Ideas for the City That Cares: Ezio Manzini’s new book, Livable Proximity

Below is my review of LIVABLE PROXIMITY: Ideas for the City that Cares, by Ezio Manzini (with a contribution by Ivana Pais). This review appears in the June 2022 edition of She Ji A city that cares brings new meaning and vitality to a world exhausted by a focus on concrete, and consumption. In these […]

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Tonantsintlalli – a multidimensional Mother Earth


Can indigenous knowledges help us inhabit our own places in a more adaptive and responsive ways? Can connection with these kinds of lived experience help us redefine development, and progress in our own situations? The text below is my introduction to Tonantsintlalli – a multidimensional Mother Earth presented by Desiree Hernandez Ibinarriaga & David Marcelino […]

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Microbes and Social Equity. Tools for Changemakers. Meetups & Offsites

March 2022 Newsletter CONTENTSMicrobes and Social Equity Tools for Changemakers Multi-Species Cities Design for Planet School for Village Hosts Meetups/Retreats Offsites for Teams MICROBES AND SOCIAL EQUITY (VIDEO) Ninety nine percent of life is invisible – so how do we design for that? To begin that conversation, I talked with Dr. Suzanne Ishaq – a […]

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Open School for Village Hosts

The Open School for Village Hosts – a pan-European Erasmus+ project – has been launched in Barcelona. Above: project partners meeting at Elisava earlier this month. (This post is a preview: the project’s website will be launched shortly). Village Hosts bring new social, economic and ecological life to small villages and their local economy.  They […]

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Design for Multi-Species Cities

What would it mean to practice design in the knowledge that the well-being of humans, and non-humans, is inter-connected? A recent design workshop at Milan Polytechnic explored just this question: practical ways to make cities hospitable for all of life, not just human life. Students were challenged to design an artefact, an intervention, or an […]

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“An inspiring design”

For its inaugural meeting, @designcouncil asked its eight Design For Planet Fellows, of which I am one, to share “an inspiring design”. I chose a publication called Regenerative Empathy – and below I explain why. “Place” wrote Simone Weil, “is a doorway into caring. Love of place can unite people across diverse ideological spectra. It […]

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Microbes and Social Equity – Dr Sue Ishaq in conversation with John Thackara

The more we learn about life on earth, the clearer it becomes that the well-being of humans, and of non-humans, is inter-connected. They are a single story. Sustainable design, in this context, means designing for all of life – not just human life. That’s a big step! Not so long ago, human-centered design was considered […]

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My newsletter: Meetup dates | Regenerative Design in China | Back To The Land 2.0

CONTENTSDates for my Meetups/Retreats in 2022YouTube Channel Nature Reconnection: Hour of Ecology ProjectRegenerative Design in China School for Village Hosts in Europe Back To The Land Summer School in Sweden Recent Publications THACKARA MEETUPSPRE-ANNOUNCEMENT & SUMMER DATESAfter a two-year pause, Kristi and I are hosting three Meetups this summer at our home in southern France. If you are a […]

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Beyond Calculation: AI and Sustainability

SUMMARYTrillions of dollars of climate finance need nature to be machine-like. But nature is not a machine. So how shall we proceed? In this 20′ talk, I explore two questions: Can AI serve all of life, not just human life? And if so, how? BACKGROUND TO THIS TALKIn Shanghai, at the invitation of Prof. Dr. […]

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