Author: John V Willshire

  • Woodpunk Futures

    Woodpunk Futures

    I love this… and reacted immediately with the word Woodpunk. It is a Masterplan of the Luna block in Sodertalje, Sweden, by Alison Brookes Architecture & BAU. (I saw it via Dan, but you’d guessed that already) I’m not sure if Woodpunk is a term, but like Steampunk, it feels like it could just as…

  • Reflections on Innovation & Future Thinking

    Reflections on Innovation & Future Thinking

    Toban Shadlyn and John V Willshire Introduction We are approaching the tenth anniversary year of the Innovation and Future Thinking course at IED Barcelona. In the summer of 2024, it will run from Monday 9th July for two weeks. Usually, around this time, we write an explanation of what the theme will be for the…

  • Revisiting Metadesign for Murph

    Revisiting Metadesign for Murph

    I’m going to be opening up the second day of UX London 2024, 18th-20th June. As part of that talk, I’ll be revisiting a talk called Metadesign for Murph which I gave at dConstruct in 2015. It might be one of my favourite talks that I’ve ever given. There’s something very fitting about this, given…

  • Punk Participative Principles

    Yesterday was the third edition of The Steps Collective, which Lizzie Shupak and I took up the speaking reins for. I brought two things together; my experience at Future Days in Lisbon during the last week, and a talk on Participative Futures I explored earlier this year. I’ve uploaded the slides below too, if you…

  • Future Days – City Scanning

    Future Days – City Scanning

    As part of the first day at Future Days in Lisbon this week, I was invited to conduct a city scanning exercise Futures Days is a festival for futures and systemic thinkers, innovation-seekers, creatives, purpose-driven organizations and policy-makers to collectively create the futures of urban lives, equitable societies through and beyond technology. Working with the…

  • Books as friends

    I had a great catchup with Dave Gray today, during which we talked a little about a post on bookshelves I’d shared on LinkedIn a few days back, in particular which books sit next to each other. Gamestorming, the book Dave wrote with Sunni Brown and James Macanufo, sits here for me – more towards…

  • Refractive Fragmentation of the Social Web

    Refractive Fragmentation of the Social Web

    I responded to something Peter said this morning on Bluesky: I responded that, yes, I have been thinking about this too. And, as I’ve found useful over time, seeing the problem for individual and collective perspectives helps. Zoom in, zoom out, repeat. The problem is magnified in the macro; as much as you have your…

  • The Warp and the Weft

    I was at one of Dan Hon’s Hallway Tracks yesterday, featuring special guests Deb Chachra and Georgina Voss as they talked about their respective magnificent recent books, How Infrastructure Works and Systems Ultra. Held under Chatham House* rules, there were lots of brilliant questions and directions the ninety minutes took, both in conversation and in…

  • Shipping books with tone

    I was catching up with Phil yesterday, notionally about the Community Power Compass, though inevitably it became about many other things too. One of those things was the difference between the book version of The Dawn of Everything and the audiobook. I listened to the audiobook first, then bought the physical copy. Phil just has…

  • Return to UX London

    I am delighted to have been invited back to give one of the keynote talks at UX London this summer – details here – 18th-20th June. I have had a long-term love for Clearleft, the hosts, and invitations from them to speak have been instrumental moments in my career so far. The most pivotal, and…

  • The Rise of the Brainstorm Bots

    I was listening to The Life Scientific this morning, where the guest was Michael Wooldridge, professor of computing science at the University of Oxford, talking about AI and sentient robots. It’s a good listen; the part that stood out to me most was this… “One of the unexpected applications of this technology is brainstorming.  So traditionally,…

  • What is six-fingered text?

    This afternoon, I idly sketched out ‘there’s no such thing as six-fingered text’. Some of my work of late has taken a sudden AI twist. I mean, whose hasn’t… in the discursive, theoretical stage at least. Lots of people talking about it, nobody really doing it. And with good reason, perhaps. As conversations unfold, you realise just…