De(s)ign

deign

-verb

1. to think fit or in accordance with one's dignity.

2. to condescend to give or grant.

design

-verb

1. to plan and fashion artistically or skillfully.

2. to intend for a definite purpose.

3. to form or conceive in the mind; contrive.

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Sep 10
Permalink

3D printed car, yes please

Local Motors

Sep 09
Permalink
it exists.  a proposal for a death ritual that involves composting human remains.  I foretold of this future in 2009. 
Katrina Spade brings us the Urban Death Project.  A space “for the contemplation of our place in the natural world.”  Why not get some distance from the destructive ramifications of historical death rituals? Picture a day, you are eating tomatoes nurtured on the rejuvenated carbon that was once your grandparent.  Connect with the cycles of nature, benefit from them. 
"The annual tally of buried materials in U.S. cemeteries is more than 30 million board-feet of hardwood and 90,000 tons of steel in coffins, 17,000 tons of steel and copper in vaults, 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete in vaults, and more than 750,000 gallons of formaldehyde-laden embalming fluid. It is disrespectful both to the earth and to ourselves that we fill our dead bodies with toxic fluid before burying them in the ground.  Cremation is a less wasteful option, but it still uses 30,000 cf of natural gas per body and emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere."
Congrats to Katrina on her $80,000, two-year fellowship from Echoing Green to work on the project and build a prototype in Seattle.  I look forward to reading about the proof of concept and to visiting the full-scale-version.
fastco

it exists.  a proposal for a death ritual that involves composting human remains.  I foretold of this future in 2009. 

Katrina Spade brings us the Urban Death Project.  A space “for the contemplation of our place in the natural world.”  Why not get some distance from the destructive ramifications of historical death rituals? Picture a day, you are eating tomatoes nurtured on the rejuvenated carbon that was once your grandparent.  Connect with the cycles of nature, benefit from them. 

"The annual tally of buried materials in U.S. cemeteries is more than 30 million board-feet of hardwood and 90,000 tons of steel in coffins, 17,000 tons of steel and copper in vaults, 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete in vaults, and more than 750,000 gallons of formaldehyde-laden embalming fluid. It is disrespectful both to the earth and to ourselves that we fill our dead bodies with toxic fluid before burying them in the ground.  Cremation is a less wasteful option, but it still uses 30,000 cf of natural gas per body and emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere."

Congrats to Katrina on her $80,000, two-year fellowship from Echoing Green to work on the project and build a prototype in Seattle.  I look forward to reading about the proof of concept and to visiting the full-scale-version.

fastco

Jul 31
Permalink

Ecospheretech has done it.  a PV system in a shipping container.  ship-able, quickly deployable, and flexible.  they call it the PowerCube

the PV modules slide out of the box on rollers. hydraulic actuators mean energy generation at the push of a button. on-board batteries allow for energy storage. in addition, there is room for other on-board systems, including water filtration and treatment, or communications and satellite equipment.

Jun 24
Permalink
'the utility death spiral'
check out Al Gore’s cogent breakdown on how the old utility business model is the vacuum tube to this century’s transistor: distributed generation like solar and wind.  and why it matters (spoiler alert: climate change is a bummer, climate change is here now). 
adjust your portfolio:
"Germany’s two largest coal-burning utilities have lost 56 percent of their value over the past four years, and the losses have continued into the first half of 2014. And it’s not just Germany. Last year, the top 20 utilities throughout Europe reported losing half of their value since 2008. According to the Swiss bank UBS, nine out of 10 European coal and gas plants are now losing money.
In the United States, where up to 49 percent of the new generating capacity came from renewables in 2012, 166 coal-fired electricity-generating plants have either closed or have announced they are closing in the past four and a half years. An additional 183 proposed new coal plants have been canceled since 2005.”
Rolling Stone Article

'the utility death spiral'

check out Al Gore’s cogent breakdown on how the old utility business model is the vacuum tube to this century’s transistor: distributed generation like solar and wind.  and why it matters (spoiler alert: climate change is a bummer, climate change is here now). 

adjust your portfolio:

"Germany’s two largest coal-burning utilities have lost 56 percent of their value over the past four years, and the losses have continued into the first half of 2014. And it’s not just Germany. Last year, the top 20 utilities throughout Europe reported losing half of their value since 2008. According to the Swiss bank UBS, nine out of 10 European coal and gas plants are now losing money.

In the United States, where up to 49 percent of the new generating capacity came from renewables in 2012, 166 coal-fired electricity-generating plants have either closed or have announced they are closing in the past four and a half years. An additional 183 proposed new coal plants have been canceled since 2005.”

Rolling Stone Article

May 07
Permalink

The arch, image by NYTimes

"If all goes as planned, by 2017 the 32,000-ton arch will be delicately pushed on Teflon pads to cover the ramshackle shelter that was built to entomb the radioactive remains of the reactor that exploded and burned here in April 1986."

"vast enough to cover the Statue of Liberty. The structure is so otherworldly it looks like it could have been dropped by aliens onto this Soviet-era industrial landscape."

"The arch will also allow the final stage of the Chernobyl cleanup to begin"

"  “It’s an amazing structure,” said Nicolas Caille, project director for Novarka, the consortium of French construction companies that is building it. “You can’t compare it to anything else.”  "

"The costs are enormous — the Chernobyl arch alone will end up costing about $1.5 billion, financed largely by the United States and about 30 other nations.

And making the site of a radioactive disaster truly secure can take generations.

Engineers have designed the Chernobyl arch to stand for 100 years; they figure that is how long it may take to fully clean the area.”

nytimes article

video by Mika Gröndahl. Source: Novarka; Shelter Implementation Plan, Project Management Unit.

May 05
Permalink
very happy i got to see Gavin Kenyon’s Pillar (2014)
he quilts molds like blankets, then pours concrete into them.  the concrete pushes on the blankets.  the forms owe a lot to the dance between slack in the fabric, the stitching, and gravity pulling the concrete against the tiles of fabric.
"His free-standing work for MoMA PS1 is composed of stacked units of cast concrete. Made from a mold composed of various fabrics stitched together, the pliable nature of the material allows Kenyon’s swollen forms to take shape. The concrete acquires the impressions of the textiles’ stitching and textures; fibers from the mold sometimes become embedded in the final sculpture."
PS1

very happy i got to see Gavin Kenyon’s Pillar (2014)

he quilts molds like blankets, then pours concrete into them.  the concrete pushes on the blankets.  the forms owe a lot to the dance between slack in the fabric, the stitching, and gravity pulling the concrete against the tiles of fabric.

"His free-standing work for MoMA PS1 is composed of stacked units of cast concrete. Made from a mold composed of various fabrics stitched together, the pliable nature of the material allows Kenyon’s swollen forms to take shape. The concrete acquires the impressions of the textiles’ stitching and textures; fibers from the mold sometimes become embedded in the final sculpture."

PS1

Apr 23
Permalink
If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
— E. B. White
Apr 18
Permalink
artist Michael Jones McKean made a working rainbow maker at the Bemis Center in Omaha.   it ran twice a day for 20 min during the summer of 2012.
"six 10,500 gallon water storage tanks, modified downspout system, 60 horse power turbine pump, UV water filter, galvanized piping"
project page
artist page
info from Bemis
video
#wishihaddoneit

artist Michael Jones McKean made a working rainbow maker at the Bemis Center in Omaha.   it ran twice a day for 20 min during the summer of 2012.

"six 10,500 gallon water storage tanks, modified downspout system, 60 horse power turbine pump, UV water filter, galvanized piping"

project page

artist page

info from Bemis

video

#wishihaddoneit

Mar 25
Permalink
what’s that mysterious glow in the circle?  has a massive metropolis popped up in the middle of north dakota?  it’s not a city.  those lights weren’t there six years ago.
they are flares, from “an immense and startlingly new oil and gas field — nighttime evidence of an oil boom created by a technology called fracking. Those lights are rigs, hundreds of them, lit at night, or fiery flares of natural gas. One hundred fifty oil companies, big ones, little ones, wildcatters, have flooded this region, drilling up to eight new wells every day on what is called the Bakken formation.”
the deposits are 2 miles below the surface.
A blogger from the NRDC says the drillers "burn off enough gas to heat half a million homes," every day in North Dakota.  
source - NPR
Illustration by NPR/NASA

what’s that mysterious glow in the circle?  has a massive metropolis popped up in the middle of north dakota?  it’s not a city.  those lights weren’t there six years ago.

they are flares, from “an immense and startlingly new oil and gas field — nighttime evidence of an oil boom created by a technology called fracking. Those lights are rigs, hundreds of them, lit at night, or fiery flares of natural gas. One hundred fifty oil companies, big ones, little ones, wildcatters, have flooded this region, drilling up to eight new wells every day on what is called the Bakken formation.”

the deposits are 2 miles below the surface.

A blogger from the NRDC says the drillers "burn off enough gas to heat half a million homes," every day in North Dakota. 

source - NPR

Illustration by NPR/NASA

Feb 19
Permalink

ice, the size of Manhattan, leaves its home and comes for your shores.

"The video comes from photographer James Balog’s film, Chasing Ice. The two guys on the bluff at the beginning are part of Balog’s Extreme Ice Survey team, which maintains scores of time-lapse cameras overlooking glaciers in Greenland, Iceland, Alaska, Canada, the Rockies and the Himalayas. During daylight hours, they watch and record. Then they share what they see with scientists and National Geographic, and turn the footage into movies and TV shows.”

npr post