About the author

Robin Johnson was the founder and the original editor (or 'curator') of the PIElink from 2013 to 2023, handing over at that point to the new editorial team, headed up by Natalie Timothy.

In this collection of essays, Robin gives his own thoughts and unique perspective on a wide range of more theoretical and/or scientific issues that lie behind the practical development of PIEs - the ideas behind the practice. In this book he gives full rein to his extensive interests and experience.

Otherwise, typically (and diplomatically) always modest about his own role in the development of the PIEs concept and the promotion of PIEs and the PIElink community of practice, Robin has always insisted that this work was a collective effort, and he was merely the mouthpiece.

In his other book for 2023, published just weeks before this collection of essays (Psychologically Informed Environments from the ground up: Service Design for complex needs) he argues: 'These are not my ideas; they are yours. I was just the person who put it into words....'


In seeing and promoting the un-sung mental health work done by social housing services, firstly when working for the National Institute for Mental Health for England, then with the Care Services Improvement Partnership's National Social Inclusion Programme (for mental health), Johnson has argued that he was simply 'the one-eyed man in the land of the blind', and happened to be in the right place at the right time, and in a fortunate position to bring things together.

Being at the same time invited to represent the work of social housing and homelessness services in the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Enabling Environments Development Group, he was then able to inter-weave this with the work of the National Soclal Inclusion Programme (for mental health), to introduce his ideas on therapeutic communities and public mental health into guidance on homelessness; and then to insist on an action learning approach rather than a more directive stance in the further guidance that followed.

Having crafted first the PIEs 2.0 framework, and then the Pizazz (both of which are then given away free*), the PIE Abacus - along with the authorship of his books -  is the only part of his writings on the PIElink's pages over which he asserts his Intellectual Property (IP), and this is solely in order to secure future income from the Abacus, to be re-invested in the development of PIEs and the PIElink.

Nevertheless Robin was and remains hugely ambitious for the potential in this approach, which he did so much to craft.


* In particular, with a good deal of in-put from various colleagues, the final summary and shaping of the PIEs framework was almost entirely his work; and although the Pizazz builds on the work of John Pearce, the co-developer of the iAbacus, otherwise the adaption and creation of the Pizazz for complex needs services' work, and the design of the software application is entirely his.


Writings, talks and other material

Most of the page content of the PIElink up until the summer of 2023 was Robin's work.

In addition:

The PIEs approach and PIEs framework

The Pizazz and PIE Abacus