The Barnes Family

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Notes from the Road

  • Rock, Paper, Scissors
    I wrote a play some years ago, exploring the relationships and perspectives of three very different people, caught in wartime Afghanistan. At an early stage, my friend Michael Sanie expressed interest in writing an opera based on the play, and after several years of delays and struggles, here it is. The opera is in three […]
  • Architecture and Income
    It’s well known that architects are poorly paid. With a lengthy degree, followed by three or more years of apprenticeship and professional exams before they can even use the word architect, it seems crazy. It’s not crazy, even if it is unfair. I believe that people’s willingness to pay for a service has to do […]
  • Religion for the non-religious
    This is a great TED talk from Alain de Botton. It reflects an idea I’ve struggled with for many years: how to make use of and participate in the great religious ideas without subscribing to all the doctrinal mumbo-jumbo. He insightfully shows the many virtues of religious practice, and suggests that rather than throwing out […]
  • Work and the NextGen Office
    The Architect magazine this month has a feature on work –  you can learn more at their website – it’s an important topic, because we mostly do too much of it. On the front page of the article is a drawing that lists some of the activities we enjoy (endure?) in the workplace: focus nurture […]
  • Bjarke Ingels at TED
    Architecture is about the application of ideas to the environment. Bjarke Ingels understands the power of an idea to symbolize our relationship to the environment – both in a spatial sense and in terms of more abstract ideas like sustainability. In this video he talks about how he has used architecture and master planning to […]
  • BIG and Small
    Glen Small writes about Bjarke Ingels in this article. The comparison is interesting: Both are full of energy and ideas. Their architectural strategies have a number of things in common. But they could not be more different from a business perspective. The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has a stream of prestigious comissions, and a portfolio […]
  • Music, emotion and architecture
    Years ago, I sang with a choir called the Schola Polyphonica, under the direction of Maxwell Fernie, in New Zealand. On the rare occasions when we performed, an emotional sense of engagement and connection arose between the singers and the audience, that I have rarely experienced elsewhere. Through rehearsing and performing the music, we were […]
  • How anyone can benefit from religion
    This is a great talk from Alain de Botton. It reflects an idea I’ve struggled with for many years: how to make use of and participate in the great religious ideas without subscribing to all the doctrinal mumbo-jumbo. He insightfully shows the many virtues of religious practice, and suggests that rather than throwing out the […]
  • Ollie‚Äôs New Beginning
    While we were living in England, my younger son and I were talking about writing. I think he was about seven at the time. Together we developed the idea for a story about a boy and his toy dragon. Starting with a mind-map, and moving on to a full-blown outline, we talked the story through. […]
  • Strategy
    I have been involved in strategy for a long time, both inside companies and as a consultant. I have recently joined forces with a small group of strategically minded executives to offer a new kind of consulting. The group is called Interlink Partners, and our focus is on helping tech companies rapidly make changes that […]

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