Category Archives: resources

coming across chemicals: in plastics and in schools

Chemicals have a been a theme for me over the past few weeks. First I had a reader inquiry challenging the idea that there could be any health risks from plastics in food and drink packaging. Then, I had a run-in with my son’s school over a new, portable classroom that wasn’t properly aired beforeContinue Reading

Book Review: Design is the Problem

This review is from an online newsletter on lifecycle design issues (covering LCA design tools and related teaching tools such as powerpoint slides) over at The Designer’s Atlas of Sustainability. Design is the Problem: The Future of Design Must be Sustainable by Nathan Shedroff (Rosenfeld Media 2009) There is much to like in Nathan Shedroff’sContinue Reading

let’s talk about climate change

Making potential climate change flooding visible and enabling us to discuss adaptation. The Watermarks Project of Bristol, all images courtesy of Chris Bodle and the Watermarks Project As a U.S. citizen I’m trying to decide my own position on climate legislation “The American Clean Energy and Security Act,” aka the Waxman-Markey bill (pros/cons via Worldchanging),Continue Reading

sustainable consumption: The context of low product

Architect Michael Herrman’s Nomadic Prayer Space, one of the projects he uses to explore “the architecture of displacement” in his new book, Hypercontextuality (Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche, 2008) This month I’ve published a feature article on Core77 (the industrial design online magazine), on the topic of sustainable consumption. The article has lots of images andContinue Reading

admired: women in technology, women in design activism

Today is Ada Lovelace day and I’m reporting to you from Iceland, where I’ve come to give a talk on “Clothing and Conscience” at the Nordic Fashion biennale and to talk about design activism at the Iceland Academy of the Arts. I have signed on to a pledge, through pledge bank, to write a blogContinue Reading

Book review, Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism

Like other reviewers, I really enjoyed Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism (edited by Bryan Bell and Katie Wakeford, Metropolis Books, 2008), and for many of the same reasons. It presents a wide range of informative, thought-provoking cases. However, unlike Fred Bernstein who reviewed the book in Architectural Record, I don’t believe that design activism isContinue ReadingContinue Reading

Comments on the US National Design Policy initiative

[addendum to this post: there was further discussion of this issue on a  discussion list focused on design research. I was prompted to write more about the national design policy in response to that discussion, from my social movement/activism perspective. The archive of the whole discussion is here. ] On January 5th a group calledContinue ReadingContinue Reading

teaching sustainable design

Greetings for 2009, For those of you engaged in teaching various aspects of sustainable design, I want to let you to know about a new discussion list I’ve set up, SUSDESIGNTEACH (very elegant name, I know). The list is open to anyone who is interested in discussing the challenges of teaching sustainable design. You canContinue Reading

vote for sustainable design as a “big idea for America”

design as a way to “see” sustainability has initiated “Ideas for Change in America” to generate great ideas for the incoming Obama Administration. Organized into a range of categories, the ideas cover a wide range of causes from government reform to fair trade and humanitarian aid. I’ve submitted an idea to use great design,Continue Reading

anyone for a design competition?

Two (make that three, see update, below) “activist” design competition have hit the press recently, both with money attached. Metropolis Magazine Metropolis’s annual Next Generation competition has a theme this year of “fixing our energy addiction.” The deadline is 30 January 09 and the prize is $10,000. They say, “Rising energy costs are the focusContinue Reading