“Speedbird” has been the callsign for aircraft belonging to BOAC and its various predecessors and descendents since 1939.
To me the Speedbird symbolizes many things: the lost glamour of travel, the high Modernist moment in design and architecture, and above all, a time when Western culture still believed in a future.
Who writes Speedbird?
My name is Adam Greenfield. Over the last decade, I’ve written and consulted pretty widely on issues at the intersection of design, technology and culture, with an increasing focus on how these things interact in (and condition our experience of) cities. I’ve been fortunate enough to explore these issues from a variety of angles:
- My first book, Everyware: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing, offers a humanist take on the colonization of everyday life by information technology. It can be purchased from Amazon.
- With Mark Shepard, I co-authored the first pamphlet in the Architectural League of New York’s splendid Situated Technologies series, a sweet little number we called Urban Computing and its Discontents. (Buy here, or download the free PDF. Be sure to check out the other pamphlets in the series, too.)
- During 2006 and 2007, with the inestimable Kevin Slavin, I co-taught Urban Computing at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. (This was a rough experience for me; I don’t mind admitting that I have neither Kevin’s empathic gifts, nor the light touch I cherished in my own favorite instructors. All that said, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.)
- With my wife, Nurri Kim, I co-founded the undisciplinary design collective Do projects, which publishes books, pamphlets, and editions, and otherwise underwrites explorations into space and experience. Over the past year, through Do, Nurri and I have conducted “walkshops” in cities around the world: participatory walking tours in which we look for and try to understand the physical appearances of networked informatics in urban space. These are generally a lot of fun, and we invariably learn something about the place we’re visiting.
- And just on the off chance I could jump the gap between theory and practice, in 2010 I founded Urbanscale, a New York-based firm dedicated to “design for networked cities and citizens.” Urbanscale is on hold while I finish writing The City Is Here For You To Use — but I do mean just that, i.e. it’s not a euphemism for “shut down.”
I present on these and related topics fairly often, and all over the planet; if you’re interested in having me speak at a conference or other event, please contact my representatives at the Leigh Bureau. Thanks!
I live and work in
Helsinki San Francisco Tokyo New York City. If you’re really curious about the trivial events of my everyday life, my public Twitter stream is here.
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