Cities of Design

At a conference in St Etienne next month ‘Cities of Design’ including Minneapolis, Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Seoul, Portland, Eindhoven and Dortmund will all be represented. Personally I think either that all cities should be design cities – or perhaps that none should if the word denotes, as is too often the case, narcissistic urbanism. But […]

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Do you want to be exhibited in New Delhi? in three days from now?

Our good friends at Quicksand in Delhi (together with B.L.O.T. and Codesign) are curating an art event from start to finish in four days. It’s called “Pop Up Arthouse” and they invite creative people everywhere to submit works that will be shown at Mocha Arthouse, Vasant Kunj, in a few days from now. You don’t […]

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The Buckminster Fuller Challenge

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Classroom design competition – two winners announced

Our friends at Architecture for Humanity ask that we spread the word that the winners of its 2009 challenge have been announced – and we are happy to do that. The accompanying press release quotes a World Bank estimate that “ten million new classrooms are needed” to reach its targets on education and that, in […]

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China’s clean little secret

As an experiment this weekend, I went through all 192 stories tagged “China” on a major eco website. More than 90 per cent of its posts were about at least bad, and often terrible, environmental news and developments. It’s not that these grim stories stories were untrue, or unimportant. It’s just that their aggregate impact […]

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Fish systems and design

A grim new film, The End of the Line, reveals the impact of overfishing on our oceans. It exposes the extent to which global stocks of fish are dwindling; features scientists who warn we could see the end of most seafood by 2048; and includes chefs and fishers who seem indiferent to the ecocidal consequences […]

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How much is a school garden worth?

One in nine Americans already relies on federal food stamps to help buy groceries – a startling number that will grow as unemployment rises. At the same time, medical spending on obesity – a major cause of diabetes, stroke and heart attacks – reached $147 billion in 2008, an 87 percent increase in a decade. […]

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From philanthrocapitalism to an eco-social economy

This scary hand smashing through the wall to get you is the logo of last month’s Insead conference on social entrepreneurship; its slogan was “Reaching For Impact”. I’ve written critically here before about the assumptions that underly “design for development” – so I won’t repeat the whole argument. And as I said here we are […]

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From permaculture punks to anaerobic digesters

I came across a fascinating essay about permaculture and energy descent in Mexico that introduces me for the first time to the existence of so-called permaculture punks in Mexico City. Its author, Holger Hieronimi, has spent the last seven years developing a permaculture based homestead there- so he knows the difference between theory and practise. […]

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