We present the Living room of the future…

living room of the future flyer

I’ve been working on the living room of the future and write about it quite a few other places including the BBC R&D blog.

Its part of the reason for the radio silence recently, but honestly the team of 3 universities and 2 arts organisations have been hard at work to create the live demonstrator of the living room of the future.

living room of the future

I won’t lie, its bloody exciting not only for the experience but what it enables and stands for. I highly recommend taking part in the research if you are able to come to Liverpool from Thursday 3rd – 8th May.

Of course I don’t want to reveal too much and although its hard to do much of a spoiler as its about a shared experience. Our twitter bot is doing a good job showing the inners of what going on if you are wondering.

There has been a question for a while which people always ask. Why the living room? To which I answer sensitive place, common private area for discussions, there are existing social hierarchies at play in the space and its place for small audiences. Its also a complex space which I’ve seen talked about a lot recently.

BD3-34 - Pilsen St bedsit with armchair

I found Millennials don’t need living rooms, piece from the Independent fascinating.

A prominent architect has argued millennials do not need living rooms and their housing prospects would be greatly improved if size regulations were overhauled.

Patrik Schumacher, who took over as head of Zaha Hadid Architects after the legendary founder died in early 2016, said “hotel room-sized” studio flats were ideal for young people who led busy lives.

In a paper published by the Adam Smith Institute, he suggested size rules should be reviewed to increase the number of studio flats available to those on lower incomes.

While a 25-square-metre flat is the minimum in Japan, in the UK the minimum is 37 square metres for a one-bed.

Although reading through the piece, it sounds like a land grab to change the regulation and fit even more property in smaller spaces. There is a slight point that the price of property is super high and this could help (IF) prices don’t increase they are currently.

Polly Neate, CEO of housing charity Shelter, hit back at the architect’s remarks. “Tiny homes don’t necessarily mean cheaper homes, and at Shelter we know that having a decent place to live is vital for people’s well-being. So compromising on space and quality isn’t going to do anyone any favours,” she told The Independent.

“Homes in the UK are not expensive because they are too large, they are too expensive because our housing market is broken. When big developers realise they can squeeze, for example, 20 tiny homes on the same patch of land that once fit just ten then the price of land will rise to reflect this.

“The solution to the housing crisis is not to build ever smaller homes but to bring down the price of land and build the type of genuinely affordable homes that people actually want to live in.”

My thoughts went back and forth while reading but I wondered if the living space is squeezed what will disappear? Maybe the living room or kitchen will be first to go, looking at Japanese flats for example.

There was a choice in building the living room of the future, that it should be big or small? What was it it and what wasn’t. We decided on small to reflect the trend on smaller shared spaces and the need for the 3rd space.

Looking at the other side of the living room project, it was also fascinating to read about the UK’s first smarthome with Apple home kit baked in. The obviously scares the life out of me but every buyer of smart homes should read the house which spied on me and also the follow up which explains how it worked.

The house which spied on me

In December, I converted my one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco into a “smart home.” I connected as many of my appliances and belongings as I could to the internet: an Amazon Echo, my lights, my coffee maker, my baby monitor, my kid’s toys, my vacuum, my TV, my toothbrush, a photo frame, a sex toy, and even my bed.

Its super revealing and a very good long read. It speaks volumes about the different data which flows around our homes and spaces like the living room.

So what you waiting for, get yourself a ticket now!

Taking the redpill and washing it down with some cool-aid



Myself and Elisa were on Ngunan’s upfront Radio show on Sunday. I made a clip of our discussion minus the music.

A lot was said but I found Elisa’s views looking at the manosphere quite surprising. I did hear that the 2016 documentary, Redpill is well worth watching because of Cassie’s video diaries which show the conflict she has in her own mind and believes.

So I watched it, unfortunately the day after the show, it would have been really useful to be clear when on the radio.

From the documentary;

  • Mens rights – Want to change the system
  • Men going their own way (Mgtow) – Want to leave the system
  • Redpill community – Want to take advantage of the system

Its a interesting distinction.

I do agree there are differences in the manosphere, just like there are differences in the feminist-sphere.

But through-out the documentary I could see elements of truth, some were blown up and smudged into a complete argument. This is classic misinformation technique, elements of truth are mixed in with lots of falsehoods.

A large part of the documentary is around paternity (fathers rights which was touched upon in the show) which is a big issue just like domestic violence, mental illness, self-abuse and suicide. But although its a large problem some of the theories are built and discussed with too much misinformation. It is clear that there is a lot of fighting between the different groups, even on core issues which effect both sexes like genital mutilations, cancer, etc.

But even with all that I’m still calling myself a feminist.

I wish I remembered to bring up clear cut things like gamergate.


Discussing the crisis of masculinity on BBC Merseyside’s upfront

The time has come around, its been a while since the last debate on BBC Merseyside Radio. We scratched the idea of Masculinity and tomorrow its time for the radio debate. Guests include Ngunan, Elisa, Ahmed, Matt and Myself. Tune in live online from 8pm BST.

To babe Matt, keep the discussion going Nguna
Nguna gains one more friend 🙂

I said its been a while since the last debate on BBC Merseyside Radio. This time I brought new people (Elisa & Matt ) on board to join the debate. I’ll be honest it was fun again. You can hear the whole thing from the start here. Or I clipped out the music for archive purposes only.

All I’m going to say is I still won’t be calling anyone my lover, unless in Bristol or a really close friend. Its a shame Ahmed couldn’t join us, but I’m sur

Great fun and interesting conversation again!

The crisis of masculinity on BBC Merseyside’s upfront Sunday 23rd July 8pm

Fatherland has much to say about the state of Masculinity, but so does Trainspotting 2

The time has come around, its been a while since the last debate on BBC Merseyside Radio. We scratched the idea of Masculinity and tomorrow its time for the radio debate.

Guests include Ngunan, Elisa, Ahmed, Matt and Myself.

Tune in live online from 8pm BST.

Liverpool Life talking about Perceptive Media

I have recently spent a quite a bit of time in Liverpool, mainly for work but also slightly for pleasure . There were a few lectures/talks at FACT and Liverpool John Moores University.

Most of the presentations are on slideshare, as per usual but I also had joy of being interviewed as part of a podcast talking about object based media.

Of course most was edited out but there’s a big chunk of the interview, mainly focused on the experience of perceptive media, which sits right on top of object based media.. They described it as on the verge of a revolution, no less.

You can listen to the whole thing online at the Liverpool life audioboom channel from Feb 24th.

Scratching the disappointment of masculinity on radio

BBC Merseyside debate

Its been a long time since I was last on BBC Merseyside.  has flown by, but I’ve done a lot in that time. Ngunan has asked a few times if I would come back on the show, and with Valentines day coming up, I agreed.

Theres a lot of history between us, especially when it comes to who pays on the first date. All we needed was Jody to complete the trip down memory lane.

In the middle I did give my 4 things for Valentines day from a singleton to the other million singletons in the UK.

  1. Get busy and don’t dwell on previous relationships
  2. Reconnect with old friends
  3. Get out of you’re comfort zone
  4. Do something constructive

Things took a interesting turn as we started to unpick why… I won’t spoil it but I’ll be back to talk more about the disappointment of masculinity, something I picked up from Trainspotting T2 a few weeks earlier.

Trainspotting director Danny Boyle has revealed that its long-awaited sequel is going to be about “manhood and disappointed masculinity.”

I have clipped the audio without the music on archive.org but you can hear it in full on BBC iplayer.

TedXLiverpool does Liverpool proud


I do love a good TedX and theres been some good ones this year. But I really like the ones which are more representative of the local area or local concerns. They tend to bring new people to the stage and new ideas, and you know how much I love diversity of ideas. TedXLiverpool is one such one TedX.

There is something about Liverpool… I can’t put my finger on it but everyone I know who is from there seems to absolutely love it. It does seem like a interesting place with a similar history to Bristol. There are other similarities like 2 football teams which seem to divide the city. The things I don’t really like is the transport links between Liverpool and Manchester. The last train back from Liverpool to Manchester seems to be 2320 and is the slowest train you’ve seen. Not only that the first train to Liverpool for TedXLiverpool was 8:10 which is shocking even for a Sunday. Anyhow the point is, I hardly get a chance to really experience Liverpool.

So enough grumbling about the transport (although I did get a ticket for my scooter too). Marie tried to convince me to sign up to TedXLiverpool during the last Thinking Digital and I kinda said maybe but as the line up grew and grew, it was having Adrian and Dan Hon both speaking which got me to plonk down the money for a early bird ticket. Although they were not talking together, having them both in the same venue was enough.

Myself and the Hon's

Later it was announced Sir Ken Roberson would be joining the TedXLiverpool line up and the tickets went overnight. I’ll be honest and say I was sitting pretty with my tickets confirmed. Don’t get me wrong the hearing Sir Ken talking was like having a double cherry on the top of a great cake. And I haven’t even started on the fantastic venue of the Everyman theater. Everything was lining up to be a special day.

Everything seemed smooth and before you knew it, Adrian Hon took to the floor. When I say floor I literary mean floor. The everyman theatre has a floor with the audience covering 3/4’s of it. There is no where to hide, no podium, just the speaker and some props. The space outside in the lobby area was long and had a nice long balcony. If I had not seen the Royal Exchange in Manchester, I would say it was one of the finest theaters I had seen.

So what about those speakers? Everybody was great but in my usual style he’s my favorite speakers.  Sir Ken Robinson , Graham Hughes, Adrian Hon, Homebaked Anfield, Nigel Ward, Dan Hon and Hayley Parkes.

Sir Ken Roberson

Sir Ken was incredible and although he never actually did a talk for 18mins. He was interviewed by Herb Kim on the sofa with a massive TEDdy (get it) sat next to him. Teddy was unfortunately right between myself and Sir Ken. However it was amazing to hear him answer questions about his famous TED talk. In the 3rd section of TEDxLiverpool, Sir Ken took over from Herb presenting and riffing between the last lot of speakers. Then just when you think it can’t be better, after Mike Southon. Sir Ken riff on the fly for about 5-10mins. I was scrabbling around my mind map making notes. Diversity of thoughts, amazement of life, belief in human endeavor, reliance on academic endeavor and much much more was talked about.

Graham Hughes

I have wrote about Graham so many times from when I first met him at Thinking Digital. He kind of inspired me to head to Tokyo and he’s now urging me to go visit him in Panama! Not sure I’ll be going but thanks for the offer all the same Graham and great to hear his story is continuing forward to somewhere specially.

TedXLiverpoolAdrian Hon

Adrian, started off proceedings with a sobering talk about cowardice and courage. The points he made were spot on, as a society were rubbish at encouraging people to be bold. He talked about the white feather which was a sign of cowardice in war times, and the time for pacifism. What about taking courage in everyday life? He then put this all in the scope of whats happening with the 5 stacks we are all using now. Asking the question, have you gotten off Facebook yet? What would it take personally to get off Facebook? Facebook was simply an example which really struck home. Great talk Adrian

Dan Hon

Dan ‘s Emphany in technology was similar to his brother’s talk. Although they were quite different on the face of it. Putting the humanity into technological solutions. The problems with algorithms and business models was highlighted front and centre throughout the talk. This is something I have been thinking about a lot. After the event I got a quick chance to talk to Dan and mention how I’ve been looking at online dating with a similar lens. Great talk Dan


Homebaked is one of those little gems which you come across once in a while. Just like a lot of the other community projects I mentioned before, they just fucking did it. Co-working space, bakery and a cornerstone of the local community. Connecting the local community with new people coming into the area. I mean wow! The homebaked story was amazing and got me thinking this approach is the solution to gentrification? What can I do to help this in my area?

Peter Kenslla

I was listening to Peter talking about his history and trying to establish a restaurant in the middle of the financial crisis. It was interesting but it dawned on me almost at the end of his talk. The restaurant he was talking about was Lunya. A place I went with Jody Appleton to on the first night of our talks on BBC Merseyside. Nice restaurant and I like the view that the more terrifying it is the
more you should do it.

TedXLiverpoolHayley Parks

So great hearing Hayley again, when shes playing the piano it seems to take her to another place. Simply memorising!

TedXLiverpoolJess Gillam

Jess was a late replacement for Ameila O’Connell. She played two different saxophones and really added a Jazzy tone to the everyman theatre. Great stuff and how young? Great future beckons.

Honestly it was a hard pick to my list. Every talk was great, the ones above struck a cord with me. Adrian McEwen, Nigel Ward and  Prof. Tom Solomon were all great and deserve a mention too. Gemma Bodinetz ‘s talk about the everyman was nice, as I had no idea about the Everyman’s history.

TedXLiverpool was really impressive, and once again shows what happen when you have a good range of people not just star after star.


The Height debate on BBC Merseyside

BBC Merseyside's Upfront

Third time on BBC Merseyside’s upfront with Ngunan and Jody. This time the topic centred around the height issue.

You can find the show on BBC iplayer for another 6 days.You need to start about 1hour 6mins in the stream.

I have also added it to archive.org and removed the music.

Its a good fun debate and although were laughing most of the way through, there is the serious side which only hits Ngunan when Jody pointed out how it works in online dating. You rule out a massive selection of potential people just because they are not your ideal height. It was also great to have Ngunan’s other guests who were a gay couple and gave us a view from the gay perspective.

Don’t worry we’ll be back on Upfront in the new year with other topics of interest

The Radio debate: Who pays on the first date?

Who pays on the first date: the debate

What can I say…? Time fliesWhat was I worried about ?

It was fun to be honest… Thanks to Ngunan Adamu, Northern Lass and the rest of the radio team.

I forgot how much I love Radio. Its so simple and so flexible. Me and Northern Lass turned up about 30mins beforehand. Spoke the production team for a while then we were in to the studio. Yes it was 3 against 2 and Ngunan was in control of the faders. Originally It started out with 4 vs 2, so hey it could be worst. No need for the facts and data on my tablet.

Judging by the first story (poor EJ), some more dating advice could be debated. The Godfreds experience is bad but you can’t let one bad person change your values and views. The “its part of the culture” is interesting and may need to be explored a little more.Through-out the debate they never answered the question of what happens when you speed date or meet through other means. (actually Ngunan said she wasn’t sure if it applies then).

Know your place as a man? Really? And the whole Emasculating thing, geeez! Come on!

I was so happy when Frankie asked for Kanya West. “Very proud gold digger” indeed!

If you didn’t hear the show, never fear you can listen to it on BBC iPlayer (UK only sorry and be quick its only up for 7 days). Its 1hour 8mins in to the show upfront. For friends outside the UK, there is a cut on Archive.org

We sell all the time

Daniel Pink signing my bookDan Pike's To sell is human

I have to say I found Drive really interesting and quite enjoyed Dan Pink’s previous works. I’m now looking forward to reading my newly signed To sell is human book.

The idea we all sell and its actually one of the most human of things is intriguing. Influence can be used for good and used for bad, and the idea of selling certainly does conjure up lots of negative thoughts, like Dan points out here.

While listening I was thinking about the human need to influence and mementic theory.

Got to say Dan Pink certainly makes convincing points and it was a pleasure to see him live again (thanks to Thinking Digital and LJMU)