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Dan Hill
Helsinki
Designer
Interests: Cities, urbanism, design, architecture, media etc.
Recent Activity
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My latest column for Dezeen addresses robotics and cities. I'd started writing this months ago, and some of the examples betray that. Still, it took me that long—usually on planes, trains but not yet autonomous automobiles—to find the time to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2015 at cityofsound
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This follows the earlier post on this set of essays, which also features 'A sketchbook for the city to come: the popup as R&D', for AD, and 'Urban Parasites, Data-Driven Urbanism, and the Case for Architecture' for A+U. This one... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2015 at cityofsound
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This follows the earlier post on this set of essays, which also features 'The Commodification of Everything' for 'SQM' and 'A sketchbook for the city to come: the popup as R&D', for AD. This one first published as: Essay: Urban... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2015 at cityofsound
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This follows the earlier post on this set of essays, which also features 'The Commodification of Everything' for 'SQM' and 'Urban Parasites, Data-Driven Urbanism, and the Case for Architecture' for A+U. This one was first published as: 'A Sketchbook for... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2015 at cityofsound
“The secret, I think, of the future is not doing too much” —Frei Otto Around this time last year, at the family home in Brisbane, in the jetlagged early hours of what was ostensibly a holiday, I wrote a set... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2015 at cityofsound
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One of the early collaborative projects at Future Cities Catapult—actually roughly the same time as Pixel Track with BERG—was a very small, very quick, but very useful, insightful and powerful bit of information design with After the Flood. I asked... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2015 at cityofsound
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Back in May 2015, the Urban Futures team completed a design research project around cycling. The team was Claire Mookerjee (Project Lead, Urbanism) with design by Anastasia Vikhornova and film by Christian Schmeer, joined by Rebecca Jones (Technologist) from the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2015 at cityofsound
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My latest column for Dezeen explores the urban implications of Tesla's Powerwall battery storage product. Here's the original edit: — The product launch of the early 21st century is a well-honed little drama. It’s become as streamlined and archetypal as... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2015 at cityofsound
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The primary interface between the UK’s planning system and the people and places it serves is a piece of A4 paper tied to a lamppost in the rain. OK, not always rain. But rain often enough. The paper is a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2015 at cityofsound
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(See previous entry on visiting the Melnikov House in Moscow.) Fourth in an occasional series, and this found in one of the true icons of 20th century architecture, designed and built between 1927 and 1929 by Konstantin Melnikov. One of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2014 at cityofsound
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Melnikov House, Moscow In Moscow, for two days, for Moscow Urban Forum, and various meetings. I recall photos my father showed me of a school trip he led there in 1968, from the American International School of Zürich where he... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2014 at cityofsound
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We (Future Cities Catapult) launched a major project today: Cities Unlocked. Phase one of a collaboration with Microsoft UK and Guide Dogs, it's a demonstrator of how wearables and 3D soundscapes could improve mobility and wayfinding in a beacon-enabled city.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2014 at cityofsound
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As research for my recent Dezeen column, and the longer piece it was drawn from—both unpicking the promise and pitfalls of predictive urban analytics and transport startups—I asked Matt George, CEO of Bridj, a Boston-based startup, a few questions. I'm... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2014 at cityofsound
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This is the in-depth version of my column posted in Dezeen this week, around the impact of predictive analytics on cities. This version particularly uses public transport services and new transport startups as the pivot for its arguments, as transport... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2014 at cityofsound
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I've been meaning to write about Gillian Darley and David McKie's book about Ian Nairn for ages now. Entitled 'Ian Nairn: Words in Place', it's a wonderful read about one of the most important characters in post-war British architecture and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2014 at cityofsound
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David Michon recently asked me to write a piece for the new issue of The Journal of the London Society. I'm posting a version of it below. David has just taken over as 'honorary editor' of the Journal, and has... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2014 at cityofsound
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Print-on-demand version of 'Dark Matter and Trojan Horses: A Strategic Design Vocabulary'' A consistent request over the last couple of years has been for a physical version of my e-book for Strelka Press, 'Dark Matter and Trojan Horses: A Strategic... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2014 at cityofsound
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Much of the work at the Catapult is about making more holistic, integrated urban projects happen. While this can include governance and investment pieces, we’ve also been exploring technology at the street level. For example our Sensing Cities project, which... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2014 at cityofsound
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PaperLater is a new service from Newspaper Club (see previous entry on newspapers, and Newspaper Club.) As with Newspaper Club, it ingeniously wrangles the dynamics of both newsprint and the internet into something entirely new. In short, PaperLater enables you... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2014 at cityofsound
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A follow-up note to explain what I’ve been up to, work-wise. (And note, if you want to skip to the end, we're hiring.) At the beginning of February, I joined the Future Cities Catapult as Executive Director for Futures and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2014 at cityofsound
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It’s been a busy year so far. So busy I haven’t found time to write about returning to the UK in January, after seven years living and working overseas in Australia, Finland and Italy. Nor even to write about taking... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2014 at cityofsound
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Late last year, my friend Marko Ahtisaari kindly asked me to write an essay on Finnish design. This was a little daunting, as it was a) for Marko, who I respect greatly, b) about Finnish design, which I can really... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2014 at cityofsound
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Production drawings by Keiichi Matsuda An uncharacteristically brief post just to point you at Keiichi Matsuda's Kickstarter campaign, launched today, for his ambitious new films about the modern city, set in Medellin, Colombia. Matsuda's previous work is quite brilliant—I've mentioned... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2013 at cityofsound
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Code was something we had to rebuild a bit at Fabrica this year. Although there had been a strong code culture at Fabrica in the past, from the likes of Jonathan Harris, Oriel Ferrer Mesià, João Wilbert, Bethany Koby &... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2013 at cityofsound
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Film work has been at the core of Fabrica's output and culture since the start—the original creative director was Godfrey Reggio (of Koyaanisqatsi fame) and Fabrica even has an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film from its time as a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2013 at cityofsound