Cities as Lifeworlds

Ahead of a talk in Milan at the Politecnico di Milano, I was interviewed about relational ecology and design Q: Sometimes “sustainable” ways of living are often more expensive. They are more elite, how can we make them more accessible? A: Good question. Food is an obvious example, but many ‘green’ products and services seem […]

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john chris jones and ‘designing designing’

Its publisher, Bloomsbury, describes designing designing as “one of the most extraordinary books on design ever written”. It’s therefore welcome news that – after a period out of print – this classic book has now been reissued. (That’s my copy in the photograph above; it just arrived). The following text is included as an afterword. […]

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Back To The Land 2.0

This reading list is for students on the summer course I run together with Konstfack, in Sweden. These texts span new ways to think about food and food systems – how to be,as well as what to do, in a food context. CONTENTS FOOD SYSTEMS AND PLACE HOW SYSTEMS CHANGE ECONOMY AND DEVELOPMENT IT STARTS […]

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The relationship of my texts to a dead fish

The following is a conversation with John Wood, professor at Goldsmiths, University of London, and joint editor (with Julia Lockheart) of the Journal of Writing in Creative Practice. Please cite: Thackara, John (2021), ‘The relationship of texts to dead fish’, Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 14:1, pp. 5–11, doi: doi.org Keywords: relational ecology; theory […]

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Sensory Orders

For an exhibition called Sensory Orders at Laznia Centre for Contemporary Arts, in Gdansk, 32 artists, designers and writers were asked: “What sensory conditions are you are working with under present conditions? What sensory orders do you see emerging in the social-political environment around us?” My theory of change is borrowed from Ilya Prigogene: “When […]

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Bottom-up Biodiversity

Whether connecting schools to farms in France, daylighting rivers in Mexico, or rewilding grasslands in Patagonia, we’re learning how to ‘do’ biodiversity well. Fifteen minute read. Illustration © BAFU | Pierre Dubois, collectif Marie-LouiseThis text was commissioned by the Swiss Ministry of the Environment, FOEN. It is also available online in these other languages:German Biodiversität […]

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Interview with BBC Mundo

Coronavirus | “Una de las locuras que se ha apoderado de Norteamérica y Europa es el pánico que les entra cuando las cosas van mal”: entrevista con el filósofo John Thackara William Marquez BBC News Mundo 16 junio 2020 John Thackara es un filósofo y autor británico que se ha embarcado en varias profesiones y […]

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A “Marshall Plan for tourism” – but with what aim? (20 minute talk)

EU Commissioner @ThierryBreton promises a “Marshall Plan for tourism” – but with what aim? In this talk, I propose a new storyin which the design of new urban-rural relationships creates value by leaving places healthier. Video: https://youtube.com/watch?v=bwKtab The concept of sustainable tourism was invented 45 years ago – but it was added to global mass tourism, it did not […]

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Urban-Rural: The New Geographies of Innovation

This is the text of my plenary talk at the Innovation and Emerging Industry Development (IEID) conference in Shanghai on 18 September 2019. I describe three enabling conditions for system change: a capacity for ecological thinking; a focus on social infrastructure (rather than the concrete kind); and a shift of focus from place making, to […]

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