The Anthroponaut’s Wordbook, by Karin Fink. A prologue

The following is my prologue to The Anthroponaut’s Wordbook, by Karin Fink, which has just been published by Postmedia Books. The scale of the societal and environmental challenges we face can be debilitating. Feeling powerless to change the course of events, the inclination to switch off can feel like self-defence. Karin Fink’s response is both […]

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Re-wilding the Bauhaus: what its foundation course should be like today

To mark its centenary year, the Bauhaus published Design Rehearsals: Conversations About Bauhaus Lessons. My contribution was a response to images from Oskar Schlemmer’s class on ‘The Human’. I’m re-posting it now on the occasion of the @BauhausSeas launch event on 20 May. No textbook for the new foundation course exists – which is probably […]

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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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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. This text was commissioned by the Swiss Ministry of the Environment, FOEN Illustration © BAFU | Pierre Dubois, collectif Marie-Louise The text is also available online in these other […]

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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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