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The Design Observer Group
Observers Room: John Thackara

MONTHLY EMAIL NEWSLETTER: MAY 2011


In my encounters with inspiring projects, some of which are reported in recent blog posts here, I usually meet one or two people who are ready and eager to make a fundamental transition to a new kind of design. So I have a question: Does the world need a professional development program for mid-career designers, architects and design professors? Do they — you — need organized help to acquire the ideas, skills and connections needed to help your organization, or community, change course more determinedly than is happening now? To explore that question, Doors of Perception has launched an enquiry with the working title xskool. Any thoughts you might have would be most welcome. I'm also organizing a workshop in the UK from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 May for which we have places free. If you would like to participate, send me a few lines about the question and experiences you would bring to the event. john@doorsofperception dot com (I hope also to organize a meeting in New York during the second week of June, details to follow.)
NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE >>


JOHN THACKARA

Open: A Survival Issue

In 1909, Peter Kropotkin was asked whether it was possible to learn a trade so difficult as gardening is, from books. "Yes, it is possible" he replied, "but a necessary condition of success, in work on the land, is communicativeness — continual friendly intercourse with your neighbors."
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JOHN THACKARA

A Smooth Journey

Two images have preoccupied me in recent days.

The first one was taken in a lounge at a Paris airport. On the tv screen were images of the revolt that is unfolding, bloodily, in Yemen. But the sound was off. The second image that's bugged me is this new shot of Unit 3 at Fukushima.
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JOHN THACKARA

From Eds & Meds to Farms and Watersheds

The skyline of Pittsburgh, once America's Steel City, is now dominated by towers belonging to two local giants of “Eds & Meds” — education, and healthcare. But these behemoths are not the only game in town. Even a small meadow contains a lot of plants.
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JOHN THACKARA

Rotterdam: Where Time is no Longer Money

Twelve-year-old children in Rotterdam have never known a time when their city was not being rebuilt around them. And because they know no better, or at least no different, they are not much daunted by the huge scale of the projects underway.
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JOHN THACKARA

Why Does Laura Bush's Friend Want to Poison Our Water?

Dr Martin Schuepbach from Dallas, Texas, has the following plan, concerning natural gas, for the Cevennes region of France, where I live. He will take millions of gallons of our clean mountain water, to this he will add a cocktail of up to up to 600 toxic chemicals including highly corrosive salts, carcinogens like benzene, and radioactive elements like radium.
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JOHN THACKARA: RECENT ESSAY


Off-Grid Water

Off-Grid Water

Strategies and resources for water conservation.
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JOHN THACKARA: RECOMMENDED BOOKS

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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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