City of Sound is about cities, design, architecture, music, media, politics and more. Written by Dan Hill since 2001.

Monday May 17th, London

Written in


Wake at 4am, doze. Breakfast at Lantana, then up to our no.8 Fitzroy Street office for an all-day workshop with two members of Experientia, our partners on the Low2No project in Jätkäsaari, Helsinki. 

Arup are leading and working across almost all aspects of this project (our other key partners are architects Sauerbruch Hutton). I'm here to contribute in a few areas, but particularly the 'behaviour change' work stream, where we're looking at a mixture of service design and urban informatics to create an exemplar sustainable development, addressing how people will actually live, work and play in this space – something rarely addressed in built environment design work, I should add. 

The project is already fascinating and challenging, not least due to the Arup team split between London, San Francisco and Sydney, Experientia based in Turin, Sauerbruch Hutton in Frankfurt, and the site being in Helsinki. In terms of e workshop with Experientia, it's the first time many of us have actually met. However we make good progress, coming up with at least one entirely new conceptual framework – always a nice feeling to nut out another one of those, whether it's actually required is another matter – as well as refining our list of potential products and services. 

The No.8 Arup office, a new building, is a pleasure to work in. Contemporary Euro Functional, I'd call it, with nice finishes and good spaces, dashes of bold colour and finish offsetting the whites, greys and timber. The AV and IT is more variable, however. But we get a lot done despite.

Evening, out to Shoreditch to the Strong Rooms bar to meet old friends. It's odd to be round here — again, an old stomping ground; I used to live off Brick Lane. Feels quite lively the early evening sun. Old Street is still a horrible artery, and the roundabout a particular mess, but the back streets are good, if populated exclusively by the young, feckless and try-hard.

Submerge into jet lag at 9pm.

Photos from London, May 2010


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