learning & design

Next-generation biennials

I just got back from Oslo where their Architecture Triennial has opened. I participated in its main conference, Man Made Tomorrow and will report on that event soon. But ahead of the conference, Bjarne Ringstad, curator of the Triennial, asked me to reflect on how the role of such set-piece events might evolve to match […]

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From philanthrocapitalism to an eco-social economy

(Summer re-run: first published July 2009) This scary hand smashing through the wall to get you is the logo of last month’s Insead conference on social entrepreneurship. Its slogan was “Reaching For Impact”. I’ve written critically here before about the assumptions that underly “design for development” – so I won’t repeat the whole argument. And […]

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Unplugged – or unhinged?

(Summer re-run) I’m reading reading a moving and important book by Sharon Astyk called “Depletion and Abundance: Life On The New Home Front”. Uniquely among recent books on life after the Peaks – energy, protein, biodiversity etc – Astyk does not write to scare us all witless. She does not write about elaborate ways to […]

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Traditional knowledge: the dilemmas of sharing

I learn from Kris de Decker’s excellent Low Tech Magazine that an International Traditional Knowledge World Bank (ITKI)has been launched. It’s an ambitious effort to preserve, restore and promote the re-use of traditional skills and inventions from all over the world. Someone has done a lot of work to set this project up. There are […]

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True Cost Design – In Three Steps

The text of my talk at the ‘Lens’ conference in Bangalore in 2010.

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Bonfire of the Literacies: Service Design for Higher Education

Service design for higher education (sort of)

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Make Sense, not Stuff: A Three Step Plan to Connect Design Schools with the Green Economy

The text of a talk about the green economy for Cumulus, the international network of design schools.

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What Should A University Do, And Be?

My talk at a symposium in Helsinki called “Beyond Tomorrow” about what the new Aalto University should do, and be.

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High entropy? Moi?

When I first came to Tokyo, fashionable parts of the city would be lined with hundreds of heavy taxis sitting in queues with their engines running, for hours on end. Every powered item was always on, 24/7. Tokyo Metropolitan Government has passed a law against idling cars – but this hall of mirrors atrium is […]

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