825RE: WorldTransport Forum Doors of Perception: June 2008 - Mapping Ecosystem Services
- May 31, 2008
One the MAP question: you should check out Green Map System, www.greenmap.org. This is an international non-profit that has an alternative green icon system and a worldwide network. We are just completing Santiago (Chile) Version zero – 10 large maps of the whole city and a 200-page directory and manual on how to use the city better. But the range is everything from very small, to books, workshops, and large-scale projects. Indeed, we consider the participatory methodology an intrínsic part of the process. This is a great resource and they are fine people to work with.
Living City (Ciudad Viva)
From: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com [mailto:WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Eric Britton
Sent: May 31, 2008 6:45 AM
To: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com; Thefirstname.lastname@example.org
Cc: "'John Thackara (john@...)'"@...
Subject: WorldTransport Forum Doors of Perception: June 2008 - Mapping Ecosystem Services
Doors of Perception Report
>From the frontiers of regenerative designJune 2008
by John Thackara
CITY ECO LAB: YOUR BENCHMARK SUGGESTIONS PLEASE
City Eco Lab, the "nomadic market of projects" that we are producing
in November for the Cite du Design biennial, will put live projects
from the St Etienne region side-by-side with best-practice projects
from other parts of the world. Will you help by telling us about
the best benchmark projects we might consider inviting to sit
next to a St Etienne one?
Question 1: we plan to map the resources of the St Etienne region,
with a focus on ecosystem services and biodiversity, and human skills;
where, in your experience, have maps of this kind been done really well?
Question 2: a big part of City Eco Lab will be about food distribution
projects and systems; we'd like to know who is leading the way in
bicycle-based courier services - from the point of view of the
service, and of equipment;
Question 3: we plan to run a "eco design clinic" for small businesses
throughout City Eco Lab's 15-day run; we'd like to know, who is doing
really fantastic work helping small companies change, especially
if the model being used might easily be transfered to our event?
A simple email with a link or pdf will suffice at this stage:
ECOSYSTEMS AS ECONOMIC ASSETS
The drinks industry depends on ecosystems to supply fresh water;
agribusiness relies on grasslands for insect pollinators, nutrient
cycling, and erosion control; the insurance industry benefits from the
fact that coastal marshes reduce the damage caused by hurricanes and
that wetlands absorb water from floods. Though our wellbeing is totally
dependent upon these "ecosystem services" they are predominantly public
goods with no markets and no prices; so they often are not detected by
our current economic compass. As a result, due to the pressures coming
from population growth, changing diets, urbanisation and also climate
change, biodiversity is declining, our ecosystems are being continuously
degraded and we, in turn, are suffering the consequences. Some
economists, and some global companies, are finally beginning to measure
the value of ecosystem services; this could be an important step towards
looking after them better (and/or, of course, attempting to privatise
them). An important report published last week, Economics of Ecosystems
and Biodiversity (TEEB), begins to develop a yardstick that is more
effective than GDP for assessing the performance of an economy.
And the World Resources Institute has developed the Corporate Ecosystem
Services Review to help managers take more explicit account of their
company's dependence and impact on ecosystems.
http://idw-online. de/pages/ en/news?id= 262707
http://www.wri. org/stories/ 2008/03/companie s-respond- ecosystem- degradation
ECO "STANDARDS" BLIZZARD
"These are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others".
Groucho Marx could also have been talking about environmental standards.
Any supermarket these days contains hundreds of labels and displays that
make claims about the environmental attributes of different products.
Organic, Fairtrade, FSC Certified, "sustainable" . This blizzard of
assertions is confusing - in some cases, one suspects, intentionally so.
At the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali 85 per cent of respondents
agreed that "some companies are advertising products and services with
environmental claims that could be considered false, unsubstantiated or
unethical". Greenwashing Index allows users to post, rate and comment on
"green" advertisements; but how, otherwise, are we are to decide which
issues are most important, and which labels we are supposed to trust?
Read more at:
http://www.doorsofp erception. com/archives/ 2008/05/eco_ standards_ b.php
SUSTAINABLE DESIGN STANDARD WORKSHOP
These overlapping standards and measurement systems make it hard to
define when "sustainable design" is truly sustainable. In the UK, new
regulations will place specific eco-design obligations on designers
across the product lifecycle. Undaunted, an event in London called
Setting Standards for Sustainable Design will communicate good practice
in environmentally conscious design, and indentify priorities for
development. Design Council, 10 June 2008
http://www.bsigroup .com/en/Training -and-Conferences /About-conferenc es/UK-con
or: http://tinyurl. com/4v486f
Developing economies are being transformed by the phenomenon whereby
soft infrastructure - such as, especially, mobile phone networks - is
installed despite the absence of hard infrastructure - such as roads,
or national power grids. The Centre for Knowledge Societies in Bangalore
has published Emerging Economy Report about the phenomenon. It's a
crucial element of what Ezio Manzini calls the "leapfrog hypothesis;"
this is when developing countries jump over the environmentally most
damaging stages of industrial development. The CKS report contains a
rich variety of descriptions of daily economic life in India, China,
Indonesia, South Africa, Kenya, Egypt and Brazil. The report argues
strongly for the importance of the informal economy: the majority of
urban retail is conducted outside the corporate sector in developing
countries - and favelas contain very few chiller cabinets.
Read more at:
http://www.doorsofp erception. com/archives/ 2008/05/emerging _econom.php
http://www.emerging economyreport. com/
WIRELESS TECH FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
Mobile technology is transforming the way advocacy, development, and
relief organizations accomplish their institutional missions. The UN
and Vodafone have published a report called Wireless Technology for
http://www.vodafone .com/start/ foundation/ news/mobile_ technology. html
http://www.unfounda tion.org/ vodafone/ communications_ publication_ series.asp
SOFT BUT NOT LIGHT
Mobile networks may be soft - but that does not make them light. The
phone in your pocket contains a tiny quantity of gold, for example,
whose extraction required 200 pounds of earth to be moved. A Forum
for the Future report called Earth Calling lists the processes most
responsible for the environmental impacts of the sector: extracting
the raw materials that are used in phones and network equipment;
manufacturing phone components; running the networks; managing phones
and network equipment at end-of-life; using, and particularly charging,
phones; rolling out network infrastructure; transporting people and
physical parts to maintain the system; constructing and managing
offices, retail stores and call centres. And that's not counting the
impactful behaviours that mobile phones enable or cause, such as
spontaneous trips, or sudden purchases.
http://www.forumfor thefuture. org.uk/node/ 389
LUDIC LIDO IN LONDON
The event designers of City Eco Lab, in November, will be Gaelle
Gabillet and the architecture collective EXYZT. In London, Exyzt
and filmmaker Sara Muzio have created the Southwark Lido. Following
in the tradition of Roman baths and Turkish hammams, it provides
a setting for social gathering, ritual cleansing and uninhibited
political discussion among residents of Southwark and visitors
to London Festival of Architecture.
http://www.lfa2008. org/event. php?id=165& name=Southwark+ Lido
http://www.exyzt. net/tiki- index.php
FOOD IN LONDON
How might more food be grown in London? A conference will provide
a review of the urban agriculture movement internationally and closer
to home - including a presentation by Ian Collingwood who led the
Middlesbrough Urban Farming project in Dott 07 (whose senior producer
was David Barrie). Also talking is Fritz Haeg, author of Edible
Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn. The event will look at urban
agriculture through the lens both of food security, open space,
education and health.
http://www.sustainw eb.org/page. php?id=433
AETHER'S AMAZING ACTUATORS
Scattered House is an architectural experiment that deals with issues
of ubiquitous connectivity, family diasporas, design-by-occupant, and
public control technology. What you experience is an installation
assembled from inexpensive electronic toys and gadgets. We are all
invited to visit the Hungarian Cultural Centre in London and contribute
toys and gadgets that will become part of the amalgamated whole.
Architects and interaction designers Adam Somlai-Fischer and Usman
Haque, authors of the online manual "Low Tech Sensors and Actuators",
will be on hand to advise and assist in this process.
http://scattered. propositions. org.uk/
For Torino Geodesign, which has opened in Turin, fifty designers
worked with local communities and companies to realise prototypes.
The resulting exhibition promises "atmospheres, installations, working
prototypes, non-working prototypes, old masters, young ambitions, radio,
research, experiments of all kinds, video, images, until arriving at
the cognitive collapse of the visitor". It's open until June 13.
Then in July the main conference of Torino Geodesign, Changing The
Change, features Marco Susani, who these days has the grand title
of Vice President, Global Digital Experience Design, Motorola;
and Geetha Narayanan Founder Director of Srishti School of Art
Design and Technology, India.
http://emma. polimi.it/ emma/showEvent. do?idEvent= 23
REINVENTING PUBLIC CONSULTATION
Governments, public sector agencies, and businesses all spend a ton of
cash trying to connect with members of the public. They use focus
groups, hold meetings, conduct extensive polling, spam citizens with
online surveys, and talk endlessly about social software. Their efforts
either achieve unusable results, or they ignore them anyway, or both. In
Toronto, Peter MacLeod has started a new company, MASS LBP, that takes a
new approach. "We like to talk about 'creating a seat at the table, a
hand at the wheel and a turn at the mic' says Peter, who argues that
better, more durable decisions are made when decisions become shared
with the people they affect.
http://www.masslbp. com/masslbp. php
METRICS FOR SOCIAL BENEFIT
How do you measure the benefit of socially directed design? A
methodology for evaluating social benefits called Social Return on
Investment (SROI) has been developed to help social enterprises put
a monetary value on the future social benefits of their activities.
It allows discussion of how (and where) they create social value
with their stakeholders in a more compelling way than saying
'invest in us - we're a good thing'.
SOUGHT: DESIGNER CITZENS
Elizabeth Resnick is writing a book about the notion of the "designer
citizen" and the inclusion of social responsibility within design
curriculums. She would like to connect with design educators in the UK,
Europe, Australia and Asia, who are engaged in similar teaching and
project work, who might wish their projects to be included in the book.
TRAIN TIMETABLE TREASURE TROVE
Are you in the market for a collection of 250,000 out-of-date public
transport timetables? Robert Forsythe has amassed a treasure trove
of transport and travel publicity ephemera dating back to 1838. The
collection has a strong focus on UK nationalised railway from 1948,
but it also covers coastal and cross channel ferries, waterways,
de-regulated buses, and "certain elements of 19th century interest
and all sorts of surprises, like Garden Festival transport".
If you are running a museum of timetables, this is a one-off
opportunity. Don't be late.
http://www.forsythe .demon.co. uk/transport. htm
ARCHITECTURE OF GAMESPACE
"Space Time Play" is an incredibly useful book about "the future of
ludic space" based on 500 pages of examples and reflections. The book
includes milestone video and computer games, and virtual metropolises
and digitally-overlaid real world spaces. It's staggering how many
different ways people have devised to blend video games, locative
technology, cinema genres, and real world situations. My conclusion,
after reading "Space Time Play", is that a second edition is needed.
The 'real' world contexts here are mostly Bladerunner- urban; most people
in the book probably imagine that our futures will be overwhelmingly
urban. I I don't buy this widespread assumption at all: in an age of
unreliable food and water systems cities will become inhospitable.
The next edition of this book should be about locative media
used in camping and foraging.
BATTERIES FOR BATTLE
The U.S. military relies so heavily on more than 500 mobile
battery-dependent devices that soldiers must often carry 20 to 35 pounds
of batteries on a mission. Batteries are needed to power night vision
equipment for vehicle drivers, radios, weapon scopes, lasers, mine
detectors, sensors, GPS, meteorological systems and various forms of
Illumination. NATO forces are spending $57,000 per soldier per year
in Iraq and Afghanistan for batteries alone - and 75 per cent of the
capacity of those batteries is wasted as soldiers discard partially
used batteries after every patrol. A company called M2E promises
that its power produts offer "grid-free operational life and
lower weight, improve the soldier's load factor and provide
mission extension opportunities" .
http://www.m2epower .com/apps/ military. htm
Bruce Schneier started his annual Movie-Plot Threat Contest to create
fear. Not just any fear, but "a fear that you can alleviate through the
sale of your new product idea. The idea is find a risk or create one:
It can be a terrorism risk, a criminal risk, a natural-disaster risk,
a common household risk -- whatever. The weirder the better. Then,
you create a product that everyone simply has to buy to protect
him- or herself from that risk, and finally, you write a catalog
ad for that product.
http://www.schneier .com/blog/ archives/ 2008/04/third_ annual_mo. html
MEDIA ART: NOT SO NEW?
"New media" were an important component of the early Doors of Perception
conferences - but can they still be called new? Maybe they never were:
Contributors to a new book called Media Art Histories trace the
evolution of digital art from thirteenth century Islamic mechanical
devices, and eighteenth century phantasmagoria, magic lanterns, and
other multimedia illusions, to 1960s Kinetic and Op Art. They also
consider the blurry divide between art products and consumer products,
and between art images and science images. Media Art Histories is
edited by Oliver Grau and published by MIT Press.
http://www.mediaart history.org/ pub/mediaarthist ories.html
BED-TIME STORIES FOR GEEKS
Tom Erickson has published a collection of 51 short, personal essays
and reflections on the story-so-far of human computer interaction.
Each text reflects on a piece of work - book, paper, demo - that's
at least 10 years old. Tom tells me he thinks of it as "bedtime
stories for HCI geeks".
http://mitpress. mit.edu/catalog/ item/default. asp?ttype= 2&tid=11330
FOR OUR ROMANIAN READERS
http://www.bizcity. ro/management/ john-thackara- afacerile- ar-putea- deveni-sub
iect-de-design- 31790.html? &search_words[ 0]=thackara
or: http://tinyurl. com/43ge6p
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