John Thackara
Energy: Thriving On Five Percent?
Energy requirements per person in modern times are 60 times higher than our ancestors. How do we sustain that need as populations also increase?

Alexandra Lange
Premature Demolition
The Folk Art Museum, David Adjaye's market hall, and the first addition to the Morgan Library. If three makes a trend, then premature demolition qualifies.

John Thackara
Design In The Light of Dark Energy
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
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.

Alexandra Lange
Round Thermostats and Crystal Lanterns, Revisited
Old designs, new tricks: updates on lawsuits filed against the new Nest thermometer, and on behalf of midcentury masterpiece Manufacturers Hanover.

Courtney Drake, William Drenttel, and Deirdre Cerminaro
Design and the Social Sector: An Annotated Bibliography
This bibiography surveys the literature of social design — the spectrum from design process and thinking to the zones of social innovation.

John Thackara
Iceland: Eaten Alive, or Growing to Live?
Exploding the myth of Iceland's "green" energy — with alternative suggestions

Phil Patton
The Green Dashboard
The design of instrument panels reflects the new technologies of hybrid and electric vehicles

Phil Patton
Another Wrong Turn for Chris Paine
Review of the documentary film Revenge of the Electric Car.

John Thackara
Renewable Energy: Salvation or Snake Oil?
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.

Phil Patton
Charging Double
Comparing two new electric-car chargers: Blink and WattStation

Ernest Beck
Climate Change Chocolate Update
Update on Climate Change Chocolate and other ideas for offsetting carbon. Originally published August 17, 2009.

Ernest Beck
SELCO: Case Study Synopsis & Teaching Objectives

This case study about SELCO, a solar energy company in India, provides an opportunity to examine the strategy of a business with a social purpose and a heavy reliance on innovative design.

Phil Patton
Mitsubishi i-MiEV Electric Car
Review of Mitsubishi's i-MiEV electric car.

John Thackara
Could Green Energy Kill the Desert?
Large scale wind power might not be as green as you think.

Mitch Epstein
Why Not in My Backyard?
Mitch Epstein's photo of Amos Coal Power Plant, Raymond City, West Virginia 2004, from his book American Power (Steidl, 2009).

Jane Withers
In Praise of Shadows
Essay adapted from "In Praise of Shadows: New European Lighting Design," presented at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, September 19–October 18, 2009.

Julie Lasky
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.

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

Bryan Mealer, and William Kamkwamba
The Doers Club
Design prodigy William Kamkwamba recalls building a windmill to generate electricity for his village in Malawi, Africa.

Mark Dery
Paradise Fouled
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
Phil Patton questions GM's sustainability claims for its Chevrolet Volt electric car.

Karrie Jacobs
A Thousand Points on Light: Part II
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
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
Photo of coal merchant in Shanxi Province, China, by Teun Voeten.

Alec Appelbaum
Report on the FLAP bag, a multipurpose messenger bag for developing-world populations.

Ernest Beck
Climate Change Chocolate
While environmentalists debate the ethics and effectiveness of carbon offsets, designers work to make them appealing.

Julie Lasky
When Worlds Collide
Report on TEDGlobal 2009, held July 21–24 in Oxford, England.

Taryn Simon
Blue Note
Nuclear Waste Encapsulation and Storage Facility Cherenkov Radiation, Hanford Site, U.S. Department of Energy, Southeastern Washington State. Photograph by Taryn Simon.

Observed | October 26

Sabrina Fossi’s new watch actually helps you see what time is is. Support her Kickstarter campaign here. [JH]

India’s Prime Minister speaks out in public on design’s importance in industry, economics, and more. [JH]

Google’s head of self-driving-car design (and it’s a woman!) talks about her strategy and why it matters. [JH]

Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin discusses his complicated relationship with Donald Trump. [MB]

Design Week : Mexico! [JH]

Think Wrong, the long-awaited book from the first guest on our new podcast, John Bielenberg, is out. Order here. [MB]

Observed | October 25

An economist explains why you should embrace a disorderly desk. [MB]

British Rail Corporate Identity, 1965–1994. [MB]

House of Wax is a new bar in New York that revives the Victorian art of the Panopticum—in wax. [JH]

Observed | October 24

In Estonia, a one-day design summit stresses the importance of indiscipinarity, teams—and trust. [JH]

“Don’t think that the world of design belongs to designers.” Opening comments from Mark Wigley at the third Istanbul Design Biennial. [JH]

No assigned desks in this new open-plan office created by Clive Wilkinson for the New York office of Publicis. [MB]

“Good design means your phone doesn’t explode.” The New Yorker’s Om Malik weighs in on the Apple Samsung case. [JH]

An entertaining website to launch GT America, a new typeface from Grilli Type. [MB]

Observed | October 21

More on ballot design and its many problems. [JH]

Design is the new currency. [JH]

If Hillary is elected, “’re going to have taco trucks on every corner”, warned Latinos for Trump’s Marco Gutierrez. Lana Rigby designs a citywide fleet of taco trucks that double as voter registration booths. [JH]

“Design is the art and science of improving the interface between human beings and their environment.” A new design incubator at MIT. [JH]

Observed | October 20

“Ignore the fads and go back to the typographic principles of print — keep your type black,” says Kevin Marks. More from Cory Doctorow on the web’s “plague” of grey type. [JH]

The Wall Street Journal on design books as eye candy. [JH]

The New Yorker on urban housing, inequality, density, democracy—and Le Corbusier. [JH]

Observed | October 18

Could bad buildings damage your mental health? [MB]

Dutch Design Week! Here’s the program. [JH]

Observed | October 17

Wine labels—and how their design impacts what we want to buy. [JH]

From India, a story on design mistakes for startups. [JH]

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Zur Farbenlehre (“Theory of Colors”), 1810. [MB]

A call to action for design justice. [JH]

The eerie secret apartments of the New York Public Library system [MB]

“Not knowing what you’re doing is a skill you can’t teach.” An interview with Richard Turley (ex-Businessweek, ex-MTV) on his move to Wieden+Kennedy. [MB]

Observed | October 14

“How do you approach an art empty of figures and evident narratives?,” asks New York Times art critic Holland Cotter, writing about the late minimalist painter Agnes Martin. "How do you find out what, if anything, is in it for you? What do you do to make it your own?” To which Martin herself was known to reply: “You go there and sit and look.” A retrospective of Martin’s work is on view at the Guggenheim Museum in New York through early January. [JH]

Jobs | October 26