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  • IDE: it's time for social design revolution

    Community, Industrial Design

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    Browsing the site for Cooper-Hewitt's Design for the other 90% I found this nugget:

    “The majority of the world’s designers focus all their efforts on developing products and services exclusively for the richest 10% of the world’s customers. Nothing less than a revolution in design is needed to reach the other 90%.” —Dr. Paul Polak, International Development Enterprises

  • Designing online communities

    Communication, Communication Design

    I found these guys because they blogged about Thinkcycleand saw what i saw: no activity for a while. But life goes on.

    These guys are interested in tools to help build online communities and to engender interoperability...so that each community isn't a little island - but states with maybe, i dunno, roads between them? Maybe sites want to keep their people where they are, but i think it's like having a PDF format - it helps everyone if you can read everyone's work.

  • Open Source Green Design: Natalie Jeremijenko

    Community, Industrial Design

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    Reading the Cooper-Hewitt Blog for Design triennial i saw this project from Natalie: cooper-hewitt profile

    What's great about this project is that it hacks widely distributed consumer technology using open-source plans and helps educate kids about technology and pollution. Open source is social design because it uses the power of the big community brain to both solve problems and to implement solutions over a bigger range than an individual could.

  • Green talk in white cube

    Arts & Culture, Environmental Design

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    FIrst off: why is is so weird to get into a conversation with someone at an art space? I'm not so much talking about shows at a gallery, but moreso shows at museums or more "official" seeming art spaces. Conversation seems like it never happens. What a waste!

    All of this to say that I had a conversation in an official art space. I went to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts a couple weeks ago with my mom, and I got into this conversation with a woman named Micki who is a docent there. (And I guess that's sort of cheating, because docents are actually there for talking. But still, do we really take advantage? I sure don't. Man, I've missed out. Tsk tsk.) She was telling me about the show they had up by the [Collective Foundation] (http://www.collectivefoundation.org) and it sort of reminded me of DESIGN21 for fine artists. I told her about the D21 project and she told me about a show that her friend was involved with that exlpored the possibilities of green roofs. I looked up the press release and it seemed like something perfect for a D21 audience. Wish I was in D.C. to check this out!

    Earth on Stone on Earth is Naturally So August 4 – 31, 2007 The artists of Earth on Stone on Earth is Naturally So amalgamate film, sculpture, textiles and plants to create a threshold between the gallery and the outdoors. The installation, which features works by Amelia Holmes, Karl Krause, Kelly McCoy and Evan Wells, presents a series of conceptual green roofs paired with films that...

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    Invisible 5 is a self-guided audio tour of Interstate 5 between San Francisco and Los Angeles that maps the stories of people fighting for environmental justice along the route, revealing the hidden geopolitics of that contested landscape. It’s an amazing, beautiful project created over a year and a half through a collaboration between three artists, two community-based arts and activism nonprofits and scores of residents throughout the I-5 corridor. It tells a complicated, multi-leveled story through fitsrt person narratives, field recordings, found sound, recorded music and archival audio documents. Invisible 5 is an extraordinary example of what can result when design sheds it's self-referrential nonsense, packs a lunch, throws on a backpack and takes to the road.

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    The eco-aware New Materials Resource Library at California College of the Arts is a one-of-a-kind collection featuring over 1800 different materials intended for interdiciplinary use and inspiration. Its contents are accessible through a searchable database where students can find out information on a specific material's fabrication process, applications, properties and, most notably, its ecological data. The goal is to add another thoughtful layer to the material selection process by teaching students to recognize the advantages of designing with sustainability-- or at the very least, a greater awareness-- in mind.

    I looked around the website for some further info and links and I can't seem to find any. I believe the Library is a resource only open to CCA students at this time. If you's like to find out more, I think you can email Kim Lessard at klessard@cca.edu for more info.

  • The Eco-nomics of Echo-tecture

    Environment, Environmental Design

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    The New York Times Magazine this week focuses on building design that is good for the environment with features on Eco-Housing, Zero-Energy Solutions and a case study on Curitiba, a city in Brazil that has set the international standard for environmentally conscious urban planning.

    Check it out

  • Well it seems that Design 21 is not alone in wanting to connect designers with social needs. Virb, a new media-sharing website (akin to YouTube and MySpace) is now entering into this effort.

    read article

    Its great to see that more and more companies are taking up interest in the promotion of good causes.

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    This article I spotted at TreeHugger .com makes a good case for why artificial foods are bad news. It seems that the workers who create the artificial flavoring in buttered popcorn are coming down with "bronchiolitis obliterans, a disease that causes the smaller bronchi to be filled up with masses of fibrous tissue." [TreeHugger.com]. Many people are blaming the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for not doing anything. Apparently this is the kind of disease that can kill quickly. But if this is what is happening to the people that make buttered popcorn, what is happening to the people who eat it?

    <p>TreeHugger Article <p>http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/05/microwave_popco.php <p>Angry Toxicologist <p>http://angrytoxicologist.com/?p=28

  • Design for the Other 90%

    Poverty, Industrial Design

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    Design for the Other 90% is a exhibition going on at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum. It focuses on how designers today are creating necessary products to help people rather than creating useless objects to be consumed by the wealthier ten percent. The exhibition focuses on everything such as shelter, water, energy and education with many overlapping projects. One of my favorite pieces of this exhibition is the Katrina Furniture Project which creates furniture from recycled wood debris found after Hurricane Katrina. This website is full of amazing information with many different projects. It is on view at the Cooper-Hewitt until September 23, 2007.

    Design For the Other 90%

    Katrina Furniture Project

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