city & bioregion

Design for Multi-Species Cities

What would it mean to practice design in the knowledge that the well-being of humans, and non-humans, is inter-connected? A recent design workshop at Milan Polytechnic explored just this question: practical ways to make cities hospitable for all of life, not just human life. Students were challenged to design an artefact, an intervention, or an […]

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“An inspiring design”

For its inaugural meeting, @designcouncil asked its eight Design For Planet Fellows, of which I am one, to share “an inspiring design”. I chose a publication called Regenerative Empathy – and below I explain why. “Place” wrote Simone Weil, “is a doorway into caring. Love of place can unite people across diverse ideological spectra. It […]

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Microbes and Social Equity – Dr Sue Ishaq in conversation with John Thackara

The more we learn about life on earth, the clearer it becomes that the well-being of humans, and of non-humans, is inter-connected. They are a single story. Sustainable design, in this context, means designing for all of life – not just human life. That’s a big step! Not so long ago, human-centered design was considered […]

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Back To The Land 2.0

This reading list is for students on the summer course I run together with Konstfack, in Sweden. These texts span new ways to think about food and food systems – how to be, as well as what to do, in a food context.

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Bottom-Up biodiversity

Whether connecting schools to farms in France, daylighting rivers in Mexico, or rewilding grasslands in Patagonia, we’re learning how to ‘do’ biodiversity well. Fifteen minute read. This text was commissioned by the Swiss Ministry of the Environment, FOEN Illustration © BAFU | Pierre Dubois, collectif Marie-Louise The text is also available online in these other […]

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Urban-Rural: The New Geographies of Innovation

This is the text of my plenary talk at the Innovation and Emerging Industry Development (IEID) conference in Shanghai on 18 September 2019. I describe three enabling conditions for system change: a capacity for ecological thinking; a focus on social infrastructure (rather than the concrete kind); and a shift of focus from place making, to […]

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Articles in Resilience

Here is a collection of texts by John Thackara selected by Resilience magazine. How To Thrive In the Next Economy: Preface to the Chinese edition This book is not about pre-cooked solutions. It’s about building on what has already been done, in our various social and cultural histories, and on what’s being done, right now, […]

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Back to the Land 2.0 Reader (2019)

This reader is prepared for the annual Back To The Land 2.0 summer school in Sweden that I run together with Konstfack (Cheryl Akner-Koler) and Annika Göran-Rodell. See also a selection of my recent talks here. Annie Proulx on BarkskinsOr, how we first got the idea that the earth’s resources are limitless. Proulx’s story begins […]

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Back To The Land 2.0 – some recent talks

These videos introduce the annual Back To The Land 2.0 summer school in Sweden that I run together with Konstfack (Cheryl Akner-Koler) and Annika Göran-Rodell. See also my Back To The Land 2.0 Reading List. Xskool Talk 1: The Metabolic Rift   (20m, 2014)– the big picture: why we have a problem– industrial food vs […]

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