show

Laura Tarrish
Hunter | Gatherer: Botanicals
05.15.14

Each of us has a connection to nature — a primal response to certain landscapes — yet we don’t always use it as raw material for our own work.

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
Keep Your Stuff Alive
04.02.14

What would fashion be like if it was more than a an act of consumption with no meaning beyond the point of sale? What kind of system would improve the quality of our fashion experience without increasing the quantity we consume?

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
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
Ecuador, Open Knowledge, and ‘Buen Vivir’: Interview With Michel Bauwens
John Thackara
John Thackara on Avatar
John Thackara
Between Sorrel And Supertanker
08.22.13

John Thackara reviews the recent Doors of Perception xskool.

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
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?

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
The Ecozoic City
03.20.13

How humans are reintegrating their endeavours into a larger ecological consciousness.

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
Venice: from Gated Lagoon to Bioregion
12.05.12

A review of the options that Venice faces in trying to shore up the city.

John Thackara
From Autobahn to Bioregion
10.23.12

A review of the projects submitted to the Audi Urban Future Award.

Observed
Design Indaba Online FilmFest
10.20.12

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

Rob Walker
Killing for Beautiful Objects
10.17.12

A report on the ivory trade reminds us of the uniquely human willingness to kill for beautiful objects.

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
John Thackara
Top Down Nature
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
Istanbul: City of Seeds
John Thackara
Oil-Powered Thinking
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
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.

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.

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.

Julie Lasky
MSC Greenhouse Project
01.03.11

On learning about science, nutrition and politics at the Manhattan School for Children.

Chappell Ellison
How Do I Know It’s Faux?
12.23.10

If you want to go faux, you might have to call in a fur expert.

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
A Lesson from Cornwall
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
Whole, Whole on the Range
05.31.10

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

Timothy Jack Ward
Gardens and Their Designers
10.15.09

When I loaded up my Budget truck and moved from New York to our nation’s capital, the last thing on, and the first thing off, was my plants.

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.

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
Make Sense, Not Stuff
05.27.09

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

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

John Thackera defines and explains the importance of ethnoecology.

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
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
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.


Creative Opportunities
  • Twitter Facebook Google+
    Tumblr Pinterest RSS

    Design Observer
    social media à la carte
  • Newsletter signup

  • Design Jobs
    Observer Jobs Spotlight