show

Observed
More Botany
05.19.14

Avery Thatcher is one of the emerging designers from the oft-lauded creative class in Portland, Oregon.

Laura Tarrish
Hunter | Gatherer: Botanicals
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.

Adam Harrison Levy
The Oldest Living Things In the World
John Foster
The Focused Obsession of Photographer Rob Amberg
04.13.14

Rob Amberg is an award winning a documentary photographer who lives with his wife live on a small farm in the same NC county where he makes his photographs.

Paul Polak
An Open Letter to Larry Page
John Thackara
A ‘Wild Mirror’ For Desk-Bound Workers
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?
03.03.14

Energy requirements per person in modern times are 60 times higher than our ancestors. How do we sustain that need as populations also increase?

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
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
Ecuador, Open Knowledge, and ‘Buen Vivir’: Interview With Michel Bauwens
Steven Heller
Lettering Large
11.14.13

An excerpt and gallery from Steven Heller and Mirko Ilić's new book: Lettering Large: Art and Design of Monumental Typography.

Alexandra Lange
L.A. Loves Deborah Sussman
11.08.13

A Kickstarter for an upcming exhibition on the wotk of Deborah Sussman in Los Angeles.

John Thackara
Flyways
Alexandra Lange
A World of Paste and Paper
08.30.13

Today's obsession with digital renderings sparked two exhibitions that suggest a handmade, but far from quaint, corrective.

John Thackara
Between Sorrel And Supertanker
08.22.13

John Thackara reviews the recent Doors of Perception xskool.

Rick Poynor
David Maisel and the Apocalyptic Sublime
08.09.13

David Maisel’s photographs are visions of the Earth as we have never seen it full of beauty and terror.

John Thackara
Xskool, Sweden, August
07.04.13

Overview of a Doors of Perception xskool that takes place in August as part of the FuturePerfect Festival in Sweden.

John Thackara
Green Tourism: Why It Failed And How It Can Succeed
John Thackara
Trust Is Not An Algorithm
06.07.13

By some accounts the world’s information is doubling every two years. This impressive if unprovable fact has got many people wondering: what to do with it?

Observed
AIGA (Re)design Awards
06.04.13

The AIGA (Re)design Awards is an international graphic design competition celebrating the most influential designs that advocate for strong communities, sustainable environments and thriving economies.

Debbie Millman
Maggie Macnab
05.31.13

Designer, educator and author Maggie Macnab talks about what designers can learn from nature — and what they can give back.

John Thackara
Cycle Commerce As An Ecosystem
John Thackara
The Ecozoic City
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
Observed
Climate of Doubt
10.29.12

A documentary on the remarkable — and sometimes bizarre — debate over global warming and climate change that has gone on since 2008.

John Thackara
From Autobahn to Bioregion
Observed
Design Indaba Online FilmFest
10.20.12

Design Indaba's online film festival features 10 of the Focus Forward short films.

Observed
Public Works
10.18.12

PUBLIC WORKS is a poster exhibition created by PUBLIC, a design based bicycle company with a mission to improve the quality and character of our cities and public spaces.

John Thackara
Old Growth
09.26.12

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

John Thackara
What Is, Or Is Not, a ‘Green Job’?
08.07.12

Discordant information amplifies confusion about what is, or is not, a ‘green job’.

Alexandra Lange
Hiking the Museum
07.28.12

Ennead Architects’ new Natural History Museum of Utah works to make natural history seem like the ongoing process of discovery that it is, layering geology and topography, paleontology and interactivity.

John Thackara
The Other Green Economy
Observed
30 Posters for a Sustainable World
05.31.12

30 Posters for a Sustainable World brings together international designers to visualize the UN RIO+20 summit goals.

Alexandra Lange
The Well-Tempered Environment
05.17.12

Water features, old trees, food trucks. Three elements of the architecture of outdoor civic life in North Texas.

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
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
Zurich Eco Lab
03.01.12

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

Alexandra Lange
Reassembling the American Dream
02.22.12

"Foreclosed" at the Museum of Modern Art asks what people really like about suburban living. And then, Can they do that with less?

John Thackara
Design In The Light of Dark Energy
02.14.12

A shortened version of a talk on why the world has to reduce energy consumption, the five per cent energy solution and some of the people around the world who are leading the way.

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.

Courtney Drake, William Drenttel, and Deirdre Cerminaro
Design and the Social Sector: An Annotated Bibliography
10.27.11

This bibiography surveys the literature of social design — the spectrum from design process and thinking to the zones of social innovation.

Alexandra Lange
Architecture Research Office
10.19.11

Interview with Stephen Cassell and Adam Yarinsky on the occasion of their National Design Award

Rachel Signer
Don't Flush Me
09.12.11

Prototype for urban system to detect and prevent sewage overflows

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

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

Barbara Flanagan
Epiphany of an Ocean Swimmer
06.15.11

Essay on in the insights that come with immersion in the deep, cold sea.

John Thackara
Sweat Equity Infra
Julie Lasky
Ringing in the New Air
06.01.11

Nendo's Bell-Orgel collection for Tokyo's Isetan department store.

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

Claire Lui
Can't Live With It, Can't Get Rid of It
05.10.11

Interview with Susan Freinkel, author of Plastic: A Toxic Love Story.

Phil Patton
Sustainable Gold
04.25.11

Phil Patton on the conference “Gold: Substance, Symbol and Significance."

John Thackara
Off-Grid Water
04.21.11

Strategies and resources for water conservation.

John Thackara
Work Faster, India!
03.01.11

“Work faster, get time for life.” I just got back from a short trip to India where this insane slogan adorned a poster at a bus stop. It pretty much sums up a febrile mood in Delhi where it was announced during my stay that India's economy will grow by nine percent next year.

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
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.

Alexandra Lange
Is No the Answer?
01.10.11

Bag bans, yes. But why is no plastic the answer?

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
In the Air of Madrid
11.29.10

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

Edward Morris, and Dmitri Siegel
Destroy This Book
11.22.10

The Green Patriot Posters project looked to the graphic design and artistic communities for ways to invigorate and mobilize people to remake our economy for a more sustainable future.

John Thackara
Is an Environmentally Neutral Car Possible?
11.15.10

The future of the car has been electric for what? Five years now? Ten? The answer is 110 years. The new Riversimple, makes us look again at the feasibility of the electric car.

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.

Adam Harrison Levy
The Wood Stacker
09.29.10

All his work, freed him from a dependency on oil. His heat is local.

Sculpture by Mara Haseltine
Pearl River
09.09.10

Oyster Island, Mara Haseltine's sculpture created to revive the oyster reefs that once flourished in and near New York City.

Phil Patton
Mitsubishi i-MiEV Electric Car
08.18.10

Review of Mitsubishi's i-MiEV electric car.

Photo by Susannah Sayler/The Canary Project
Hot Mountain
08.17.10

Photo documenting the effects of climate change in Peru, by Susannah Sayler of The Canary Project.

John Thackara
Could Green Energy Kill the Desert?
08.02.10

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

Photo by Pieter Hugo
Permanent Error
07.28.10

Photo by Pieter Hugo of Ghana's Agbogbloshie slum.

Ernest Beck
The World as Our Studio
07.19.10

Report on Worldstudio's hybrid business model for collaborating with for-profit and not-for-profit clients (while supporting a foundation).

Alexandra Lange
In Metropolis: Blue Sky Thinking
06.16.10

What’s really happening at Inland Steel?

John Thackara
Whole, Whole on the Range
05.31.10

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

Mitch Epstein
Why Not in My Backyard?
01.21.10

Mitch Epstein's photo of Amos Coal Power Plant, Raymond City, West Virginia 2004, from his book American Power (Steidl, 2009).

Jane Margolies
Rising Currents
01.14.10

Report on "Rising Currents," an exhibition of New York City design solutions to the flooding predicted by climate change experts, which will be on view at the Museum of Modern Art, March 24–August 9, 2010.

Jason Orton
All That Remains
12.18.09

Jason Orton's photograph of a tree in Dartford, Kent, one of few left over from a lush arboretum.

Julie Lasky
CO2 CUBES
12.04.09

Description of CO2 CUBES: Visualize a Tonne of Change, a multimedia installation created for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Conference of the Parties (COP-15), held in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit Report: Sustainable Food and Childhood Obesity
11.24.09

At the Aspen Design Summit November 11–14, 2009, sponsored by AIGA and Winterhouse Institute, the Sustainable Food Project focused on accelerating the shift from a global, abstract food system to a regional, real food system via a robust portfolio of activities — including a grand challenge and a series of youth-engagement programs.

By Alexis Rockman
Hot Times in the Old Town
Adam Harrison Levy
O Tannenbaum!
10.14.09

People are talking differently about Christmas trees this year. They’re downscaling or simplifying their annual rite.

Alexandra Lange
(Women and) Children First
10.05.09

Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park is one more way New York City is attempting to be child-friendly.

Jonathan Schultz
Better Place
09.22.09

Report on Better Place, winner of the 2009 INDEX Award in the Community category.

Mark Dery
Paradise Fouled
09.09.09

Review of Crude, Joe Berlinger's documentary film about a lawsuit filed against Chevron by denizens of the Ecuadorean Amazon.

Phil Patton
Triple-Digit Inflation
08.29.09

Phil Patton questions GM's sustainability claims for its Chevrolet Volt electric car.

Karrie Jacobs
A Thousand Points on Light: Part II
08.21.09

Continuation of debate between lighting designer Leni Schwendinger and Dark-Sky advocate Susan Harder about proper illumination of urban, suburban and rural environments.

Karrie Jacobs
A Thousand Points on Light: Part I
08.19.09

Debate between lighting designer Leni Schwendinger and Dark-Sky advocate Susan Harder about proper illumination of urban, suburban and rural environments.

Teun Voeten
Hell in a Horse Cart
08.18.09

Photo of coal merchant in Shanxi Province, China, by Teun Voeten.

Jason Orton
Going Coastal
08.07.09

Photo of Holliwell Point, Essex County, England by Jason Orton.

Julie Lasky
When Worlds Collide
07.30.09

Report on TEDGlobal 2009, held July 21–24 in Oxford, England.

John Thackara
The Internet of Things
07.01.09

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

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
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
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
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
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.


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