Recoded City

I wrote this preface for a new book called Recoded City: Co-Creating Urban Futures by Thomas Ermacora and Lucy Bullivant. I write these words outside the portakabin control room of Shambala, a summer festival in England. On the wall is the street plan of what looks like a mid-sized town. Fifteen thousand people have indeed filled […]

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Are positive stories enough?

“The world is in dire need of a narrative adjustment; that’s why we write” (Hamid Dabashi) Since How To Thrive In the Next Economy was published in the autumn, my 29 conversations about the book have prompted all kinds of feedback. One question has cropped up repeatedly: In a world filled with melting ice caps, war, species extinctions, and economic peril, […]

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Bioregionalism By Design: Short Course at Schumacher College, England

Doors of Perception is helping to lead a  two week course at Schumacher College which runs from 25 April to 6 May. In myriad projects around the world, a new economy is emerging whose core value is stewardship, not extraction. Growth, in this new story, means soils, biodiversity and watersheds getting healthier, and communities more resilient. […]

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From Bike Chain to Blockchain: Three Questions About Cooperation Platforms and Mobility

Should transport systems be designed to save time – or calories? Who should own mobility sharing platforms: private companies? cities? us? What kind of ecosystem is needed to support the sharing platforms we want? These three questions are the focus of a workshop in London  on 25 November. I’ve asked a three friends to join me on a panel: Tessy Britton, Co-founder of Civic […]

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Between a rock and a doctorate

Today, Plymouth University very generously awarded me an honorary doctorate.  Here is my short statement to this year’s graduating class in Design, Architecture and Environment. I nearly failed to get here yesterday, and I want to tell you why. The road from my house to the city passes through a spectacular gorge. Several weeks ago, after some especially violent rainstorms, […]

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Cateran’s Common Wealth

Clare Cooper interview with John Thackara, 08 August 2014
 John, why do you think so much attention is being paid to the ideas around the notion of ’the commons’ right now? The commons is an idea, and a practice, that generates meaning and hope. Millions of people are busy in projects to meet practical needs […]

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My new book: How To Thrive In The Next Economy

Today I’m proud to announce that my new book, How To Thrive In The Next Economy: Designing Tomorrow’s World Today will be published by Thames & Hudson on 7 September; (the US edition comes out in December). Sample extracts from each of the ten chapters are here. TWITTER It would be terrific if you would help spread the word about […]

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Bioregions: Notes On A Design Agenda

In myriad projects around the world, a new economy is emerging whose core value is stewardship, not extraction. Growth, in this new story, means soils, biodiversity and watersheds getting healthier, and communities more resilient. These seedlings are cheering, but when it comes to binding diverse groups together around a common agenda, something more is needed. We need a compelling […]

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Laboratory for Microclimates

Under what circumstances would we become mindful stewards of living systems, not just their expoiters? The Dutch artist Annechien Meier re-connects us – viscerally, and emotionally – with our social and ecological surroundings. [Above: De-paving begins in Arnhem. Photo: Laboratory for Microclimates] Human beings are clever in many ways, but our attention is easily distracted from the support systems that […]

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