The invitation to do this talk arrived around the time I was stopped in my tracks by this perplexing sight (above) in one of those endless corridors at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. Who commissioned such a thing, and why? What, if anything, was in their mind? Where did they procure that cheesy stick-on foliage? Is that a robot digging away behind the window – or does it have a driver? What does he make of the living wall that’s not, in fact, alive?
I can’t promise to answer all those questions in my talk this evening, but I will discuss three perplexing issues which I believe are related. First, I’ll explore the notion that we are living in a ‘desert of the real’. Second, I’ll look at what the desert of the real has meant for environmental communications. And thirdly, to conclude, I will explore alternative ways of knowing and being in the world – and ask what these might mean for design. Read More