#ThackaraThrive Speaking Dates

Saturday 3 October, Architecture Day, Antwerpen
Artesis Plantijn University (details to follow)

Thursay 8 October, Riga, RIXC Renewable Futures Congress
Keynote: Green Hacking

Saturday 10 October, Ilkley, UK Ilkley Literary Festival
Shaping The Future strand

Tuesday 13 October,Bristol Bristol, New Economy Summit

Tuesday 13 October, London London, Design Museum,
Conversation with Read More »

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My new book: How To Thrive In The Next Economy

Today I’m proud to announce that my new book, How To Thrive In The Next Economy: Designing Tomorrow’s World Today will be published by Thames & Hudson on 7 September; (the US edition comes out in December). Sample extracts from each of the ten chapters are here.
thrive-cover001

TWITTER
It would be terrific if you would help spread the word about the book using the hashtag #ThackaraThrive and this url: http://doorsofperception.com/thackarathrive/ Read More »

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Food Systems, Bioregions, Design: Join Us In Sweden on 9 August

Five residency places are available for professionals or grad students to join our summer school in Sweden – as explained here. Here is my text Bioregions: Notes On A Design Agenda. See also the course page of our partner, Konstfack, here. The summer school FB page is here.

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(Above: our school house)

The one week event runs from next Sunday, 9 August, for seven days. As a Resident, you don’t get the 7.5 credits – but you do get to join an amazing group for Read More »

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Summer Reading: Handouts and Reading Lists

On Regarding The Pain Of The Planet – A Reader
Why is it that shocking stories and images fail to change things? Are there different ways of knowing the world, than merely looking?

The True And Hidden Costs Of Stuff
Do you simply love iPhones, wind turbines, cloud computing, the circular economy, and electric cars? Good, because the following may be of interest.

Design and Energy: Thirteen Great Writers
If you suspect, but cannot prove, that modern life simply does not add up, you’ll love these writers: They explain why you’re right. 

How To Make Our Own Money – A Reading List
Money, and the myth of a perpetual growth economy, lies behind many of the difficulties we face. The good news: Many smart people are busy designing replacements for the ecocidal money system we have now.

Food Systems and Design – A Reader
A reading list for designers, artists and architects. Its divided into four parts: Big Picture, Small Picture, Design Opportunities, and Knowledge Sharing. Read More »

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Bioregions: Notes On A Design Agenda

Michelle Cockiing

Photo: Michelle Cocking

In myriad projects around the world, a new economy is emerging whose core value is stewardship, not extraction. Growth, in this new story, means soils, biodiversity and watersheds getting healthier, and communities more resilient. These seedlings are cheering, but when it comes to binding diverse groups together around a common agenda, something more is needed. We need a compelling story, and a shared purpose, that people can relate to, and support, whatever their other differences. 

For me, a strong candidate for that connective idea is the bioregion. Beginning with a short reflection on the power of such a story, and what’s already out there, this text describes what the elements of a design agenda for bioregions might be. As a work-in-progress, it will evolve in forthcoming conferences and Doors of Perception Xskools. If staging an xskool could be of interest in your bioregion, do get in touch. 

1. A story that connects
2. Scope of a bioregion
3. Learning and design agenda
4. New skills and partnerships
5. Getting started

1. A story that connects

In myriad projects around the world, a new economy is emerging whose core value is Read More »

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Food, bioregions, design: Doors of Perception Summer Xskool

house and shop

[Above: our venue for the summer Xskool is the cultural-ecological community at Hjulsjö ]

FOOD, BIOREGIONS, DESIGN: OUR SUMMER XSKOOL IN SWEDEN
Farmers’ markets as hubs of knowledge exchange? Food waste as a social enterprise? Pollinator pathways across an ecological region? This year’s summer Xskool is about food systems as a key element in a design agenda for bioregions. We will ask: What are the key social-ecological systems in this place? How night one design in them? How does one get started? Doors of Perception partners once again with Konstfack, together with Art Academy of Latvia. For students in the 42 European Economic Area countries, the (7.5 credits) course is free apart from your travel to Sweden and food on site. Read More »

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Laboratory for Microclimates

Under what circumstances would we become mindful stewards of living systems, not just their expoiters? The Dutch artist Annechien Meier re-connects us – viscerally, and emotionally – with our social and ecological surroundings.

LAB 01

[Above: De-paving begins in Arnhem. Photo: Laboratory for Microclimates]

Human beings are clever in many ways, but our attention is easily distracted from the support systems that our lives depend on – food, water, soil, and climate. Paved surfaces, and pervasive media, amplify our tendency to leave living systems out of sight, and out of mind. This prompts a question: Under what circumstances would we connect with, and look after, the living systems we depend on? Read More »

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Socially Smart Sanitation

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Above: Build it and they will come? In the world of toilets, it’s not so simple.  (Photo: Quicksand)

What if sanitation is not just about the kit? If sanitation solutions cannot be mass-produced at will, like a box of software, what, then, is the alternative? 

Nearly half the world’s population lacks access to a toilet, so the desire for scale is understandable. By some accounts, eighty percent of the world’s illnesses can be traced to untreated fecal matter, and the health consequences of open defection are especially dire for poor people forced to live in densely packed urban communities. Nobody disputes that something major must be done.

Given the scale of the challenge, large-scale solutions that will improve life for large numbers of people sound like good news. India’s government, in this spirit, has proclaimed that ‘toilets are more important than temples’ and is committed Read More »

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How to be a rock

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(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 earth; a student of the ecosystems to be found in dry stone walls; a curator of artist-led walks; a man who helps youth hostels reinvent themselves; a botanist who specialises in sphagnum moss; another artist who makes outfits that disguise you as a rock; a public arts funder; someone from a field studies centre where one can see the Clouded Drab (a rare moth); a fiddler who organises traditional music festivals; a nurse who leads healing walks; a designer of natural golf courses; a raspberry farmer; an outdoor education provider; the tutor at a forest school; a felter and knitter; a man who ”hated going to the potatoes”; a breeder if ill-disciplined Hebridean sheep; a man who studies lumps and bumps in the landscape; a digital arts producer; a bare foot walker; a designer of water cleaning systems; a book festival organiser; and a countryside steward.

Our task was to imagine new ways for residents and visitors to connect with the ecological and cultural assets of The Cateran Trail. This 64 mile (103 km) circular track, in the heart of ‘Big Tree Country’ in central Scotland, Read More »

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