Tim Maughan

Freelance journalist and author

Author, journalist, and features writer using both fiction and non-fiction to explore issues around cities, class, culture, globalisation, technology, and the future. Bylines for the BBC, New Scientist, Matter, Motherboard, and other places.

Currently freelance NYC contributing editor for New Scientist's Culture Lab.


Non fiction/Journalism

The oil rich city betting on drones
Over the PA system a voice tells us not to be alarmed. What we are about to see is just a demonstration, courtesy of the United Arab Emirate's Ministry of the Interior. Two men...
The invisible network that keeps the world running
It's been just over 45 years since the Apollo Moon landings, and some would have it that we are failing to build big anymore; that we've since become too fascinated with the...
The Changing Face of Shenzhen, the World's Gadget Factory
Mention Shenzhen to most people, and they'll probably think of the vast Foxconn manufacturing plant that churns out high-end phones, tablets, laptops, and gaming consoles for...
Yiwu: The Chinese city where Christmas is made and sold
I'm a few hours away from Shanghai and I've not seen daylight for over three hours. I'm also hopelessly lost. I've been trying to get out of this place for the last 45 minutes,...
The dystopian lake filled by the world's tech lust
From where I'm standing, the city-sized Baogang Steel and Rare Earth complex dominates the horizon, its endless cooling towers and chimneys reaching up into grey, washed-out...
The Inevitable Rise of the Internet of Shipping Containers
The shipping container has become the ubiquitous mechanism of logistics, its generic shape and size an iconic symbol of globalization itself. By standardizing how cargo is...
China's Drone Army Is Beginning to Look a Lot Like the US's
The downed CH-3. Image: Screenshot, Twitter Back in January of this year, photos emerged on Twitter of what appeared to be a crashed military drone in Nigeria's war-torn Borno...
Is China's hydroelectric revolution as green as it sounds?
China is pursuing an ambitious programme of hydroelectric expansion, with a series of 'mega-dams' on the way even bigger than the controversial Three Gorges project. But are...
Could psychedelic drugs make smokers quit?
Nicotine patches, chewing gum, cold turkey. Giving up cigarettes can be tough, but there are many strategies smokers can try. Matthew Johnson wants to add another: he says he...
Making Patterns: getting intimate with technology
Making Patterns, 117 Beekman Street, Manhattan, New York, 24 July to 17 September While high profile, the Apple Watch is hardly a new concept. Activity-tracking devices such as...
Biocode mixes art and academia to explore pigeonholing
From 2008 to 2010, the Moorea Biocode project set out to create a comprehensive database of all non-microbial life on a single Polynesian island. Five years on, a team of...
Should we engineer animals to be smart like humans?
What if it were possible to engineer animals to be as intelligent as us? As Tim Maughan discovers, we may have already started.
Putting animals online: Does it protect or destroy?
A shark has been killed because tagging data revealed it was regularly near a popular swimming area (Image: Stuart Westmorland/Getty) Even in the digital realm,...
Tim Maughan interviews Liam Young
SONIC ACTS RESEARCH SERIES #7 'The Shadow Cast by the Luminous Screen...' One of the speakers at the next Sonic Acts Festival is speculative architect Liam Young. Together with...
We're listening to Adam Greenfield speak AGAINST THE SMART CITY
Tim Maughan reports from New York. Against the Smart City (The City is Here for You to Use)Adam GreenfieldKindle, £5.16 New York, like any major city on any continent, is...
Graffiti: 40 Years of Hacking New York City
"'City as Canvas' is a reminder that this is, in a very literal sense, criminal artwork" The title of The Museum of New York City's latest street art retrospective -  City as...
Neurons light up Times Square for Midnight Moment
Brain City is playing at Times Square at 11.57 every night until the end of November. Along with its street performers and endless crowds of tourists, New York's Times Square is...
Manufacturing Outrage For Profit in 10 Easy Steps
Miley Cyrus is a 20 year old American female actress and popstar. She rose to prominence by appearing in the children's TV show Hannah Montana on The Disney Channel, and by...


The Water Line
That's what she told me. For real. That's what she said. Detroit. Moving the whole family up there. I said she must be crazy but... Hey! Look at this klutz man. Hey! HEY! Watch...
Six stories of a post-antibiotic future bringing the scale and urgency of the challenge of antimicrobial resistance vividly to life. Infectious Futures features six stories set...
Special Economic Zone
Over the summer of 2014, writer Tim Maughan accompanied the Unknown Fields Division  - 'a nomadic design studio' lead by speculative architects Liam Young and Kate Davies - on...
Four Days of Christmas
​ In December 2014, writer Tim Maughan published a story in the BBC ​about his visit to the markets and factories of Yiwu , where over 60 percent of the world's Christmas...
Collision Detection
I'll be honest with you, I'm more concerned about your hands than your penis. Two weeks later and he's back in Timo's humming, steel tube. -Okay...-I mean, don't worry or...
Zero Hours
For a workshop on future London, five individuals - Arup, Social Life, Re.Work, Commonplace, Tim Maughan and Nesta-created 10 Future Londoners for the year 2023. This is a short...
The future of ed tech is here, it's just not evenly distributed
Using design fiction to cut through the relentless TEDTalk-like optimism of ed tech marketing By sava saheli singh and Tim Maughan People talk about the future of technology in...
Your Gaze
"Originally conceived by imagining what the world might look like if we could apply Instagram style colour filters to reality, 'Your gaze, brought to you by our sponsors' ended...
"'Burgerpunk?'" Tamsin squinted at me over the rim of her ironically ugly spex. "And that's...what?" Her eyes aimed down again, I could tell she was reading from some...
Is Tim Maughan's Limited Edition the best short story of 2012?
We think so, and we're not alone: the story has been shortlisted for this year's BSFA Award. Judge for yourself: here's Limited Edition in all its great handsomeness, complete...

All Copyrights Belong To Their Respective Owners

Writing portfolio powered by clippings.me