Aedas Network Campus Berlin

I was invited by Dietmar Leyk to participate in a workshop as part of the ANCB Metropolitan Technologies Programme in Berlin. The attendees were a mix of students from all over the world and experts from the fields of architecture, design, engineering and behaviourial science.

Aedas Network Campus

Sponsored by Busch Jaeger the workshop aimed to “create an opportunity map for the development of energy efficient intelligent building control and to examine its premises and consequences with regard to architecture, urban space and human behaviour”. There was an excellent bunch of people attending and some great presentations. My highlights are below:

Dietmar [leyk wollenberg architects] kicked off the presentation by introducing Villa Girasole “the house with no shadows”. What i loved here was the complexity of a whole house rotating around a central axis so that it tracked the sun but the UI was a single button.

Dietmar Leyk

Bernhardt Dorstel from Busch Jaeger showed how slow resource use can change by looking at the light scape of Los Angeles over a decade from 1908 to 2010 – it is quite phenomenal to see how our consumption of resources has increased. He showed some interesting work they have been doing in the Yas Hotel including collaborations with Bang & Olufson but I was most intrigued by one of his final comments “the user interface is the most important part of room / building energy optimisation”. I don’t think I have heard a controls company say that before.

Bernhardt Dorstel

Reto Wettach, Design Director Interaction Design, at Potsdam gave an excellent talk on strategies for eco-vis. I loved one of his example projects – “the [credit/debit] card scanner increases the resistance of sliding the card through the reader based on the cost of the purchase”. Was curious to hear about the move to more gestural interfaces when the interaction required has a spatial context (e.g. driving in a car) – interesting implications here for “imprecise” interaction with information objects.

Reto Wettach

Dieter Kunz from Sleepmedicine, Inst. of Physiology, Charite in Berlin [ http://www.schlafmedizin-berlin.de/ and http://www.dgsm.de/ ] gave a really interesting talk about the psychobiology of light and darkness. Loads of interesting research results in the past ten years (schools kids being exposed to less than 100 lux for 50% of time in class room) and how lack of sleep is causing illness and disease etc. but the take away was that we need bright and blue light in the mornings and “unblue” light in the evenings (he showed some great graphs showing the brain is more receptive to doing cognitive work in the morning and this tails off through the day – see photo below). His best comment however was “I am not aware of any substance that can help deep sleep better than the correct light through the day”. We intuitively know that natural light is good, so why do we design bad lighting in our schools, offices etc.

Dieter Kunz

Winfried Heusler from Schuco walked us through examples of facades have evolved over the past 30 years and their influence on building performance. I liked his comment on the need to develop the structure of a building based on the context of its location and queried why we forget about the historically different shape of buildings worldwide. He also showed some interesting new product which embeds screens, phase change materials and / or PV into facade panels – they are then using the PV to feed DC grids in the building.

Winfried Heusler

Marcel Bilow from TU Delft extended the double skin facade story and showed some work they have been doing with Solarlux and Imagine Envelope to create a naturally vented office space. They interestingly reverted back to a very manual form of “teaching” the occupants of the building how to use the facade system (they created a poster) and commented that this approach has inherent scaling issues but that the client loved it. Marcel was also a winner on the http://cloudscap.es/ competition being awarded that evening for his entry based on a windmill based solar shading device inspired by his observation that when you look at a rotating desk fan the eye can see through it.

Marcel Bilow

Next up was Jan Christoph Zoels from Experientia talking about enabling sustainable lifestyles by rethinking demand management. He gave an excellent overview of the Low2No project (of which Arup is a partner) and introduced the “c_life” work done to develop scenarios exploring how behaviour change may be realised. I loved the simplicity of the “three core smart metering activities” of check (mine), compare (with others) and act (on something).

Jan Christoph Zoels

Up last was Carlos Alarcon from Sauerbruch Hutton Architects. He spoke about the architecture of the Low2No project and some of the issues surrounding the pervasiveness of new media technology (the trend towards a new soft architecture) and the implications this has on the traditional divide between architecture and technology. Also of interest was the tension between the social vs economic goals of the project: flexible vs marketable, spatially generous vs spatial efficiency, innovation vs standardisation, and most interestingly public facilities vs private facilities.

Carlos Alarcon

I did a presentation on “unfolding resource use” which generated some really interesting discussions with the students in the breakouts – am looking forward to hearing about the outcomes of the workshop! More photos are on Flickr.

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Urban Internet of Things Tokyo

The Urban Internet of Things workshop kicked off in the IBM Japan Hakozaki Headquarters “Solution Centre” with several presentations and demos including Arup’s Engin and Shane and Mayra presenting a well received “TenderVoice / TenderNoise: A two-faceted web-based community journalism and acoustic ecology project“.

IBM think - Tokyo RFID Service Centre

The discussion part of the event took place in the afternoon / evening at Tokyo Hackspace with prompts from several participants including the LIVE Singapore! project which has some interesting data which is going to be made public in the near future.

Tokyo backspace

The conference itself had keynotes by IBM and Cisco (IPSO) which probably reflects the general perception of where IoT work is taking place at the moment. Norishige Morimoto, Director, IBM Research – Tokyo spoke about “Advanced Technology for Smarter Cities” giving some great examples of the work IBM are doing as part of their Smarter Planet work and focused on stressing the collaborative nature of these projects.

Evolution of a Smarter Planet

Patrick Wetterwald, Smart Grid and IoT Product Marketing for CISCO (and IPSO Alliance President / European Community IoT expert group member) gave an excellent presentation exploring the CISCO view of end to end IP connectivity for smart objects and the current transition from “business and consumer” focus of the web to it’s “industrialisation”. He touched on many of the issues that are being addressed by projects such as SENSEI and the work that the IPSO Alliance are doing to communicate the work of the IETF on building the standards that will influence the basis of the future internet.

Industrialisation of IoT

Interesting discussions – what is the infrastructure to support and nurture connectivity? how to connect resources? how to discover resources available? lots of talk about RESTful architectures [several examples presented but this is a good summary] and interesting mentions for Pachube, sensor.network, dyser, MAGIC Broker 2

twitter feed from the event

photos on Flickr

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Internet of Things, police rather than prevent activity?

An interesting “expert meeting” on the Internet of Things last week. We were joined by DG JUST who had prepared a draft paper for comment titled “A comprehensive approach on personal data protection in the European Union”. It is an update to the 1995 Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament) and is reviewing data protection in general but is being influenced by the Internet of Things work in response to a changing world where “new ways of collecting personal data have become increasingly elaborated and less easily detectable”. The review is particularly looking at the following issues:

  • Addressing the impact of new technologies
  • Enhancing the internal market dimension of data protection
  • Addressing globalisation and improving international data transfers
  • Providing a stronger institutional arrangement for the effective enforcement of data protection rules
  • Improving the coherence of the data protection legal framework

The discussion in the morning (and most the break outs) seemed to surface out two different schools of thought. This is best illustrated through one of the discussion points around the theme of “Enhancing control over one’s own data” – also referred to as “silencing the chips” and “right to be forgotten”. The “kiki” types spoke of the difficulties in the practical implementation of such regulations and highlighted how such an approach would constrain innovation. The “bouba” types stressed the need to protect and educate people on the possible abuse they could be subjected to. The answer, as usual, is not at either extreme.

Going into the meeting I was definitely in the “kiki” camp and still think that the genie is out the bottle already on this one, I think it will be near on impossible to implement some of the “silencing of the chips” proposals being made since it would just wipe out the business model for actually implementing these technologies. What I did realise however, was the assumptions I had been making around the safety nets that I believed would be in place to support these technologies. For example, i had assumed a state system would exist that would stop people abusing my data if that happened and I had assumed that there would be “consumer groups” who would “keep an eye on the street” to discourage people from trying to abuse me.

So I departed the day with more questions than when I arrived – I guess a useful day at work. But non the less, many questions still unanswered. I need to figure out a way to take this to the ECTP (European Construction Technology Platform) cohort to get their input but also list some questions below, would love to hear your opinions.

The “silence of the chips”; – at what level do we de-activate personal information? – are there different levels of privacy for different identities / contexts? – why do we want to silence the chips? – what kind of abuse is anticipated?

The “right to be forgotten”; – the logistics of how to delete on demand personal information? – But these devices are very simple low power objects – is it practical to include the kind of data protection management being proposed? Should we focus on dealing with abuse rather than preventative measures? – sometimes when we mine data we only retrospectively realise the value in it – when do we make the value judgement as to if it should be deleted? the current worst cases of abuse are probably imprisonment for your ideas – will the deletion of data really help this? when all the chips and readers are being manufactured outside Europe is this a moot point? Is this kind of policing helpful or based on an outdated process?

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INTA 34 World Urban Development Congress

I presented our work on the Internet of Things at INTA34 yesterday. The theme was “Reinventing the Urban Environment” and discussion ranged from the philosophical to the practical and was interspersed with examples of work in progress (e.g. the nearby Port of Pasaia).

INTA34

I had great feedback on the Drivers of Change cards (again several people came and told me they had a set) and also on the Internet of Things work (the EU funded Sensei project and the new TSB funded YCT project). I also have a pile of cards from people requesting more info on the Arup Smart City report.

My favorite speaker at the event was Clara Gaymard – President GE Europe – she gave an interesting perspective on the future of urban development and work they are doing to help cities deliver the necessary infrastructure. One line from her talk I liked was: “a child today wishes for a computer for their birthday, their parents wished for a scooter or a car – why? They both want to be connected.” and she also made reference to nice idea i had not heard about – City of Melbourne public transport example of smoothing peak load at no extra cost; they made public transport free before 7am. Would love to hear more about that if anyone has references.

INTA34 interview location

The event was held in the Kursaal Convention Centre in the beautiful San Sebastian where we were also treated to a reception at the excellent Aquarium. I was in Santander a few weeks ago, not many mile down the coast. I was surprised to learn that both cities are going for Cultural City status in 2016 – tough competition – but was impressed with San Sebastian’s preparations. Weird highlight of the trip was being interviewed on data shadows in front of surfers out in the bay.

The INTA reporting is blogged here, there a few videos here and tweeted here. Lots of photos are here.

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Millennium Bridge Thermal Interactive

‘A Day in the Life of the Millennium Bridge’ by Joseph Giacomin was a collaboration between myself, Joseph and Kaveh Shirdel as part of the new exhibition in Arup Phase 2 called Bridge Stories.

bridges on the move

They say:

“The works in this exhibition celebrate the last half century of bridge projects and the engineering that has made them possible. They also show how the use of film and photography has changed since the first decades of Ove Arup and Partners – founded in 1946.”

In this guest posting Joseph describes the story behind the thermal imaging.

Millennium Bridge Story

Cold blue and hot red: can thermal photography help the Millennium Bridge to reveal itself? Does enhanced perception tell us a different story from the obvious, the everyday, the one which we already know?

A thermal journey across the Millennium Bridge reveals a strange new perceptual stage in which the “things in themselves” occupy unexpected places and exhibit unexpected shapes and colours. Parts of the bridge, parts of the city and parts of the people suddenly appear strange and unexpected. The metal supports of the bridge cool in the wind while the solid masonry foundations stubbornly retain their heat. People appear as bright glowing light bulbs, centres of heat, moving over and around the bridge in their living, unmechanical, way. Interaction occurs, with people imprinting their life force on the bridge through heat transfer from direct contact. The dome of St. Paul’s cathedral glows red as its lead covering heats in the afternoon sunlight. London’s masonry and glass glow.

To thermal eyes the Millennium Bridge reveals a new version of its story. This exhibition provides many views, and thus many stories, which are told through thermal photography. Often seen as technical tools, thermal imaging cameras can also act as translators between ourselves and our physical world, expressing sensations which cannot be stated in words, and capturing photographic insights which are lost in the visual spectrum due to clutter, confusion and overwhelming detail.

Thermal photography helps to reveal a secret life of Millennium Bridge, that of heat and energy. The choreography of sun, wind, materials, physics and living creatures is revealed to thermal eyes, and the many secret stories of everyday bridge life are told from a different perspective and a different point of view. Stability and motion, man and nature, routines of everyday life, all these plots and more are acted on the thermal stage which is Millennium Bridge.

Guide to the Thermal Images

The thermal images of this exhibition all 320X240 pixel JPEG images shot using a 60 Hz thermal imaging camera which was similar in appearance to a camcorder. Since such cameras measure a property, temperature, which is not part of the visible light spectrum, pseudo-colour was used to indicate the variations in temperature. The pseudo-colour scheme adopted was bright red-orange for the hottest temperature found in the individual image while dark blue was used for the coolest. Since the pseudo-colour scheme was normalised for each image individually, the same colour can indicate different temperatures when appearing in different images. For the current exhibition, therefore, colour should be considered to provide a measure of relative temperature rather than of absolute temperature.

Thermal imaging, or, more precisely, infrared thermography, consists of measuring the infrared radiation of the electromagnetic spectrum from approximately 900 to 14,000 nanometres of wavelength. Infrared radiation is one region of the electromagnetic spectrum, other regions being for example those of the gamma rays, x-rays, ultra violet light, visible light and radio waves. Infrared radiation is emitted by all objects and the amount of emitted radiation increases with increases in the temperature of the object. The temperatures which can be measured by means of a modern thermal imaging camera are normally from approximately -50 °C to 2,000 °C.

Infrared radiation is measured using a thermal camera in much the same way that visible light is measured using a digital camera. However, while digital cameras use a Charge Coupled Device (CCD) or a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) sensor, thermal imaging is based on the use of focal plane array (FPA) sensors which respond to the longer wavelengths of the infrared region of the electromagnetic radiation. Given the complexity of the FPA sensors, the maximum resolution which can currently be achieved is lower than that of CCD or CMOS sensors. Most thermal imagining cameras have the relatively low resolutions of 160×120 pixels or 320×240 pixels, with the most expensive current models reaching 640×512 pixels.

While the amount of thermal radiation depends greatly on the surface temperature of the object which is being measured, the surface temperature is not the only factor involved. Other factors which effect the measurement include the emissivity of the object which is being captured, the amount of radiation arriving from the surrounding environment and the atmospheric absorption between the radiating object and the thermal imaging camera. Emissivity and atmospheric absorption thus affect the measured temperatures, and if not carefully compensated at the time of each measurement can lower the accuracy of the temperature values.

Of the factors effecting the accuracy of thermal images, the biggest is the emissivity, meaning the ability of the object’s material to emit thermal radiation. Every material has an emissivity value which is in the range from 0.0 (no ability to emit thermal energy) to 1.0 (complete emission of all thermal energy). In addition, the emissivity value is not a fixed value for most materials, but is actually a continuous function of the temperature. Given the complex physics, the maximum theoretical measurement accuracy of a thermal camera is achieved only when the emissivity value of the object which is being studied is known or when the camera can be calibrated on-sight against a known reference source of thermal radiation. In the case of the images found in this exhibition, the camera was set to run using a stored internal emissivity table, thus the camera was not calibrated for each shot so as to achieve the maximum possible accuracy.

Joseph Giacomin, Oct 2010

[If you like these images, you may also be interested in his new book "Seeing the World Through 21st Century Eyes"]

An online gallery of the photos is available and once the installation is complete more photos will be uploaded to the gallery.

And finally, it’s almost 10 years old, but still fascinating to watch, a video shot during testing of the Millennium Bridge where the footfall of 2000 members of the public was being monitored against the Synchronous Lateral Excitation of the bridge.

Millennium Bridge from Duncan Wilson on Vimeo.

And one from the local news on the opening day…

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IoT Expert Group

Internet of things expert group mtg

For the past couple of days I have been in Brussels at the first meeting of the Internet of Things Expert Group. Introduced by Gerald Santucci and hosted by Manuel Mateo from EC DG INFSO the meeting introduced the background to the group and actions needed going forward. The focus of the group is to deliver policy recommendations to EU in 2 years time. The group has been established as a result of a previous expert group on RFID (2007-2009). It has stakeholders from a diverse range of industries (see list at bottom) and a framework for discussion has been presented as a result of EC research on this theme over past 5 years. The main action points include:

- governance (how is identification structured, who assigns ID, who is accountable, what decentralised architecture, socio economic implications such as access and exclusion)

- privacy and protection of personal data (communications on trust and privacy, “right to silence the chips”, “privacy by design” ie one of the primary technology blocks from outset not added in as required functionality later)

- trust, acceptance and security [individual | business] (following ENISA work on identification of risks)

- standardization (extend existing to cover IoT, develop / extend new given emerging IoT)

and the group will also:

- feed opinion into FP7 projects and CIP’s for innovation / pilot projects

- institutional awareness – inform other European institutions about IoT

- international dialogue – japan, china, korea, usa

- waste – pros and cons in recycling process

- focus on development – monitoring introduction of IoT tech (Eurostat starting to monitor)

On the latter point a comment was made on how to measure the output – there are many Smart Cities emerging but how do we assess or measure the resultant interventions. Given that comparitive assessment is hard (e.g. Santander vs Amsterdam, London vs Melbourne) what metrics should we use?

Organisations represented in the Expert Group:

ETSI European Telecom Stds Inst

CEN European committee for standardisation

EPOSS European Tech Platform on Smart Systems Integration

EUROCITIES

UEAPME European assoc of Craft and SME’s

EDPS European data protection supervisor

ERTICO Intelligent Trans Sys and Services for Europe

TechAmerica

ENISA European Network and Info Security Agency

SICS Swedish Inst of Comp Sci

EuroCommerce

COCIR European Coord Committee of Radiological, Electromedical and Healthcare IT industry

ETUC European trade union confederation

PRESCIENT

Article 29 Working Party on Data Protection

ANEC European Consumer Voice in Standardisation

Fraunhofer IML

GS1

BSI Federal Office for Information Security

ESIA European Semiconductor Industry Assoc

Sensor Universe

European Digital Rights

CONET Cooperating objects network of Europe

ONCE Organizacion Nacional de Ciegos Espanoles

BEUC European Consumers Organisation

ERRT European Retail Round Table

Business Europe

CNRFID Centre National RFID

Internet of Things Council

Council of European National Top Level Domain Registries

ETNO European Telecom Network Operators Assoc

IERC IoT European Research Cluster

Universitat Zurich (UZH)

IPSO Alliance

ECTP European Construction Technology Platform

Information of interest which I can share as I travel through this project will be tagged on delicious.

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SmartSantander

smartsantander.jpg

Today i was at the kick off meeting for an interesting EU funded project called SmartSantander. It builds on the work of a couple of previous European projects in the “future internet” domain including Sensei which completes at the end of this year. The project overview is:

“SmartSantander proposes a unique city-scale experimental research facility in support of typical applications and services for a smart city. Tangible results are expected to greatly influence definition and specification of Future Internet architecture design from viewpoints of Internet of Things and Internet of Services. This unique experimental facility will be sufficiently large, open and flexible to enable horizontal and vertical federation with other experimental facilities and stimulates development of new applications by users of various types including experimental advanced research on IoT technologies and realistic assessment of users’ acceptability tests.”

I am on the advisory group so not directly involved in the project however it was refreshing to here that as part of the testing of the “platform” they are going to run two open calls for applications to be built in Santander using their kit – watch this space, or if you have ideas you would like to test on a live platform get in touch.

The project team is quite heavy on technical skills, which is probably not surprising nor a bad thing given the technical challenges ahead, but they have a narrow window at the start to define some really compelling use cases situated in the context that is Santander. The risk is they will have the tech platform but no app (lots of balls but no one to play with). They do have designers and anthropologists on the team and the local council / mayor and regional development agency are involved, so chance of success is probably higher than usual.

The facility will comprise of more than 20,000 sensors and there is talk of a 61km backbone network being built along the roads of the city. The city of Santander has full support from the regional Government of Cantabria with real cash contribution of 500,000 €. Also of note is Santander is bidding to be the 2016 Cultural Capital of Europe.

More information is on the project website, facebook and twitter.

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TED Global 2010

After last years experience at TED I really wish this post was coming from me, but instead it is coming from our TED Global competition winner Salomé Galjaard.

While most people buy tickets for TED more than a year in advance, I only learned that I was going two weeks before the start of the event. By winning a ticket in an internal Arup competition, I got the opportunity to experience TED in real time, after seeing many of the presentations online. On Monday 12 July, there was an Arup tour through London that people could sign up to and that lead us the Royal Courts of Justice, the Darwin Centre and the Royal Albert Hall: a great way for a group of international TED visitors to already get to know each other.

biggest moth - Natural History Museum

When arriving in Oxford the same evening, the TED atmosphere was already present: hundreds of interesting people gathered, dying to get to know each other and share ideas. It was almost impossible to stop for a minute and think (and have some dinner) since there would always be someone who recognized you from the online attendees list, who was secretly trying to read your badge or who just came up to you for a chat. To me, this was really the most impressive part of TED: all these people that are truly interested, who have amazing stories to tell and who are an wonderful source of inspiration. It was, from the beginning on, truly a mind blowing experience. And the presentations didn’t even started yet!

Marcel Dicke - eating insects

Tuesday began with TEDUniversity, in which people who were not one of the main presenters got the chance to tell their story and share their ideas. Chris Luebkeman was one of them, with a story about context, and it got a lot of positive responses!

The afternoon started off with the first of an enormous amount of TED lectures. The dozens of talks were divided into 12 groups and would continue until Friday afternoon. The sessions were called for example ‘Found in Translation’ featuring data journalist David McCandless, ‘Human System’ featuring Matt Ridley describing what happens When ideas have sex, and the research of Tan Le who can learn a computer what our brainwaves mean (very useful to control for example an electric wheelchair).

All these presentations, and hopefully also the musical performances will be released on the TED website in the coming year.

Neil Gerschenfeld - Fabrication pioneer Peter Eigen - Transparency International Sheryl WuDunn - Women's Right advocate

Even though the TED-blues hit me pretty hard (as predicted by the organisation) I already know this has been a life changing event. The coming months will probably be spend on digesting everything I heard and experienced, which will definitely influence not only my personal life, but also my work at Arup. Take for example the story of Mohammed from Bangladesh: he has been invited as a TEDFellow (people who are doing extraordinary things, often in developing countries) to come to Oxford. He told me that the government has come up with the most horrible urban plan for his home town. It means that there will be too little space for everyone, no place for nature or good public transport. On his own, he’s on a mission to come up with a better plan. He has launched an international design competition and will fight the authorities wherever he can to keep his city liveable. I believe that Arup can help him: not necessarily with money, but maybe with good advice and some local support.

Prison Royal Courts of Justice

Hopefully I will be able to help Mohammed, not only because his website could use some help from an interaction designer, but also by linking him to people within Arup.

I must admit though that some of my time will also be spend on figuring out how I can be a part of the TED-family again next year.

Many thanks Arup!

Salomé Galjaard.

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Web of Light

Last week I attended a small gathering at Philips Design to workshop ideas for a public lighting scheme in Eindhoven.

Strijp S

The most important aspect of the Web of Light workshop for me was the focus on the motivation for installing any of the multitude of technology wizardry available. The question “Why?” took us beyond the functional aspects of safety and security or the aesthetic art installations, and forced us to think about the different community perspectives that “public light” could play in creating stimulating urban environments.

The discussions through the day meandered between different ideas but the three themes we presented at the end encapsulate the major themes of: creating interventions to encourage the digital natives to interact in public spaces (a positive take on hanging around on street corners); encouraging community interaction through creating desirable shared public spaces (a midnight urban farm was proposed as a vehicle for productive light and a beacon(s) of activity); and the idea of displaying the inputs and outputs of the creative community at Strijp S (the new smoke stacks).

Looking forward to seeing how these ideas develop both in terms of creating useful applications and in the technology backbone to be delivered (66 acres of individually addressable LEDs). [Note: one route to next steps will be through a design challenge for the Hot100 at PICNIC 2010]

Strijp S

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Ove Arup Key Speech

It is 40 years today since Ove Arup presented the “Key Speech” in Winchester. I can remember reading it in late 1999 before I joined the firm and cynically thinking what a great leaders pitch. But within a year, and maybe through working on projects like the wobbly bridge, I observed that most of what he wrote is actually embedded in the culture of Arup.

Below are the aims (A), means (C) and results (B) which I find useful when trying to explain to others how the firm is organised. I try to avoid describing the matrix structure, or the markets, practices and businesses since I am not sure if that makes sense to others. But the points below give a sense of the song we sing as we head off on our daily endeavor.

A – The main aims of the firm are:

  1. Quality of work
  2. Total architecture
  3. Humane organisation
  4. Straight and honourable dealings
  5. Social usefulness
  6. Reasonable prosperity of members.

B – If these aims could be realised to a considerable degree, they should result in:

  1. Satisfied members
  2. Satisfied clients
  3. Good reputation and influence.

C – But this will need:

  1. A membership of quality
  2. Efficient organisation
  3. Solvency
  4. Unity and enthusiasm.

Item A2 is probably very familiar to people in this century, but is one of the fundamental ways of working that has led to Arup organically growing to our position today:

The term ‘Total Architecture’ implies that all relevant design decisions have been considered together and have been integrated into a whole by a well organised team empowered to fix priorities. This is an ideal which can never – or only very rarely – be fully realised in practice, but which is well worth striving for, for artistic wholeness or excellence depends on it, and for our own sake we need the stimulation produced by excellence.

I like the Douglas Adams quote:

Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.

This speech was written before I was born and reflects what is normal in the way my world works [sometimes].

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