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Observers Room: John Thackara

MONTHLY EMAIL NEWSLETTER: NOVEMBER 2010


Hello! From March 2002 to September 2010 I sent out a monthly email newsletter, Doors of Perception Report; that newsletter accompanied my blog at doorsofperception.com. Since the beginning of November, I've been posting at the new Observer's Room at Design Observer. You are now reading a monthly review of my posts at Design Observer; this new newsletter replaces the Doors newsletter. From here on, you can follow me by visiting my blogsubscribing to my RSS feed, or by following me on Twitter @johnthackara. (Or you can unsubscribe.) The Doors of Perception site will be refocused on new Doors of Perception events and projects whose details will be announced shortly.   — John Thackara
NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE >>.


JOHN THACKARA

In the Air of Madrid

Ever since we organized Doors of Perception 3 on the theme "info-eco" in 1995, we've been preoccupied by the dilemma of environmental data. Our world is awash in eco information, we concluded then, but starved of meaning.
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JOHN THACKARA

Look — Or Connect?

Each year 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness and on any given night, over 700,000 people are without a roof. In Houston alone, some 15,000 homeless people live in abandoned buildings, on cardboard makeshift beds, under freeways and in shelters throughout the city.
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JOHN THACKARA

Is an Environmentally Neutral Car Possible?

The future of the car has been electric for what? Five years now? Ten? The answer is 110 years, for it was back in 1899 that La Jamais Contente (The Never Satisfied) became the first vehicle to go over 100 km/h (62 mph) at Achères, near Paris.
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JOHN THACKARA

Of Popes, Pixels and Micropayments

Before Twittter, a serious connoisseur might study the Mona Lisa for 20 years before reaching a conclusion. Today, the average museum visitor looks at a work of art for 42 seconds. Now 42 seconds is a long time compared to the 11 seconds that most shares are owned by high frequency trading machines. But for the Popes of culture and media, who met last week for the third Avignon Forum, this shallow cultural scanning is a reprehensible downside of “culture for everyone.”
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JOHN THACKARA

Unplugged, But Not Alone

I was snooty in suggesting, in my comment on Doug Rushkoff's new book, that he should get out of the city more.

But if I'm an armchair tree-hugger, Stephanie Smith is the real thing. Two months ago, this former architect abandoned her Los Angeles life for a new one in her shack in Joshua Tree, Southern California.
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JOHN THACKARA

Design Steps to Heaven

I recently visted Luzern, in Switzerland, for a workshop at the oldest art and design school in Switzerland, Hochschule Luzern. My host, Andy Polaine had asked me to set students in the first semester of the MA Design, a challenge.

The task I gave them was as follows: find a neglected asset somewhere in Luzern and design a service to increase its value to the city.
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JOHN THACKARA: RECENT ESSAY


A Tale of Two Trains

A Tale of Two Trains

High-speed transportation systems in Norway vs. India: One step forward? Or two steps back?
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More essays by John Thackara >>

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JOHN THACKARA: RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Animate Earth
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Dam Nation: Dispatches from the Water Underground
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Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change
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