I wrote a play some years ago, exploring the relationships and perspectives of three very different people, caught in wartime Afghanistan. At an early stage, my friend Michael Sanie expressed interest in writing an opera based on the play, and after several years of delays and struggles, here it is. The opera is in threeRead more about Rock, Paper, Scissors[…]
It’s well known that architects are poorly paid. With a lengthy degree, followed by three or more years of apprenticeship and professional exams before they can even use the word architect, it seems crazy.
It’s not crazy, even if it is unfair.
I believe that people’s willingness to pay for a service has to do with their sense of criticality: the distance from a crisis. A simple analogy: most yachtsmen are resistant to the cost of a properÂ life-raft, when they see one in the chandler. No-one intends to have their boat sink, and it seems hard to justify the raft. But the same sailor, when dismasted and holed in the open sea, will happily pay almost any amount for helicopters and other rescue options. Similarly, if you need surgery, your first thought is not the cost, but the quality and experience of the surgeon. If you are up against the IRS, you want an experienced tax advisor, not just a cheap one. Read more about Architecture and Income …
This is a great TED talk from Alain de Botton. It reflects an idea I’ve struggled with for many years: how to make use of and participate in the great religious ideas without subscribing to all the doctrinal mumbo-jumbo. He insightfully shows the many virtues of religious practice, and suggests that rather than throwing outRead more about Religion for the non-religious[…]
The Architect magazine this month has a feature on work – Â you can learn more at their website – it’s an important topic, because we mostly do too much of it.
On the front page of the article is a drawing that lists some of the activities we enjoy (endure?) in the workplace:
It’s a good list, but I think it misses something really important. In my experience there are two very different kinds of focus work.
Architecture is about the application of ideas to the environment. Bjarke Ingels understands the power of an idea to symbolize our relationship to the environment – both in a spatial sense and in terms of more abstract ideas like sustainability. In this video he talks about how he has used architecture and master planning toRead more about Bjarke Ingels at TED[…]
Glen Small and Bjarke Ingels: vive la difference.Â Architect Glen Small writes about Bjarke Ingels in this article. The comparison is interesting: Both are full of energy and ideas. Their architectural strategies have a number of things in common. But they could not be more different from a business perspective. The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) hasRead more about BIG and Small[…]
Years ago, I sang with a choir called the Schola Polyphonica, under the direction of Maxwell Fernie, in New Zealand. On the rare occasions when we performed, an emotional sense of engagement and connection arose between the singers and the audience, that I have rarely experienced elsewhere. Through rehearsing and performing the music, we wereRead more about Music, emotion and architecture[…]
This is a great talk from Alain de Botton. It reflects an idea I’ve struggled with for many years: how to make use of and participate in the great religious ideas without subscribing to all the doctrinal mumbo-jumbo. He insightfully shows the many virtues of religious practice, and suggests that rather than throwing out theRead more about How anyone can benefit from religion[…]
While we were living in England, my younger son and I were talking about writing. I think he was about seven at the time. Together we developed the idea for a story about a boy and his toy dragon. Starting with a mind-map, and moving on to a full-blown outline, we talked the story through.Read more about Ollie’s New Beginning[…]
I have been involved in strategy for a long time, both inside companies and as a consultant. I haveÂ been publishing some thoughts on how to apply strategy to business at www.tim-barnes.com.
Having spent a long time in marketing and strategy, I’ve been often frustrated by the emphasis on “spin”â€”making things look better than they are. It’s a temporary way to make people feel better, but it doesn’t work as a sustainable strategy for marketing and sales. This site on Squidoo is dedicated to thinking about thisRead more about Marketing with Integrity[…]
I came across this (thanks, Stephanie!) this afternoon: it’s a group of people who get together to explore home-made musical instruments, many of them combinations of mechanical and electrical or electronic components. Some of them are played in conventional ways, some make music under computer control, and some combine multiple techniques.Â What’s nice about thisRead more about Music is more than…[…]
TED stands forÂ Technology, Entertainment and Designâ€”it’s a community and a conference, held in Monterey each year. Their tag line is “ideas worth spreading”, and they publish videos of many of the short (under 20 minute) talks from the conference each year. This one is about music, and shows some work from MIT’s Media Lab thatRead more about TED and making music accessible[…]
Music connects us. We celebrate the richness of life through creativityâ€”expression of beauty, pain, our reality. Our task is to create better thoughts and feelings so people can be united.Â Unity is the result of letting go of the walls we build in our minds. Learning to say “yes!”â€”first to ourselves; then to each other. I’mRead more about Music and Ego[…]
I wrote a while ago about Web 2.0, and the connections between people that it enables. I still think that’s perhaps the most important social impact of Web 2.0, and the real difference from a user standpoint. But there’s another angle, which is the development side. When I moved beyond static web pages I learnedRead more about More about Web 2.0[…]