Economy

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

In Store for Sidcup by Nick Ierodiaconou

In the last 15 years high streets have been in steep decline, with customers choosing more convenient shopping alternatives online and in out of town shopping centres.

In response to this London Borough of Bexley has secured funding to help the Sidcup community explore new opportunities to kick start the high street and help it become the centre of the community again.

Between July and October the In Store For Sidcup team will be entering into their test phase for their new shared retail incubator space and as such part of their HQ will be transformed into a Box Shop (co-designed by Architecture 00 and featuring fittings by OpenDesk), a retail incubator to grow new shops for Sidcup, providing business entrepreneurs with a low risk opportunity to have a presence on the high street.

Box Shop is a single shop that has lots of different sized and shaped boxes inside - some of them larger, similar to market stalls. Each box, or stall, is available to rent to an entrepreneur who would like to sell their goods on the high street. A group of box retailers work collaboratively to man the shop, host events and activities and raise awareness of the shop and the goods.

This means that people who are interested to start a retail business are able to get going much sooner and with less risk that taking on a whole shop by themselves, with support from trading alongside other box retailers. Shoppers on Sidcup high street will have access to a wider range of goods, plus the sorts of social activities and workshops that many people have said they would like to see more of.

You can join in the conversation, share your views and keep up to date with progress by liking the In Store For Sidcup facebook page, and following @instore4sidcup.

- 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

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

00 at TED2013 by Nick Ierodiaconou

00 are delighted to have Alastair Parvin speaking at the TED2013: The Young, The Wise,The Undiscovered.

Alastair will be at the "Disrupt" session on Wed Feb 27, 8:30 – 10:15 (PST) speaking about Wikihouse.

For those who are lucky enough to be in sunny Long Beach, California or have access to a live TED stream, please tune in! Otherwise, we will be posting footage from the event as soon as possible afterwards.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far to Wikihouse,

Follow Wikihouse at @wikihouse Or watch the latest video about the project here.

- DS

Trading Spaces: Radical New Collaborations for Local Economies by Nick Ierodiaconou

00's been collaborating on a number of projects with Social Spaces - The Library Lab, Trade School, The Common Room, and most recently, In Store for Sidcup.

Tessy Britton from Social Spaces reflects on these collaborations of mixing commercial high street retail and social outcomes, and how they can create radical new local economies...

From the Social Spaces blog:

We’ve been working on the Trading Spaces concept for about a year. It's exciting to be sharing a year's worth of thinking about innovative ways of increasing collaborative activity on high streets that doesn't rely on local residents to be simply consumers --> but partners, makers and social investors as well.

It's an integration strategy that challenges the idea that commercial local retail businesses and social projects should continue to seek sustainability separately, but instead aims to find points of mutual benefit, engineering a creative form of ‘radical collaboration’.

From this perspective both business and innovative social projects view each other as mutually dependent rather than mutually exclusive or competitive. The primary proposition to businesses is that by giving priority to increasing the social aspects of their business, they will be transforming their relationships with customers and developing a genuine partnership for sustaining the economic and social infrastructue of their local community...

Read the rest here.

-DS

House or Home? by Nick Ierodiaconou

A piece on A Right to Build was published in the February 2013 edition of the RIBA Journal.

The UK has a housing crisis. It is not just a short-term supply shortage in the aftermath of the recession, it is also a deep, long-term crisis of poor quality, un-affordability, un-sociability and un-sustainability. How was it that even at the peak of its boom-time prosperity, Britain was building the second smallest homes in Europe? Why is it that only one in four households would even consider buying a new-build home, and that fewer and fewer of us can afford to anyway?

Read the full piece here.

- DS

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.

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

Scarce Times: Alternative Futures by Nick Ierodiaconou

00 with Alma-Nac and artist/designer (& local resident) Diana Matoso have been selected as one of four teams in the Architecture Foundation & Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment (SCIBE) Scarce Times: Alternative Futures competition. Our joint submission - a community-led vision for the Bromley-by-Bow area - looks to uncover and bring together existing initiatives with latent resources - to build a truly do-it-yourself template for regeneration. The team will be working up this approach together with local residents and artist/makers over the coming months.

Press Release:

The Architecture Foundation are pleased to announce the winning teams of our collaborative Scarce Times: Alternative futures competition.  The selected groups are:

COMMUNITY COLLABOR-8 (Naznin Chowdhury, Carlos Manns and Nick Wolff)

BOW-NANZA (Dominic McKenzie and Peter Morris, Signs of Life [Bromley-by-Bow Centre], Spacehive and 815 Agency)

00 ALMA-NAC (Joni Stenier, Olivia Tusinski, Chris Bryant with Diana Matoso)

A BOOM COLLABORATION (Mike Whitehurst, James Warne, Blanche Cameron, Gary Grant, Karen Ihlau, Evan Lizon and Mat Proctor)

The Architecture Foundation and Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment (SCIBE) at the University of Westminster sought to collaborate with four groups to work on a project with the community in Bromley-by-Bow, London. Rather than run a traditional selection competition we held two events at which teams presented themselves and their approach to the briefing document. Twenty-four teams presented at Event 1 (2 July 2012) and 14 of them continued on to Event 2 (23 July 2012).

From the presenting teams, the audience and the Jury – consisting of Nicola Bacon (Young Foundation/Social Life), Sarah Ichioka (Architecture Foundation), Moira Lascelles (Architecture Foundation), Flora Bowden (SEED Foundation), Deljana Iossifova (University of Westminster) and Jeremy Till (University of Westminster, Chair) – selected four groups with which the SCIBE team will collaborate over the next months to implement their projects. In addition, the jury decided to invite Alison Killing and Lutfa Begum + Sonia and Rania Khan to collaborate with one of the selected teams. Each team will be awarded £4,000 to begin implementing their respective projects over the following months.

Read more about Scare Times: Alternative Futures here.

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.

Lights, camera... The Library Lab in action by Nick Ierodiaconou

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/44650366[/vimeo]  

The Library Lab has been up and running for five months now, and 00:/ are delighted to announce the project's extension till September 2012 at the Willesden Green Library Centre.

This short documentary on The Library Lab was made in partnership with CODOC, an award-winning documentary company dedicated to creating spaces for critical thought through media. CODOC are also based out of the co-working space at The Library Lab.

To find out more about The Library Lab, visit http://www.thelibrarylab.com

 

-DS

No big deal... just the Prime Minister! by Nick Ierodiaconou

No big deal... it's just the Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron announcing his new bill on co-operatives at 00:/'s social co-working space, Hub Westminster.

Last week, Prime Minister David Cameron outlined his ideas about "moral capitalism" in a speech on the economy. He touched on greater transparency in pay and bonuses and suggested measures to make it easier for businesses to become co-operatives. The speech came as the City of London Corporation won its High Court bid to evict anti-capitalist protesters from outside St Paul's Cathedral.

See a video of the speech recorded by The Guardian, here.

An official transcript of the PM"s speech on "Start up Britain" from Number 10,here.

And, coverage of the PM's speech on "Moral Capitalism" from the Huffington post, here.

-DS

We Made That by Nick Ierodiaconou

We're very pleased to be featured in We Made That's latest publication, "The Unlimited Edition, Issue 3: Proposition". Joost Beunderman from 00:/ speaks on "Fertile Ground for a Civic Economy"...

"It seems so long ago now; that famous dictum of Rahm Emanuel, the then-chief-of-staff of then-recently-elected president Obama, that one should "never let a serious crisis go to waste". Almost three years later, some would say that across the world, many opportunities have been wasted.

...We recognised that this new type of social and civic impact ventures can be found across the economy - and that understanding the behaviours of their protagonists can help us create the fertile ground for a wholly different type of economic development story."

The Unlimited Edition is a super-local newspaper focused purely on this strand of London. The intention is to record and explore the familiar, and to celebrate and speculate on the possibilities that lie in its future.

As part of the 'High Street 2012' initiative, We Made That were commissioned to produce a series of speculative newspapers. This unique run has been published over the late summer months of 2011.

- DS

00 commended by 2011 RIBA President's Awards for Research by Nick Ierodiaconou

00 was commended by 2011 RIBA President's Awards for Research for their project Compendium for the Civic Economy. The judges said:

'A topical source of inspiration and information for organisations and individuals embarking on collaborative community regeneration and place-shaping projects, this work is highly original and may be the first book of this kind written by an architectural practice.'

Congratulations to the 00 team that spearheaded this project: Timothy Ahrensbach, Joost Beunderman, Alice Fung, Joni Steiner & Indy Johar!

Read the full text for the Compendium for the Civic Economy here.

DS

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