John Thackara is a writer, speaker and design producer, and director of Doors of Perception. In addition to this blog, he is the author of twelve books including In The Bubble: Designing In A Complex World and Wouldn’t It Be Great If….


Statement

John Thackara is a writer, speaker and design producer, and director of Doors of Perception. In addition to this blog, he is the author of twelve books including In The Bubble: Designing In A Complex World and Wouldn’t It Be Great If…. People seem most impressed by the fact that he once drove a big red London bus.

John lives in the small market town of Ganges, in southern France, with his wife, Kristi van Riet and his dog, a Carne Corso called Dora.

Follow John on Twitter @johnthackara, by visiting his blog, subscribing to his RSS feed, or sign up for this monthly review of his posts sent by email.

Before he started blogging here, John Thackara sent out a monthly email newsletter, Doors of Perception Report, which was also about the restorative economy, social innovation and design. That newsletter’s archives are here.

John Thackara
When Tech In Care Is Evil
06.20.14

I spent the last two weeks in-and-around a care home in England that looks after people with dementia and terminal illness, and their families – including, this time, mine.


John Thackara
Food As A Commons
05.13.14

People go hungry not because of a shortage of production, but because the food available is too expensive, or they lack the land to grow it on. In California, the prototype of a combined social, political and technical solution has been launched which promises to unlock the food system crisis.


John Thackara
Presence and Encounter — How We Meet Is As Important As Why
05.07.14

I’m not suggesting that we abandon social media — just that we cultivate a hybrid approach so whenever someone says “online” someone else says, “and what about offline?”. Or when we find ourselves inside, someone else says: “and when do we go outside?”


John Thackara
Keep Your Stuff Alive

John Thackara
Cloud Commuting

John Thackara
A ‘Wild Mirror’ For Desk-Bound Workers
03.18.14

A new scheme in England connects office workers with living systems by means of a ‘wild mirror’: each workspace is twinned with an equivalent area of ecosystem regeneration.


John Thackara
Summer Xskool in Sweden
03.11.14

This year’s Doors of Perception Summer Xskool explores what it can mean in practice to move from a ‘do less harm’ approach to sustainability to a practice of leave things better.


John Thackara
Energy: Thriving On Five Percent?

John Thackara
Caloryville: The Two-Wheeled City
02.14.14

In China, ‘battery-bikes’ are outselling cars by four-to-one. Pedelec sales are soaring in Europe, too. Is this the start of system-wide phase-shift in transportation?


John Thackara
Conflict and Design
01.22.14

A review of the design triennial in Belgium on the theme of Conflict and Design.


John Thackara
Shoe City vs Sole Rebels
01.13.14

Two radically opposed models of development are being born in Ethiopia at the same time. One is small, local, socially fair, and ecologically respectful. The other takes the globalisation of fashion to a new and more destructive level.


John Thackara
A Whole New Cloth: Politics and the Fashion System
01.06.14

In fashion, despite more than 400 eco labels, an incremental ‘do less harm’ approach has addressed the symptoms, but not the principal cause, of our difficulties: an economy based on perpetual growth in a finite world.


John Thackara
The Dementia Care Economy
12.19.13

A proposition for the economy of ‘disease-modifying therapy’ for dementia.


John Thackara
Ecuador, Open Knowledge, and ‘Buen Vivir’: Interview With Michel Bauwens

John Thackara
Dementia: Care Before Cure
12.12.13

The downside of declaring war on a disease like dementia is to diminish social solidarity. But there are solutions.


John Thackara
John Thackara on Avatar

John Thackara
Desert of the Real
11.28.13

Three perplexing, related issues: The notion that we are living in a ‘desert of the real’; What the desert of the real has meant for environmental communications; Alternative ways of knowing and being in the world and what these might mean for design.


John Thackara
Designing In A Complex World: Two Talks In Mexico City
10.25.13

Two upcoming talks from John Thackara in Mexico City.


John Thackara
Ways of Knowing
09.13.13

John Thackara's contrubution to the book Gallery of the Senses, that explores the ways we expereince the contemporary world through sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.


John Thackara
Speed? What Speed? Prisoners of Speed, by Ivan Illich
09.06.13

Ivan Illich on being prisoners of the idea of speed.


John Thackara
Speed? What Speed? The Belly-Dance Drummer, by Matthias Rieger

John Thackara
Speed? What Speed? The Falcon, by Sebastian Trapp
09.05.13

Field biologist Sebastian Trapp on Frederic the Second's book, On the Art of Hunting with Birds.


John Thackara
Flyways
09.03.13

A meditation on the migratory patterns of birds and sheep.


John Thackara
Connecting With The Other

John Thackara
Between Sorrel And Supertanker
08.22.13

John Thackara reviews the recent Doors of Perception xskool.


John Thackara
Xskool, Sweden, August

John Thackara
Green Tourism: Why It Failed And How It Can Succeed
06.25.13

At a conference with 300 travel industry professionals, John Thackara ponders the successes, failures and potential in the Green Tourism industry.


John Thackara
Trust Is Not An Algorithm

John Thackara
Cycle Commerce As An Ecosystem

John Thackara
Paranoid But Pretty
05.07.13

A review of Matthias Megyeri's new show at the German Architecture Center, and a review of the question the exhibition inspires: "Are we safer?"


John Thackara
A Roof, A Skill, A Market
04.26.13

The Nubian Vault Association has evolved a unique approach to housing in West Africa that creates three kinds of value within local economies: a roof, a skill and a market.


John Thackara
Big, Hairy, and Agile
04.17.13

The UK government’s digital services platform, gov.uk, has won the Design of the Year award.


John Thackara
The Ecozoic City

John Thackara
Artefact as Campfire: Where People and Living Systems Meet

John Thackara
Cycle Commerce: The Red Blood Cells of a Smart City
02.04.13

Dehli's many millions of bicycle and rickshaw vendors embody the entrepreneurship, sustainable mobility, social innovation and thriving local economies, that a sustainable city needs. How can that be traslated to European cities?


John Thackara
An Open Design School for India

John Thackara
Healing The Metabolic Rift
01.14.13

John Thackara on the possibilities and issues global business leaders will face at the 2013 World Economic Forum.


John Thackara
German Government Think-Tank Supports Fringe Change Agents
12.07.12

Overview of the 400-page report World in Transition: A Social Contract for Sustainability from the German Advisory Council on Climate Change (WGBU), the heavyweight scientific body that advises the German Federal Government on ‘Earth System Megatrends’.


John Thackara
Venice: from Gated Lagoon to Bioregion

John Thackara
From Autobahn to Bioregion

John Thackara
Transition Dogville

John Thackara
How To Manage a Constellation
10.02.12

To solve complex and interconnected human-environment challenges, like the death of the Baltic Sea, we need to build ‘social-ecological coalitions’ or ‘constellations’.


John Thackara
Old Growth
09.26.12

The tale of a furniture giant and the possible ecological happy ending.


John Thackara
Top Down Nature

John Thackara
What Is, Or Is Not, a ‘Green Job’?

John Thackara
The Other Green Economy
07.23.12

People the world over are divided between radically different conceptions of their future: resource-intensive production on the one side, versus regenerative land-based enterprises, and mosaics of micro-enterprises, on the other.


John Thackara
Why Bill Gates Needs To Listen To More Gamelan Music

John Thackara
Love vs Power In Iceland

John Thackara
The Hidden Costs of Tiger Water

John Thackara
Why White Is Wicked

John Thackara
Who Is the Arne Jacobsen of Urban Food?
05.17.12

Urban farming is a cool design topic these days – but if we’re to make a serious impact on the global food system, we need to show meaningful solidarity with its victims in distant places, too.


John Thackara
Istanbul: City of Seeds
05.01.12

Rather than dream up exotic visions of “what could be”, an xskool looks for social and natural assets that already exist – and grows from there.


John Thackara
‘Beyond Good Intentions’ – The Movie

John Thackara
Oil-Powered Thinking
04.04.12

Why is it that countervailing facts don’t change things in our evidence-based world? And what might we do about it?


John Thackara
Blood Minerals and Cellphones

John Thackara
It’s Not Just The Bags
03.20.12

Design + Craft: The Brazilian Path by Adelia Borges explores the complex relationship between designers from the Northern hemishphere and indigenous artists in the Southern hemisphere, specifically craft communities in Brazil.


John Thackara
Regarding The Pain Of The Planet: A Reader
03.06.12

Do you simply love iPhones, wind turbines, cloud computing, and electric cars? Good, because the following may be of interest.


John Thackara
Zurich Eco Lab
03.01.12

A report on the Zurich's thriving urban eco culture.


John Thackara
Design In The Light of Dark Energy

John Thackara
A Reading List for Mr. Mario Monti
02.14.12

A (mostly) online list of readings for the new Italian Prime Minister, Mr. Mario Monti, and anyone else who is ready for a cold hard look at our energy resources and options.


John Thackara
Beer and Solidarity
02.10.12

If beer brewing wastes can enrich food chains, the craft brewing community can also be a source of solidarity for small farmers in trouble.


John Thackara
Roasted by a Chicken

John Thackara
Virtual Boring Agent
01.25.12

The Virtual Boarding Agent Orly Airport in Paris. It's spooky, clever and very well executed — and most people seem to ignore it after a first casual glance.


John Thackara
Navy Yard, GradComD, Brown Bag, Hard Hat
01.20.12

Talks and encounters in the US next week. I hope to see some of you there.


John Thackara
A Reading List for Mr. Monti
01.09.12

When the new Italian Prime Minister, Mr. Mario Monti, gave his acceptance speech to the Italian Senate before Christmas, he used the word "growth" 28 times and the word "energy" — well, zero times.


John Thackara
Why Walls Need Floors
12.27.11

The artist has worked with the knowledge that most of his site-and time-specific specific works are destined to disappear. Why?


John Thackara
From Milk to Superfoods: Supping with the Devil?
12.21.11

The social and ecological crimes Big Food is committing, in other parts of the world, so that you and I can eat what we damn well feel like.


John Thackara
From Druids to Biorefineries: Innovation in a Small Nation
12.13.11

Small nations can be flexible in ways that big one cannot.


John Thackara
How Do You Make a Website for Transition?
11.21.11

A new book, The Transition Companion, ia an online directory of Transition Ingredients and Tools and a set of Ingredients and Tools Cards.


John Thackara
Design and Health: Flipping the Pyramid

John Thackara
Turn-Key Food Hives

John Thackara
The Compost Candidates

John Thackara
Carrot City: Design’s New Shtick

John Thackara
5% Health: The Risk of Catabolic Collapse and Peak Fat in Modern Health Systems
09.26.11

The writer, at Mayo Clinic's "Transform" conference, asks: Are high-end medical systems the best place to focus design's creative capacity?


John Thackara
World Capital of Wellbeing

John Thackara
Iceland: Eaten Alive, or Growing to Live?
09.05.11

Exploding the myth of Iceland's "green" energy — with alternative suggestions


John Thackara
In Praise of the Feral: Update on Xskool
08.22.11

Convention centres are expensive, filled with hard surfaces, and tend to foster groupthink — and abstract groupthink at that.


John Thackara
From Powerpoint to Permaculture, From Me to We

John Thackara
Lean Logic: A Dictionary For The Future and How To Survive It
08.04.11

I have never encountered a book that is so hard to characacterise yet so hard, despite its weight, to put down.


John Thackara
Ten Ways to Redesign Design Competitions
07.22.11

How to improve design competitions aimed at social good.


John Thackara
Life is a Picnic in the Fertile City
07.18.11

If you're in Paris before July 24, a spectacular exhibition called The Fertile City: Towards An Urban Nature is well worth a visit.


John Thackara
Edible Architecture
07.11.11

Today seems to be the day when, once a year in this part of France, every spider in the region spins her best possible web at the same moment.


John Thackara
Knife Sharpening

John Thackara
Shoe Town to Brew Town

John Thackara
How to Make Systems Thinking Sexy
06.30.11

John Thackara's 2011 Buckminster Fuller Challenge keynote address.


John Thackara
Geeked-out Gardening

John Thackara
Open Season on Dutch Cultural Innovation

John Thackara
The High-Tech Permaculture Metabolic Engine Greenhouse
06.22.11

Interview with industrial ecologist Eva Gladek about a net-zero-impact urban farm system called Polydome.


John Thackara
Kick-off!
06.22.11

This was a first for me: witnessing first-hand a Kickstarter project cross the line and go live.


John Thackara
Bad taps, Good taps

John Thackara
Sweat Equity Infra
06.02.11

The Millau Viaduct is a tourist attaction in the making. Future vistors will gawk at it and wonder: “how *did* they build that?”


John Thackara
From Ecstasy to Exergy: Running Out of Easy Copper

John Thackara
From Participatory Mapping to Coastal Livelihoods
05.26.11

The Buckminster Fuller Challenge, finalist presentations are taking place in New York City on Wednesday June 8, 6-8pm.


John Thackara
Energy: A Sense of Loss
05.11.11

Whenever electricity is transmitted from one place to another a certain amount is simply lost. In older grids, energy is wasted overcoming resistance in the lines themselves.


John Thackara
Open: A Survival Issue

John Thackara
A Smooth Journey

John Thackara
From Eds & Meds to Farms and Watersheds
04.27.11

Eds & Meds behemoths that bestride Pittsburgh's skyline are not the only game in town. Even a small meadow contains a lot of plants.


John Thackara
Rotterdam: Where Time is no Longer Money
04.25.11

Twelve-year-old children in Rotterdam have never known a time when their city was not being rebuilt around them.


John Thackara
Off-Grid Water
04.21.11

Strategies and resources for water conservation.


John Thackara
Why Does Laura Bush’s Friend Want to Poison Our Water?
04.18.11

Dr Martin Schuepbach from Dallas, Texas, has the following plan, concerning natural gas, for the Cevennes region of France, where I live.


John Thackara
Does Bilbao Need Another Guggenheim?
03.30.11

Ideas for remaking Basque country that go far beyond fancy architecture.


John Thackara
Utopia is Here
03.30.11

Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner, made in 1982, portrays a dystopian Los Angeles as it might be in 2019. In just eight years we are due to find out whether or not the film was an accurate prediction.


John Thackara
Collapse of Civilization Tango
03.22.11

They say that the last days of Rome were culturally rich — and the same seems to be the case in our own times.


John Thackara
From Bankster HQ to Start-up Central in Iceland
03.21.11

The Start-Up Kids is a documentary about young entrepreneurs who have founded web and media startups in the US and Europe.


John Thackara
Can Thermal Perception Change Behavior?
03.14.11

A premise of Joseph Giacomin's new book 
Thermal is that global warming is hard to ignore when you view the world through thermal eyes.

John Thackara
Images de Pensée
03.09.11

Darwin, Freud, Descartes, Goethe, Klee, Beuys, Marinetti, Nabokov, among others, left behind these “images of thought.”


John Thackara
Work Faster, India!

John Thackara
What Kind of Design Institutes for India?

John Thackara
Africa: Where Events Are King
02.20.11

John Thackara interviews Mugendi M’Rithaa.


John Thackara
Bangkok Cable Ways
02.17.11

One of the reasons we underestimate the sheer physical mass of our power and information networks is that they're hidden from view. But not in Bangkok.


John Thackara
UK Design Policy Becomes Multi-Scalar
02.14.11

An interesting rebound effect of public spending cuts in the UK is that the UK Design Council and CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) are to merge.


John Thackara
Ultra Modern

John Thackara
Renewable Energy: Salvation or Snake Oil?
02.03.11

Critique of The Energy Report published by the World Wildlife Fund, which asserts that the world's energy needs could be met by alternative sources.


John Thackara
If It’s Not the Destination and It’s Not the Journey...
02.01.11

A team at Rutgers University, uses ultrasonic sensors, GPS receivers and cellular networks to find empty parking spaces. While technically impressive, this is an absurdly over-complicated answer to the wrong question.


John Thackara
I am Compost
01.26.11

Something special is happening in France. A 73 year old Algerian-born farmer, philosopher and environmentalist is beginning to impact not just on the electoral process, but the culture of this resolutely human-centered, nature-dominating country.


John Thackara
Spaced Out in a Flat World
01.24.11

Tom Friedman's book The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century (2005) is filled with anecdotes about change in different parts of the world that threaten our fat-cat lifestyles in the North.


John Thackara
The Service Ecology of a City
01.19.11

Milan has approved a new Territorial Government Plan (Piano di Governo del Territorio) in which public services, and the way they are planned, are at the centre of the whole project.


John Thackara
How the Banks Want to Make China Sick — and Broke

John Thackara
The Gram Junkies: In Transportation Design the Key Issue Is Not Speed, but Weight
01.12.11

In the matter of mobility and modern transportation we all need to become gram junkies.


John Thackara
Afghan Culture Museum
01.05.11

A project to create a virtual museum of Afghan culture has been launched in Paris by an independent producer, Pascale Bastide.


John Thackara
Plan B "Best Architecture Book of the Year" in the Netherlands
01.04.11

My book Plan B: Ontwerpen in een Complexe Wereld (Plan B: Designing In A Complex World) has been selected by the influential magazine de Architect as their best architecture book of the year.


John Thackara
UnBox: Where Next for Design in India?

John Thackara
The Unwatched Swatch?
12.20.10

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.


John Thackara
What Should Design Researchers Research? Report from 2020

John Thackara
Use Fewer Words — Or Less Ink?

John Thackara
Has Venice Cracked the Bottled Water Conundrum?
12.07.10

Italians are the leading consumers of bottled water in the world, the solution to the waste was to created a brand name for Venice’s tap water — Acqua Veritas.


John Thackara
This is Not an Object

John Thackara
Green Issues in Communication Design
12.02.10

Why do companies get environmental awards for polluting less, even though they are still polluting?


John Thackara
Jellyfish Farm
12.01.10

Scientists warn that most natural seafood could disappear by 2048.


John Thackara
In the Air of Madrid
11.29.10

Our world is awash in eco information, but starved of meaning.


John Thackara
Look — Or Connect?
11.17.10

In a photography and book project called Shelter Henk Wildschut documents found shelters. Perhaps we should not judge these images by what they make *us* feel, but by which they cause to connect, with the people they portray.


John Thackara
Is an Environmentally Neutral Car Possible?

John Thackara
Of Popes, Pixels and Micropayments

John Thackara
A Tale of Two Trains
11.08.10

High-speed transportation systems in Norway vs. India: One step forward? Or two steps back?


John Thackara
Unplugged, But Not Alone
11.05.10

I was snooty in suggesting, in my comment on Doug Rushkoff's new book, that he should get out of the city more.


John Thackara
Design Steps to Heaven

John Thackara
Leave Nothing But Footsteps
10.27.10

“Take nothing but memories” Kalack concludes “and leave nothing but footsteps”.


John Thackara
A Lesson from Cornwall
10.26.10

I've always loved lichen. I found this one in Cornwall’s Biodiversity Action Plan and chose it as a beautiful asset that already exists in the county.


John Thackara
From Easter Island to Three Mile Island

John Thackara
WeWare [September 2010]
09.01.10

Report on John Chris Jones, cooperative traditions of Finland, a new "green" school in London, changing the weather, The Buckminster Fuller Challenge, and more.


John Thackara
Could Green Energy Kill the Desert?
08.02.10

Large scale wind power might not be as green as you think.


John Thackara
From Doomers to Do-ers [July 2010]
07.01.10

Report on peak oil, a way to live longer, a raw materials crisis in green technology, food and finance links, the death of the local food movement, and more.


John Thackara
Whole, Whole on the Range [June 2010]
06.01.10

Report on the degredation of Earth's grasslands, using mobile devices to help Uganda, lies about food production, composting in London, a new food co-op, and more.


John Thackara
Whole, Whole on the Range
05.31.10

As a juror on the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge, John Thackara reviews the highlight.


John Thackara
What Should Design Critics Write About?
05.26.10

Address to MFA students in the School of Visual Arts' Design Criticism program, April 30, 2010.


John Thackara
Requiem For A Species – And For Lunch [April 2010]
04.01.10

Report on farmed meat, transition towns, carbon emissions, economy, 01SJ Biennial, and more.


John Thackara
Who Will Control Global Urine Flows? [March 2010]
03.01.10

Report on "poor washing," sustainable sewage systems, defence spending, book events in the Netherlands, the Open Green Map iPhone app, and more.


John Thackara
Line Loss [January 2010]
01.01.10

Report on greener paper, virtual presence, the problem with videoconferencing, Avatar, innovation in France, and more.


John Thackara
Letters From Sri Lanka [December 2009]
12.01.09

Report on King Parakramabahu, ethical fashion, H&M dispoable fashion, ethical cotton, fair trade, and more.


John Thackara
In Halifax With Antigonishts [November 2009]
11.01.09

Report on Four Days in Halifax, peak oil, Center for the Built Environment, Lifeboat Workshops, the Hub Halifax, and more.


John Thackara
Letter From Poznan [October 2009]
10.01.09

Report on Poznan, Polish agriculture, EU policies, ecological food systems, fish systems, and more.


John Thackara
John Thackara Answers Your Questions
09.23.09

John Thackara answers questions from the readers of DESIGN 21.


John Thackara
Design & Development: Interview with 4baq
09.23.09

John Thakra discusses sustainability, design and development with 4baq.


John Thackara
Get Out of Your Tents!
08.17.09

In an interview with OK Do, John Thackara urges us to do real things in the real world.


John Thackara
Fish Systems and Design
08.11.09

Though gloomy predictions say we could see the end of seafood by 2048, several initiatives are rethinking the way we acquire fish.


John Thackara
GDP As a Doomsday Machine [August 2009]
08.01.09

Report on reusing an office block in Sao Paulo, food stamps, California's education budget, urban farming, Slow Money, and more.


John Thackara
From Philanthrocapitalism to An Eco-Social Economy
07.29.09

"Design for social impact" is a very troubling phrase.


John Thackara
The Internet of Things
07.01.09

Should we be sprinkling technological devices across the planet like dust?


John Thackara
Gone Transitioning [June 2009]
06.01.09

Report on transition towns in China, Monumento in Sao Paulo, Bernardo Secchi and Paolo Vigano, Norwegian architecture, foodprinting, and more.


John Thackara
Make Sense, Not Stuff
05.27.09

John Thackara presents a three-step plan to connect design schools to the green economy.


John Thackara
Doctors with iPhones
05.08.09

The neighborhood doctor is back — and this time, he has an iPhone.


John Thackara
With the i-Borg in New York [May 2009]
05.01.09

Report on idling fines in New York City, Hello Health, All Day Buffet, Hungry New York, the High Line, and more.


John Thackara
Design in a Therm-industrial Society [April 2009]
04.01.09

Report on connecting design with the green community, the connection between Britain's food and oil supply, Green Platform, author David McKay, Transition Towns, and more.


John Thackara
Tweets From America [March 2009]
03.01.09

Report on the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) conference, the Sustainable Business MBA at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI), IslandWood, Illuminate learning, Johnson and Johnson's social media strategy, and more.


John Thackara
The Innovator Next Door
02.26.09

Whether it's narrowly defining innovation as technology, or imposing solutions on communities, John Thackara discusses the mistakes made by large companies.


John Thackara
Bottle Half-Full Edition [February 2009]
02.01.09

Report on In the Bubble, Experiencing Sustainability in Vancouver, the design of sustainable water systems, the Planning Center, City Eco Lab, and more.


John Thackara
City Eco Lab – From Open Money to VeloWalas [November 2008]
11.01.08

Report on City Eco Lab Encounters, Velo Walas, Ecosoft, Design Imperatives, design for mobility, and more.


John Thackara
Tribal Currencies [October 2008]
10.01.08

Report on the money system, City Eco Lab, the high risk of flooding in London, what architects would design if they did not design buildings, the Bioneers conference, and more.


John Thackara
City Eco Lab @ 70 Days to Go [September 2008]
09.01.08

Report on City Eco Lab, Casino's green labeling scheme, In the Bubble book launch, sustainable architecture, John Michael Greer's The Long Descent, and more.


John Thackara
Alternative Trade Networks and the Coffee System
08.04.08

Alterative trade networks are emerging in the coffee industry, attempting to eliminate the middle man.


John Thackara
Eating Spin [August 2008]
08.01.08

Report on In the Bubble in Italian, Climate Camp, British supermarkets and emergency food reserves, trash sorting, designing for resiliance, and more.


John Thackara
Design for Resilience [July 2008]
07.01.08

Report on sustainability projects for under-16s, Energey Descent Action Planning (EDAP), learning from Africa, Australian treasury official Ken Henry, Hungry City, and more.


John Thackara
We Are All Emerging Economies Now
06.05.08

I recently received an invitation to discuss design and development with a wonderful group of design peers in a beautiful location. But I have decided to decline the invitation. Why?



John Thackara
Mapping Ecosystem Services [June 2008]
06.01.08

Report on City Eco Lab at the Cite du Design biennial, the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), FSC certification, Setting Standards for Sustainable Design, the Centre for Knowledge Societies' report on economic life in several countries, and more.


John Thackara
City Eco Lab [April 2008]
04.01.08

Report on City Eco Lab, the Dott 07 manual, Kate Fletcher's Sustinable Fashion and Textiles, a cashless economy with MTN Nigeria,Chris Bradshaw's opinions on transportation, and more.


John Thackara
From MySpace to Fake Space
03.15.08

Traveling without moving has become an economic and environmental imperative. Matter is more expensive than energy; energy than information; it is cheaper to move information, than people or things. So what is to stop us moving less and and telecommunicating more?


John Thackara
Travels in Uncanny Valley [March 2008]
03.01.08

Report on substitutes for mobility, the Dott 07 wrap event, the Dott 07 manual, Social Innovation Camp, Dam Nation, and more.


John Thackara
Of Doomers and Bottle Fillers [January 2008]
01.01.08

Report on "doomers," Tools for Survival, the legacy of Dott 07, Dott's Eco Design Challenge, Pixelache University, and more.


John Thackara
Tools for Sustainability: Sao Paulo Workshop [December 2007]
12.01.07

Report on the Doors of Perception workshop in Sao Paulo, the Dott 07 manual, the Dott podcast, tracking travel carbon emissions, the UK's NAtional Endowment for Scient Technology and the Arts (NESTA), and more.


John Thackara
Better Lives With Less Stuff [October 2007]
10.01.07

Report on the "Wouldn't it be great if…" Dott 07 debates, Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash, Rick Bookstaber's A Demon of Our Own Design, Core77's Hack2School special, and more.


John Thackara
Dott Debates Announced + Custard Pies [August 2007]
08.01.07

Report on the Dott 07 debates, the debate on transport and tourism, design and sexual health, Dott 07's Alzheimer 100, food systems, and more.


John Thackara
Design for (Im)mobility: Interview with Domus
07.15.07

John Thackera defines and explains the importance of ethnoecology.


John Thackara
How High Is the Climate Change Bar? [July 2007]
07.01.07

Report on Public Available Specification (PAS), resource wars, slow trade, sustainable tourism, Jan Chipchase's thoughts on mobile essentials, and more.


John Thackara
What Will Sustainable Tourism Be Like? [May 2007]
05.01.07

Report on Mapping the Necklace in Durham, the Dott Design Camp, the second meeting of Doors 9, the Picture House exhibition in England, Creative Communities, and more.


John Thackara
Food Systems: The Design Agenda [April 2007]
04.01.07

Report on Doors of Perception "Juice," David Kester's parliamentarian brief, Torin Geodesign, Dwell on Design: The Intelligent House, Dott's Explorer's Club, and more.


John Thackara
Special "Do It" Edition [February 2007]
02.01.07

Report on the Doors of Perception 9 conference, accountability of politicians to recognize sustainable regions, the Necklace Park, the Dott 07 student design challenge, Dott 07 design camp, and more.


John Thackara
Global Place — Or is it a Hat?
01.05.07

We must view the world with a new slant and take advantage of a huge design opportunity to create sustainable structures for the future.


John Thackara
Mapping the Necklace [January 2007]
01.01.07

Report on Doors of Perception conference "Juice: Food, Energy, Design," global food systems, Mediawalla Festival (MWF), Dott 07, the Move Me! project, and more.


John Thackara
Stern, Monbiot, and the Tasks of Design [November 2006]
11.01.06

Report on global food systems, George Monbiot, climate change economics, the competition to design a stuff-o-meter, the problem with new flatscreen TVs, and more.


John Thackara
Juice, Fat, and Homeland Security [October 2006]
10.01.06

Report on Doord of Perception scholarships, Dott 07 schools projects, Joe Heapy's Journey to the Interface, the Dott 07 stuff-o-meter competition, McDonald's scannable food, and more.


John Thackara
War as a Brand [September 2006]
09.01.06

Report on Doors of Perception 9, conference at the India Habitat Centre, service design principles, transfering knowledge from media labs, Picnic in Amsterdam, and more.


John Thackara
Doors 9 on "Juice" Call for Projects [July 2006]
07.01.06

Report on Doors of Perception 9 call for project case studies, doctor-patient interactions, the Aspen Design Summit, the Young Foundation's manifesto, Desins of the Time Explorers Club, and more.


John Thackara
Cities, Design and Democracy: Conversation with Sunil Abraham in Cluster
06.14.06

John Thackara and Sunil Abraham sit down for an in-depth interview with Cluster Magazine.


John Thackara
Announcing Doors 9 and 10 [May 2006]
05.01.06

Report on Doors of Perception "Juice," Doors of Perception 10, The Young Foundation manifesto, monitoring a region's vital signs in real time, the Aspen Design Summit, and more.


John Thackara
Design Transformation [April 2006]
04.01.06

Report on an emerging design discipline, a British government report about Intelligent Infrastructures Futures, decision support tools, the Aspen Design Summit, robots for elderly people, and more.


John Thackara
Utopias by Design? [March 2006]
03.01.06

Report on In the Bubble: Designing in A Complex World, a CustomerMade conference, car sharing, P.M.'s Bolo Bolo, Wayne A. Lemmon's defense of sprawl, and more.


John Thackara
If Pigs Could Fly... [February 2006]
02.01.06

Report on welfare and care systems seminar in Helsinki, KM3 from MVRDV, "emotional design," building regulations, sustainable transportation, and more.


John Thackara
The Diminishing Spaces of Childhood [January 2006]
01.01.06

Report on Designs of the Time (DOTT), Henry Jenkins's essay on the changing spaces of childhood, KM3 by MVRDV, Sweden's indepenence from oil, Building Schools for the Future (BSF) in England and more.<


John Thackara
Designs of the Time (DOTT) [December 2005]
12.01.05

Report on the beginnings of Designs of the Time (Dott), Doors of Perception in Seoul, the Art Center Design Conference series, the Urband Eyes project, disposable diapers and more.


John Thackara
Food Journeys [November 2005]
11.01.05

Report on Beyond Green, RED's Future Currents project, Contested Streets, Tom Peters, Bruce Sterling's Shaping Things and more.


John Thackara
Design and Risk [October 2005]
10.01.05

Report on 'SAFE: Design Takes On Risks' at the MoMA, global export of weapons, natural disasters, Matchmaking in Norway, tourism in Barcelona, and more.


John Thackara
On Time [September 2005]
09.01.05

Report on building a 'Cellular Church,' MediaLab, natural disasters, flooding in India, Project Lifeline and more.


John Thackara
Street Art Pro [August 2005]
08.01.05

Report on the Municipal Wirelss Conference in San Francisco, Label Rue in France, designs and government policy, the 2005 Assitive Tech conference, the 2005 Tactile Graphics conference and more.


John Thackara
Self-Service Economy [June 2005]
06.01.05

Report on international call centers, Neighbor Power: Building Community The Seattle Way, the marketing strategies of evangelical America, Fast Company's review of In the Bubble, the "Building Everyday Democracy" organization, and more.


John Thackara
"In The Bubble" Special [May 2005]
05.01.05

Report on the release of In the Bubble: Designing In A Complex World, talks, reading, signings, and more in support of John Thackara's book.


John Thackara
Lessons of Infra [April 2005]
04.01.05

Report on India's 'jugaads,' Ezio Manzini's "small is not small," the Doors of Perception conference in New Delhi, applications from China for the London school of Economics, the ExArchs and more.


John Thackara
Emerging Economy Design [March 2005]
03.01.05

Report and Doors of Perception 8 pre-conference, the problem with b-schools, reality TV for the boardroom, a meeting of information design students and professionals on the Cape Verde Islands, mobile learning in Malta, and more.


John Thackara
Street-level Innovation [February 2005]
02.01.05

Report on Solomon Kolkota's study of urban planning in China, Usman Haque's workshop on open source architecture, sustainable societies, the 'infra of sharing,' Project Clinics at Doors 8, and more.


John Thackara
Tools for Citizen Services [January 2005]
01.01.05

Report on designing knowledge, Doors of Perception 8 in New Dheli, the street as innovation, ethnography in innovation, enabling services and more.


John Thackara
Skunk Space and Time [December 2004]
12.01.04

Report on Doors of Perception 8, the results of the Doors 8 Project Leaders' Round Table, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for information systems, Debra Solomon's quest to enable "nomadic banquets," the Chinese government's intention to build 1,000 new museums by 2015, and more.


John Thackara
New Dark Ages? [November 2004]
11.01.04

Report on the state of design research, Doors of Perception 8 in New Delhi, service design for health care, the "Used in India" exhibition, comparing design strategies between New York and New Delhi, and more.


John Thackara
Open Welfare [October 2004]
10.01.04

Report on Doors of Perception 8: New Delhi, Red at the Design Council in London, dimensions of patient experience, Bruce Mau's Massive Change exhibition, the U.S. project Gridwise, and more.


John Thackara
The Time Thief [September 2004]
09.01.04

Report on Europe's train ticketing service, Doors of Perception 8: New Delhi partners, CK Prahalad, the impact of mediascapes on how we inhabit space, the 'New Design Cities' symposium, 'State of Mergebcy: Territorial Identity in the Post-Political Age,' and more.


John Thackara
Social Innovation Observatory [August 2004]
08.01.04

Report on Doors of Perception 8: New Delhi, the 2004 Open Doors Project Challenge, the 2004 Project Observation workshop, nuclear security in CrytoGram, an idea from Pieter Burghart at LogicaCMG, and more.


John Thackara
Research Governance [May 2004]
05.01.04

Report on who is respnsible for the consequences of design actions, Jun Rekimoto's lecture at CHI, emotion detecting software, anticipitory systems at Philips Research, Designing Bits & Pieces Symposium,Machinista, and more.


John Thackara
Quality Time At High Speed [April 2004]
04.01.04

Report on high speed train travel (HST), the modernization of Britain's west coast railway, the final workshop of Spark!, Prada's $40 million Manhattan flagship, CHI 2004, and more.


John Thackara
Landscape to Mediascape [February 2004]
02.01.04

When traditional forms of work and daily life disappear from a locality, what is to take their place? What are the success factors for design projects in real-world situations? How should we deploy, and exploit, "mediascapes"? A talk by Charles Leadbeater opens this workshop in Oslo.


John Thackara
Presence and Embodiment [December 2003]
12.01.03

Report on late-confirming speakers for DoorsEast 2004, Sustainable Everyday: Scenarios for Urban Life, the Spark! 2004 conference, the Wearables for Health conference, Trandmediale in Berlin, and more.


John Thackara
Now We Are 10 [December 2003]
12.01.03

Report on the 10th anniversy of Doors of Perception, the Doors East conference, how to think and act rural, ITC, Wireless Local Loop (WLL), and more.


John Thackara
Creativity and the City [November 2003]
11.01.03

Report on the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneve, Doors East, planning for the 2004 Spark! conference, psychogeography, Sublin Ad-hoc Wireless Network (DAWN), and more.


John Thackara
From Movies to Moblogging [August 2003]
08.01.03

Report on the future of Kodak and Fuji, Moblogging, Japanese teenage girls and cell phone use, Alan Bradburne, mobile games, and more.


John Thackara
Danger: Disappearing Computers [June 2003]
06.01.03

Report on the Disappearing Computer conference, "anthropocentric interfaces," Greger Linden's thoughts on "psychosocial computing," Convivio's 2003 design summer school,project LifeLog, and more.


John Thackara
Life in Traffic [May 2003]
05.01.03

This free monthly newsletter starts conversations on issues to do with design for resilience — and thereby reveals opportunities for action


John Thackara
Interior Design at War [April 2003]
04.01.03

Report on design in the war in Afghanistan, the Pearl River Delta in China, the Media Lab Europe (MLE), the 50th anniversary of the German Design Council, New Mobility, and more.


John Thackara
The Promise of Proximity [March 2003]
03.01.03

Report on Marko Ahtisaari's thoughts on proximity as a design criterion, Massimo Banzi's restauraunt-from-hell analogy, Axel Thallemer, Dutch foundation Eternally Yours , The Futures of Everyday Life, and more.


John Thackara
Remembering Ivan Illich [February 2003]
02.01.03

Report on the death of Ivan Illich, the Dutch Electronic Art Festival (DEAF), the Sonic Lights festival, Politics of Code — Shaping the Future of the Next Internet, the 2003 International Architecture Biennial, and more.


John Thackara
Trophy Buildings Are Over [December 2002]
12.01.02

Report on Doors 7, sociability as a new criterion for urban design, Data Knitting, the Future Cinema exhibition, the "user_mode symposium," and more.


John Thackara
Oil As Yuppy Crack [October 2002]
10.01.02

Report on speakers at Doors 7, who is attending Doors 7, 'deep impact' changes, the Web Issue Index, Eindhoven, and more.


John Thackara
Local Knowledge [September 2002]
09.01.02

Report on Mining Civilizaational Knowledge, Ezio Manzini, DoorEast, the second India Design Summit in Mumbai, Charles Leadbeater, and more.


John Thackara
Time in Design [July 2002]
07.01.02

Report on Doors 7 speakers, pervasive computing, the relationship between time and design, BodyMedia, new models for interactive services, and more.


John Thackara
Flow As a Design Issue [June 2002]
06.01.02

Report on the Doors of Perception Flow conference, the European ban on uncolicited bulk e-mail, Anna Tilroe's opinion on museums, the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR), John Thackara's In the Bubble column, and more.


John Thackara
Museum Hit by Love Bug [May 2002]
05.01.02

Report on the new Doors of Perception website, Doors 7 registration, "Unplugged: Art as the Scene of Global Conflicts," economic damage caused by computer viruses, the European Commission's Intellectual Property Rights help desk, and more.


John Thackara
The Real-time Economy [April 2002]
04.01.02

Report on the real-time economy, Doors of Perception 7, Tom Kok, Project F, the Cybersonica festival at the ICA in London, and more.





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