The environmental movement! Mankind continues to struggle with ideas and ways to save the planet. Words like sustainability, eco-friendly, environmentalist, ecosystems, and green are becoming a part of everyday vocabulary. The resounding message that Earths resources are being depleted has become a focus in the lives of many worldwide; and environmental issues continue to spark heated political debate.
Realistically, two-thirds of natural services to humankind are in decline; depleted fisheries, extinct species, toxic pollution, soil erosion, dying rivers, lopped-off mountain tops, melting glaciers, and Earth’s atmosphere is heating up like a flambeau.
Facing these realities more and more people are becoming aware of the need to show compassion. They know we can enjoy rich lives with modest consumption without losing quality of life. In order to accomplish this we need to band together and work towards preserving our environment and our communities. Beginning on a personal level we can adopt social strategies that “globalize” our society. Humanity requires large-scale change and by each one of us making daily choices we will see the age of ecological enlightenment arrive.
Here are a few key ways we can help become part of the solution:
• Stop Hydrocarbon: Walk, ride a bike or take public transport. Encourage and create low-impact public transportation.
• Grow & Eat Local: Dine on what’s sustainable. Preserve local agricultural land and start a backyard or community garden.
• Slow Consumption: Shop second hand. Recycle everything. Make global responsibility your fashion statement.
• Build Community: We cannot solve the global ecological challenge individually, but we can in our neighborhoods and communities. Grow compassion.
• Be Courageous: Challenge conventional thinking. When one person stands up then others are inspired to stand up also.
• Research: Become proactive by educating yourself on ecological responsibility. Become curious about how society works and how nature works.
• Use your skills: “Become the Change you Want to See in the World” Lead by example. Use your skills, knowledge, and passions.
• Protect Nature: Ecology of our planet demands attention now. Many animals are on the verge of extinction. Become supportive and discover how to learn from nature. [*Earth Trailer]
Objectified is a feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them. It’s a look at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets. It’s about the designers who re-examine, re-evaluate and re-invent our manufactured environment on a daily basis. It’s about personal expression, identity, consumerism, and sustainability.
Through vérité footage and in-depth conversations, the film documents the creative processes of some of the world’s most influential product designers, and looks at how the things they make impact our lives. What can we learn about who we are, and who we want to be, from the objects with which we surround ourselves?
John Thackara from the Doors blog. I am just coming out of a semester’s work with students on the ecosphere where the university campus was seen as a farm first and then a place for people – at least in the planing process. So this adds to that. The image from here
is just to add color to the text.
In September a new event called Agriculture 2.0 will introduce a select group of alternative agriculture entrepreneurs to investors. SPIN-Farming LLC, together with NewSeed Advisors will co-host Agriculture 2.0 in New York.
Roxanne Christensen, co-author of the SPIN-Farming online learning series, says a wave of innovators is developing profitable models for sustainable alternatives to industrial agriculture. These new entrepreneurs are developing breakthrough technologies, approaches and business models that, she says, “can help create a post-industrial food system that is less resource intensive, more locally-based, and easier to monitor and control”.
When I first wrote about SPIN-Farming here last July, I was intrigued by the idea of a franchise-ready sustainable farming system that could be deployed quickly and on a wide scale. (That is the concept behind SPIN Farming; it stands for S-mall P-lot IN-tensive).
SPIN’s growing techniques are not, in themselves, a breakthrough. What’s novel is the way a SPIN farm business is run. SPIN provides everything you’d expect from a good franchise: a business plan, marketing advice, and a detailed day-to-day workflow. In standardizing the system and creating a reproducible process, it doesn’t sound all that different from McDonalds.
There are a host of reasons why urban farming is more complicated, once you start, than opening a hamburger restaurant. Among these: Skewed planning laws, competition for land from developers, insecure water supplies, pollution management, and the sheer number of diffferent actors involved even in a simple food system. But the “just start a business” approach will inject a new dynamic into the range of experiments multiplying all over the world.
Areas represented at Agriculture 2.0 will include controlled climate growing systems, building integrated agriculture, urban agriculture, closed loop irrigation and waste processing systems, mobile food processing, aquaculture, and appropriately-scaled marketing and distribution systems.
According to Janine Yorio of NewSeed Advisors, the conference will take a sector which has been viewed as marginal, dispel that notion, and expose its potential to the mainstream financial community. “We want to shine the light on the sustainable agriculture sector and demonstrate to investors that there are real economics and commercial prospects here,” Yorio says.
Registration for Agriculture 2.0 opens on June 29. For more conference information visit NewSeed Advisors.
If, like me, you’re trying hard to cut down on air travel, but want to know more about this development, you can always see Paula Sobie, co-founder of City Harvest and now also a SPIN farming trainer, speak at the Foodprint conference in The Hague on 26 June.
Many of you will recognize the name Eric Stoddard. He is the guy who recently wrote three excellent guest posts here at Bicycle Design about his impressions of the Taipei Bicycle Show. Eric has an interesting new design that he just added to his website. It is a small-wheeled, lever-driven folding bike called the Zoomla. He points out the Zoomla folds in 2 seconds and fits in a school locker. I particularly like the optional integrated backpack, which attaches to the frame below the seat. You can read more about the design and see additional renderings on Eric’s website. While you are there, check out some of the other bike and trike concepts on his site, Speed Studio Design. The Trik.E concept is my personal favorite.
… best concept in the competition called “Future City Mobility”. This was a group effort by Il Choi, David Seesing, Miika Hekkinen and me. All friends of mine at the RCA. A great project from the start to the end. The brief was basicly to look at the traffic situation in London for the year 2030. Our concept was to create a car-free-zone in the central of London, called London Garden. Inside this zone we developed a system created around bicycles. Allowing a special designed bicycle/scooter to be well integrated with the infrastructure aswell as becoming a part of the interior of the busses and taxis. Inside London Garden, the users have more awerness of the individual energy consumption. In fact, the energy that you create while biking is used as a currency while docking the bicycle into the bus or taxi.
A lovely critical tone on V&A’s curation of a design exhibition.
Until recently, a positive view on the state of modern Chinese graphic design was difficult to find in the Western trade press. Hong Kong, under the rule of the British Empire up until 1997, was seen as simply mimicking and copying Euro-American works. The Mainland’s designs, under the Communist regime and economy since the 1950s, were dismissed as solely propagandistic and emulating the former Soviet Union’s visual mannerisms. It is as the New China, with its new market economy and powerful global presence, that Western design professions have begun to take notice that they have powerful design competition to face. Yet the Euro-American typecasting of Chinese design still lingers on, as evidenced in London’s current Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition, called China Design Now.1
And the future of design is going to be?
laser cut MDF?
RCA graduate show, London – Interiors – Wallpaper.com – International Design Interiors Fashion Travel
RCA Rector Sir Christopher Frayling opened the second part of the graduate show this morning with a rousing speech pointing to all the significant design movements that the hallowed halls have spawned. In terms of heritage and reputation it’s certainly one of, if not the finest institution to study design in the world. With this in mind you couldn’t help scanning the various courses, or platforms as they’re called at the RCA, for tomorrow’s design movement, despite Frayling’s point that it’s only with hindsight that one is able to discern the significance of emerging trends.