care & health

Design for Multi-Species Cities

What would it mean to practice design in the knowledge that the well-being of humans, and non-humans, is inter-connected? A recent design workshop at Milan Polytechnic explored just this question: practical ways to make cities hospitable for all of life, not just human life. Students were challenged to design an artefact, an intervention, or an […]

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Microbes and Social Equity – Dr Sue Ishaq in conversation with John Thackara

The more we learn about life on earth, the clearer it becomes that the well-being of humans, and of non-humans, is inter-connected. They are a single story. Sustainable design, in this context, means designing for all of life – not just human life. That’s a big step! Not so long ago, human-centered design was considered […]

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Beyond Calculation: AI and Sustainability

SUMMARYTrillions of dollars of climate finance need nature to be machine-like. But nature is not a machine. So how shall we proceed? In this 20′ talk, I explore two questions: Can AI serve all of life, not just human life? And if so, how? BACKGROUND TO THIS TALKIn Shanghai, at the invitation of Prof. Dr. […]

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Healthcare in the Next Economy

Last month I gave a talk at UC Berkeley School of Public Health, as part of the Dean’s Lecture Series, with the title, From Biomedicine to Bioregion: The Geographies of a Care-Based Economy. The video of that talk is here. My interview with Peter Jarrett, for their online journal Berkeley Wellness, is republished below. The philosopher and writer John Thackara, a […]

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Socially Smart Sanitation

Ugly Indians don’t blame their fellow citizens, or politicians, or ‘the system’: They act first, and then they talk. They make it “our” problem, not “your” problem.

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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, […]

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The Dementia Care Economy

Yesterday’s G8 Dementia Summit made much of the fact that millions will now be spent in a race to identify a cure or a ‘disease-modifying therapy’ for dementia.  The likely outcome will be the creation of a Dementia Industrial Complex – and the mass production of un-met expectations.A better way for nation states to spend money […]

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Five per cent health: The risk of catabolic collapse and peak fat in modern health systems, what to do about them, and how design can help

I was emboldened, upon arriving at the Mayo Clinic ‘s Centre for Innovation last week, to learn that people with deep domain knowledge do not make the best innovators. I concluded that I was therefore well-qualified to warn one of the top academic medical centres in the world, each of whose 60,000 staff knows more […]

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Doctors with iPhones

I’ve been back from New York a week and I’m still mesmerised by the story of Hello Health. Tamara Giltsoff, a service designer, introduced me to this wondrous new outfit who are making it easy again to see the doctor. The Hello Health website tells the story better than I can, so I’ll quote it […]

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