Two images have preoccupied me in recent days.
The first one [below] was taken in a lounge at Paris airport. I remember being struck by the intense design effort that had been made to create a controlled and insulated environment. On the tv screen were images of the popular revolt [continue …]
The skyline of Pittsburgh, once America’s Steel City, is now dominated by towers belonging to two local giants of ‘Eds & Meds’ – education, and healthcare. Does this mean the city has successfully grown itself a resilient new economy?
If architectural [continue …]
Dr Martin Schuepbach from Dallas, Texas, has the following plan, concerning natural gas, for the Cevennes region of France, where I live [below]:
First, he will take millions of gallons of our clean mountain water. To this he will add a cocktail of [continue …]
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 [continue …]
It's 2020, and a degree-awarding ceremony is about to take place at Doors of Perception University.
Oslo Airport’s mean-looking bullet train reaches the city centre in nineteen minutes. At 210 kph [130 mph] it is not the world’s fastest – some of China’a new trains will soon reach nearly twice that speed – but Norway’s is surely the most macho to look at.
Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), told the US Congress last year that Japan’s debt path was ‘out of control’.
Simon warned of “a real risk that Japan could end up in a major default”. [The IMF expects Japan’s gross public [continue …]
The criminal over-development of the Canary Islands – and the loss of biodiversity and social capital that followed – was financed by the same banks and speculators that our governments are now trying so desperately to save.
Given the desecration of these [continue …]
I was critical last week of commentators who describe the financial crisis as “psychological”.
Those who blame a “lack of transparency” are on stronger ground – although ignorance of the facts or the law is not a valid excuse in other domains of life.
Shopping for a snack in central London yesterday evening I counted an extraordinary 78 metres (256 feet) of chiller cabinets in one small central London branch of Marks and Spencer.
Marks and Spencer have made a laudable commitment to make all it UK and Irish operations carbon neutral within five [continue …]
Totally lost amongst the financial news last week was discussion of a new report on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (Teeb).
According to this EU-commissioned study, the global economy is losing more money from the disappearance of forests than through the current banking [continue …]
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 [continue …]
Service design for higher education (sort of)
My talk at a symposium in Helsinki called "Beyond Tomorrow" about what the new Aalto University should do, and be.
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 [continue …]
Some people blame the Enlightenment for our present troubles.
The scientific revolution, they say, gave man ideas above his station. We frequently harm natural systems, goes the charge, because of our delusional belief that we are separate from, and have dominion over, nature.
This [continue …]
I’ve written this White Paper, called Clean Growth: From Mindless Development to Design Mindfulness for Design Innovation Scotland. It’s the first in a series whose aim is “to stimulate thought and debate about…radical solutions to real-world challenges”. The intended readers are regional economic development professionals [continue …]
[I was asked to write a text about the green economy by Cumulus, the international network of design schools. It will published at their forthcoming conference in London (27-30 May). This is a preview].
What would architects design, if they did not design buildings? What would designers design, [continue …]
McKinsey&co has published a book called What Matters. It contains “answers to ten big questions, whose answers will shape our collective future”. I conributed a short text called “The innovator next door” . I know the title sounds rather like A Little House On The Prairie – especially compared [continue …]
One of the more remarkale sights on my recent trip was this vast wind farm outside Palm Springs. Located on the San Gorgonio Mountain Pass in the San Bernadino Mountains, it contains more than 4000 separate wind turbines and provides enough electricity to power Palm [continue …]
An overview (above) of the City Eco Lab site on its second Saturday. It was snowing in St Etienne but the place was packed. (80,000 people came to the biennial two years ago but many more seem to be expected this time).
If you scroll down from [continue …]
“These are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others”. Groucho Marx could have been talking about environmental standards. Visit any supermarket and you’ll encounter hundreds of labels and displays making claims about the environmental attributes of different products. Organic, Fairtrade, FSC Certified, “sustainable”.
This blizzard of assertions is [continue …]
This is my talk from yesterday in Helsinki at Pixelache University. There are pix here
Could the biosphere be saved by six glass lamps, six speakers, 36 ultra bright leds, six diy mono amplifiers, a diy arduino-based six channel led [continue …]
My new year’s resolution is to stop writing sustainability to-do lists.
I’m supposed to be an expert, but it still gives me a headache trying to keep track of: the Triple Bottom Line; the Three Main Components (and Four System Conditions) of The Natural Step; the Five Capitals Model promoted by [continue …]
In 2007, I was asked by The Observer to write a short preview of the Dott07 Design Festival.