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How to be a rock (December newsletter)

(Above: A forest skills workshop in Big Tree Country) Last month I spent a day in a small town of 2,000 people in Perthshire, Scotland, with the following group of people: a blacksmith; a book maker; a soldier turned master mead maker; an artist whose work explores how we interact with the ecology of the […]

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Leathershed lab: a workshop at Unbox

On Saturday 12 December, together with Mansi Gupta, I’m running a workshop at the UnBox Festival in Delhi. We will develop the programme of a Lab, to be situated at the heart of India’s largest leather-producing region, that will develop products and services that combine clean forms of leather making with direct connections between between producers and customers.

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When Shelter Doesn’t Have To Have a Concrete Roof

Public performance in Kisangani. Image © Studios Kabako Studios Kabako, a dance company from Africa, is the winner of this year’s 2014 Curry Stone Design Prize, an important international award. Using dance, theater, and music, Studios Kabako help local communities envision positive alternatives in a city that has known devastating armed conflict over many years. […]

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Housing Without Building: News From Doors of Perception

CONTENTS Housing without building On regarding the pain of the planet – a reader Forthcoming events HOUSING WITHOUT BUILDING The family of swallows that spent the summer in the eaves behind my office here in France have headed south for the winter. Soon, as Christmas beckons, they’ll reach their destinations: Botswana, Namibia or South Africa. […]

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When Tech In Care Is Evil

I spent the last two weeks in-and-around a care home in England that looks after people with dementia and terminal illness, and their families – including, this time, mine. In four wings, each with 12 residents, 24/7 care is provided by teams of trained professionals who work 12 hour shifts. During the day, for each wing, […]

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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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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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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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Ten answers from Brisbane

My hosts last week at the Asia Pacific Design Library in Brisbane (which, on reflection, is probably the finest new library I have been in) asked me a few questions before our xskool: Q: What does a typical day look like for you? A: When I’m on the road, which is nearly half the time, I […]

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