transition and resilience

Open: a survival issue

[A new book from the Dutch publisher Bis, Open Design Now, includes essays, cases and visuals on various issues of Open Design. The book contains practical guidelines for designers, design educators and policy makers to get started with Open Design. It also includes a preface, contributed by me, that is reproduced here]. In 1909, Peter […]

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A lesson from Cornwall

Shortly after my visit to Oslo I received this question from Andrea Siodmok: “what from Cornwall should the world know about?”. The director of Dott Cornwall is preparing an exhibit to celebrate the achievements of this fascinating region in south west England, and wanted me to contribute a suggestion. Andrea did not specify that the […]

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Salvage design

(Summer re-run: first published 26 July 2008) Bamboo scaffolding, knotted aerial lines, hand painted signs or converted plastic bags: German photographer Thomas Kalak has published a book called “Thailand – Same same, but different!” that celebrates the Thais’ exceptionally gifted art of improvisation. The strange objects and arrangements remind Kalak of art world “ready-mades” from […]

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Of apocalypse and forest gardens

Three hundred people came to South Devon in England for the fourth gathering of the Transition Network. They were a modest cross section of the many thousands of people now involved in 330 official Transition initiatives (up from 170 this time last year) and many more less formal groups around the world that are ‘mulling […]

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20. Bubble-glazing

Here is a late addition – number 20 – to our story of last week: 19 reasons to be cheerful after Copenhagen. Instructions: cut-to-fit; spray with water; bubbles face inwards. Done. (thx Miranda, for the new word)

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19 reasons to be cheerful after Copenhagen (+1)

The outcome of Copenhagen is depressing if you only look at what happened at the official summit, and persist in the belief that those guys are “world leaders”. They are not: they are followers, guardians of a dying regime. So don’t look at them. Hundreds of thousand of groups are already busy, in countless ways, […]

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Designing an associative life

Government departments or ministries responsible for sustainability, or “the environment”, are too often constrained by small budgets and modest influence. Their very existence allows traditional departments – “industry”, “economic affairs”, “finance” or “transport” – to carry on their ecocidal ways as normal. A similar problem persists in business where Corporate Social Responsibility has long been […]

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Territorial development books

It has always been a point of pride at Doors of Perception events to curate the bookstore as carefully as we curate the speakers. We do this because when a conference theme cuts across disciplines – as ours do – no single bookseller is likely to know which are the best supporting titles on sustainability […]

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Transition countries and transition towns

I went to Poznan, in Poland, to speak at a conference called World Innovation Days. In brushing up on the history of the Wielkopolska region [of which Poznan is the capital] I was reminded that Central and Eastern countries of Europe are still called “Transition Countries” – as in, transitioning from communist statehood to membership […]

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