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  • Srilanka_132_

    According to a recent newsletter posting for Sustainable Brands Weekly, apparently consumers are. But in these hard times, we must not forget the environment, I'm sure it's just a phase and will soon clear up. Certain consumers in specific regions will continue to support green products, services and incorporating into their lifestyle, for example Portland, Boulder and San Francisco.

    Only time will tell....The Farmer's market in San Francisco continues to be a zoo, and organic food and produce is still prevalent --as so for reusable bags, and low end purchases such as cleaning products. Green services, clothing and high end accessories are for the most part taking a back seat .... at least for the time being.

    Sustainable Brands Weekly

    Are Consumers Rethinking Their Commitment to Green?

    Sept. 17, 2008 - Half of Americans may still be hot for green products, but consumers' willingness to pay more for green alternatives has decreased since last year, according to a new survey.

    Going Green, an annual report examining how much consumers actually care about green issues, indicates that Echo Boomers (ages 16-29) and GenXers (ages 30-43) are more concerned about the environment compared to a year ago. But while interest in green issues continues to grow, consumers' willingness to pay more for green alternatives has decreased, according to the report.

    "There is a looming challenge for marketers of green products and services," says Dr. David Bersoff, the a...

  • Greengaged at the Design Council

    Environment, Environmental Design


    Organized by Re-Design, Thomas.Matthews & Kingston University

    September 2008, London.

    Greengaged was a long overdue weeklong series of events on design and sustainability. Unfortunately, I could not spend the entire week attending events so I can only offer a synopsis of a few. I regret having missed many apparently fruitful discussions that can be found on their website. Nevertheless some of the sessions I did attend were excellent.

    In a workshop called The Power of Design Pio Barone Lumaga, from Morphic Productions, described how difficult it is to break patterns: it takes time and patience to rewire our habitual behaviour. The interval between understanding and internalizing information takes time. But sometimes shame can produce a cognitive shock that can inspire new behaviour. Still it is illogical to expect people to change quickly because of a clever or logical argument. Lumaga told a story that helped the audience understand the importance of feedback loops when responding to danger. We must communicate awareness that our feedback loops are dangerously long in our current society and we are not responding adequately to the present crisis. We urgently need to create a quantum leap in communications & revamp our cultural map. Designers must rework their practice and ask themselves not what will they create, but why will they design what they design. Most design improvements with incremental efficiencies are meaningless in the face of increasing consumptio...

  • Deeds_logo_132_

    University of Brighton 20 September 2008

    The 360 Degrees conference was convened by DEEDS (Design Education for Sustainability), a project that aims to integrate sustainability into mainstream design education and practice. DEEDS is creating exactly the kind of conversations that designers must have in order to respond to the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

    Anne-Marie Willis, design educator from Sydney, Founder of the EcoDesign Foundation and now working with Tony Fry at Team D / E / S, gave the first key note speech. Willis presented her work developing the idea of sustainment and redirected practice. She described unsustainability as a normality in industrialized development, a structural feature of the current system. Climate change, loss of biodiversity, pollution, etc. must be seen as symptoms of a larger problem – that is our conceptual framework that allows these things to exist. Only by understanding that the unsustainable is structural, can we hope to create the paradigm shift that will break free from the legacy of corrosive systems. Willis’ essential point is that sustainability as it is practiced now has definitive limits, and often works to ‘sustain the unsustainable’.

    For design as a professional practice to survive, it will need to redirect itself and shift the structure of unsustainability by ‘redesigning design’, i.e. redirecting design so we have the agency to work towards ‘sustainment’. Sustainment is defined as ‘how to continue t...

  • Album Art for Dean Fields

    Arts & Culture, Communication Design


    Album art for Dean Fields

  • Poster Design for Motion City Soundtrack

    Arts & Culture, Audio/Visual Design


    Poster Design for Motion City Soundtrack

  • Variation One of McCain

    Arts & Culture, Audio/Visual Design


    Screen grabbing and altering.

  • Back into the swing of things!

    Communication, Communication Design

    After a busy month of work placements, design contests, etc, I am ready to continue tackling my dissertation which focuses on design and social responsibiliy, namely looking at the 'First Things First Manifesto'.

    So far, I have been fortunate enough to have had interviews with Marian Bantjes, and Adbusters founder, Kalle Lasn, but I have a tremendous amount of work to do still!!

    Today, I have spent a couple of hours getting my organised, and have started a bit of research, which has led me to a few interesting things: (not necessarily related to my dissertation, but interesting nevertheless!!)

    • Fascinating talk on consumer culture by artist Chris Jordan, for poptech:

    • Marian Bantjes new copper poster for AED: (I have ordered one, and so should you!)

  • Dimensions of Color

    Education, Audio/Visual Design


    Right now, Photoshop has set the standard for color correction interfaces. But it hasn't changed. It's very 2-Dimensional. Color--reflections of light--is multi-dimensional. I am intrigued by the Lab color mode. There are graphic renditions of Lab as a 3-D dual-ended cone (see the illustrations). Yet the typical Photoshop Curves dialog box is a 1-D square with grids. I believe this begs a radical evolution for the interface.

    How and what is on the way and do you think it's going to improve the quality of our work?

    Would all of this require an entirely different type of computer? Possibly a touch-screen or something more complex along the lines of fictional technology in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

    —Eric C. M. Basir © Copyright 2008 Photo Grafix,

    Illustrations and captions from Photoshop Color by Michael Kieran

  • Test Your Color IQ

    Education, Audio/Visual Design


    Here’s a great test of your perception of color. Visit this website ( and put the squares in order according to hue. I scored 24. The best is 0 and the worst is 99. Not perfect.

    —Eric C. M. Basir

  • Saving flood-damaged photos

    Well-being, Audio/Visual Design

    Here in the Chicago, Illinois area, thousands of households have been recovering from all kinds of flooding due to heavy rainfall. Some of them have large collections of family photos and documents which were damaged.

    Once your photos are dried and sorted, we implore you to scan and archive all of them. Photo Grafix offers such a service called the Family Album Digitizing Service. This is an excellent way to preserve your originals in an easy to store and distribute manner.

    This article from provides some excellent advice for handling flood-damaged photos:

    Tips for Salvaging Flood & Water Damaged Photos

    By Albrecht Powell, When disasters hit, most people don't mourn the refrigerator or the couch. Instead, the loss of precious family photographs, scrapbooks and memorabilia is what brings them to tears. While it may seem unlikely when facing piles of soggy, mud-spattered photos, papers and other valuables, saving them may be possible by following a few simple steps.

    Saving Water-Damaged Photos Most photos, negatives and color slides can be cleaned and air-dried using the following steps:

    1. Carefully lift the photos from the mud and dirty water. Remove photos from water-logged albums and separate any that are stacked together, being careful not to rub or touch the wet emulsion of the photo surface.

    2. Gently rinse both sides of the photo in a bucket or sink of clear, cold water. Don't rub the photos and be sure to change the water frequently.

    3. If you hav...

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