Why does Laura Bush’s friend want to poison our water?

Dr Martin Schuepbach from Dallas, Texas, has the following plan, concerning natural gas, for the Cevennes region of France, where I live [below]: First, he will take millions of gallons of our clean mountain water. To this he will add a cocktail of up to up to 600 toxic chemicals including highly corrosive salts, carcinogens […]

Posted in energy & design, most read | Leave a comment

Off-grid water: the social dimension

Up to 1,500 litres of that water are needed to grow enough biofuels to move one car ten kilometres. 2,000 litres are needed a day to feed each one of us. It takes 140 litres of water to grow enough beans for a single cup of coffee. It sounds, and is, unsustainable. Over-exploitation impacts heavily […]

Posted in city & bioregion | Leave a comment

Utopia is here

Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner, made in 1982, portrays a dystopian Los Angeles as it might be in 2019. In just eight years from now we are due to discover find out whether or not the film was an accurate prediction. Do we have to wait that long? Many urban sites today already are at […]

Posted in energy & design, most read | Leave a comment

Does Bilbao need another Guggenheim?

The Basque city of Bilbao was a pioneer in Europe in the use of showcase cultural buildings as a trigger for urban regeneration. Just a generation ago the city’s waterfront was an industrial port. Today, in addition to the Guggenheim itself, its architectural landmarks include bridges by Santiago Calatrava and Daniel Buren, and an apartment […]

Posted in most read | Leave a comment

Collapse of civilization tango

They say that the last days of Rome were culturally rich – and the same seems to be the case in our own times. Choreographer Valerie Green and Dance Entropy, a New York City-based experimental dance troupe, will shortly premier a new work, Rise and Fall, that’s about collapsing civilizations, the raw ugliness of industrialization, […]

Posted in art & perception | Leave a comment

From bankster HQ to start-up central in Iceland

The Start-Up Kids is a documentary about young entrepreneurs who have founded web and media startups in the US and Europe. Made by two young Icelandic women, it contains interviews with tech-leaders of today and tomorrow. The founders of Dropbox, Vimeo, Flickr, WordPress, Posterous and many others talk about how they started their company, and […]

Posted in development & design | Leave a comment

Can thermal perception change behaviour?

A premise of Joseph Giacomin’s new book Thermal is that global warming is hard to ignore when you view the world through thermal eyes. Hard, but not impossible, to ignore. We humans are skilful evaders of uncomfortable truths. The premise of the author’s reseach group at Brunel University in the UK, Perception Enhancement Systems, is […]

Posted in art & perception | Leave a comment

Work Faster, India!

“Work faster, get time for life.” I just got back from a short trip to India where this insane slogan adorned a poster at a bus stop. It pretty much sums up a febrile mood in Delhi where it was announced during my stay that India’s economy will grow by nine percent next year. [I […]

Posted in development & design | Leave a comment

What kinds of seeds?

Global design education in a nasty bind. There are hints of the dot com boom a decade ago. New products [courses] have been launched at a frantic rate in recent years. New buildings are springing up. Global aggregators have even started buying design schools; an obscure American multinational, Laureate Universities, purchased Domus Academy and Naba, recently. But […]

Posted in learning & design | Leave a comment