xskool events

Transition countries and transition towns

I went to Poznan, in Poland, to speak at a conference called World Innovation Days. In brushing up on the history of the Wielkopolska region [of which Poznan is the capital] I was reminded that Central and Eastern countries of Europe are still called “Transition Countries” – as in, transitioning from communist statehood to membership […]

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Four Days Halifax (week of sustainability events, Halifax Nova Scotia, 2009)

Doors of Perception helped to organize Four Days Halifax – a time-compressed mini-festival whose aim was to help the city get its hands muddy in a green economy Our starting point in Four Days was that many elements of a resilient Halifax already exist in embryonic form – but not all of them are visible […]

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Clean Growth: From Mindless Development to Design Mindfulness

I’ve written this White Paper, called Clean Growth: From Mindless Development to Design Mindfulness for Design Innovation Scotland. It’s the first in a series whose aim is “to stimulate thought and debate about…radical solutions to real-world challenges”. The intended readers are regional economic development professionals and policy makers.

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Velowala: ternary thinking in practice

Naomi Klein writes in today’s Guardian that “hope alone won’t save the world. It’s time to hope less, and demand more”. I’m not sure. I find Klein’s piece enervating. Will demanding things from mainstream politicians like Obama be more productive than waiting hopefully for them to save us? I don’t think so.

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City Eco Lab: view from the balcony – and from the net

An overview of the City Eco Lab site on its second Saturday. It was snowing in St Etienne but the place was packed. (80,000 people came to the biennial two years ago but many more seem to be expected this time). If you scroll down from this story, there are another 18 posts on specific […]

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City Eco Lab: productive urban gardens

One of the inspiring discoveries we made in putting City Eco Lab together was l’Ilot d’Amaranthes,a five-year-long project in which St Etienne designer Emanuel Louisgrand, in partnership with Galerie Roger Tator, has created productive gardens on abandoned sites in different parts of Lyon. Given the range of malfunctioning global systems we have to deal with, […]

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City Eco Lab: the art of food proximity

“Let’s keep food around us” says Debra Solomon of her presentation at City Eco Lab: Lucky Mi Fortune Cooking. It’s is a working example of how a community can optimize its food flow using design. “New (food) products are not the answer” says Solomon; “new platforms, new actors, new configurations are”. There are a lot […]

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City Eco Lab: The river runs through us

If perpetual, resource-intensive growth is no longer a viable model for the development of a city-region, what alternatives are available? In City Eco Lab, we explored the idea that St Etienne’s river, le Furan, and the natural systems of the broader region, might be a fruitful basis for re-imagining the city. It was in this […]

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City Eco Lab: St Etienne’s Soupe de Ville (City Soup)

Architects are sometimes accused of being more at home in a world of abstraction than in the here-and-now. Nonsense! A team from St Etienne’s architecture school disproved this vile calumny with a wonderful project called Soupe de Ville (City Soup). Having first done a beautiful job documenting sites around the city where food could potentially […]

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