development & design

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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Cameron Sinclair reply

In my text for Design Observer about design and development I questioned some aspects of a project by Architecture for Humanity. This throughtful reply to me from Cameron Sinclair has not yet been posted at Design Observer so I’m posting it here. “John, “Great post, as per usual, and yes there are some strong and […]

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Emerging Economy Report

Our friends at CKS in Bangalore have published a hefty research document called Emerging Economy Report. Key regions of the world, the report states, are being transformed by the phenomenon whereby soft infrastructure – such as, especially, mobile phone networks – is installed despite the absence of hard infrastructure (such as roads, or nation-spanning power […]

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Ahmad: probably not the target audience

Emaar Properties has teamed up with Giorgio Armani to build and manage thirty Armani hotels and resorts around the world – one of which will be included in Burj Dubai, the the world’s largest skyscaper (above) that is now being built. As one of the world’s largest developers, and a “global provider of premier lifestyles […]

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Delhi street kitchens face closure amid hygiene drive

The Guardian reports on the threat to Delhi’s 300,000 street food vendors in the name of “hygiene” and “modernisation” ahead of the 2010 Commonweath Games. If you have any contacts in the Indian judiciary, please ask them to read about the food system experts who went to India to learn how to bring this tradition […]

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Hunter gatherer designers and cellular churches

Our friends at WorldChanging are running a series of think-pieces to celebrate Earth Day. My piece is about designers as hunter gatherers, and what we can learn from the explosive growth of cellular churches as we seek ways to expand the footprint of sustainable design. An intriguing piece in the same series by Bill McDonough […]

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Druids as designers

Which box does one belong in during these curious times? Jan Jaap Spreij sent me links to two excellent articles – on peak oil, and the future of industrial society – written by the Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America. Great beard, great writing. But have you noticed how young Grand […]

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High-tech beads for the natives?

(COMMENT AT END: we’ve had to suspend comment function because of spam attacks) You know what? I just don’t think Sunnyvale, California is the right base from which to save the world with Tech. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Architecture for Humanity have announced a $250,000 competition for the design of technology centers in the […]

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