This free monthly newsletter starts conversations on issues to do with design for resilience — and thereby reveals opportunities for action. It also brings you news of Doors of Perception events and encounters. Back issues are now archived on Design Observer. To subscribe to future newletters by John Thackara click here.
TOOLS FOR SUSTAINABILITY: SAO PAULO WORKSHOP
Imagine that you have the attention of 100,000 designers and architects. Which five tools, business models, platforms, or applications, would you badly want them to know about - and use? The use of the tool should enable citzens to enjoy an aspect of daily llfe in a radIcally resource effcient way.The purpose of this Doors of Perception workshop in Sao Paulo is to identify and document tools, from Brazil and Sao Paulo, that may be added to a global inventory that will be presented at an event in France in November 2008. Thursday 6 December (14h-19h) and Friday 7th (10-13h). Rua Ferreira de Araujo 741, Pinheiros, São Paulo.
The workshop is free but please register in advance: firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com.
DOTT MANUAL NOW ON SALE
Dott 07 was a year of community design projects in North East England that explored what life in a sustainable region could be like - and how design can help us get there. We called its publication a manual (rather than a book, or a catalogue) because it's about practical ways for people either to join Dott projects themselves, or to do something similar where they live. At 100 pages, and fully-illustrated in colour with real people,the Dott Manual is wildly under-priced on Amazon.
Should design schools be closed down? How do you make community-based design interesting? Your correspondent enjoyed this short conversation with Neil McGuire which is now available on wodcast.org.
MY MOBILITY MARK OF CAIN
Andreas Zachariah, the son of a pilot and an air stewardess, has developed a magical piece of software that automatically tracks my travel carbon emissions. On GPS-enabled mobile phones it identifies and evaluates the different forms of transport used as one moves about from A to B. It then outputs the aggregate carbon footprint of your travel to the device. (Wikipedia tells me that Cain's curse is his "inability to cultivate crops and the necessity that he lead a nomadic lifestyle." It's true: I'm a carbon criminal).
ONE PLANET LIVING - ONE SMALL ISLAND AT A TIME
The UK's National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA) has announced a £1m (1,4m euros, $2m) prize fund to reward people working together on new approaches to saving energy. The competition is open to groups "based mainly in the UK". You have until 29 February 2008 to enter. http://www.biggreenchallenge.org.uk
CITY BIKE SYSTEM IN PARIS
The Vélib city bike system in Paris is getting a lot of international media attention of late. It's an important first step toward creating a high quality, low cost, low carbon new mobility strategy for your city. Want one for your city, too? This New Mobility Policy Brief is a mayor’s guide to City Bike Strategies.
CHANGING THE CHANGE
Ezio Manzini is chair of a conference called Changing the Change that's part of Torino World Design Capital 2008. "It's a design research conference with a focus more on results than on methodology" Ezio tells me, "with an emphasis on what design research can do for sustainability". There will be also be an international summer school. Do you have good paper on a very interesting initiative? The deadline for submission of abstracts and draft visualisations is 21 January 2008. Torino 10 -12 July 2008.
Europe's Score! network involves 28 institutions and several hundred professionals in a programme to promote "radical change, system innovation and paradigm shifts" in policy and business as regards sustainablility. Their March conference is about eco-design, supply chains, marketing, sustainable business models, base of the pyramid economies, leapfrogging. It's at Les Halles des Tanneurs, a refurbished 19th century tannery.10 and 11 March.
Kitchen Budapest, a new media lab, which opened in June, is doing fascinating work: a robot lawnmower that reproduces photographic images on the landscape; an intelligent autonomous raft that's still floating down the Danube; a local network for displaying local videos; and a web 2 platform called GETS that that enables local level service exchange. Three months on, their first catalogue is already online and and is also available upon request in printed form. Kitchen also have residency openings for such programmes as "Pimp My Gadget" for next year. Kitchen has to be one of Europe's livliest labs.
Is there something in the soil?
DEVICE ART IN NO-TIME
Global interaction designers discuss the design of interactive systems - web and desktop, mobile, consumer electronics, digitally enhanced environments, and more. Some great keynoters include Alan Cooper, Sigi Moeslinger, Bill Buxton, and Malcolm McCullough. Matt Jones talks about "designing in no-time" and Regine Debatty proposes "device art".
WANTED: PESKY DESIGN CRITTERS
Alice Twemlow writes with news of a new graduate program in design criticism, the first of its kind in the U.S., that will begin at the School of Visual Arts in New York in Autumn of 2008 "with a stellar faculty and an innovative curriculum".
Floor van Keulen and René Oey made drawings and texts and projected them from a car via a video beam onto houses, factories, empty walls and passing traffic.
TRIPPING IN MANCHESTER
Like many northern cities, Manchester is changing fast. Do you want to critique the implications of "regeneration"? Are you passionate about the possibilities of inventive walking and drifting? TRIP wants to hear from people with ideas and practices to do with psychogeography, neogeography, deep topography (for people who are up themselves?), locative media, and collaborative mapping. Manchester, 19-22 June 2008.