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Balanced budgets?

A few weeks back I was talking to Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, a partner in the Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta, when we were drowned out by the roar of a Eurofighter passing overhead. “One of those costs the same as a medium-sized opera house”, Kjetl observed drily. Kjetl should know: he designed this medium-sized opera house […]

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For sustainability champions: my book is now in Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese and Polish.

Rule one in book publishing (where I worked for ten years) is: promote your own book, because nobody else will do so with as much energy and commitment. So, sorry to be brash, but please note the following: Today I received printed copies from its publisher, SUN, of Plan B – the Dutch version of […]

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Have I cracked the the telepresence conundrum?

Last evening I particpated remotely from my home in France in a pre-event in Amsterdam of ElectroSmog International Festival for Sustainable Immobility. I didn’t use the fancy gadget in the photo above. My set-up yesterday was a bit, but not a lot, better-organized than the remote recording session (below) I did for a BBC radio […]

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Doors of Perception projects portfolio

Bulb-planting has started early at Doors HQ: – We’ve posted summary descriptions of the last ten years’ Doors of Perception projects – the idea being that we plan to do more projects like these ones, only better. – All City Eco Lab posts are now in one stack; [City Eco Lab never had its own […]

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In the Palace of the Popes

Is culture something that’s produced to be sold, or a description of the ways people live? It’s an old question, but last week’s Forum d’Avignon (see also my story below) put a new spin on it: could the culture industries lead the way out of the economic crisis? The debate did not take place on […]

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Post-GDP: metrics, aesthetics, or ethics?

So on Friday I’m immoderating a panel discussion about “After GDP” at the Forum d’Avignon, a uniquely French event which brings the worlds of culture, economy and media together in the Palais des Papes. By way of throwing an advance stone into the pond, I wrote this short background article for Les Echos. The French […]

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Do true cost economics spell finito for the Milan design scene?

Few artefacts embody so much mental, but also material energy, as a high design furniture from Milan. Will this sector be viable when the true social and environmental costs of industrial production start to be charged, rather than hidden? Well maybe, and maybe not: my lecture is followed by a debate. Thursday 8 October, Design […]

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Metrics and Aesthetics (cont.)

I can understand why Enrico Giovannini, Chief Statistician of the OECD, is so pleased with with his new visualzation tool, the OECD Factbook Explorer. Few people on the planet can be responsible for a larger volume of statistics than he is – or so aware that the more data proliferate, the harder it is to […]

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New questions for the Internet of Things

For Gunter Pauli it’s the sight of electronic devices that need batteries or electric wires in order to function. For me it’s hard or paved surfaces. For Usman Haque, it’s these pigs in a poke. These curious obsessions reflect new questions being raised about the design of things. My obsession first. After being mesmerised by […]

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