Hotel Puerta America, Madrid

New life goal: stay in at least three of the suites by different architects at the under-construction Hotel Puerta America in Madrid.

From John Pawson’s site

“The Hotel Puerta América project brings together a team of collaborators which includes Jean Nouvel, Marc Newson, Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, Christian Liaigre, David Chipperfield, Kathryn Findlay, Jason Bruges, Arata Isozaki, Jonnie Bell, Harriet Bourne, Ron Arad, Plasma Studio, Araki, Richard Gluckman, Teresa Sapey, Vittorio & Luchino, Felipe Saes de Gordoa, Javier Mariscal, Fernando Salas and Arnold Chan.”

There is a sneak preview (in audio) in this week’s “In Business” programme on BBC Radio 4, entitled “Tall Storeys” where Peter Day interviews David Chipperfield about the project, whilst conducting a survey of the state of the architectural profession.

Incidently, “In Business” can now be enjoyed in mp3 format delivered to the ‘podcasting’ software of your choice, thanks to the fine work of BBC R&Mi.

Vegetables, supermarkets and The Singularity

Anne Galloway writes of her vegetable delivery connecting her body to a more natural register of time:

“I think about how hard it has been getting used to eating only what grows locally at any given time of year. There were weeks this winter we ate nothing but tubers and onions and chard. Now I find myself excited when I open the basket and see something like fresh rosemary or mushrooms, and am finally getting to the point where I no longer have to search the net to identify certain leafy things. I actually think of vegetables as staples now – and I look forward to the coming days when all we eat are tomatoes and I see fruit again.

Eating like this not only changes the way I think about food, but also about my body. I’ve had to start thinking of a balanced diet in longer time-frames, and I’ve gotten better at understanding how my body changes over days and seasons.”

This leads me to this thought.

Supermarkets are responsible for our delusions of The Singularity.

Everything being available all the time everywhere now has messed with our metronome so much; zigged and zagged our zeitgebers till it’s no wonder with think we are accelerating towards timewave-zero.

It’s those bloody sugar-snap peas in January, I tell you.

Ray Kurzweil isn’t even that close to things – just popping vitamin supplements in his quest for longevity. Does he know when the Maris Piper are up?

Does he hell.

Therefore, The Singularity.

Repent and listen to Gardener’s Question Time, a show surely supported by The Long Now Foundation.

Sociopharmaneutics #1: ECD

Sociopharmaneutics – explainations of imaginary drugs administered to entire societies in a near, near future one across from ours.

New ticks – new habits or behaviours that are beneficial to someone, something – all of us, perhaps.

#1 – ECD: Ecologically Compulsive Disorder

Introduced into the dwindling water supplies of megacities across the world, it imbues their hyperconsumer populations with the obsessive need to sort their waste into the correct recycling bins, syphon their bathwater into the toilet cistern for re-use, and unplug devices from the mains even when on standby – or any one of 48 other possible settings dependent on your ecosystem’s priorities.

Stay tuned for more exciting biochemical behavioural manipulations of the entire human race!


This is really good. When you subscribe to your local weather in Bloglines, the symbol summarising the weather conditions appears as the favico/folder in the interface – creating a ‘glanceable’ display for the weather feed.

I guess this is the privelege of Bloglines at the moment, to allow the folder icon to be changed dynamically by the feed contents – but it would be wonderful if more could be done with this pattern of ambient/glanceable layers of info in RSS clients.

Examples might be:

  • Traffic/commute conditions for a locality
  • ‘Heat’ of debate by number of comments on a chosen blog feed
  • A subscribed stock quote (yeah, I know I hate using ‘stock quote’ examples)

Can’t think of any others for now… will retunr to thinking about what sort of information could work in a ’15×15′ display…

I guess that all the clients would have to adopt some kind of standard way of doing this for it to be worthwhile. Does Bloglines have a monopoly yet?

Best critique of late-capitalism I’ve read in a while

From The Times, on Disney’s purchase and possible squandering of Jim Henson’s Muppet legacy:

“The problem is that Disney — as one must expect from a global business enterprise — tends to think of its intellectual properties in terms of merchandising opportunities, rather than the opportunity for some great chicken-gags.”


Ubicomp 2005 Workshop on games, entertainment (and play…)

Delighted to say that there will be a workshop on ubiquitous computing in the service of entertainment, games, (and I hope) play, at this years’s UBICOMP conference in Tokyo, September.

The call for papers is published – and more details at Julian Bleeker’s site, here.

I’m on the program committee for the workshop, so I’m looking forward to reading some playful proposals over the summer…

From Julian’s site:

Our motivation for addressing the role that ubiquitous computing can contribute to novel and compelling ubiquitous entertainment experiences is partly to emphasize the possible ways that ubiquitous computing can use multi-user scenarios, narrative, geography, location, physical landscapes, and notions of place as an interface to the gaming experience.

Important Dates

  • June 17 Deadline for position statement submission
  • July 25 Position statement acceptance notifications sent
  • July 25 Speaking invitations sent in response to strongest participation statements
  • Aug 1 Website updated with final program, talk abstracts, and position statements
  • Sep 11 Workshop held in Tokyo