Lecture – 4.12.2017

Additional Resources: New Ways of Designing

This page contains additional resources for the New Ways of Designing class.

Designer, educator and environmentalist Ezio Manzini discusses his new book Design,  When Everybody Designs that offers new approaches for designing more appropriately and sustainably.

Video from MICA Social Design, 2015

Discussion Session – 4.17.2017

Additional Resources: Indigenous Design

This page contains additional resources for the Indigenous Design class.

The Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi derives from Buddhist teaching and refers to an aesthetic, an appreciation of the beauty found in the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. Some characteristics include asymmetry, asperity, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy and an appreciation of the integrity of natural objects. We believe this also relates to the concept of wholeness which is also inherently temporal.

Video from School of Life, 2015

John Lane’s book Timeless Beauty acknowledges the importance of beauty and argues that our modern culture has become immune to ugliness. An important text for designers in all areas of sub discipline:

The Architect Christopher Alexander has written extensively on his ideas about wholeness and design. In his early work, A Pattern Language he outlines aspects of wholeness and ‘life’ found in the things we design. Below is a brief interview in which he discusses these concepts.

Video from NPR, 2005

Stewart Brand’s book How Buildings Learn also laid out the way in which buildings change over time in response to how they are used/lived in. His views are also relevant to understanding the concept of wholeness. In this video he calls ‘time’ the main architect of buildings.

Video from Stewart Brand and James Muncie, 1997

Azby Brown, author of Just Enough, discusses how environmental problems were solved in Edo (Tokyo) Japan (1603- 1868) through ecological design

Video from International Society for Ecology and Culture, 2012

The design of the traditional Blackhouse in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland is an example of place-based design. The house was a residence for both animals and humans, built of local materials for local conditions.

Architect Kunle Adeyemi is designing structures on water in response to changing environmental conditions.

Video from The Louisiana Channel

The people of Cherrapunji, India have been ‘growing’ bridges across rivers for more than 500 years using the roots of trees:

Navajo master weaver Clara Sherman demonstrates the traditional way of carding wool and spinning it into yarn for weaving.

Video from Wolf Creek Productions, 2009 (Embedding disabled. Click picture to watch on YouTube.)

Djabugay Eldber Rhonda Brim talks about how she is carrying on the indigenous wisdom of basket weaving.

Video from Simpsonmarketing, 2013

The Mbuti pygmies of Congo’s Wildlife Reserve talk about their place-based way of life. Note the variety of ‘designed’ tools and artifacts that are a part of everyday life.

Video from The Tribal Trust Foundation

Bernard Rudofsky’s classic book Architecture without Architects offers many examples of design for place. The characteristics of these dwellings also have many of the characteristics of ‘wholeness’ mentioned previously in the seminar.

Discussion Session – 4.19.2017

Additional Resources: Integrating Existing Design Approaches

This page contains additional resources for the Integrating Existing Design Approaches class.

Journalist, environmentalist, author and design critic John Thackara gave a lecture on his new book “How to Thrive in the Next Economy: Designing Tomorrow’s World Today”, hosted by Allan Chochinov and The Products of Design program at SVA, NYC, November 2015. In it, Thackara discusses a new kind of designing that will be necessary in the 21st century.

From a lecture at SVA, New York, November, 2015

John Todd and Nancy Jack Todd, in the video below, are among the pioneers of ecological design, “using the intelligence of nature to solve human problems”. This is being done extremely effectively in the treatment of polluted water with  ‘living machines'(designed ecosystems which are analogies of natural ecosystems) invented by John Todd.

The video below is a lecture given by designer, theorist, author and environmentalist Tony Fry who was formerly Professor of Design Futures at Griffith University, Queenland College of Art, Brisbane, Australia. The lecture given at UM Stamps School of Art & Design expands on his concepts of sustainment, settlement and design as politics. and the ways in which design must change.

Video from UM Stamps School of Art and Design, circa 2011

Anne Leonard’s short video provides a good overview of what ‘closed loop’ cradle to cradle design is about and how it differs from current design/ production processes.

The Winterhouse Social Design Pathways Matrix is a useful tool for framing and critiquing design initiatives and understanding their scope and requisite skillets.

The TED Talk Sustainability by Design Channel contains 12 relevant talks. The following 2 are particularly relevant to Transition Design: Product designer Eben Bayer discusses a recipe for a new class of organic packaging materials made from fungus/mushrooms. Rachel Armstrong discusses the design and development of architecture that grows and repairs itself, coupling with the environment.

An important new area for design and designers is Design for Policy. In this video from the UK Design Council, Dr. Andrea Siodmok, Head of Policy Lab for the UK Cabinet Office, Christian Bason, CEO of the Danish Design Center and other explain what Design for Policy is:

Video from The UK Design Council, 2014

In this video Andrea Siodmok of Policy Lab , UK provides more details about the approaches/processes of Design for Policy and the types of projects being worked on:

Video from RSA, UK, 2015