Closing plenary: uncovering nature’s secrets to reinvent cities

November 6, 2018 by  
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The idea of buildings as a regenerative force sounds like an environmentalist’s pipe dream, but the concept is starting to be realized in offices, factories and other facilities. It requires vision and new design thinking, but also an understanding of how “the genius of biome” can make the built environment a positive contributor to cities around the world.

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Closing plenary: uncovering nature’s secrets to reinvent cities

The power of transformative change

July 7, 2017 by  
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How can we untangle challenges at the nexus of nature and humanity? A holistic “radical remedy of the commons” is within reach. But we need better design thinking and far greater energy and urgency to bring it into being. By transforming markets and scaling enabling technologies, programs, and platforms that offer differentiated solutions for critical, systems-level challenges, we can strengthen the symbiosis between nature and humanity.  

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The power of transformative change

Poetry

July 7, 2017 by  
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Internationally acclaimed poet and storyteller Kealoha performs a special piece for the VERGE Hawaii audience.

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Poetry

Eco architect William McDonough unveils new language to end the war on carbon

November 16, 2016 by  
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The first way to end the war on carbon, according to the co-author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things , is to stop calling it a war. Architect and designer William McDonough , who recently unveiled plans for the ‘Silicon Valley of Agriculture’ in Denmark , has established a new language for carbon that acknowledges the way the element can be used “safely, productively and profitably.” “Climate change is the result of breakdowns in the carbon cycle caused by us: it is a design failure,” McDonough said in a press release. “Anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere make airborne carbon a material in the wrong place, at the wrong dose and wrong duration. It is we who have made carbon a toxin—like lead in our drinking water. In the right place, carbon is a resource and tool.” In the same way that the Cradle-to-Cradle movement taught movers and shakers in the sustainability sphere to rethink the way we make things to reduce, or even obliterate waste, McDonough’s new carbon language is designed to help us model human designs on the “life-giving carbon cycle, and to perceive “closed-loop flows of carbon nutrients” as an asset, rather than something to demonize. Related: 9 questions with eco architect William McDonough on the future of agriculture The three new categories of carbon replaces negative terms such as ” zero carbon “, “low carbon” or “negative carbon” with more positive language. Living carbon : organic, flowing in biological cycles, providing fresh food, healthy forests and fertile soil; something we want to cultivate and grow Durable carbon : locked in stable solids such as coal and limestone or recyclable polymers that are used and reused; ranges from reusable fibers like paper and cloth, to building and infrastructure elements that can last for generations and then be reused Fugitive carbon : has ended up somewhere unwanted and can be toxic; includes carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels, ‘waste to energy’ plants, methane leaks, deforestation , much industrial agriculture and urban development McDonough also identifies new strategies for tackling climate change, as follows: Carbon positive : actions converting atmospheric carbon to forms that enhance soil nutrition or to durable forms such as polymers and solid aggregates; also recycling of carbon into nutrients from organic materials, food waste, compostable polymers and sewers Carbon neutral : actions that transform or maintain carbon in durable Earth-bound forms and cycles across generations; or renewable energy such as solar , wind and hydropower that do not release carbon Carbon negative : actions that pollute the land, water and atmosphere with various forms of carbon, for example, CO2 and methane into the atmosphere or plastics in the ocean McDonough also launched an understandable blueprint for this new carbon language. “The Carbon Positive City integrates agriculture, regenerative land management practices and urban design at a regional and international scale,” according to the firm. In this way, wastewater treatment facilities become “fertilizer factories” while agriculture can be seen as “solar orchards” that provide clean energy, food, water, in addition to jobs. + William McDonough + Partners Images via William McDonough + Parters, Wikicommons

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Eco architect William McDonough unveils new language to end the war on carbon

New wall-mounted furniture suits people and their cats

March 23, 2016 by  
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New wall-mounted furniture suits people and their cats

Students Give Kimberly-Clark a Lesson in Design Thinking

August 29, 2011 by  
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Last fall, Kimberly-Clark Health Care turned to students at the Rhode Island School of Design for inspiration and ideas about a second life for Kimguard, the most widely used sterilization material on the market.

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Students Give Kimberly-Clark a Lesson in Design Thinking

How Design Thinking Can Reinvent the World

October 19, 2010 by  
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Tim Brown, the CEO of IDEO, shows how the focus of design has narrowed from the systems level to the product level, and why companies should go back to looking at the biggest pictures possible.

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How Design Thinking Can Reinvent the World

The Deluded World of Air Conditioning Revisited

April 20, 2010 by  
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When at the Aftertaste symposium at the New School, Cameron Tonkinwise, Chair of Design Thinking and Sustainability discussed how air conditioning kills . Not necessarily because it falls out of buildings onto people’s heads, (although that does happen) but because they are the result of lazy design.

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The Deluded World of Air Conditioning Revisited

Milan Furniture Fair 2010: Saved by Droog (Part II)

April 20, 2010 by  
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Image by Sergio Carratalá We were very curious to see what the 14 designers, invited by Droog to save 5135 items from liquidation sales and other leftovers , came up with at the Milan Furniture Fair.

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Milan Furniture Fair 2010: Saved by Droog (Part II)

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