This week’s Weekend Engineering Works post is about Ticket to Ride winning strategies. The game involves racing against other players to build a network of railway lines across different counties and continents. What I find exciting about the game is the recreation of an age of bold and adventurous engineering: the railway era. I particular enjoy building routes that I have travelled down in real life. But what I enjoy most is dreaming up winning strategies, and then testing them out.
In this post I describe my few of my more successful Ticket to Ride wining strategies. Alongside, as you might expect from this blog, I’ve also provided some wider musings on their philosophical implications.
Continue reading “Ticket to ride winning strategies – weekend engineering works”
It is the moment I look for on my training courses. It is when participants switch from general interest in the topic or material to a moment of clarity about where they are now, what they want to be able to do and what stands in their way. For me this is when teaching and learning come alive because we have clarity of purpose, a goal which provides both motivation and a clear end point and a challenge that we can sink our teeth into.
When we reach these conditions we can enter into a space of joint experimentation (as my colleague Søren Willert would call it) where neither of us necessarily know what is going to happen but we have confidence that our efforts will be worthwhile.
How do you make sure you get the most out of the investment you are making in your professional development? First you have to commit to doing the hand work, which, in fact, comes in two parts. And then you need to create the conditions for your success. All is revealed in this video.
Continue reading “Approaching professional development as a professional”
So many things that I am working on at the moment lead me to the conclusion that there is power in the gaps. But I feel like for my much of my professional development I have been taught to fill in the gaps.
Continue reading “The power is in leaving a gap”
I met with a friend earlier in the week to talk about setting some life goals. It’s a conversation we had had five years ago and then did nothing about, but this time I came prepared with the Eiffel Over Action Learning Template.
Continue reading “An action learning template for reaching any goal”
I spend most of my time designing creativity training for engineers. In this episode we flip the format. Alexie Sommer, Independent Design and Communication Director and collaborator on many of my projects interviews me about why I set up Eiffel Over and Constructivist Ltd, and what our plans are for designing creativity training for engineers in 2020. We get into:
- Techniques for teaching creativity
- Our programme of training support people tackling the climate emergency
- And what engineers might learn from clowns.
Listen on Apple Podcasts , Sticher or by download here
Continue reading “#15 Show-notes – Oliver Broadbent interview by Alexie Sommer – Creativity, climate and clowning”
This week I have had the feeling that I have been struggling recently to find focus on my creative work. I have lots of projects on at the moment, and I am not satisfied that I am being able to draw a cohesive thread between them. I think this is important because I subscribe to the idea that to have impact on your work, you need to be regularly adding to it in a disciplined way – always adding momentum to the fly-wheel, as Jim Collins puts it.
Continue reading “Olafur Eliasson at the Tate + reflections on my own work”
A key part of problem-based learning is reflection. But how do you get people not interested in reflection to start thinking critically about the decisions they take over their learning. The answer could be to think about performance.
Continue reading “Performance versus reflection”
[The following text is adapted from the after-dinner speech I gave at the University of Edinburgh Engineering Faculty’s away day. It was originally titled ‘How problem-based learning can save the world and make you happy too’. But I have renamed it ‘A reminder about the imminent climate catastrophe and how we should educate engineers to prepare for it’]
Tonight’s engagement is my first since I took a summer sabbatical, which I planned to use to work on a book. Those plans changed in my first week away when I got involved in the Extinction Rebellion summer uprising in Bristol. That experience of direct action and the reaction it caused prompted me to read much more about climate breakdown, models for political change, the implications of societal collapse, the role of engineers to help minimise impacts and deal with upheaval in our own communities and the role of the people that teach engineers.
Continue reading “A reminder about the imminent climate catastrophe and how we should educate engineers to prepare for it”
There was great energy at today’s IStructE Academics’ Conference, the theme of which was Creativity and Conceptual Design.
If you are visiting this site for the first time, it may have been thanks to Chris Wise’s kind recommendation in his keynote presentation – thanks so much Chris.
I presented a session on how to have ideas. Usually when I’m billed with this title, I run a workshop on idea generation, but I thought for once, I would stand up and say what I think about the subject. I’m glad I did because it seemed warmly received. It was also a chance to talk through themes that will be included in the chapter I am writing in a book on scheme design – more details to follow.
Continue reading “Notes from IStructE Academics’ Conference 2018”