Reading Small Signals

READING SMALL SIGNALS We’ve invested huge resources over the ages to keep the man-made world, and nature, separate – but there are signs everywhere that those those priorities are changing. Working through the consequences of that is a challenge for us all. Many signals of change are small on their own but, taken together, tell a new story. There’s […]

Posted in sustainability & design | Leave a comment

When Tech In Care Is Evil

I spent the last two weeks in-and-around a care home in England that looks after people with dementia and terminal illness, and their families – including, this time, mine. In four wings, each with 12 residents, 24/7 care is provided by teams of trained professionals who work 12 hour shifts. During the day, for each wing, […]

Posted in care & health, social innovation | Leave a comment

Food As A Commons

People go hungry not because of a shortage of production, but because the food available is too expensive, or they lack the land to grow it on. In California, the prototype of a combined social, political and technical  solution has been launched which promises to unlock the food system crisis. “This could be it”. The speaker, Dan O‘Connell, is […]

Posted in food systems & design, place & bioregion | Leave a comment

How We Meet Is As Important As Why

This is the text of my talk at the OuiShare Festival in Paris today.  Did any of you wander around in a group last night – trying to agree on a place to eat? Welcome to the sharing economy! Sharing is hard! And that’s just about one meal. Think about the food systems of a […]

Posted in learning & institutions, most read | Leave a comment

Keep Your Stuff Alive

The Tending and Grooming Station (below) is a wondrous collection of combs, brushes and other obscure (to me) gadgets. They are used to primp and revive pre-loved sweaters and cardigans that have been disfigured by bobbles and pilling – those unattractive fuzz balls that appear when short fibers misbehave on woolen garments.  Every object has a dark […]

Posted in most read, sustainability & design | 3 Responses

Cloud Commuting

A two-year project in Belgium proposes new relationships between people, goods, energy, equipment, spaces, and value. Its design objective: a networked mobility ecosystem  The signs on the small van describe the services it supports: Taxi; Pick-up; Delivery; Assistance; Vendor; Security; Rental. Seven functions, one vehicle. As imagined in a project in Belgium called Mobilotoop the van, when […]

Posted in infrastructure & design, mobility & design, most read | Leave a comment

A ‘Wild Mirror’ For Desk-Bound Workers

A new scheme in England connects office workers with living systems by means of a ‘wild mirror’: each workspace is twinned with an equivalent area of ecosystem regeneration.  The restoration of degraded ecosystems — or creating new ones — is gathering pace in different parts of the world.  According to Richard Coniff, China is planting […]

Posted in sustainability & design | Leave a comment

Change Labs: What Works?

On Friday 14 March I’m doing a talk and discussion in Dublin. (Image: Richard Giblett) To effect system-level change – in health, energy, food, or mobility – a first step is often to reframe the question. In health, for example, ninety-five percent of person-to-person care happens outside the bio-medical system – so how do you innovate there?

Posted in learning & institutions | Leave a comment

Energy: Thriving On Five Percent?

In Sharing Energy In The City, EDF and the the French National Research Agency (ANR) have challenged designers to rethink the production, harvesting, distribution, use, exchange and consumption of energy in our everyday life. They asked me to submit this text as fuel for the discussion. The modern city has been shaped by the availability […]

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