John Thackara's Profile
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Member Since:
10 Jun 2010

Last Activity:
4 years, 2 months ago

John Thackara @john ?

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Posts: 11 Comments: 0

  • John Thackara wrote a new blog post: Ten Ways to Redesign Design Competitions   3 years, 1 month ago · View

    Thumbnail The image above is a piezoelectric skin that could be attached to vertical surfaces on buildings.The skin would generate electricity as wind moved across its tiny hairs. Wind Skin, as the project is called, so enchanted jurors at last week’s EDF Sustainable Design Challenge that it was selected as one of six winners that will be exhibited [...]

  • John Thackara wrote a new blog post: How to Make Systems Thinking Sexy   3 years, 2 months ago · View

    Thumbnail The following is based on the author’s keynote at the Buckminster Fuller Challenge awards in New York on 8 June. He was also on the 2010 jury of the Challenge. We will not transition successfully to a restorative economy until systems thinking becomes as natural, for millions of people, as riding a bike. That’s a big ask. [...]

  • John Thackara wrote a new blog post: The High-Tech Permaculture Metabolic Engine Greenhouse   3 years, 2 months ago · View

    ThumbnailA few years ago urban farming in developed cities was a fringe topic that few designers or architects thought much about. There were exceptions: we tried hard (but failed) to build a prototype of Natalie Jeremijenko’s Urban Space Station at Designs of the Time in 2007. But the prevailing design view until recently was that food growing belonged [...]

  • John Thackara wrote a new blog post: Renewable Energy: Salvation or Snake Oil?   3 years, 7 months ago · View

    ThumbnailUnsettling patches of metallic eczema have started appearing on former vineyards where I live in the south of France. They turn out to be solar farms, the first spores of a clean energy revolution that will soon cover the land. People tell me I should be pleased, but I feel foreboding. The Energy Report , published today by [...]

  • John Thackara wrote a new blog post: A Tale of Two Trains   3 years, 9 months ago · View

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    3,500 km for $20 on an Indian train

    Oslo Airport’s mean-looking bullet train reaches the city center in 19 minutes. At 210 kph (130 mph) it is not the world’s fastest — some of China’a new trains will soon reach nearly twice that speed — but Norway’s is surely the most macho to look at. Traveling on Oslo’s [...]

  • John Thackara wrote a new blog post: In place of a less bad economy   4 years, 2 months ago · View

    Thumbnail “A thief who tells a judge he is stealing less than before will receive no leniency. So why do companies get environmental awards for polluting less – even though they are still polluting?”. Gunther Pauli is scornful in his new book The Blue Economy of the “do less bad” school of environmentalism. “It’s an approach which sees [...]

  • John Thackara wrote a new blog post: Designing an associative life   4 years, 2 months ago · View

    ThumbnailGovernment 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 treated [...]

  • John Thackara wrote a new blog post: Have I cracked the the telepresence conundrum?   4 years, 2 months ago · View

    Thumbnail Last evening I particpated remotely from my home in France in a pre-event in Amsterdam of ElectroSmog International Festival for Sustainable Immobility. I didn’t use the fancy gadget in the photo above. My set-up yesterday was a bit, but not a lot, better-organized than the remote recording session (below) I did for a BBC radio programme [...]

  • John Thackara wrote a new blog post: Whole on the range   4 years, 2 months ago · View

    ThumbnailWinner of the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge My toughest work this year has been serving on the jury of this year’s Buckminster Fuller Challenge. Our work has been demanding because we’ve had to assess high quality entries that range from the use of social media to organize urban food systems, and transforming Chicago into a giant water treatment [...]

  • John Thackara wrote a new blog post: Dawn of the new age of coach travel?   4 years, 2 months ago · View

    Thumbnail If Katla (above: she’s Eyjafjallajökull’s much bigger sister) blows, and grounds flights forever, will this finally be Dr Storkey’s moment? The blogwaves are already filled with links to Seat 61. But as I’ve Cassandra’d here repeatedly (yes, I’ve made it into a verb) train travel is not all that light once total system costs are factored in. As [...]

  • John Thackara wrote a new blog post: What Should Design Critics Write About?   4 years, 3 months ago · View

    ThumbnailThe revelation, or advice for would-be design critics What Should Design Critics Write About? The question is easy. You should write about humanity’s new place in a catabolically challenged world and the kind of future that awaits us. By catabolically challenged, I mean the complex, connected and high-entropy world we’re in now — the one that can’t [...]

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