 00:/ recently hosted a ‘DIY Day’ in Bromley by Bow, supported through the Architecture Foundation & Scarcity and the University of Westminster’s Creativity in the Built Environment (SCIBE) Scarce Times: Alternative Futures initiative.

The event focused on revealing and connecting local assets, skills and resources, using the DIY Day as a tool for testing local appetite for exchange and jumpstarting connections between diverse networks. One of the outcomes is a set of portraits to be publicly exhibited across the area.

Our process and findings will be shared in a joint exhibit with other SCIBE competition winners in January, organised by the University of Westminster.

Read more about Scarce Times: Alternative Futures here.

The HUB's recipe for Collaborative Spaces by Nick Ierodiaconou


As part of the amazing work being done by the Collaborative Space and Design CoP, this video explains the difference between a space with desks and computers and a truly collaborative working environment like the HUB. Here's the visual recipe that we use at the HUB to create a truly collaborative community for Social change.

WikiHouse - The story so far. by Nick Ierodiaconou

Click here to view full size.

With WikiHouse Rio recently being awarded the TED Prize, as part of the City 2.0 project, now seems like a perfect moment to take note of the WikiHouse project so far, where it's come from, and the full scale of the team who have worked on it and supported it.

So in that spirit, we've put together this poster of the WikiHouse Version Map, which shows all of that, and also spells out what we think are the next big goals / milestones in the project. As ever - if you think you can help achieve them, or would like to support the development of the project, please get in touch.

Download the PDF here. The poster is, of course, shared under a Creative Commons license, so you're free to share it / print it / wrap fish & chips in it, with attribution.

Our huge thanks to all those who have brought the project this far.


Trade School London by Nick Ierodiaconou

00's Timothy Ahrensbach was featured in the latest Trade School London publication, demonstrating his brilliant bread baking skills.

Trade School London is a self-organized learning space that runs on barter. Anyone can teach a class, and students can sign up to attend by agreeing to bring barter items that the teacher requests. Trade School London operates in part to Laura Billings, who also works with 00:/ friends Social Spaces.

Read the Community Lover's Guide report on the Hackney Trade School here.


Launch of The Piper Gallery by Nick Ierodiaconou


Designed by 00:/'s Lynton Pepper, The Piper Gallery is a new gallery dedicated to showcasing the work of contemporary artists whose careers have spanned forty years or more. The gallery aims to present these artists to a new generation and to demonstrate both the strength of their lifelong commitment to their practice and the continuing dynamism of their recent production.

The gallery opened its West End premises on Newman Street on 29th June 2012, following complete renovation. The gallery provides approximately 1300 square feet of highly adaptable gallery space, allowing for the presentation of a challenging exhibition programme.

More images of the launch party


, courtesy of Tatler.

New Ways of Working by Nick Ierodiaconou

To date, Library Lab has been running a free crèche for two months in partnership with Work Free / Think Future Ltd. alongside the co-working / events space in the Willesden Green Library Centre.

00:/'s Urban Studies Intern, Justinien Tribillion, has been working hard to compile data on the crèche for a legacy document evaluating the scope of new ways of working in Brent Council, asking "How do we design spaces for home-based and flexible-working parents?".

After two months of prototyping the crèche / co-working space, we're proud to report that the Library Lab has hosted over 60 children and provided over 403 hours of childcare in the space.

One of our key learnings from this experience was how to overcome the challenge of perceived barriers to providing childcare facilities, i.e. legal and health & safety, verses actual barriers, i.e. logistics of procuring CRB qualified and checked workers, fitting out an affordable, safe space or getting parents interested.

We're proud to say the crèche has been operating successfully, thanks to our partnership with Work Free / Think Future Ltd. and we're exciting to continue prototyping new ways of working.


Civic Crowd ft. in TED's City 2.0 Resources by Nick Ierodiaconou

The Civic Crowd, 00:/'s  mapping platform for initiatives and ideas for citizen-powered change, was added to TED's City 2.0 Resources. The Civic Crowd is inspired by the Compendium for the Civic Economy, Hand Made, the Community Lover's Guide to the Universe series, and the Britain's 50 Top New Radicals project by The Observer and NESTA; but the map belongs to everyone.

TED's City 2.0 Resourcesprovides a collection of advocacy organizations, funding sources, media coverage, online tools, and software focused on making cities better, more efficient, and more resilient. The majority are U.S.-based and focused, so we particularly welcome suggestions from other parts of the world. Please email info@thecity2.org.

Add your project to The Civic Crowd here.


A Village Square for the Modern Age by Nick Ierodiaconou

00's Alice, Indy, and Tim were recently featured in this month's Positive News for their piece on the Global Hub Network.

The Westminster team are founding directors Alice Fung, Indy Johar and Tim Ahrensbach, who work together at the collectively owned architecture and design strategy practice 00, known verbally as ‘zero zero’. When they were based at Hub Islington, Matthew Blades of Westminster City Council approached the trio with a proposal that they collaborate to create a Westminster Hub. With the council coming in as a 40% partner, the opportunity arose to scale up the Hub idea. After some time searching for premises, 12,000 sq feet on the first floor of New Zealand House presented the ideal location.

The huge empty space was transformed into what the team calls a super-studio for the new economy. There are assorted desks and tables, a communal kitchen, library, comfy area, cafe lounge, meeting rooms – including an internal greenhouse and a wooden WikiHouse (an open-source-design structure that can be built with minimal skill and training) – and a lecture room which seats over 100. It has hosted David Cameron launching the Co-operatives Bill, Richard Branson launching his autobiography, the New Economics Foundation’s Local Banking Conference and numerous other events including The Changemakers Fayre.

Read the rest of the piece here.

Follow Hub Westminster @hubwestminster


Look-a-like Hub in Ascot by Nick Ierodiaconou

00 were asked by fellow Hub Westminster members and experiential marketing company, BEcause to design their new studio in Ascot. We designed  a space that would provide similar Hub Westminster collaborative working and social mixing strategies to occur, as well as providing a cohesive visual look between their office and the Hub Westminster which they use as their Central London satellite office. It also has a circular ping pong table.

The space is host to several brand new iterations of the Mint Table (Junior Mint) v2.0, and Wikihouse v2.1 which is the first full Wikihouse to not use bolts.

  More photos of the space below...

- LP

Wikihouse Rio receives $10K Prize for TED Cities 2.0 by Nick Ierodiaconou

This year's TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) prize, normally given to an individual, was awarded to an idea dubbed "City 2.0". Ten projects that are improving city life were selected to benefit from the $100,000 USD prize fund.

00 are thrilled to have Wikihouse Rio as part of TED Cities 2.0.

What would it look if cities were built by the 99% for the 99%? That’s the question that drove two London-based designers to create Wikihouse—instructions for modern day “barn raising” built on open source philosophies. Wikihouse will team up with Rio-based organization, Dharma, to see what happens when the favela’s most enterprising youth collectively build community centers and their own bright futures.

Wikihouse Rio is a collaboration between Wikihouse and Dharma, a social innovation agency working in Rio's favela communities. Special thanks to team leaders Alastair Parvin & Nick Ierodiaconou from Architecture 00:/, Jimmy Greer from Brazilintel, and Dharma.

Read more about Wikihouse Rio and TED City 2.0 on the BBC here.

Galvanizing Awards by Nick Ierodiaconou

We're proud to announce that SOAR Works took home the Duplex Award Winner at this year's Galvanzing Awards competition.

Galvanizers Association has been recognising the innovative use of galvanized steel by architects, engineers and constructors for over 17 years with its Galvanizing Awards competition.

SOAR Work's architect Sarah Hollingworth pictured here with the awards, congratulations Sarah!

SOAR Works use of galvanized steel...

SOAR Works is an Enterprise Centre comprising light industrial units, workshops, offices and artists’ studios with an aspiration of tempting local businesses and artists to set up with minimal commitment and expense. On the south façade, security is turned into a virtue with a celebration of perforated steel shutters covering every unit over all three floors. This exoskeletal layer performs a number of functions from protection and sun shading to image creation and communicator, signalling which units are occupied. The simple device of a perpendicular toughened glass panel with dichroic film separates the shutter from the glazing and filters coloured light across the façade and into the units. As this façade is always viewed obliquely, the panels, doubled by their reflections on the glazing, contribute far more colour than their size suggests.

On the opposite side of the building, a delicate series of galvanized and painted angles are used to create a more open façade that acts as the entrance way to the development.

Talking Tottenham by Nick Ierodiaconou

With Social Spaces, 00:/'s Ottilie, Olivia, Sarah and Joost recently designed and hosted a one day event on Tottenham Green. Delivered in partnership with Design for London, the event centred on an exhibition of inspiring projects from across the UK and abroad.

We approached the day as a means of kickstarting conversations with local people around their hopes for future projects and developments in the area and facilitating new connections between individuals in and around Tottenham. Through conversation, idea cards and model making, we uncovered a range of interests in projects such as hands-on workshops and facilities, skill exchanges and growing spaces.

Findings from the day will be informing a planned programme of capital investment in Tottenham Green.

- OT

Glasshouse Community Led Design by Nick Ierodiaconou

Over the last few months, 00:/ have led a series of study tours and enabling sessions for Glasshouse Community Led Design, a charity based out of East London. It links active community groups with design and built environment projects outside their immediate context and range of experience,  broadening their knowledge of design and organisational tactic.

The most recent workshop was led by 00:/'s Sarah Hollingworth and Olivia Tusinski, focused on the a site in Camden where community groups were discussing optimal ways of increasing density of housing and incorporating new developments into an already dense area.


The above photos were taken from a neighbourhood study tour across London (November 2011) and a design enabling workshop in "The Kiln" Gospel Oak (May 2012).

MAKE: Interview with WikiHouse’s Alastair Parvin and Nick Ierodiaconou by Nick Ierodiaconou

00's Alastair Parvin and Nick Ierodiaconou were recently interviewed about Wikihouse in MAKE: Volume 30.

Excerpt below:

L: The building materials are fabricated from locally sourced plywood cut on a CNC mill?

WH: Yes, exactly. Our motto during the whole project has been a fantastic quote by John Maynard Keynes: “It is easier to ship recipes than cakes and biscuits.”That, after all, is the essence of the maker revolution, our ability to share knowledge and software tools globally, which empowers people locally to use materials available. We chose plywood sheets because they are already widely available, as is (more and more) access to CNC cutting machines to cut the parts for the houses.

The WikiHouse plugin, as well as converting 3D models into 2D cutting files, also labels the parts with their component name, so the actually building process is remarkably fast – it’s really like building a very big piece of flat-pack furniture!


L: How many houses have been built using WikiHouse? Where?WH: WikiHouse is still at an experimental stage. Several prototype structures have actually been built, but we are yet to use the system on a finished building. We are currently working on plans to achieve this within the coming year, given some further contributions from the community and the right opportunities to progress to a finished building. There is interest in America, Germany, and New Zealand on this front, and we hope to progress quickly through the next stages of development. If anyone is interested in working with us to achieve this, we’d love for them to get in touch via hello@wikihouse.cc.



Read the rest of the interview here.

Bristol Architecture Centre’s Retrofit City Exhibit by Nick Ierodiaconou

00's Bristol Urban Beach project was recently featured in Bristol Architecture Centre’s Retrofit City exhibit. The exhibition will focus on Bristol’s future as a sustainable city. The annual eight week exhibition held at Bristol’s Architecture Centre, will be supported by a programme of walking tours and talks.

‘Celebrating Bristol’s legacy of creative re-use of buildings and places, this exhibition presents a range of retrofit interventions and innovative visions for the future of Bristol.

The exhibition will span homes, streets, buildings, public spaces, neighbourhoods, infrastructure, and look to the future for the city region to encourage scrutiny, consultation and debate about plans for Bristol.’

See more photos of the launch here.