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The Eiffelovercast

A regular digest of matters engineering, creativity and practical philosophy from your host, Oliver Broadbent.
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The Eiffelovercast
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Nov 27, 2017

Journalist and author J-P Flintoff is this person who inspired me to start this podcast. He talks passionately about how to get people started on their creative projects and the positive impact their creativity has on the world. This interview gets very meta: a podcast about the creative process of podcasting. We get into all sorts of great techniques for creative projects, including:

  • Improv games
  • Valuing what you are good at
  • Not losing track of what is working well already
  • The importance of getting started
  • Not worrying about whether it is going to be good.
  • Shared space in the creaive process
  • Why we need to keep noticing

But beyond any particular tactic, it is J-P's warmth and encouragement that I find so inspiring. I hope it inspires you too.

Nov 24, 2017

I can’t think of metropolitan landscape that offers more varied and exciting opportunities for designing transport infrastructure than San Francisco, with its steep hills, its bay, its rapidly changing economy and its tantalisingly separated land masses. In this episode I catch up San Francisco-based transport engineer and old friend Andrew Kosinski and we geek out on transport-related talking points including:

  • Bridgoff: Bay vs. Golden Gate
  • Tearing down freeways
  • Bringing cycling into San Francisco
  • Is driving a right and it is a freedom?
  • The phenomenon of ‘parklets'
  • Tunnelling through ships
  • Building towers on weak and shifting sands
  • The creative bubble of silicon valley and the unintended consequences
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Using firms like Uber to replace under-productive bus routes
  • Becoming passive consumers of cities
May 12, 2017
Ditching google maps + riding the BART + cycling the Golden Gate Bridge + big trains + hidden cognitive demand of team work and collaboration + measuring student brain waves + what is reality  + the latest from Palo Alto
Apr 24, 2017

Song writer and piano player Ellie Westgarth-Flynn and I talk creative musical strategies, instruments as extensions of our bodies, the tension between technical mastery and creativity and the importance of audience feedback. We also have a jam.

Show notes and more details available from the blog: eiffelover.com

Apr 3, 2017

In this episode I attempt a sonic recreation of a part of the London Underground that never got built, a stretch of the Northern Line that would have run from Moorgate to Alexandra Palace. En route I reflect on the transport infrastructure shapes our experience of the city and the difference between what engineers plan and what actually gets built.

Mar 2, 2017

Photographer and photojournalist Nick Cobbing talks about photographing the Arctic, what happens to photographic equipment at minus 38 degrees, using drones to take photos, the role of the audience in the creative process, being reduced to tears by the beauty of the planet, the best places to swing dance north of the Arctic, life hacks for creative people working on their own and whether penguins tango or waltz.

Feb 12, 2017

Ever since I saw my first one zoom past as a boy I’ve loved TGVs. In January I travelled from one side of France to the other and back by high-speed train to get to a conference, and used the chance to try to capture some of what I love about fast trains in France. It’s a mash up of travel diary, interviews and engineering history, all stitched together with familiar SNCF noises. Close your eyes and bon voyage...

Jan 25, 2017

Andrew is a filmmaker specialising in the built environment. Andrew seems to have interviewed or met almost all of my engineering design heroes (except Eiffel), and so I was equally delighted and nervous when he agreed to let me interview him! In this podcast we explore one of Andrew’s passions, the identification and celebration of engineering culture. Along the way way we get in to some great stories about designers, what they design and how they do it.

Jan 25, 2017
Ever since I’ve started this podcast, Corina has been top of my list of people to interview. She has a wide range of interests from engineering to jazz music, and I find what she has to say on many things hugely insightful. So I’m delighted she agreed to come on the show. In this interview we wander far and wide, and get int
  • Childhood influences and where they have taken her
  • The public service function of civil engineers
  • Careers advice for people with lots of interests
  • How today’s civil engineering challenges are social rather than technical
  • Problem-solving in complex situations
  • What Dantes Divine Comedy can teach us about creative collaboration
  • Practical suggestions for sane in a busy city. 
 
I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed recording.
Aug 7, 2016
I’ve been thinking about creating an Eiffelover podcast for over a year. Last week at Port Eliot festival I saw John-Paul Flintoff (@jpflintoff) give a great talk on creativity in which he challenged us to name one creative project that we want to do, and commit to taking the first step...
 
And so this is it, the Eiffelover podcast, the first of what I hope will become a regular digest of matters engineering, creative and practically philosophical garnered from the people I meet, the workshops I run and the material I read. I hope you find it useful. 
 
To kick off, I created my first episode here at Electromagnetic Field camp, a non-profit UK camping festival for those with an inquisitive mind or an interest in making things: hackers, artists, geeks, crafters, scientists, and engineers.
 
In this podcast I meet some of the fantastic people here at EMF camp and their imaginitive creations, I dig around to find out what makes these creative people tick, and I get into a fascinating conversation with Richard Sewell about ‘Thingness’, a term he and his colleague coined to talk about the power of making things. Listen now to learn more. 
 
People mentioned
Anna Ploszajski - @AnnaPloszajski - and her Reubens Tube -
Steve Cross - @scienceshowoff
Helen Leigh - @helenleigh
Richard Sewell - @jarkman
 
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