This free monthly newsletter starts conversations on issues to do with design for resilience — and thereby reveals opportunities for action. It also brings you news of Doors of Perception events and encounters. Back issues are now archived on Design Observer. To subscribe to future newletters by John Thackara click here.
THIS MONTH'S THEME: DO IT!
Eugenio Barba describes our era as "the dance of the Big and the Small". Global companies have embarked on meangful and accelerating change in response to the climate crisis. They have moved in part because a million grassroots organisations (according to Paul Hawken) are also active. Feel left out? Here are a few more ways for you to join the party:
- Doors of Perception 9 (New Delhi)
- Dott Explorers Club: what would make a region 'sustainable'?
- Mapping The Necklace
- Eco Design Schools Challenge
- Design Camp on Sustainable Tourism
- Dott Festival
DOORS OF PERCEPTON 9 - FINAL CALL
A unique gathering of global design experts meets in New Delhi, India, on 2, 3 March, to imagine solutions to the growing crisis concerning food and energy. The ninth edition of the celebrated Doors of Perception conference is on the theme 'Juice'. There's plenty of time to register.
DOORS 9 VOLUNTEERS
We are looking for five volunteers to help out in New Delhi for the period 27 February to 5 March. You need to have prior production experience, a cool head, and an all-round can-do attitude.
WHEN WOULD OUR REGION BE SUSTAINABLE?
How would we know when a region is "sustainable"? And how do we get from here, to there? The answers given to these questions vary wildly. For many politicians, a lack of clarity is intentional: it helps them avoid difficult decisions. But a vague promise to be "increasingly sustainable" is a cop-out. We need to know how much things need to change, and by when. The next meeting of the Designs of the time (Dott 07) Explorers Club debates this issue of targets and timeframes. Robert Stephenson Centre, Newcastle, UK, 13 March.
MAPPING THE NECKLACE
Can you roam a park which doesn't, as such, exist? How do you map something ephemeral like a memory, or a noise? In the City of Durham, the Necklace Park has opened for business - virtually. On May 5-7, you are invited to join spies, geeks, performers and other lone rangers to track, create, and compose your own park along a12 mile stretch of the River Wear with its 1,000 years of river-linked experience.
ECO DESIGN SCHOOLS CHALLENGE
Dott 07 asked Year 8 students in 84 schools around the North East of England to explore how design could reduce the ecological footprint of their school. We are now looking for enthusiastic and talented designers, from all disciplines, to volunteer their time to work with one of these schools for a day or more. Please fill in the form and we will be in touch soon.
DESIGN CAMP ON SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
In July, Dott 07 is hosting an international design camp in which teams of young designers from many countries, spanning multiple disciplines, will develop sustainable tourism ideas for (and with) six North East locations: Urban camping in noisy Newcastle; rural industrial heritage in gorgeous Allendale; change the look of the landscape next to the North Coast main line; re-purpose a cement quarry in Weardale; and make power generation look gorgeous on top of a windy hill. Results of the Design Camp will feature at the Dott07 Festival in October 2007. If you would like to be considered for a place, fill in the form:
DOTT 07 FESTIVAL
Who designs your life? The culmination of Dott07's year in North East England will be a festival in which those who have taken part in Dott will share experiences with others - like you? - doing similar work. Doors of Perception will help organise encounters on key themes: mobility and access; food and cities; the journey through dementia; sustainable tourism; and so on. Note the dates: 14-28 October, NewcastleGateshead, UK.
Bruce Sterling, viridian design activist and all-round seer, is in rampant form in his newsletter this month.(It's a soul sister to this one). "The climate crisis is in its Neville Chamberlain phase right now. People still imagine that a concern with the climate is trendy, and that a judicious head-nod here will mean peace in our time. Those people are not merely mistaken, they are delusionary. They are nodding in disdain at the basic laws of physics. The human race has spent two industrious centuries unearthing the planetary dead and setting them aflame in the sky. There is hell to pay for an affront like that, and it's all ahead of us in this century".
HOW KLM MADE ME CRY
I try to give money to KLM on their ghastly website. At Step 4 (of 5) the procedure gets stuck, and I have to abort. I fill in a two-page form itemising what went wrong and send it to the "help" desk. I receive this reply: "Dear Sir, Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with us. Please be assured that no changes have been made that would affect KLM's products, services and reliability. With kind regards, Niels van Oppen, KLM E-Service Desk".
SLOW = GOOD
"The degree of slowness is directly proportional to the intensity of memory; the degree of speed is directly proportional to the intensity of forgetting" (Milan Kudera). Thus inspired, Ken Goldberg, director of Berkeley's art, technology, and culture colloquium, is planning a tenth anniversary celebration after a campus lecture by Matmos on the Re-Dematerialization of the Art Object. 12 February.
SLOW = BAD
GLOBAL EMERGENCY TEACH-IN
As an architecture student, are you being trained for the world you will inherit? The 2010 Imperative Global Emergency Teach-In, on 20 February, addresses global warming and climate change in an interactive web-cast live from New York. The hope is to reach more than 500,000 students, faculty, deans and practicing professionals in the architecture, planning and design communities in both North and South America.