This Big City

reflections 25/09

September 30, 2009
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With 6.77 billion people on the planet I don’t really believe I am unique, more just a combination of factors so many other people possess. But maybe in this group of 35 I am unique in some way… All I have is my creativity, and I hope it’s a powerful tool. I also believe that I am quite adaptable, and can successfully apply myself to stuff that I may not have attempted before. I believe in making progress, not hanging on to pointless traditions… apart from maybe the royal family… and I think technology has a huge role to play in that. I strongly support non physical products. We are already using far too many resources making ‘stuff’ and I think its time to move our economies into being more service based, i think its the only way we can continue to have economic growth and not destroy the planet. We have so many huge challenges to face and I believe to tackle these we need to make changes that can be adopted by the mainstream. However, realistically, I doubt we could achieve anything as massive as this during MACE so I would rather have some fun with some crazy creative ideas that can make peoples lives a bit easier, a bit more fun, again, with the potential for mass adoption.


Posted in week one

Prototyping a new shoe…

September 24, 2009
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The need we fulfilled: Good wide shoes


Wrap around flexible sole that expands to fit the width of your foot.


Modular shoe. Buy the correct sole, then purchase skins that fit around that sole.

Posted in shoe experiment

People and their shoes…

September 23, 2009
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The 5 questions I wrote down to ask people about their shoes were:

1. How long have you owned these shoes?

2. In what way have these shoes lived up to you expectations?

3. In what way have they not?

4. If these shoes cost twice as much as you paid for them, would you still have bought them?

5. How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Once in our groups we compiled our answers, although once we started asking the general public about their shoes our question asking lost its structure and we ended up engaging in a conversation about their shoes more than asking set questions.

Example 1:


This man had very wide feet, and as a result bought whatever shoe he could find that fits.

For him, the way the shoe looks is ‘irrelevant’.

Due to wide feet, this man is prepared to go all the way to Reading as he knows there is a good shop there for those with wide feet.

Person 2:


She bought these shoes as they looked nice, however, they have let her down as they aren’t very comfortable.

Despite looking very new, these shoes were 2 years old. She hardly ever wears them due to them being so uncomfortable.

Only wore them today as she felt she had no other options.

Would not consider buying the same shoe again.


From the time we spent interviewing, I learned that people’s interest in their shoes differs considerably. Some people could happily talk non stop, whereas some only had about 2 or 3 things to say. Despite having written set questions, this way of interviewing felt stale and too impersonal, and I think our interviewees could feel that. As a result, we ended up ditching set questions. This was more natural and easier to do, however this meant our data was impossible to turn into statistics, and it made finding pattterns harder.

If I was to do this again I would attempt to spend some more time finding a strong set of questions to ask that would interest the interviewees and also provide us with the opportunity to pick up some patterns from the answers.

Posted in week one

This Big City begins

September 17, 2009
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The plan for This Big City is a blog that hosts my writing, musings from my time studying Sustainable Communities and the Creative Economy at Kingston Uni, and links to stories relevant to a more sustainable 21st century lifestyle.

Lets see how it rolls.

Posted in Intro

About author

Joe Peach is an Artist and Designer based in London, UK. At present, he is studying Sustainable Communities and the Creative Economy at Postgraduate level in Kingston University.