Word Form

My old flatmate from Milan, Nicola Tosic, asked me to take part in an art event, ‘Something New’ that he was organising in October 2009.

Earlier that year, Diana and I adopted our three children from Colombia.

I decided to create a video that juxtaposed words spoken by my father with my adopted son learning to read in Italian. The visual content mixed old Super 8mm film of a setting sun, an After Effects type animation and my attempts to animate using the ‘Processing’ programming language.

As is typical when I attempt to create, I find myself raising more questions than answers.

That said, I cherish the video for providing me with a lasting record of my father’s voice and the child I grew to father. As for my exploits using Processing, the less said about that, the better.

Sensing Speed

While working with Fabio Salvadori at H-Art London, we worked with Maserati on a new online campaign for their Trofeo race.

We wanted to capture different data sources from a Maserati racing car – decibel level, driver heartbeat, speed – and visualise the data using three-dimensional generative graphics.

I invited Field to help us visualise the data. They did not disappoint.

Tensegrity, Trust and Togetherness

Towards the end of last year, I was invited to share my thoughts on ‘innovative ways of working’ at an annual meetup for a global steel firm in Northern Italy.

After the inevitable pangs of self-doubt..
Why me?
What do I know about steel??
What do I know about innovation???

I collaborated with Valentina from the company’s communication agency, Multi, to prepare my slides that attempt to embrace knowledge gained both at work and at home to offer insight on ways of working.

Here is an extract:

Intro
London-born, although I feel part-Italian due to living in Italy for over 10 years with my parter Diana who is from Abruzzo.

I like asking questions and seem to have made a career out of it – exploring how digital technology can be used to change the way we work, play and everything in between.

I come from the land of Brexit. A strange place, populated by strange people.

Just when you think it can’t get any stranger..

Brexit provides us with an example of what happens when a group implodes. Whether we are talking about a group of countries, a group of politicians or a group of family members, I propose there are some common tenets for enabling groups to thrive.

Innovation is a word all too easy to say and all too difficult to do, akin to having a good relationship.

It is about being open to change. Doing things differently. The power to question the status quo and continue questioning.

Enabling healthy contamination. The bringing together of different elements. Whether it be people, data, materials, methods.

My wife Diana, seen here upside down, is my life partner.
She inspires me and pushes me.
She teaches yoga and is the most creative person that I know.

Thanks to a chance meeting in Milan in 2000, we have spent the last 19 years working and living in Italy and the UK. We currently live in Abruzzo with our 3 adopted children.

I am English, my wife is Italian, our children are Colombian-born. They now have both Italian and English passports, speak English with a North London accent and Italian with an Abruzzese accent.

It is this mix of DNA, that gives our family a sense of common identity.

There are certain ingredients that are fundamental to ensure healthy group dynamics: trust, clear communication, common language.

Richard Buckminster Fuller – American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor, and futurist -coined the term ‘tensegrity’, combining tension and integrity, describing a structure where the stresses are evenly distributed throughout the entire structure rather than accumulating at certain points, therefore, maintaining the balance of tension members.

The relationship of the nodes is fundamental. The way they work together as a single structure.

Teams share a similar dynamic.

https://www.adp.com/resources/articles-and-insights/articles/g/global-study-of-engagement-technical-report.aspx

In a research study around employee engagement at work, that was published in the Harvard Business Review last month,  83% of  workers say that they do most of their work in teams.

Employees who work in teams are more engaged than employees who work alone.

When people who work in a team experience a strong sense of trust with the team leader, the engagement levels increase exponentially.

There is something in equal parts humbling and empowering that comes through the sense of solidarity and group identity experienced by members of a team, through the combination of shared purpose and group intimacy. It is a unique feeling that I have had the fortune to experience at different times while, from antirom through to GDS.

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Antirom

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Government Digital Service (GDS)