From Control, to Kinship: Ecological Restoration in a More Than Human World

(Keynote talk in China) A just transition will happen when we see nature differently, relate to nature differently, and understand the purpose of development differently. So, can AI foster new ways of knowing and being in the world? Can it be medium of attention; a medium of connection; a medium of relationship with the living world?

2022-10-04T13:56:36+00:00June 10th, 2022|knowing, nature-connection|

Tonantsintlalli – a Multidimensional Mother Earth

Can indigenous knowledges help us inhabit our own places in a more adaptive and responsive ways? Can connection with these kinds of lived experience help us redefine development, and progress, in our own situations? The text here is my introduction to "Tonantsintlalli - a Multidimensional Mother Earth" in Australia

2022-10-04T13:58:38+00:00April 15th, 2022|knowing, nature-connection|

Microbes and Social Equity – conversation with Dr Sue Ishaq

Ninety nine percent of life, it turns out, is invisible - so how do we design for that? My guest in this conversation is microbiome researcher Dr. Suzanne Ishaq, founder of the Microbes and Social Equity working group

2022-10-08T14:49:54+00:00February 15th, 2022|knowing, most read, nature-connection|

How AI might be used to enhance local knowledge

(My foreward to DEDI) Indigenous peoples have a closer relationship with the ecologies of their land than those who practice ‘production agriculture’. But their intimate, fine-grained knowledge can always be enhanced. For example, biodata collected from plants could be ‘heard’ by the farmer as music.

2022-10-04T09:23:36+00:00September 11th, 2021|knowing, nature-connection|

john chris jones and ‘designing designing’

Its publisher, Bloomsbury, describes designing designing as “one of the most extraordinary books on design ever written”. It’s therefore welcome news that – after a period out of print – this classic book has now been reissued. (That’s my copy in the photograph above; it just arrived). [continue …]

2022-10-04T09:23:40+00:00March 11th, 2021|knowing, most read|

Sensory Orders

(For an exhibition called Sensory Orders curated by Erik Adigard at Laznia Centre, in Gdansk). "As a writer, my work involves a search for small islands of coherence – that I can later describe – in which social and ecological relationships thrive together. My aim as a curator is similar: I strive to enable embodied encounters in which we feel ourselves to be part of nature, rather than separate from it.

2022-10-04T14:13:32+00:00December 5th, 2020|knowing|

Interview with BBC Mundo

(in Spanish only, interview for BBC News Mundo,): Coronavirus | “Una de las locuras que se ha apoderado de Norteamérica y Europa es el pánico que les entra cuando las cosas van mal”: entrevista con el filósofo John Thackara William Marquez BBC News Mundo

2022-10-11T07:38:10+00:00June 16th, 2020|knowing|

How To Thrive In the Next Economy: Preface to the Chinese edition

A cultural disconnection between the man-made world and the biosphere lies behind the grave challenges we face today. We either don’t think about rivers, soils, and biodiversity at all – or we treat them as resources whose only purpose is to feed the economy. This ‘metabolic rift’ – between the [continue …]

2022-10-04T10:10:09+00:00October 31st, 2018|development, knowing, most read, urban-rural|

Connected Botanic Garden

When the first botanical gardens were established 3,000 years ago, in Mesopotamia, they combined scientific enquiry with public education. Today's botanical gardens, ecomuseums, and National Parks are looking for new ways to engage citizens as active participants, not just as paying visitors. These new relationships need to be designed, enabled and supported.

2023-04-28T10:52:52+00:00May 18th, 2018|knowing|

john chris jones at 90

I’ve been re-reading "the internet and everyone" by john chris jones. I’ve been astonished once again by the sensibility of an artist-writer-designer whose philosophy – indeed his whole life - first inspired me when I was a young magazine editor more than 30 years ago. Like another muse of mine, Ivan Illich, John Chris Jones was decades ahead of his time.

2022-10-04T10:10:14+00:00September 18th, 2017|knowing|

Signals of Transformation and How to Read Them

The design priority now is to foster better and richer connections between people, places and living systems - to reawaken a joyful sense of being at home in the natural world. This is where art and storytelling come in. (Interview with Sarah Dorkenwald for her book Visionen Gestalten).

2022-10-04T10:10:15+00:00February 28th, 2017|knowing|

Ways Of Knowing

[Photograph: Hans Sylvester]

Interni and the Be Open Foundation are publishing a book, called Gallery Of The Senses, that explores the ways we experience the contemporary world through sight, hearing,smell, taste, and touch. It then asks: Are we missing a sixth sense? Here is my contribution. 

Humanity’s troubles did not begin with [continue …]

2022-10-04T10:17:10+00:00September 13th, 2013|knowing|

Why Walls Need Floors

When he was sixteen years old, Floor van Keulen made a wall painting in the stairwell of his mother’s beauty salon. For the next 43 years, the artist has worked with the knowledge that most of his site- and time-specific specific works are destined to disappear. Why?

[continue …]

2022-10-07T15:15:34+00:00December 19th, 2011|knowing|

What kinds of seeds?

Global design education in a nasty bind. There are hints of the dot com boom a decade ago. New products [courses] have been launched at a frantic rate in recent years. New buildings are springing up. Global aggregators have even started buying design schools; an obscure American multinational, Laureate Universities, [continue …]

2022-10-04T10:29:49+00:00February 21st, 2011|knowing|

What Kind of Design Institutes for India?

A decision by the Indian government set up four new National Institutes of Design [NIDs] in the country has sparked a lively debate about the kinds of design they should teach.
An influential group of design thought-leaders has launched a campaign called VisionFirst that calls for a “rigorous co-creation process to [continue …]

2023-04-21T16:53:32+00:00February 19th, 2011|knowing, most read|

The unwatched swatch?

If it is true that the world’s information base is doubling in size every 11 hours then a lot of eco-design information, that could be valuable for professionals, presumably goes un-noticed, and thus unused.

In the past month alone, for example, I’ve come across two paper-based design tools that would [continue …]

2022-10-04T10:45:15+00:00December 19th, 2010|knowing|

This is not an object

and neither are these:
Well I know they *look* like objects, but that’s because you have not read a new book called Nonobject about the design philosophy of Branko Lukic.
Branko’s collaborator on the book, Barry Katz, cites respected commentators in [continue …]

2022-10-04T10:45:20+00:00December 1st, 2010|knowing|

Of popes, pixels, and micropayments

Before Twittter, a serious connoisseur might study the Mona Lisa for 20 years before reaching a conclusion. Today, the average museum visitor looks at a work of art for 42 seconds.
Now 45 seconds is a long time compared to the 11 seconds that most shares are owned by high [continue …]

2022-10-04T10:45:29+00:00November 8th, 2010|knowing|

Marketing, me, and the future of tv

(Summer re-run: first published September 2009)
A marketing whiz I know in New York asked me to do her a favour: answer some questions about the future of tv.
At least, that’s what I thought she asked. But when, a couple of days later, a FedEx package arrived, it contained [continue …]

2022-10-04T10:46:09+00:00August 9th, 2010|knowing|
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