Keep Your Stuff Alive

The Tending and Grooming Station (below) is a wondrous collection of combs, brushes and other obscure (to me) gadgets. They are used to primp and revive pre-loved sweaters and cardigans that have been disfigured by bobbles and pilling – those unattractive fuzz balls that appear when short fibers misbehave on woolen garments.  Every object has a dark […]

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Talk in Oakland on 16 April

I’m doing a talk in Oakland – followed by a conversation with David McConville  - on 16 April, 7-9pm.  We badly need change. Change labs are springing up around the world. Mission accomplished? Not so fast. Although building prototypes is exciting, and launching a start-up is a buzz, transforming a system is something else again. […]

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Blog Tour: Living With Writing

The blog tour is a kind of online relay in which different bloggers write about their work and writing process, and invite others to take up the baton and do the same. My post below follows  the philospher Andrew Taggart, who invited me; Andrew followed Dougald Hine; Dougald followed Emily Wilkinson.  Question 1. What am I working on? I just […]

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Cloud Commuting

A two-year project in Belgium proposes new relationships between people, goods, energy, equipment, spaces, and value. Its design objective: a networked mobility ecosystem  The signs on the small van describe the services it supports: Taxi; Pick-up; Delivery; Assistance; Vendor; Security; Rental. Seven functions, one vehicle. As imagined in a project in Belgium called Mobilotoop the van, when […]

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A ‘Wild Mirror’ For Desk-Bound Workers

A new scheme in England connects office workers with living systems by means of a ‘wild mirror’: each workspace is twinned with an equivalent area of ecosystem regeneration.  The restoration of degraded ecosystems — or creating new ones — is gathering pace in different parts of the world.  According to Richard Coniff, China is planting […]

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Summer Xskool in Sweden

This year’s Doors of Perception Summer Xskool (in August, in Sweden , in partnership with Konstfack and FuturePerfect)  explores what it can mean in practice to move from a ‘do less harm’ approach to sustainability to a practice of  leave things better. In what ways can design help people interact with living systems in ways […]

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Change Labs: What Works?

On Friday 14 March I’m doing a talk and discussion in Dublin. (Image: Richard Giblett) To effect system-level change – in health, energy, food, or mobility – a first step is often to reframe the question. In health, for example, ninety-five percent of person-to-person care happens outside the bio-medical system – so how do you innovate there?

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Energy: Thriving On Five Percent?

In Sharing Energy In The City, EDF and the the French National Research Agency (ANR) have challenged designers to rethink the production, harvesting, distribution, use, exchange and consumption of energy in our everyday life. They asked me to submit this text as fuel for the discussion. The modern city has been shaped by the availability […]

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Caloryville: The Two-Wheeled City

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? At a workshop in Delhi last year, during the UnBox Festival, I posed the following question to a group of 20  design, transport, and city development professionals: What new products, services or […]

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