About Speedbird

“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.)

– I just published a pamphlet called “Against the smart city,” which can be purchased for Kindle here or as a physical POD book here.

– 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 do get in touch. Thanks!

Ebisu nights

Finally, my Roger Sterling/Jim Cutler slash fiction (published under the pen name of “GG Bollard”) has been very well received. As of January 2014, I live and work in Helsinki San Francisco Tokyo New York City London. If you’re really curious about the trivial events of my everyday life & what I’ve been reading, my public Twitter stream is here.

Unless otherwise specified, all material on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works license.



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