Poetry and place…listening and lockdowns… Dan Phillips, who led the Royal College of Art’s (RCA) work on ‘Our Future Towns’ talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about how the research led to a different understanding of connectivity, mobility and transportation in our communities. It is a conversation with draws on Dan’s breadth of design and research experience – crossing industry boundaries from engineering to telecoms – and reflects on the role of this kind of diverse knowledge in creating a more liveable (and likeable world). Dan started his career as a sponsored undergraduate working with Ford Motor Company in the UK and Germany; he’s worked for huge engineering concerns, like Arup and Buro Happold; he wrote a book, Ecofriendly Homes – which has sold 30,000 copies; he’s worked with big telecom companies like Orange. These days, he is to be found at the RCA, where he is a senior research fellow.
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On this edition
- Dan Phillips, Senior Research Fellow, Royal College of Art (@dannyboy)
- Marek Pawlowski, podcast host & founder, MEX (@marekpawlowski)
- Hampstead swimming ponds, where Dan likes to take a cold water dip.
- Our Future Towns, the research project undertaken by Dan and his team at The Royal College of Art. Includes the background, key outcomes and downloads of the full report (highly recommended reading!).
- Linda Addison, chair of the Sustainable Transport Panel, mentioned by Dan in relation to the Our Future Towns project.
- National Association of Local Councils, mentioned by Dan.
- An example of the Listening book (PDF) Dan and his team made with the citizens, in this case of Lyme Regis in Dorset, UK.
- Citizens’ Assemblies are a representative group of citizens who are selected at random from the population to learn about, deliberate upon, and make recommendations in relation to a particular issue or set of issues.
- Simon Armitage, the UK’s national poet laureate, whose poem ‘Something Clicked’ – a reflection on life in the 2020 pandemic year – features in the opening pages of the Our Future Town’s report.
- The Royal College of Art’s ‘Driverless Futures’ research project.
- All Watched Over By Machines of Love and Grace, a poem by Richard Brautigan.
- RCA contact details and profile for Dan if you’d like to get in touch with him about this work.
About MEX Design Talk & how to get in touch
The podcast for the MEX community, interviewing UX pioneers, exploring emerging technologies, user behaviour and how to design better digital experiences.
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