Who is the digital revolution for?

The University of Sussex’s SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit) are running this event as part of Brighton Digital Festival: Who is the Digital Revolution For?:

How can we re-discover our sense of enchantment with digital technology?
For many of us, digital technologies have been revolutionary. Yet at the same time, some feel disenchanted with the consequences.

The digital is cast increasingly as an instrument of surveillance, or a tool for disciplining ‘gig economies’, and a material burden upon our environment and climate.

I’ll be chairing the panel, and I’m really looking forward to this opportunity to talk in public with some of the people who have given me most food for thought over the year about critical approaches to technology, innovation and making.

You should get a (free) ticket.

Talking at Make:Shift


I’ll be taking part in this year’s Crafts Council biennial Make:Shift Innovation Conference. I went to the 2014 event at Ravensbourne in London, which was one of the best conferences I’d ever been to, with inspiring talks, a lively atmosphere, and the sense that you could say hello to anyone there, and be sure to have just met someone interesting.

Needless to say, I’m very pleased to be invited to take part this time round in Manchester. I’ll be chairing a panel on body augmentation and prosthetic devices, which ties in rather nicely with another project I’m developing at the moment, details of which will be announced shortly!

Loughborough Market Town

Market Town

I spoke today at an event organised by Loughborough University Arts, as part of their Market Town programme. I promised I’d post my slides, and some useful links, and so here they are.

Makerspaces on the High Street

There is a great deal of interest in the rise of makerspaces and other sites of autonomous creative production. Can this energy be harnessed to power civic regeneration, and help create more liveable urban spaces? This talk draws on some research I co-authored for Nesta to set out an overview of where makerspaces came from, where they are now, and how they might contribute to the development of urban spaces.


From the event blurb:

As the growth of makerspaces, fab-labs, and community workshops continues we ask what opportunities could they hold for Loughborough and how could they support the town’s economic sustainability?

Recognised as sites of civic and social innovation, creativity and learning, makerspaces are increasingly seen as an exciting opportunity to support design, entrepreneurship, fabrication, manufacturing and technological innovation.

Key people writing about and working in this field will share their thoughts and ideas. The speakers will be:

  • Andrew Sleigh: Researcher, writer and producer and one of the researchers on NESTA’s recent UK makerspaces mapping project
  • Caroline Chapain: Lecturer at the Department of Entrepreneurship and Local Economy at Birmingham University.
  • Hannah Fox: Development Manager, Derby Silk Mill.
  • STEALTH.unlimited: A practice exploring the responsibilities and capacities of architecture in contemporary societies.

Market Town: a programme of new commissions and critical debate that sets out to re-imagine the future of Loughborough’s high streets.

Story Making: a talk for the Sandberg @ Mediafund Masterclass

Sandberg team presentations

On Saturday, I gave a presentation to participants in the Sandberg Instituut’s “Unmapping Europe” masterclass. As part of this, 16 documentary makers, artists, programmers, researchers and designers work in small teams on innovative projects, and to kick things off, came to Brighton for a ‘sensing weekend’. Continue reading “Story Making: a talk for the Sandberg @ Mediafund Masterclass”

Somewhere to_ create


I’ll be on a panel tonight with a bunch of smart people working in the creative/culture world, talking about the paths we took to get to where we are today. My path has been meandering, and rarely well-mapped in advance. I hope that will be some consolation to the young people in the audience, who I’m guessing will mostly be seeing a great uncertain fog ahead. I’ll be interested if my guess is wrong, and they all have it planned out.