Having produced this animation solely using email communication, this morning it was great to actually meet Ben Skinner and Fraser Davidson the founders of Cub Studio.
Cub Studio actually work out of a shipping container for an office so we had agreed to meet at Shoreditch House.
Before heading off, I was going to iron a shirt. I then decided better of it. Heading to Shore Ditch – London Start Up Central – and meeting with creatives, I figured my IceBreaker Hoodie would be sufficient. My reasoning was confirmed when I arrived and was confronted with a large poster declaring “no suits” and subsequently found very casual attire.
On entering and being told to head up to the 6th floor I was somewhat taken aback to see a swimming pool as I exited the lift. Shoreditch House is one of a series of clubs providing facilities from bedrooms, to workspaces, a restaurant and a pool. The environment was addictive and buzzing and overall based on the number of facilities these guys run, it appears to be a great business.
Fraser has previously lived in NZ and Ben visited a number of years ago. It was a really great time to meet them and talk about our businesses and our next project we are doing with them.
Not surprisingly, it confirmed again that even though we can work virtually on other sides of the world, it can never be a replacement for actually meeting people face to face.
The theme for the night was Pricing and Revenue Models and as the oldest company there I was the last to speak so was wondering how much I’d have to add to the topic after hearing from Dale from Weirdly and Vaughan from Vend.
As it turned out while we were all on the same page, we had all got there in different ways. This in essence sums up pricing in my mind – experiment, experiment experiment.
Dale explained how they had continued testing different pricing and even updated what service they actually sell (though not as a result of changing the product).
Vaughan talked about Negative Churn as the holy grail for a SaS business and how to set about achieving this – or at least trying to.
I talked about the history of our Cadimage pricing over the last 10 years and how we recently moved from a perpetual model to a SaS model.
Overall it seemed that the biggest questions for the night revolved around the assumptions required to get a SaS business started. All three of us were asked the question in different ways but ultimately the message was, you have to make some assumptions (and various rules of thumb were suggested) and then you just need to get started, experiment and evolve. The more you get into it the more you can tweak your original assumptions.
It is impossible to have studied Architecture in New Zealand and not have heard of Ath. His work across the country and most concentrated in Wellington will be a constant reminder of his contribution to our built environment.
Big Data – Kennet Cuklet and Viktor Mayer-Schonberger
The Virgin Way – Richard Branson
Zero to One – Peter Thiel and Blake Masters
I recently received a book celebrating 75 years of Air New Zealand which was a good look back on the development of a world-class airline and also read a couple of dozen novels which I won’t bore you with here.
…her crew helped to popularize the terms bug and debugging. The Mark II version of the Harvard computer was in a building without window screens. One night the machine conked out, and the crew began looking for the problem. They found a moth with a wingspan of four inches that had gotten smashed in one of the electromechanical relays. It was retrieved and paster into the log book with Scotch tape. “Panel F (moth) in relay,” the entry noted. “First actual case of bug being found.” From then on, they referred to ferreting out glitches as “debugging the machine”
From: The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson
Over the last two days 12 of New Zealand’s top architecture graduates battled it out for the coveted NZIA Graphisoft Student Design Award.
As always the quality of the work was exceptional.
This years winner was Tom Dobinson from Victoria University with his project ‘Wharf Dwellers – An Expose Of Lyttelton‘
Highly commended were Ji Min An from Unitec with ‘Korea Korea’ and Norman Wei from Auckland University with ‘SUPER-PACIFIC-CITY: The Saga Of Lomipeau’
You can read the Judges citations below the gallery.
Auckland University, School of Architecture and Planning
Architecture of Coexistence: Regenerating Royal Oak through Urban Acupuncture
Focusing on his own neighbourhood in Royal Oak, Raimana addresses an Auckland-wide issue: the domination of suburban communities and architecture by vehicle traffic. Light touch interventions reveal a respect for the existing building fabric and a sympathetic understanding of local social conditions.
Rotovegas: Playground of Flux
By marrying speed and play with urban infrastructure, Natalee has produced a hyperbolic, hyper-real version of Rotorua, New Zealand’s tourist playground. The scheme – engagingly presented in sulpher-yellow renderings and with a rhyming couplet commentary – mandates drive-through fun for locals and visitors.
Zee Shake Lee
Moving Grounds: Irrupting Three Kings’ Inverted Volcanoes
Zee Shake’s polemical and provocative scheme is a dramatically unorthodox option for the development of one of Auckland’s much-abused volcanic cones. The moody presentation of a series of propositions provides a strong indication of the form of the architectural response to a man-damaged landscape.
Norman Wei – Highly Commended
SUPER-PACIFIC-CITY: The Saga of Lomipeau
Drawing inspiration from the Tongan myth of sea-faring Lomipeau, Norman Wei has proposed a big-boat, hydraulically powered solution to the Pacific problem of impending inundation. The horizons of this inventive, exuberant and well-illustrated scheme stretch well beyond the Islands to the shores of Asia. It’s an ingenious and very optimistic scenario.
UNITEC – Department of Architecture
Piranesi: [Th]reading the Repository
Flora’s proposal explores the mysteries of Piranesian space, as illustrated in the Carceri series of drawings, and expresses a contemporary spatial approach that resonates with Piranesi’s ideas. The scheme is a brave attempt to make design sense, through physical and digital models, of Piranesi’s claustrophobic, labyrinthine vision.
Ji Min An – Highly Commended
Jo Min’s entry is a well-judged means of using architecture to explore an intractable political problem. The proposal for a factory sited in the middle of the Korean DMZ in which workers from both North and South would produce Kimchi – the non-partisan national dish – is clearly presented, tightly edited and very focused. It also manages to be both realistic and optimistic in its appreciation of an issue architecture could only ever alleviate, not solve.
Swim Or Sink
Mayank’s innovative and research-driven proposal responds to the situation of the Maldive Islands which, thanks to global warming, face a submarine future. Semi-submersible oil rigs are re-purposed as platforms for displaced communities; the scheme is logical, knowledgeable, and clearly explained and presented.
The Steaks Are High
Shane foregrounds the issues attending modern bovine grazing in his proposal for a vertical urban tower for the production of beef. A cow ‘cradle to grave’ system – it could also work for goats and pigs, where culturally appropriate – confronts city dwellers with the realities of the provision of their meat. The scheme is supported by in-depth research and was rendered possible by an enterprising, problem-solving attitude.
VICTORIA – Department of Architecture – Faculty of Architecture and Design
Plan B Hive: An Outpost In The Hinterland
After an earthquake in Wellington the Beehive’s occupants are relocated to a groundscraper fortress in the Kapiti Coast foothills. Clever siting, a bold and singular formal treatment, and a strong polemic distinguish Benjamin’s scheme. This is a real proposition, presented with wit and verve.
Topology Of A Phantom City
This is a brilliantly illustrated presentation of an ambitious proposal to address the needs of inhabitants of slums or ‘informal settlements’. Hamish’s scheme envisages the combination of basic digital technology – the ubiquitous Minecraft game – with a sophisticated, vertically integrated system that recycles waste into energy and the construction materials needed to build sustainable communities.
Tom Dobinson – Winnder
Wharf Dwellers – An Expose of Lyttelton
Tom’s proposal to open up public access to Lyttelton’s privatized wharf, and at the same time explore the town’s ‘underbelly’ and the persona of one of its distinguished inhabitants, the artist Bill Hammond, is inventive, curious and assured. The scheme is the very impressive product of a highly iterative process. Clearly and legibly presented, and well put together, it reveals its author’s talent for analysis, skill in assembly, and deep interest in the social and architectural condition of his hometown.
E Toe Sasa’a le Fafao ; Return to Paradise
Carinya’s scheme for the regeneration of a tsunami-damaged Samoan fishing village expresses her impressive immersion in the project and her commitment to mastering craft skills. Scientific data and fieldwork interviews have informed good architectural judgement, exhibited in the sensitive amalgam of traditional principles and construction methods and modern architecture.
At the end of the APPC conference in Seoul we had a team building activity that took place at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza.
This gave me a chance to take some interior photos following my exteriors from earlier in the week.
In some areas the concrete forms were plastered and painted bright white, while in others the concrete was left ‘unfinished’. Overall the interiors were just as stunning as the exteriors with lots of free forms.