I'm a futurologist analysing how major social, economic and technological trends will shape tomorrow's business landscape, as well as a seasoned design and architecture critic with bylines for multiple international magazines such as Disegno, Art Review, Space, form, MARK, Grafik, Icon, Campaign and Eye.
- Team Photo - GrafikAs a genre, industrial photography’s evolution has wavered alongside cycles of growth and collapse, as well as the shifting make up of modern economies; it is not a field with much room for ambiguity, the photographer often having to define their position from the outset, due to issues of access and intent. During the mid-20th Century productive boom many of the great practitioners of industrial photography were employed by the companies that they were cataloguing, and so, their relative aesthet
- Belval’s post-industrial identity crisis – ICONWith a population of just 31,000, Esch-sur-Alzette is still the second biggest city in the diminutive country of Luxembourg. From September 2015, however, the area will see a relative population explosion, as the €800 million government redevelopment of the adjacent Belval industrial complex into a research, business and culture hub reaches a major milestone. Esch originally achieved its status as second city because it marks the point where one of Western Europe’s richest iron ore deposits shades across the border from France. Though the vast majority of this resource is located in foreign territory – mostly south in Lorraine or east in Germany – when it meets the low hills surrounding Esch, the mineral rises especially close to the surface, staining the soil ochre and making the extraction of the ore simpler. A few key elements of the infrastructure have been retained on site Iron and steel-making has been big business in the south of Luxembourg since the middle of the 19th century. Production mushroomed with the creation of the Arbed conglomerate in 1911, combining the resources of three of the most significant local manufacturers, including the basis of the site at Belval. After the fluctuations in output caused by two world wars, the stability of the period between 1945 and 1975 saw annual national steel production surge from less than one million to more than six million tons, with Arbed the core contributor. However the oil crisis of the mid-1970s, combined with global overproduction of steel, largely derailed the industry; national steel manufacturers, by far the country’s biggest employer, were forced to shed thousands of jobs, devastating communities that relied on facilities such as Belval for work. (FOR COMPLETE ARTICLE FOLLOW LINK)
- A New Economy of Form - Form (DE)A Grand Confort LC2 Club Chair lies dismembered, piled in unfamiliar subdivisions, each precise cut revealing a cross-section of constituent materials. To the right a Barcelona Chair and a No. 670 Lounge Chair have been similarly deconstructed. Iconoclasm isn’t an activity easily associated with contemporary design, more often the preserve of the fully capitalised Arts. Fitting then that this display aimed to support the Equal Rights for Design campaign to alter British copyright law so that ‘designs which are also artistic works’ but are made by industrial process should be granted the same 70-year (after the ‘author’s’ death) protection afforded to works of literature, music and fine art.
- A Dangerous Breed - Form (DE)One thing highlighted by Hurricane Sandy was just how intractable the issue of climate change has become, conspicuously absent from the schedule during the Presidential race in the world’s largest economy. Who’s to be blamed if it’s not a key voter issue, the political class or the voters themselves? Is sustainability a luxury of the bull market? The Green movement has always been hampered by the inability (or unwillingness) of the consumer to make a solid connection between their actions and the negative externalities that they engender. But, we must ask, what extremes will be reached before the appropriate consumer consciousness becomes manifest? David Orr, the noted Professor of Environmental studies, makes a crucial distinction between two types of sustainability: technological – a top down approach that uses science and technology to make use of resources more efficiently; and ecological – the development of an informed and responsible citizenry attuned to their specific environment. While the former has undoubted benefits, design disciplines have often placed too much emphasis on innovation in production methods and material science, coupled with recycling’s false economy, while creating essentially the same products. What we are still lacking is enough ecologically sustainable design, that which changes consumer habits. (FOR COMPLETE ARTICLE FOLLOW LINK)
- LDF Preview - Eye MagazineMissing things is an unavoidable part of the London Design Festival (LDF) experience, no matter where your allegiance lies, writes Peter Maxwell. The festival takes place across several locations, appearing and disappearing in sporadic pockets of the city. For the millions of Londoners that haven’t received the memo, LDF can easily pass them by (a fact unthinkable, say, during Milan Design Week, where the city is subsumed by the fair and every taxi, hotel and dining table is thronged by its fly-by-night audience). This has its advantages but it also means that visitors have to be judicious in choosing which borough to make their festival base. One thing that LDF sorely lacks is a core to anchor all its satellite spaces. It’s a flaw that can leave you feeling like you haven’t really visited the festival, despite having attended dozens of openings.
- Dreamland, Margate: “We didn’t think a heritage theme park would work long term” – ICONTwenty, even ten years ago, you’d associate Margate most with coastal siblings like Bognor Regis, or that matriarch of British seaside resort towns, Blackpool. The most even-handed assessment would be to describe these destinations as revelling in a certain tackiness, a good-natured pastiche of the era that pre-dated the package holiday but whose brave face was now starting to slip. But it would only have been possible to talk about Margate in those terms ten years ago if you hadn’t actually visited. By then the mask had truly fallen, the town beset by unemployment and low investment, with its main lure, the Dreamland theme park finally mothballed in 2003. This traditional fairground, opened in 1920, was the epicentre of the community; when its feature attraction, a historic wooden rollercoaster (the oldest in Britain), was partially destroyed by an arson attack in 2008, there was a sense of grief. The start of Margate’s renaissance was signalled in 2011 with the opening of the David Chipperfield-designed Turner Contemporary. Even before this, there had been a notable bloom of independent shops, artists’ studios and boutique hotels. This was a different scene to that which the pre-existing community were accustomed to attracting and now the town had unexpectedly begun to feel closer to a different type of British seaside retreat: to the Whitstables, Aldboroughs and Southwolds, with their arts and music festivals. Then came the news that Dreamland, bought by the council in 2005 to save it from the developers, was to be restored. But how would the park respond to its changing surroundings? The task of guiding that transformation was left to designer Wayne Hemingway, formerly of fashion label Red or Dead and now head of Hemingway Design, a multidisciplinary practice that covers everything from marketing to housing schemes. For Hemingway the process centred on identifying the park’s potential audience, a group he unashamedly describes as “hipster”. (FOR COMPLETE ARTICLE FOLLOW LINK)
+ View all
Projects credited in
- Material Far Futures‘From fabrics that generate power through motion, to food packaging that understands its contents, the materials of tomorrow will be smarter, stronger, more dynamic and most importantly, less ecologically damaging.’ Working alongside writer Peter Maxwell, I led the strategic research of this Material Far Futures report. The study outlines how the field of material science is bursting with potential for brands ready to harness its innovations, and respond to consumer demand by stepping up as env
Senior JournalistThe Future Laboratory
London, United KingdomFull Time
Working as a senior journalist for the Future Laboratory’s forecasting hub, LS:N Global, my role is to research major trends across a range of industries and deliver this information via a variety of channels, from written articles to films, public presentations and events. My current areas of research include mapping how brands can integrate into game-space, the impact of artificial intelligence on the home and workplace, the decentralisation of the sharing economy and how concepts of luxury evolve in a digital context.
Assistant EditorDirty Furniture
London, United KingdomFull Time
Dirty Furniture is a new independent design magazine that uncovers the relationship between people and the things they live with. Conceived as a finite printed series of six and showcasing design’s best writers and emerging talents, each issue takes a piece of furniture as its theme and uses it as a springboard to explore topics spanning politics, design, history, technology, psychology, manufacturing and art. Distributed internationally.
+ Show more
- Critical Analysis
- Writing Communication
- Idea Concept Development