Brian Eno offers principles for city design

Wednesday 29th September, 2021 - Bruce Sterling


So I asked the artist and musician Brian Eno if he could kindly contribute some design principles for us. (For those that don’t know Eno’s work, he is one of the most important and influential artists, musicians and thinkers of the last half-century. And regarding my opening paragraphs and this desire to pull in culture, it’s worth noting that Brian has also—perhaps implicitly— pursued a sharper, more inventive and informed approach to tech than most, as music often describes the potential of an interplay of technology and culture, just as cities are the product of culture, nature and tech.)

I’d got to know Brian a little in recent years, via my UCL work and at conferences, and I felt that I could ask him for a favour. He’s been a guiding light in my thinking and work for decades, and I knew he would have an angle or two. We’d previously joined forces briefly to add some richness to the thinking around mobility in the UK’s industrial strategy, and we’d also chatted a little about cities, and particularly London mews houses, communal waste collection and shared gardens, at the DECODE conference in Turin in 2019 (back in The Days of Flying)….