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  • Global Warming, Polio, and AIDS

    Community, Communication Design

    I am starting to feel that all the solutions to carbon sequestration (and, incidentally, other global “problems”) have been tainted by our planet’s experience with polio.

    Now, what, you ask, does global warming have to do with polio?

    The poliomyelitis virus was a singular, non-adaptive enemy. Single cause, single effect. Our immune systems love this kind of attacker: the virus is introduced, and an antibody is produced, protecting us from all future attacks. Thousands of years of evolution have given us the benefit of this seemingly “perfect” immune response. Jonas Salk actually relied on this to develop his vaccine, which, like other vaccines, effectively “tricks” our bodies into thinking they have contracted a disease, so it will produce antibodies to protect us from future infections. So simple, yet it saves millions of lives.

    In truth, vaccines have done us wonderful good, but they have conditioned us as a species to expect magic-bullet solutions to larger, systemic problems for which there are no magic bullets, save the elimination of our very culture.

    AIDS, for example, is a complex disease, caused by a virus that is not only adaptive and prone to mutation, but also uses our immune systems against us. Every day, the scientific community is thwarted by this enemy, that is always one step ahead of our adaptive capacity. Add to the biochemical nature of the disease the dozens of ways it can spread from host to host, and the cultural barriers that hamper ...

  • Is Gas the New Grain?

    Environment, Industrial Design

    My Ecological Economics professor told us a story in class from - of all things - the Bible, about Joseph. It came to mind again as I was reading an article in the Christian Science Monitor.

    Joseph, if you recall, held a position as Pharaoh’s adviser. Pharaoh had a dream of seven fat cows followed by seven lean ones, which Joseph interpreted as a kingdom-saving premonition: Egypt would have seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. Joseph advised Pharaoh to store up grain during the coming “fat” years, to insure against the “lean” ones, so that his people would not starve.

    Now, the Christian Science Monitor mentions Joseph’s story as historical reference to climate change patterns, but I think the real lesson (if we’re talking about environmental responsibility) is in the behavior of Pharaoh in the story.

    You see, Pharaoh wasn’t stupid. He knew that in the lean years, everyone would have to come to him for grain. At first, the people gave him all the gold they had. When they ran out of gold, they traded their livestock for grain. When they ran out of livestock, they traded their freedom. And that, the story goes, is how Pharaoh amassed the army of slaves he needed to build the pyramids.

    Pharaoh knew what was coming down the pipeline, but instead of sharing the information, he capitalized on it. I mean, if insider trading can secure you massive amounts of slave labor, why share the wealth? It’s not like you have a moral obligation as the lead...

  • Why Sustainability is Like Surfing

    Environment, Environmental Design

    It occurred to me recently, living a sustainable life is very similar to big wave surfing. And, living a restorative life is like surfing... Maverick's. 

Maverick's is perhaps one of the most challenging point breaks on earth. It's about a half-mile offshore, first of all, so you have to paddle for twenty minutes just to get to it. It's cold, dense seawater, not light and warm like its Pacific cousin, Waimea. There are sharks - including Great Whites, who frequent the nearby Farallon islands. Where it crashes, there is a maze of underwater caves and crevasses ready to snag your leash line. You have to be at the very top of your game to surf Maverick’s, because if you don't, when you wipeout, there is a very good chance you will be dead in the water.

The thing about greatness is, you must be at the top of your game every time you step up to the plate. There is a reason why so few companies are sustainable, and even fewer are restorative. It takes an incredible commitment to paddle for twenty minutes in a freezing cold ocean, just for the chance to get one ride that might last 30 seconds, that might, in fact, end your surfing career (not to mention your life) if you make one small mistake during those thirty seconds. Yet people do it. People do it every day Maverick's is surfable. Why?

The ride. It's all about the ride. Knowing that for a moment, you were riding a force of nature. That you were held in the hand of something so much greater than you, more eternal than you, th...

  • hello everyone!

    Community

    Well, to be honest,this is the first time i have actually came across DESIGN 21, and i honestly feel that this is a GREAT orgainsation, one that manages to make an impact in people's life! ((: Design 21 not only engages the public but also make us want to be a part of it, to make a difference with design!

    i haven really explore much, but i know, i will soon!

    I am sure a good design is one that not only looks good but one that the world would benfit from. Afterall, designers were born to make this world a better place, werent they? three cheers designers!

  • While I type this entry, a young woman - only a few meters away from me - is just about to insert a needle into her arm, in order to inject heroine into her blood circulation.

    She is a mother of a 16-month-old boy and a guest at my house. And I know about her drug problem. Since she is just next room, I can hear her preparing the fix.

    This isn’t just a fiction or a creative briefing. It's reality. Right now. My question to you, dear community: how can design solve a problem like this one? Are we too naive? Don't we need something better than that?

  • GLOBAL WARMING AND THE ARCHITECTURE

    Environment, Environmental Design

    Global_20heating1_0_177_

    La búsqueda del contenido en arquitectura tiene urgencia mayores a buscar continuidad en una ciudad en crisis*, estudio postergable frente a amenazas venideras; el calentamiento global es el hecho irremediable que producirá el cambio mas significativo en la arquitectura desde el modulor. Todas las arquitecturas geniales en ciudades costeras como Nueva York, Sydney, Tokio o Sao Paulo quedaran inutilizadas, su readecuación destruiría los planteamientos con los que se esperaba funcionaran, lo estático de las mentes constructoras pasara la cuenta al mundo, es el momento hoy de pensar nuestros futuros edificios y principalmente aquellos que esperamos sigan funcionando en 200 años. Del agua viene la vida, el 70% del planeta esta constituido por ella, la brecha entre un barco inmóvil y arquitectura será cada vez mas reducida, aunque algunos seguiran diseñando edificios para siglos que ya pasaron. la pregunta es; ¿puede ser hoy, la toma de deciciones en el diseño de un edificio alusivas al calentamiento global consideradas como "contenido en arquitectura"?, dado la falta de este en la arquitecturas de moda y vanguardia como minimalismo (entendida en como "revival" de la estetica moderna, figurativa y funcional pero carente de ideales)

  • Paisajeveneciano4gde_177_

    REQUISITOS INDISPENSABLES

    • Ser una persona que se considera, o esta dispuesta a ser sensible u observadora, o con una considerable capacidad de asombro o imaginativa, fantasiosa o artista o con todas estas características juntas.

    • Tener una cámara fotográfica, una cámara de video o un cuaderno y un lápiz, o cualquier medio o herramienta para realizar una imagen.

    • Disponer del tiempo y las ganas para fotografar algo.

    • Buscar el buen camino.

    MANUAL IMAGINATIVO ......escribe una imágen.....

    Observa a tu derredor, todo lo que acontece que es el mundo, aprópiate de algún color o forma o tema que llame tu atención. Puede ser un pequeño paisaje como una planta que a penas sale del pavimento o una niña en un columpio que vuela encima de la barda. Debe ser algo que entre dentro de tu bagaje de imágenes que contienen un significado para ti. Significan algo por que las reconoces o por que están cargadas de símbolos que sientes puedes hacer tuyos, puedes apropiarte de ellos y crear una relación tal de los elementos que expriman algo que te haga sentir.

    Para escoger la o las imágenes o el tipo de imágenes que quieres crear puedes preguntarte muchas cosas. Las preguntas a continuación vendrán a ti como pensamiento a ser expresado.

  • Twilight and Dreams

    Arts & Culture, Audio/Visual Design

    Gravicollage_177_

    As you might have already guessed, I am a fan of Japanese animation. Please don't assume that the images used to decorate my blogs belong to me-I assume no ownership over them. They are masterpieces created by skillful animators and artists. The second image was a group image from the anime 'Pokemon', while the first one came from the anime series 'Sailor Moon'. I am particularly obsessed with an anime called 'Gravitation', and am an fanfic author of Fanfiction.net, but I enjoy all kinds of Japanese animation. In my eyes, Lady Maki Murakami is one of the greatest manga artists out there. She's responsible for the Gravitation series, which features homosexual romance.

    I'm a fanatic of 'yaoi' romance, which was born within Japanese culture. Gravitation is merely the tip of the iceberg-so many other tales of romance reside out there, in the great world we dwell in. Here I would like to share a piece of my latest Gravitation fanfiction, 'Take Me Home'. Please note that I take no ownership over Gravitation, or over any anime. Thank you. ~~~*~

    Perfect. That’s how I’d describe everything. That’s how I’d describe my life...the life I once shared with you. That’s exactly how I’d describe your smiles, every time they lifted themselves into the world I had been blessed with. That’s how I’d describe you, whenever you were even within a fifty mile radius of me.

    Everything was perfect, for you were everything that was. You were everything that I lived for-everything I st...

  • A Piece of 'Drive'

    Arts & Culture, Audio/Visual Design

    Pokemon_132_

    Welcome to a small piece of my project, 'Drive'. This is featured within the first chapter. Please enjoy. ~~~*~ I know you’ve been there.

    I know you’ve been swept into a storm when you stepped onto your porch, expecting a sunny day.

    I know you’ve struggled against a wave when you expected calm tides.

    Yeah, I know you’ve been there. I’ve been there too.

    My best friend and I moved into a new Realm, thinking that we would bring our dreams to life without a single problem.

    Damn it, were we wrong.

    When we stepped into the Ardigo Realm, we didn’t expect to land in the center of a tornado. When one hears of golden shores and calm waters, one does not expect to end up amongst raging tides. Oh sure, the sun was high and mighty for a minute, but things changed in the blink of an eye. Before we knew it, we were cast into the squall of the ages.

    Wanna know more? Well, follow me. You’ll be amazed to see how easy it is to change a world’s fate.

    -Tobias Halmuron ~~~*~ Stage One: Initiation

    The eyes of Illian Maldas scanned his current environment, searching for a defect that would have earned instant elimination. Gales of bloodied, broken bodies were scattered throughout the streets he had been assigned to, but none of them were earning any pity from the duteous officer. Without a single emotion in his eyes, he focused upon the possible discovery of a living body-a flame he most certainly would have snuffed out, without the slightest bit of hesitation. His eyes wer...

  • Prelude

    Communication, Communication Design

    Sailor_177_

    Welcome to my Design21 Blog. Here I shall speak about my beliefs, desires and dreams. I bear the name of 'Courtney', and I am an aspiring author. I also wish to become a certified Real Estate Agent, screenwriter, and Activist. As of yet, I am not published, but hope to become in a short amount of time. It took my entire life to lead to the project I'm working on, but I finally found the story I'm meant to write-the first story that shall begin my accomplishments as a writer.

    It bears the title 'Drive', and it features two young protagonists of the planet Kisa-Mireille Aranai and Tobias Halmuron. They move from the devastation of their old lives into a new home, believing that they're getting the chance to begin anew within a peaceful setting. All of that quickly changes as they're propelled into a fight against homophobia, and eventually the destruction of their entire galaxy.

    Our heroes dwell within the Ardigo Realm, which would be known as 'Ardigo City' in our terms. The Atelier (the government of Ardigo) is leading all of Ardigo's inhabitants on a bloody battle against the Realm's homosexuals, who are labeled as 'abnormalities'. Tobias enters the picture as an aspiring singer, suffering from a singing slump while his childhood friend 'Mimi' enters the picture as a photographer-which places her at the front lines of battle.

    The 'abnormalities' of the Ardigo Realm all bear the emblem of a golden eagle upon their bodies, which enables them to choose mates without the risk ...

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