Adrian's blog

Exploring Smar[er] Cities with Constructing Excellence Berkshire

At the start of July I was down in Reading for a Constructing Excellence Berkshire event to explore technology and cities. Together with architects HOOP and urban provocateur Julian Dobson we tried to design something a little different to the usual talks or workshop.

With the help of Professor Tim Dixon we kicked off setting out the local situation and how technology could evolve in our towns and cities - with Tim providing a Reading perspective and me presenting some alternative "smart" city thoughts.

The attendees and presenters then split into two groups to discuss and brainstorm an open-ended question of what a smart city might look like.

Then, following a break for some food and chatting, we came back together to hear Julian a more people-focused Luddite Analysis of Smart[er] Cities". After which we broke again into groups to imagine life a hundred years hence, and what decisions and actions from today we'd look back on as inspired, and which we'd find appalling.

The format seemed to work well, with plenty of discussion between everyone and plenty of ideas and opinions traded.

Read on for my slides and notes for the talk...

Poppies That Tweet

A view of the poppy bed

As part of marking the century since the start of the First World War, Let's Go Global were commissioned to run an art project taking a contemporary, conceptual view of the centenary.

It's a wide ranging project, spread across communities (centred on libraries) across Greater Manchester and anchored with an installation at Ordsall Hall in Salford.

Over the course of the project they're planting a hundred poppy plants, and wanted to connect what was happening with the poppies to the wider participants across the county. As a result they brought us on board to explore what could be done and then make it happen.

Slides From My Talk at the Bahrain International eGovernment Forum 2014

I'm just back from a lovely few days in Bahrain. I was there as a guest of the Bahraini eGovernment Authority, who had asked me to speak at the Bahrain International eGovernment Forum.

It was an interesting conference, on a topic that I don't normally have much dealing with. I was there to provide some information on the emerging topic of the Internet of Things (naturally).

Read on for the slides and notes for the talk.

Social Care and the Internet of Things

Last week I gave a talk to a collection of health professionals and social care providers, to give them some background to the Internet of Things and its possibilities. It was a prelude to group discussions to try to identify some challenges that they face, which the IoT might be able to help address.

There's a follow-up event where we'll be bringing the participants of the first roundtable together with some IoT practitioners, designers and developers, to dig into the challenges and sketch out some possible solutions. Get in touch if you'd like to come along to that.

Here are the slides and notes from my talk - as ever, the notes are what I intended to say rather than a transcription of what eventually came out of my mouth...

Talk at Liverpool Library - Internet Icons

Last week the British Library held an event titled "Internet Icons". In the British Library in London they had some great talks from people who had founded interesting and successful Internet-related businesses.

The talks were streamed online and to a few libraries around the country, including Liverpool. Each of the streaming locations had a talk before the event from a local Internet entrepreneur, and Adrian was asked to speak at Liverpool Central Library.

Here are the slides and notes for his talk.

Smart Cities Reading List

As part of my preparation for my TEDxOldham talk - Internet Thinking for Cities - I ended up collecting together a number of blog posts and articles that helped inform my thinking.

Internet Thinking for Cities

On Friday I spent the day in Oldham. I used to visit the outskirts regularly for karting sessions in an old converted mill, but had never been to the centre. Like many in the North West, it's full of lovely architecture but also a certain faded glamour of times past with lots of scope for ventures new as a result.

I was there to speak at the first TEDxOldham, an interesting event with topics ranging from the graphene research to roller derby. My talk was about smart cities, and I used the opportunity to flesh out some of my thinking on the approach I'd like to see things take. In the process of writing the talk I collected together some links, which I've published separately as a bit of a Smart Cities Reading List.

There'll be video in due course, and in the mean time, read on for my slides and notes. As ever, the notes are my preparatory work for what I planned to say, rather than a definite guide to what came out once I was on stage...

Slides From KidNet: Teaching the Internet of Things to Key Stage 2

On 20th September a collection of people from across Europe converged on the RCA in Battersea for a day of exploring ways that we could introduce the Internet of Things into schools. The event, KidNet, was arranged by Marija Nikolic and Rob van Kranenburg.

Adrian went along to present the work that MCQN Ltd has been doing with Imagication to take the Internet of Things into primary schools. Here are his slides from the talk...

Wuthering Bytes Slides - Risking a Compuserve of Things

The weekend just passed saw the annual gathering of the UK's Open Source Hardware enthusiasts for OSHCamp. Back in Hebden Bridge for a second year, this time it was intertwined with a host of web talks and going under the name Wuthering Bytes.

The extra dimension to the conference was a great addition, and team organising it did a great job.

Adrian had been asked to talk there again, and took the opportunity to look to some of the challenges of making the different Internet of Things networks work together, and to start a discussion about how to work towards that.

The talks were filmed, so hopefully will be available soon. In the meantime, here are so you can compare what I said with the slides and notes from the talk...

BCS HCI Workshop on the Internet of Things

This week has been the 27th International British Computer Society Human Computer Interaction Conference with a theme of The Internet of Things. BBC R&D organised a workshop as part of the conference, focusing on Interacting with Digital Media in Connected Environments and invited Adrian along to speak.

It was only a short talk, as most of the day was focused on doing - and we had some interesting discussions and brainstorming around how we can help people design and build connected devices.

Read on for Adrian's slides and notes from the talk...

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