infrastructure & design

Paranoid But Pretty

In his new show at the German Architecture Center (DAZ) Matthias Megyeri has developed a design language for the artefacts of protection and security in public space. Megyeri poses the question: does protection have to be inconsistent with harmony and beauty? His answer is a family of padlocks, chains, fences, and razor wire that he […]

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What Makes A Change Lab Successful?

The UK government’s digital services platform,, has won the Design of the Year award – and if I were running a big IT consulting firm grown fat on big government contracts, I’d be worried. is a revolutionary web operation that governments around the world are beginning to notice. Twenty four UK government departments […]

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The Ecozoic City

Over the ages we’ve invested huge amounts of effort and energy to keep cities and nature separate. What would it mean if that were about to change?  The writer Thomas Berry described as the ecozoic the “reintegration of human endeavours into a larger ecological consciousness”. The ecozoic, Berry believed, would supplant the Anthropocene age, that […]

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Healing The Metabolic Rift: Designing In Social-Ecological Systems

The term metabolic rift describes the alienation between humans and nature that opened up with the growth of the the modern economy. Could the growth of bioregionalism, and research into ‘social-ecological systems’, be signs that the rift may be healing? And if so, what are the opportunities for design to contribute?  [Picture: The Stockholm Resilience […]

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From Autobahn to Bioregion

[Above: for CRIT, Mumbai may look a mess – but the city enjoys ‘high transactional capacities’] The big Audi that collected us from Istanbul airport contained nearly as many electronic control units (ECUs) as the new Airbus A380. The Audi, and similar high-end cars, will soon run on 200 million lines or more of software […]

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Top Down Nature

A huge urban master plan in southen France gets serious about nature as a project. In Bordeaux 55,000 (above) the city of Bordeaux (CUB) has invited five multidisciplinary teams to develop projects, during a a six month “competitive dialogue”, that will explore ‘how best to transform 55,000 hectares (136,000 acres) into natural areas’.

Also posted in place & bioregion | 2 Responses

Blood Minerals and Cellphones

“Increasing pressure on electronics companies to ensure that their products do not contain illicit minerals from the killing fields in eastern Congo is beginning to have a significant impact. With bills on conflict minerals moving through Congress, the electronics industry has spent about $2 million per month lobbying Senate offices to relax the legislation” The […]

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A Reading List for Mr Monti

As an exercise, I thought I’d share with you (and Mr Monti) the best writers on my reading list – in the order I’ve read them, not in chronological order. 1. TOM MURPHY – DO THE MATH If you suspect, but cannot prove, that modern life simply does not add up, you’ll love Tom Murphy’s […]

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Virtual Boring Agent

I’ve seen this Virtual Boarding Agent a couple of times now at Orly Airport in Paris. A It’s a life-sized, life-like, two dimensional human figure that talks pleasantly about liquids and gels. It’s spooky, clever, and very well executed – and most people seem to ignore it after a first casual glance. I therefore feel […]

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