February 26, 2005
My new book... About Time
Very exciting this: the publisher of my forthcoming book has details on their website and the option to pre-order.
I say 'my book' as I am editor and wrote the introduction, but it features scintillating chapters from some of the world's leading thinkers including Will Hutton, Baroness Warnock, Jonathon Porritt, Geoff Mulgan, David Boyle, Ghillian Prance, Jay Griffiths and Martin Rees.
When they think about time, it is worth listening, so may I recommend you pop over to Greenleaf publishing to pre-order?
As the blurb says:
For readers of books such as No Logo and Longitude, this book provides a thought-provoking twist, bringing together time and sustainability in a refreshing, provocative and accessible way.
December 17, 2004
Go slow this Christmas
...students examined the perceived value of water to humanity and how in cultures that have a surplus, there is often an instant gratification and lack of thought given to water consumption. They created a product that allowed for a build-up in anticipation rather than a sense of entitlement as it relates to drinking water.
This table water system delivers water at a speed determined by the liveliness and activity at the table itself. When conversation and movement flow, so does the water, as the vibrations are translated from the table to the "fountain".
The project presents a new program for the "on/off" switch while also enabling, through its sculptural form, a pause for contemplation of one of the most vital elements in life.
October 27, 2004
An excellent point is made by Halley Suitt. Quoting a Poptech Conference speaker, she writes:
the generation who came of age in World War II has a new vision of a post-war America and a sense of how they would fill up the fifty years from 1950 to the turn of the century – and in fact, that they had a sense of the year 2000 that let them use it rather like a bracket, a bumper, a retainer wall, a “close parenthesis” which if you look at now – and here comes one – looks like half a happy face – here it is ).
She then goes on to suggest we need a 'real beefy, something-you-can-hang-your-hat-on vision of the future'. Too true.
Whilst musing on time as I penned an introduction to a forthcoming book on time and sustainable development it occured to me that many people alive now will know people who live until 2150. Why, even I may. We really do need, therefore, some compelling visions of the future. Tempting though it may be for someone like me who works in sustainable development to paint only dismal pictures of the future, the need is for the positive yet plausible visions.
Men went to the moon because people dreamt it first. As designer and television presenter Charlie Luxton said recently at an event I organised at the BBC: We have distopias like the film Bladerunner, but where are the visions of a sustainable future?'
It's time to get some. 'Something-you-can-hang-your-hat-on'. I like that.
September 14, 2004
About time too
According to the PM:
From the start of the industrial revolution more than 200 years ago, developed nations have achieved ever greater prosperity and higher living standards. But through this period our activities have come to affect our atmosphere, oceans, geology, chemistry and biodiversity.
What is now plain is that the emission of greenhouse gases, associated with industrialisation and strong economic growth from a world population that has increased sixfold in 200 years, is causing global warming at a rate that began as significant, has become alarming and is simply unsustainable in the long-term. And by long-term I do not mean centuries ahead. I mean within the lifetime of my children certainly; and possibly within my own. And by unsustainable, I do not mean a phenomenon causing problems of adjustment. I mean a challenge so far-reaching in its impact and irreversible in its destructive power, that it alters radically human existence.
Very true. In fact, Tony Blair, in his speech to the Prince of Wales Business & the Environment Programme today, neatly outlines the core challenge about time and sustainable development. This is of particular interest as I'm currently editing a book on the topic and have been pondering whether my introduction needs some kind of heavy-weight quotation.
Of course, whether my boss (who advises Mr B on sustainable development and who was only recently featured in a Guardian article on population) had anything to do with the 'sixfold in 200 years' line is anyone's guess.