TERRESTRIAL EVAN LEINBACH SUST708 SCAD 2013 ter•res•tri•al adj. 1. pertaining to, consisting of, or representing the earth as distinct from other planets. 2. of or pertaining to land as distinct from water. 3. a. growing or living on land or on the ground; not aquatic, arboreal, etc. b. growing in the ground; not epiphytic or aerial. 4. of or pertaining to the earth or this world; worldly; mundane.
A HANDBOOK COMPANION TO THE SPACEHIP EARTH
“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every ter•res•tri•al creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, adj. every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful 1. pertaining to, consisting of, or representing child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every the earth as distinct from other planets. corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," 2. of or pertaining to land as distinct from every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived water. there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. 3. a. growing or living on land or on the ground; not aquatic, arboreal, etc. b. growing in the ground; not epiphytic or aerial. 4. of or pertaining to the earth or this world; worldly; mundane. n. 5. an inhabitant of the earth, esp. a human being.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
SECTIONS OF THE HANDBOOK Planet Earth
THE EARTH IS A SPACESHIP
COMFORT & CONVENIENCE
TIPS FOR DESIGNERS PAGE 51
t 01 “EARTHRISE” TAKEN BY APOLLO 8 CREWMEMBER BILL ANDERS ON DECEMBER 24, 1968, SHOWING THE EARTH SEEMINGLY RISING ABOVE THE LUNAR SURFACE
THE EARTH IS A SPACESHIP “The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is then determined only by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life’s meaning. We long for a Parent to care for us, to forgive us our errors, to save us from our childish mistakes. But knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable. If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal.” Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
CHAPTER ONE Published in 1968 following an address with a similar title given to the 50th annual convention of the American Planners Association in the Shoreham Hotel, Washington D.C., on 16 October 1967, Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth is a short book by R. Buckminster Fuller that describes a model of society and the world as a self sufficient ecosystem, a theme that had been previously well explored in its sinister fake reality articulations with space opera science fiction novels such as Robert Heinlein’s Orphans of The Sky (1963) and Harry Harrison’s Captive Universe (1968). Fuller’s work popularized the phrase spaceship earth, used by many authors and thinkers since to denote a philosophy expressing concern over the use of limited resources 2
available on Earth and the behavior of everyone on it to act as a harmonious crew working toward the greater good. A year later when on July 20th 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped out of the Apollo 11 module and into the cold darkness of space as the first people to walk Revolutionary ideas sprang on the moon, up from minds that would they must have see the world be born felt a weight anew in the spirit of ecologimuch greater cal cooperation and abunthan what gravi- dance for all. ty allowed them. Floating in the dark nearly 240,000 miles from home, what were they thinking as they watched the earth rise over the moon’s horizon? Fortunately for the rest of humanity, this experience is at least partly available in photographs like Earthrise and The Blue Marble and others. For a moment in history,
02 u THE BLUE MARBLE: VIEW OF THE EARTH AS SEEN BY THE APOLLO 17 CREW TRAVELING TOWARD THE MOON
humankind was obsessed with these images, with viewing ourselves and our home from afar, and it was believed that this fervor was herald of a fundamental change in the progress of society. The Earth truly was our spaceship, and we would learn to live harmoniously with it and with each other. Revolutionary ideas sprang up from minds that would see the world be born anew in the spirit of ecological cooperation and abundance for all. However, this sentiment did not yield the predicted thought revolution, at least, not as fast as they had hoped... 3
WELCOME ABOARD “We travel together, passengers on a little space ship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil; all committed for our safety to its security and peace; preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work, and, I will say, the love we give our fragile craft. We cannot maintain it half fortunate, half miserable, half confident, half despairing, half slave—to the ancient enemies of man—half free in a liberation of resources undreamed of until this day. No craft, no crew can travel safely with such vast contradictions. On their resolution depends the survival of us all.” - Adlai Stevenson II, speech to the UN 1965
CHAPTER 2 On the surface of it, this little blue planet may not resemble much of a ship. It’s not full to the brim with amazing technology. No attractor beams. No sophisticated navigation system. There is no pilot navigating the earth at all, stuck miraculously in its lopsided orbital trajectory. In fact, from our perspective on the earth’s surface we do not even seem to be moving, even though we are hurtling around the sun at a relative 30,000 mph. It is on this spaceship that all events in human history have conspired, a tiny blip in its 4.54 billion year existence. There is a crew aboard the SS Earth. At the moment of this book’s writing this spaceship belongs to you, at least 7.086 billion other humans, and over 1.7 million documented species, not including single-celled organisms like bacteria, the number of which is inestimable. All of these work together to create a complex web of life-interactions, sustaining the overall system and promoting diversity of parts. Except of course the one that does not. As human beings, we fancy ourselves somehow above all other living entities, conquer6
ors of the biotic community. Aristotle put it best for us when he said: Plants exist for the sake of animals, and brute beasts for the sake of man – domestic animals for his use and food, wild ones (or at any rate most of them) for food and other accessories of life, such as clothing or various tools. Since nature makes nothing purposeless or in vain, it is undeniably true that she has made all animals for the sake of man. This is an early statement of anthropocentrism, the now all too common worldview of mankind: that the earth and all As human beings, we things within it, surrounding it, or fancy ourselves somehow on its surface were above all other living enmade for human tities, conquerors of the beings. We are the biotic community. final outcome of evolution, the last chapter of the earth, and we are holding the pen. It is under this paradigm that our current global problems have emerged; it is under a new paradigm that the problems must be
p 04 THE EVIDENCE IS GROWING OF LONG-TERM HEALTH PROBLEMS RELATED TO SPRAYING DDT IN HOMES IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD.
solved and the chapter rewritten. There are increasing signs of this global shift in perspective, coinciding with the rise of environmentalism and the advent of information technology. The first began with the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962. The book documented detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment, particularly on birds. Carson accused the chemical industry of spreading disinformation and public officials of accepting industry claims uncritically, facilitating the ban of the pesticide DDT for agricultural use in the United States. Helped along by events and media like lunar landings and the first
images of earth from space, environmentalists sprang up and began writing with fervor about a variety of environmental issues. In 1972 Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss made the distinction between “shallow ecology” which views humans as the source of all value and separate from their environment and “deep ecology” which envisions man as a knot in the biospherical net or field of intrinsic relations. “This ‘total-field’ conception dissolves not only the notion of humans as separate from their environment but the very notion of the world as composed of discrete, compact, separate ‘things’.” The importance of this for anyone aboard the spaceship earth is clear: that all living things play a role, Earlier we established a bit hastily that the earth is not full of technology as a spaceship might be. Of course we had not considered the numerous technological advances put forth by our own species. Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution (mid 19th century) human beings have progressed at a tremendous rate laying the foundation of a society of convenience, comfort, and computers. In 1965 Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore after noticing patterns 7
t 05 VELVRO WAS INSPIRED BY THE TINY HOOKS FOUND ON THE SURFACE OF BUR PODS.
in the advance of integrated circuits predicted that computing power would double every two years for at least the next 10 years. It has been nearly half a century, and Mooreâ€™s Law still remains uncannily accurate, but this sort of self-serving technology is not what has driven our spaceship for millennia. Design and industry are largely concerned with manufacturing abundance, although not for everyone and at extremely high costs to the environment. We are only 8
just beginning to learn this and also that there is real abundance to be found nature, abundance which comes at low cost for those who are willing to be humble. This is the technology that drives our shipâ€™s systems. It is a sort of biotechnology which is programmed by evolution and used by organisms to establish themselves in their niche, their place in their surrounding ecosystem. It may not progress as fast as human technology, but it has greater value by far.
A tree’s leaves are a biotechnology, utilizing chloroplasts within their cells to convert sunlight into energy in This is the technology that a fraction of a second. A spider’s silk drives our ship’s systems. It is a biotechnology, is a sort of biotechnology a waterproof fiber which is programmed by five times stronger evolution and used by or- than steel. None ganisms to establish them- of these advances were brought about selves in their niche by force of will or ingenuity but by the cycle of life, death, and adaptation, and a few inspired individuals, called biomimics by author Janine M. Benyus, are taking a very close look at the technology that nature has built. In her book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, Benyus recounts interviews with these innovators: an ecologist reinventing agriculture to resemble a prairie grassland, a biochemist examining plant leaves to discover new ways of capturing solar energy, materials scientists gathering and studying oyster shells to determine what makes them so durable.
Janine Benyus is a biological esciences writer and the author of six books, including her latest - Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature as well as an animal behavior guide and three field guides. A graduate of Rutgers Universty, New Jersey, with degrees in natural resource mangement and English literature/ writing, Benyus acts as a “biologist at the design table” for various sustainable companies and governments, and lectures widely on biomimicry. She lives in the northern Rocky Mountains of Montana
The biomimics are discovering what works in the natural world, and more important, what lasts. After 3.8 billion years of research and development, failures are fossils, and what surrounds us is the secret to survival. The more our world looks and functions like this natural world, the more likely we are to be accepted on this home that is ours, but not ours alone. What we realize when we look closely at nature is that nearly everything we have ever invented or designed has already been done more elegantly and with a lower cost to the environment. Even more astounding is the way in which each biotechnology is a nuanced response to either environmental forces or a separate biotechnology enacted by other organisms, creating a complex web of causal linkages. According to Benyus these biotechnologies are founded on a set of principles:
Nature runs on sunlight. Nature uses only the energy it needs. Nature fits form to function. Nature recycles everything. Nature rewards cooperation. Nature banks on diversity. Nature demands local expertise. Nature curbs excesses from within. Nature taps the power of limits. Even when we take the earthâ€™s advice and design with these principles in mind, we often run into trouble with the last one, the power of limits. Our attempt to emulate birds and take to the sky resulted in our greatest example of biomimicry, the airplane. Not satisfied with the simple joy of flight, we pushed the limits on what To live in the universe at all the technology is capable of, and it is to live within a system that wasnâ€™t long before somehow reverses or at least planes were drop- slows down the loss of enping bombs. Now ergy, converting the inhospiwe use them to table to the livable and the carry loads of passengers and cargo unusable into the valuable. around the world, a fuel heavy method of transport that jettisons emissions directly into the upper atmosphere. Hu-
p 06 ONCE THE SITE OF A GRAND BIOLOGICAL EXPEREIMENT, BIOSPHERE 2 SITS ON A SPRAWLING 40-ACRE SCIENCE CAMPUS THAT IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
man beings, we are so full of amazing potential, but our intelligence and ingenuity often create more problems than they solve. Somehow we have got to reign in our potential, fitting it within a concept of limits. The Earth is really a spaceship not by its huge array of biotechnologies nor of its vast and diverse crew members, but because of its highly advanced life-support system developed in evolution over billions of years. The universe
is always expanding, leaving behind space which is cold and empty and dead. The only way for anything to live in the universe at all is to live within a system that somehow reverses or at least slows down the loss of energy, converting the inhospitable to the livable and the unusable into the valuable. A good ship has a solid reliable life-support system, and your ship has got the best. What the earth provides is well and far beyond our capacity to create ourselves. 11
The closest we have come to reproducing a sustaining lifesupporting environment was in 1991 during the Biosphere 2 experiment. Eight scientists entered a tightly sealed glass structure near Oracle, Arizona, a structure that was designed to contain a variety of ecosystems: a desert, an ocean, a rainforest, a savanna, a wetland, and a field for farming. Also invited were a select group of species â€“ insects, fish, mammals, and reptiles â€“ each picked to serve as a sustaining element of an ecosystem. The mission was straightforward: to survive off the land in the dome for as long as possible. Of the original 25 small vertebrate species in the Biosphere 2 population, 19 became extinct. At the end of 17 months, because of the drop in oxygen levels, the humans were living in air whose composition was equivalent to a 17,500 foot altitude. The lesson for nonscientists is that it required $200 million and some of the best scientific minds in the world to construct a functioning ecosystem that had difficulty keeping eight people alive for 24 months. We are adding eight people to the planet every three seconds.
07 u BIOSPHERE 2 FROM THE INSIDE. SEEN HERE ARE THE SAVANNA AND OCEAN SECTIONS.
“It is at least not impossible to regard the earth’s parts—soil, mountains, rivers, atmosphere etc,—as organs or parts of organs of a coordinated whole, each part with its definite function. And if we could see this whole, as a whole, through a great period of time, we might perceive not only organs with coordinated functions, but possibly also that process of consumption as replacement which in biology we call metabolism, or growth. In such case we would have all the visible attributes of a living thing, which we do not realize to be such because it is too big, and its life processes too slow.” — Stephan Harding Animate Earth
t 08 THE SUN, AS SEEN FROM LOW EARTH ORBIT OVERLOOKING THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION.
CHAPTER 3 As we have discovered, the planet Earth is the only ship apart from manned spacecraft developed by Russian, American, and Chinese space programs that can sustain life, and the only one which can support a systemic diversity of life that can support itself solely on the sun’s energy. The sun is our primary engine; without it all other systems fail. It seems elementary, but the importance of the sun to our lives is not to be understated: all you are, all things you have done, all things you aspire to do, all things you enjoy, the comforts you keep, all life exists by the sun’s energy. Even fossil fuels and plastics are possible only by the existence of the sun. Second to the sun are the engines which exist on earth, the first being the Earth’s magnetic field, our protection from the sun’s more powerful radiation. The region above the ionosphere, and extending several tens of thousands of kilometers into space, is called the magnetosphere. This region protects the Earth from cosmic rays that would strip away the upper atmosphere, including the ozone layer that protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet radia16
tion. Generated by the motion of molten alloys in Earth’s outer core, the magnetic field is beyond the reach of human intervention for the moment. Earlier we began to touch on the Gaia hypothesis, the notion that the earth, its geology, hydrology, biology, and all things contained within it are part of one giant super-organism. This idea resonated within the environmentalist community, but the scientific community remained skeptical. The scientifically accepted form of the hypothesis has been called “influential Gaia”. It states the biota influence certain aspects of the abiotic world, e.g. temperature and atmosphere. They state the evolution of life and its environment may affect each
q 09 AN ARTIST’S RENDERING OF THE MAGNETOSPHERE, SHOWING THE BOW SHOCK ABSORBING RADIATION IN PURPLE.
other. An example is how the activity of photosynthetic bacteria during Precambrian times completely modified the Earth atmosphere to turn it aerobic, and as such supporting evolution of life. This example illustrates the existence of two interlocked cycles, continuously changing the chemistry of the earth. The environment, what could be called the abiotic sphere contains all non-living energy and material processes. These include water cycles, aquifer formation, volcanic activity and geological events, and many others. The biosphere contains all life processes occurring within the abiotic sphere, the cycle of life and death, evolution, metabolism, etc. The interactions that occur between For the first time in biologi- the biosphere and the abiotic sphere cal history the actions of which transfer a single species resonate chemical elements throughout both biotic or molecules are and abiotic spheres. called biogeochemical cycles. Although the Earth constantly receives energy from the sun, its chemical composition is essentially fixed, as additional matter is only occasionally added by meteorites. Because this chemical
composition is not p 10 COAL CARS IN ASHTABULA, OH. replenished like CONSUMPTION IS energy, all processes INCREASING AND that depend on these MAXIMAL PRODUCchemicals must be TION COULD BE WITHIN recycled. Occasion- REACHED DECADES. ally, material builds up in areas called reservoirs. Lakes are commonly understood as reservoirs, as is coal. The Precambrian photosynthetic bacteria evolved to become plants which grew to become forest ecosystems, which continued absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. These were covered over with soil and rock due to geological cycles, compressed, heated and carbonized over millions of years, and now 17
modern man digs these carbon reservoirs up and burns them to power its homes and cities, returning carbon back into the atmosphere. For the first time in biologic history the actions of a single species resonate throughout both biotic and abiotic spheres. Mankind once living in small numbers and separated by mountains and oceans and other impassable geological boundaries and happily living in accord with the rules nature has established, grew in population and The technosphere actively works to burn expanded boundaries and warred against quickly through â€œtechnical nutrientsâ€? coneach other at the advent of agriculture, verting the order of the world into disorder called the Neolithic Revolution. This preludes many wars and conflicts over and waste. Aboard S.S. Earth we fancy land and resources, the birth and death ourselves as captains but are at best misof cultures, the rise of empires and the guided janitors and at worst saboteurs. fall of kings, all in the name of dominion over the land. This pattern continued until the rise of industrialized society, still underway today. This era of human history is characterized by tremendous ingenuity and excess. We have become a bit like usurpers, seeking to take control of the ship away from Gaia, and to do this we have built our own engine. This, called the technosphere, is the part of the physical environment affected through building or modification by humans. It includes our cities, buildings, products, and businesses; it is anything we 18
t 11 PANORAMIC PHOTO OF THE SOUTH EAST NEW TERRITORIES LANDFILL, HONG KONG.
William McDonough is an architect and the founding principal of William McDonough + Partnersl Architecture and COmmunity Design, in Charlottesville, VA. From 1994 to 1999 he served as dean of the school of architecture at the University of Virginia. In 1999 Time Magazine recognized him as a “Hero for the Planet,” stating that “his utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that -- in demonstrable and practical ways -- is changing the design world.” In 1996, he received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the highest environmental honor given by the United States.
Michael Braungart is a chemist and the founder of the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA) in Hamburg, Germany. Prior to starting EPEA, he was the director of the chemistry section for Greenpeace. Since 1984 he has been lecturing at uuniversities, businesses, and institutions around the world on critical new concepts for ecological chemistry and materials flow management. Dr. Braungart is the recipient of numerous honors, awards, and fellowships from the Heinz Endowment, the W. Alton Jones Foundation, and other organizations.
make and all the processes in manufacturing and design that facilitate them. It also includes our waste. Architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart write about this in their ground-breaking book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, calling it the model of cradle-tograve: Imagine what you would come upon today at a typical landfill: old furniture, upholstery, carpets, televisions, clothing, shoes, telephones, computers, complex products, and plastic packaging, as well as organic materials like diapers, paper wood, and food wastes. Most of these products were made from valuable materials that required effort and expense to extract and make, billions of dollars’ worth of material assets. The biodegradable materials such as food matter and paper actually have value too – they could decompose and return biological nutrients to the soil. Unfortunately, all of these things are heaped in a landfill, where their value is wasted. The biotechnology produced by the cooperation of the biotic and abiotic spheres is designed to produce minimal waste and recycle it as dictated by the fixed matter of the earth, but the technosphere actively works to burn quickly through “technical nutrients” converting the order of the world into disorder and waste. Aboard S.S. Earth we fancy ourselves as captains but are at best misguided janitors and at worst saboteurs.
TROUBLESHOOTING “We have lived with the idea of sovereign states for so long that they have come to be part of the background not only of diplomacy and public policy but also of ethics. Implicit in the term ‘globalization’ rather than the older ‘internationalization’ is the idea that we are moving beyond the era of growing ties between nations and are beginning to contemplate something beyond the existing conception of the nation-state. But this change needs to be reflected in all levels of our thought, and especially in our thinking about ethics” Peter Singer, One World: The ethics of globalization
t 12 A QUALITY CHECKER PICKS OUT DEFECTS IN THE PRODUCTION LINE AT A BOTTLING PLANT IN CHINA
CHAPTER 4 Troubleshooting gives users a list of symptoms that they cross-reference against a list of known issues in order to pin-point specific problems with their product in hopes of reaching some solution. This is a section usually reserved for the end of manuals, but it is important to place it here three reasons:
The writings of Horst Rittel are as varied as his educational background (mathematics, theoretical physics, design, and planning) They are difficult to classify, because they are scattered in the professional journals of disciplines as disparate as chemistry and law, computer science and policy science, or architecture and information science. The writings, however do have a common core. Horst saw the theme of his work to be the reasoning of designers: the nature of their problems, the kinds and structures of the knowledge they use, the formation of judgment, their logics of procedure. He called it the science of design. 24
1. When a product is delivered to a consumer that product is presumed to be in functioning order, so spotting problems is not a priority. The spaceship Earth already has numerous problems which prevent its good function, all of them human-generated. 2. As we established earlier problems created under one paradigm must be addressed and solved under another, opposing paradigm. In order to reach solutions, we must first understand what mindset created the problems. 3. The problems we face are vast and complex, involving many stakeholders: people, animals, plants, nations, cultures, ecosystems, and on and on. It is important to establish a common understanding Complex, highly technical, and involving many elements these problems are often aptly described as wicked problems. Horst Rittel and Melvin M. Webber formally described the concept of wicked problems in a 1973 treatise, contrasting “wicked” problems with relatively “tame,” soluble problems in mathematics, chess, or puzzle solving. The term ‘wicked’ is used, not in the sense of evil but rather its resistance to resolution. In the paper Rittel and Webber placed wicked
p 13 MONOPOLY, A GAME THAT TAKES THE TRAP ‘SUCCESS TO THE SUCCESSFUL’ AS AN OPERATING PRINCIPLE.
problems in social policy planning under ten distinct characteristics which in essence classified them as ethically involved, impossible to define, and with no obvious solution. They are “a class of social system problems which are ill-fomulated, where the information is confusing, where there are many clients and decision makPervasive in modern society is ers with conflicting the system trap called success values, and where to the successful, a structure the ramifaction in where the winners of a com- the whole system petition are systematically are thoroughly conrewarded with the means to fusing.” Practically win again every major global issue we face today (global climate change, rising inequity, energy crises, etc.) can be considered a wicked problem and are tied together in
ways that we can only barely grasp due to the complexity of our interactions today. One of the best ways that we can begin to lay hands on these complex issues is by simplifying the relationships in order to understand how each element moves within a system. In her book Thinking in Systems Donella Meadows writes, “Being less surprised by complex systems is mainly a matter of learning to expect, appreciate, and use the world’s complexity.” This statement introduces her chapter on systems traps, systems structures that produce common patterns of problematic behavior ranging from addiction to policy resistance. Particularly pervasive in modern society is the system trap called success to the successful, a structure where the winners of a competition are systematically rewarded with the means to win again. We can find this archetype in things as mundane as board games and as essential as our public school system, in which wealthier districts are favored for funding due to their high tax bases. Probably the most perverse and misunderstood presence of this trap is in lobbying. Lobbying in the United 25
States describes paid activity in which special interests hire well-connected professional advocates, often lawyers, to argue for specific legislation in decision-making bodies such as the United States Congress. It is a highly controversial phenomenon, often seen in a negative light by journalists and the American public. While lobbying is subject to extensive and often complex rules which, if not followed, can lead to penalties including jail, the activity of 26
lobbying has been interpreted by court rulings as free speech and protected by the US Constitution. Specific to industry, lobbying is essentially a way by which major players, companies, and corporations can leverage their capital to â€œpullâ€? lawmakers in one way or another to their continuing advantage. This means that the more successful a business is, the more it can invest in promoting laws that benefit it and defeating laws that limit it. The investments typically pay off
p 14 LOBBYING SPENDING TOTALS FROM 1998 -2009
exponentially. A studying during the financial crisis resulting from the U.S. housing bubble collapse found that lobbying “brought a substantial return on investment, as much as 22,000% in some cases.” In an interview with former lobbyist Jack Abramoff for National Public Radio, Alex Blumberg brings to light many troubling facts about the nature of lawmaking in the United States. Working for the firm Greenberg Traurig, Abramoff was paid to gain favor from politicians in powerful positions in order to sway ongoing legislation in favor of corporations like Tyco International, which hired Abramoff’s The more successful a firm at the tune of $1.3 million. business is, the more it can The multinational invest in promoting laws corporation sought that benefit it and defeat- to maintain its ing laws that limit it. The off-shore tax status investments typically pay under threat of legislation sponoff exponentially. sored by Republican Senator Charles Grassley that would impose new taxes on corporations like Tyco going back six years. “What we did was we plied him with contributions,” Abramoff says, “Access is vital in lobbying. If you can’t get in your door, you can’t make your case. Here we had a hostile senator, whose staff was hostile. And we had to get in. So that’s the lobbyist safecracker method, is raise money and become a big donor.” Abramoff had members of his staff build direct relationships with the senator. One email to Abramoff from one of his head lobbyists starts, “I ran this morning with Senator Grassley
A woman whose pioneering work itn the 1970s still makes frontpage news, Donella MEadows was a scientist, author, teahcer, and farmer widely considered ahead of her time. She was one of the world’s foremost systems analysts, winner of a MacArther Foundation “genius” award, and Pulitzer Prize-nominee for her long-running newspaper column. In the years following her role as the lead author of the international bestseller The Limits to Growth, Donella Meadows remained at the forefront of environmental and social analysis until her untimely death in 2001
and had breakfast with two staffers and his wife at his house ... looks like I’ll be doing it every Wednesday morning.” In the end the provision that Tyco was concerned about was removed from the bill — not by Grassley, but by Republicans in the House of Representatives. What Abramoff and his emails describe is absolutely legal and absolutely routine. Every day in Washington, lobbyists who want something from lawmakers are rounding up checks for them. At every meal of every day, lawmakers who desperately need those checks to get reelected are meeting with the lobbyists to accept the checks. What Abramoff describes is not an aberration, not even unusual. It’s simply the way the system works.
p 15 IN 2012, 403 INTEREST GROUPS LOBBIED AGAINST BUDGET CUTS AT THE SUPERCOMMITTEE ON DEFICIT REDUCTION
At every meal of every day, lawmakers who desperately need those checks to get reelected are meeting with the lobbyists to accept the checks.
What is detailed here is just one example of numerous systems traps that dominate our economy, our political landscape, and our everyday lives. There are many others: Rule Beating results from the desire to surpass parameters; perverse behavior gives the appearance of obeying the rules or achieving goals but actually distorts the system. The good news is there is creativity in rue beating. With modification energy put towards beating rules can be reapplied to achieving the purpose of the rules. Another trap, Shifting the Burden arises when a solution to a systemic problem alleviates the symptoms of the problem but is unable or unwillingÂŹ to address the real issue. What results is a downward spiral of addiction; the system will become more and more dependent on the intervention and less able to maintain its own desired state. The best way to address this trap is to avoid it; addiction is a powerful sedative that makes correct action difficult to adopt.
COMFORT & CONVENIENCE
“It would be some advantage to live a primitive and frontier life, though in the midst of an outward civilization, if only to learn what are the gross necessaries of life and what methods have been taken to obtain them; or even to look over the old day-books of the merchants, to see what it was that men most commonly bought at the stores, what they stored, that is, what are the grossest groceries. For the improvements of ages have had but little influence on the essential laws of man’s existence; as our skeletons, probably, are not to be distinguished from those of our ancestors.” Henry David Thoreau Walden
t 16 PEOPLE IN BRAZIL WHO EARN THEIR LIVING BY COLLECTING AND SORTING GARBAGE AND SELLING THEM FOR RECYCLING.
CHAPTER 5 We live in a largely indifferent and overly-consumptive society. How did we even begin on the path that has taken us here? To answer that, we must examine the historic role of design in industry. As the modern industrial society began to unfold, the notion of wellbeing changed. Quite suddenly, people had access to complex devices which allowed them to cheaply perform services and operations that were previously only available to the rich and privileged. Industry made these products available in larger numbers and at smaller prices, and so they became an option for more and more people. The democratization of access to products promised a future of indefinite growth and an even distribution of wellbeing. The discipline of design as we know it was born out of this notion of wellbeing in products which “reduce fatigue, leave more free time and extend the opportunities for individual choice – in short, which increase individual freedom.” The problem is that the promise of individual freedom and equal consumption has not been kept, nor can it ever be kept now or in the future, because “product based welling 32
being, extended on a worldwide scale, is proving to be an intrinsically unsustainable idea.” If the entire population of the world consumed resources at the same rate, we would need 4.1 earths to all live like Americans. Unfortunately, as consumers we are currently stuck in a systems trap by the idea of product-based wellbeing. Consumption takes the place of fixing, or making, and learning new skills, because we feel that it brings us happiness and leisure. In truth, we shift the burden to consumption when we feel bad instead of addressing the emotion, when something breaks instead of learning how to fix it, when we want something new, instead of respecting what
p 17 ASSEMBLY LINE DESIGN, WORKERS AT A POULTRY PROCESSING FACILITY
we have. Designers, being fully embedded in this consumer culture, are not helping the masses break this addiction. The common model for industrial design that continues in the emerging global economy is one that if only occasionally, falls under intense scrutiny. In his 1972 book Design for the Real World, designer-architect Victor Papanek wrote: Today, industrial deisgn has put murder on a mass-production basis. By designing criminally unsafe automobiles that kill or maim nearly one million people around the world each year, by creating whole new species of permanent garbage to clutter up the landscape, and by choosing materials and processes that pollute the air we breathe, designers have become a dangerous breed.
Victor Papanek was a designer and educator who became a strong advocate of the socially and ecologically responsible design of products, tools, and community infrastructures. He disapproved of manufactured products that were unsafe, showy, maladapted, or essentially useless. As Papanek traveled around the world, he gave lectures about his ideas for ecologically sound design and designs to serve the poor, the disabled, the elderly and other minority segments of society. And further, he opined: â€œOnly a small part of our responsibility lies in the area of aesthetics.â€? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Papanek
t 18 FORTY YEARS AFTER THE RELEASE OF THE GROUNDBREAKING STUDY, WERE THE CONCERNS ABOUT OVERPOPULATION AND THE ENVIRONMENT CORRECT?
This has resulted disastrously for our spaceship Earth and the rest of its crew, slowly building on the host of problems we face today, so slowly in fact that people hardly noticed the change. This trend was first examined by a group of individuals known as the Club of Rome. Formed in 1968 at the behest of Italian industrialist Dr. Aurelio Peccei, they took as their project “to examine the complex of problems troubling men of all nations: poverty in 34
the midst of plenty; degradation of the environment; loss of faith in institutions; uncontrolled urban spread; insecurity of employment; alienation of youth; rejection of traditional values; and inflation and other monetary economic disruptions.” They hoped that by analyzing these trends are part of a whole system, they might be able to pinpoint the center of the storm, an origin that may be targeted for best results.
Working with Professor Jay Forrester at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Club of Rome devised a mathematical model that If trends in population included and growth, industrialization and identified many of the problems and resource depletion remained their components unchanged, the world would and suggested face physical limits to growth. ways to study the behavior and relationships as they related to patterns of consumption and production. They reported their results in 1972 in The Limits to Growth, which famously predicted that sometime in the next hundred years, if trends in population growth, industrialization and resource depletion remained unchanged, the world would face physical limits to growth, in the form of resource shortages, climate change, and ecosystem service collapse.
Jay Wright Forrester is a pioneer American computer engineer, systems scientist and was a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management where he is currently Germeshausen Professor Emeritus and Senior Lecturer. Forrester is known as the founder of System Dynamics, which deals with the simulation of interactions between objects in dynamic systems. During the late 1950s Forrester and his colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed many ideas and theories that later became the cornerstones of supply chain management.
PROPER CARE & MAINTENANCE “...we can make all of humanity successful through science’s world-engulfing industrial evolution provided that we are not so foolish as to continue to exhaust in a split second of astronomical history the orderly energy savings of billions of years’ energy conservation aboard our Spaceship Earth. These energy savings have been put into our Spaceship’s life-regenerationguaranteeing bank account for use only in self-starter functions.” R. Buckminster Fuller Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth
t 19 REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK, THE TREES ARE AN EXAMPLE OF A TYPE 3 ECOLOGICAL AGENT.
CHAPTER 6 Two decades after the publication of The Limits to Growth, the globalized world responded with an actionable strategy for dealing with the inarguable conclusion that limits to our continued growth exist and that our current actions are a threat to the world at large. Agenda 21 is a non-binding voluntarily implemented action plan developed by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. It was the first time a worldwide actionable agenda was laid out with specific requirements for achieving a sustainable globalized world. The 178 signing nations of Agenda 21 believed that â€œintegration of environment and development concerns and greater attention to them will lead to the fulfillment of basic needs, improved living standards for all, better protected and managed ecosystems and a safer, more prosperous future.â€? With an evident focus on addressing inequity and other social problems, Agenda 21 is composed of four sections: societal and
economic dimensions, conservation and management of resources for development, strengthening the role of major groups, and means of implementation. Special attention should be paid to the demand for natural resources generated by unsustainable consumption and to the efficient use of those resources consistent with the goal of minimizing depletion and reducing pollution. Although consumption patterns are very high in certain parts of the world, the basic consumer needs of a large section of humanity are not being met. This results in excessive demands and unsustainable lifestyles among the richer segments, which place immense stress on the environment. The poorer segments, meanwhile, are unable to meet food, health care, shelter and educational needs. Changing consumption patterns will requires a multipronged strategy focusing on demand, meeting the basic needs of the poor, and reducing wastage and the use of finite resources in the production process.
p 20 THE 1992 EARTH SUMMIT ATTRACTED THE PARTICIPATION OF OVER 100 NATIONAL LEADERS OF THE WORLD
The section goes on to suggest that our current standards for measuring economic growth are somehow incomplete without considering the full value of natural resource capital. Economists were beginning to question traditional models of economic growth and the role of consumption in the process of manufacturing abundance. More than two decades later we are on track but
progress is tedious. Traditional metrics like the Gross Domestic Product, â€œold reliableâ€? for measuring the success of a nation are on their way out. These are being replaced by new methods of counting success and happiness like the GPI or Genuine Progress Indicator. By the early 1990s there was a consensus in human development theory and ecological economics that growth in
money supply was actually reflective of a loss of well-being: that lacks of essential natural and social services were being paid for in cash and that this was expanding the economy but degrading life. True costs were not weighed against economic growth, costs that included: Cost of resource depletion Cost of crime Cost of ozone depletion Cost of family breakdown Cost of air, water, and noise pollution Loss of farmland Loss of wetlands GPI is designed to take fuller account of the health of a nation’s economy by incorporating these environmental and social factors which are not measured by GDP. This may be the first step in a large scale paradigm shift away from product-based wellbeing. Such a shift would yield dramatic results, simultaneously changing consumer behavior and business motivations, potentially snowballing to affect other related issues like third-world poverty and disease. 40
Stepping for a moment back into systems thinking, this kind of actionable change is known as a leverage point. According to Donella Meadows, a leverage point is a point within a system where a small nudge can lead to a large change in behavior. They are often counterintuitive and unexpected and even more often misused. Meadows gives us a list of palpable leverage points that anyone can spot and use to advance a sustainable cause. A paradigm shift is quite high up on the list, capable of dramatic effect but only initiated with great effort. Last on the list are numbers, the constants and parameters that affect the behavior of a system over time. To understand them requires a basic understanding of systems. In her book, Meadows uses the example of a bathtub to illustrate this:
t 19 THE OZONE LAYER IS A LAYER IN EARTH’S ATMOSPHER THAT ABSORBS MOST OF THE SUN’S UV RADIATION.
Imagine a bathtub filled with water, with its drain plugged up and its faucets turned off – and unchanging, undynamic, boring system. Now mentally pull the plug. The water runs out, of course. The level of water in the tub goes down until the tub is empty. Now imagine starting again with a full tub, and again open the drain, but this time, when the tub is about half empty, turn on the inflow faucet so the rate of water flowing in is just equal to that flowing out… It is in a state of dynamic equilibrium – its level does not change – even though water is continuing to flow into it.
The water in the tub is called a stock, the foundation of the system. Stocks are elements that can be seen, felt, and measured; they are quantities, stores, reservoirs. The faucet and drain represent the flows of the system, those elements which affect the level of the stock. Flows are filling and draining, births and deaths, growth and decay. When they are in balance, the stock is in equilibrium, and when they are not the stock is gaining or losing value. The earthâ€™s coal reserves are a stock, one that is decreasing without any inflow and with mining and burning contributing to a speedy outflow of energy and pollution. Now -- back to numbers. The size of flow is a matter of parameters and how quickly those numbers can be changed. For example: the upper temperature at which your thermostat is programmed to start cooling is a parameter, one which you yourself set. Taxes and subsidies are parameters which control (to a relatively small extent) the depth of the nation debt, but they extend beyond this role to take on added leverage as incentives. Ideally, subsidies are supposed to promote a positive outcome 42
by aiding people, regions, businesses, and products that need to overcome cost, pricing, or market disadvantages and then stop once self-sufficiency is reached. Conversely, taxes are meant to add cost to disadvantageous or harmful products, companies, or behaviors. These incentives become perverse when they function as disinvestments, leaving the environment and economy worse off; they serve only to inflate costs, drive away capital from emergent markets, and suppress innovation, change, and investment where The size of flow is a matit counts. Unfortunately, perverse ter of parameters and subsides are a how quickly those numubiquitous aspect bers can be changed. of modern life. According to Paul Hawkin and Amory and Hunter Lovins, authors of Natural Capitalism, â€œperverseâ€? is too kind of a word for some of the taxpayer funded activity:
This is Amory Lovins. He is an American physicist, environmental scientist, and writer. He advocates environmental causes such as the soft energy policy and negawatt revolution, promoted energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy sources, and the generation of energy at or near the site where the energy is actually used Lovins has received ten honorary doctorates and won many awards. He has provided expert testimony in eight countries, briefed 19 heads of state, and published 29 books. These books include Reinventing Fire, Winning the Oil Endgame, Small is Profitable, Brittle Power, and Natural Capitalism.
In 1979 he married L. Hunter Lovins. She is an American lawyer, author, and environmentalist focusing on forestry and environmental education. She has taught at several universities and lectured worldwide. Named a “green business icon” by Newsweek, a millennium “Hero of the Planet” by Time Magazine, she has also received the Right Livelihood Award, the Leadership in Business Award and dozens of other honors Together they are the founders of the Rocky Mountain Insitute, a non-profit resource policy center. Their eficiency innocations have won major awards around the world 43
In farming, the U.S. government has set up a veritable universal sprinkler system for subsidies. It subsidizes agricultural production, agricultural nonproduction, agricultural destruction, and agricultural restoration, and for good measure, it subsidizes crops that cause death and disease by giving over $800 million a year to tobacco farmers. American taxpayers heavily subsidize the 3,400 gallons of water is takes to produce one
dollarâ€™s worth of sugar beet. Taxpayers paid to drain the Everglades, subsidize sugar producers with price supports and cover the damage to wetlands and the Gulf from phosphate runoff and pesticide poisoning â€“ and are now spending $1.5 billion to buy back some of the 700,000 acres that they had paid to drain and sell at below-market prices in the first place.
They believe, with support from Economist Robert Ayers, that â€œthe problems with slow economic growth, growing inequity, unemployment, and environmental degradation can be solved, in principle, by restructuring the tax system.â€? On their table is a plan to change the way businesses are people are motivated by shifting taxes away from labor and income, and towards pollution, waste, carbon fuel sources, and resource exploitation which are currently protected by subsidies. Businesses who increase resource productivity through innovation will save money,
and as the tax base shrinks high resource taxes will ensue, promoting further research and innovation. Labor will be in high demand and unburdened by tax, and the capital gained from taxing waste and pollution can be reinvested indirectly into natural capital through investment in innovative approaches to energy and material use, transportation, etc. This will be role of government in the decades to come: to rewrite the regulatory signals which motivate industry to act in excess and pollute the environment. Of course industry will have to be proactive in the change as well, and those that start early will be at an advantage. Imagine the early voyages to America from across the Atlantic. First there was just one, an intrepid group unsure of what they might find. Then there were a few more, and once the news of the resources spread throughout Europe, there were suddenly hundreds of ships crossing the Atlantic. Already there are companies sitting at the horizon pondering and explaining the new sustainable world in view to them that those behind are struggling to see. One in particular, Interface, Inc. is setting a very high bar, 45
having developed a way to fully recycle its used carpet products into new ones, closing the loop. In the Interface Sustainability Report, CEO Ray Anderson offered this message to customers and employees:
Ray C. Anderson was founder and chairman of Interface Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers of modular carpet for commercial and residential applications and a leading producer of commercial broadloom and commercial fabrics. He was “known in environmental circles for his advanced and progressive stance on industrial ecology and sustainability.” In 2009, Anderson estimated that Interface was more than halfway towards the vision of “Mission Zero,” the company’s promise to eliminate any negative impact it may have on the environment by the year 2020. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Anderson
At Interface, we are on a quest to become the first sustainable corporation in the world, and then we want to keep going and become the first restorative company. We know, broadly what that means for us. It’s daunting… If successful, we’ll spend the rest of our days harvesting yesteryear’s carpets, recycling old petrochemicals into new materials, and converting sunlight into energy. There will be zero scrap going into landfills and zero emissions into the ecosystem. Literally, it is a company that will grow up by cleaning up the world, not by polluting or degrading it. Companies like this are daring to put their foot down on issues that matter to the future of society, but this is not impractical idealistic babble. Interface began this path in 1994 and four year later it had doubled its revenues, nearly doubled its employment, and tripled its
profit. Business leaders may ask, “How is this possible? And where do I start?” Apart from a restructure of the way the business is managed (which we will get to later), the best place to start is literally with what you’ve got. Understanding every material flow that comes into to the doors, and then turns around to go out is the first step to reducing waste and thereby saving money. This is the beginning of the “think downstream to upstream” approach espoused by the sustainability think-tank, Rocky Mountain Institute. Based in Snowmass, Colorado, RMI is an industry-leading research team with fingers in just about everything: from hyperefficient automobile research to building retrofitting to mass energy generation. Their belief is that starting downstream merits the greatest importance, because savings furthest downstream will have the greatest leverage is making upstream equipment smaller, cutting initial costs and raising energy efficiency simultaneously. To illustrate this they use an industrial pumping system as an example, “A typical industrial pumping system contains so many compounding losses that about a hundred units of fossil fuel
at a typical power station will deliver... only ten units of flow out of the pipe – a loss factor of about tenfold. But turn those ten-to-one compounding losses around backward.. and they generate a one-to-ten compounding saving.” Basically, due to inefficiency in the system, saving one unit of energy downstream saves about ten units of fuel, cost, and pollution upstream at the power plant. This principle can be used to great effect by businesses who can initiate policy to reuse their waste material, reduce their energy and water usage, more efficiently package their product, etc. Methods like this one extend from a core philosophy of business management called lean thinking. Beyond the scope of increasing the efficiency of its parts, a business must address the shape of the whole to truly build a sustainable culture. This essentially means adopting a different method of management. A forerunner of complexity theory, Fritjof Capra calls it a shift from a mechanistic model to a living model. He suggests that the common metaphor used for business and industry is that of a machine, a formal structure designed for clear communi47
cation, coordination, and control, and that, in fact, the actual topography of a business with its social networks more resembles a living thing. Information flows along the informal networks of a company, which are fluid, distilling knowledge and tacit skills amongst workers. These networks behave much like a natural ecology, with competitive relationships and cooperative alliances embedded. Fritjof Capra is an Austrian-born These knowledge sharing groups are American physicist. He is a found- called communities of practice, nodes of ing director of the Center for relationships around which each worker’s Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, California, daily interactions revolve. Capra writes, and is on the faculty of Schumacher “In order to maximize a company’s creCollege and is the author of several ative potential and learning capabilities, books. it is crucial for managers and business leaders to understand the interplay be In the 1980s, complextween the organization’s formal, designed ity theory emerged as a powerful alternative to classic linear thought. structures and its informal, self-generating networks.” It requires managers to A forerunner of that revolution, loosen up, to give impulses instead of Fritjof Capra now continues to instructions, and to allow their employexpand the scope of the theory by establishing a framework in which ees the freedom act on their own accord. we can understand and solve some This may sound illogical at first, but it is of the most important issues of our well-known that “intelligent, alert people rarely carry out instructions exactly to the time. Capra posits that in order to letter.” When they receive information sustain life, the principles underlyor directions, they internalize them and ing or social institutions must be modify them to suit what they feel is the consistent with the broader organi- actual situation.
zation of nature. 48 | terrestrial
p 20 THE GIANTâ€™S CAUSEWAY IN NORTHERN IRELAND IS AN EXAMPLE OF A COMPLEX EMERGENT STRUCUTRE CREATED BY NATURAL PROCESSES
This free structure is distinguished from a designed structure in that it creates an opportunity for unexpected innovations to emerge. Human organizations like businesses contain both designed and emergent structures in varying proportions. Designed structures, rules and positions formulated by the official documents of an organization, provide stability. Emergent structures, made up of the informal networks and communities, provide spontaneous novelty, creativity, and flexibility. Life itself has this key characteristic as well: the potential for the spontaneous emergence of new orders.
TIPS FOR DESIGNERS “...we can make all of humanity successful through science’s world-engulfing industrial evolution provided that we are not so foolish as to continue to exhaust in a split second of astronomical history the orderly energy savings of billions of years’ energy conservation aboard our Spaceship Earth. These energy savings have been put into our Spaceship’s life-regenerationguaranteeing bank account for use only in self-starter functions.” R. Buckminster Fuller Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth
NUMBER ONE Everyone is a designer. The discipline of design is not exclusive to trained professionals. All people by their nature have within them a spark of ingenuity and a spark curiosity, and these along with a worthy goal are all that is required. Those who are trained designers: have humility, for all your design education does not make you a designer and is only made valuable by your actions. Programs like Frog Design’s Collective Action Toolkit (CAT) show us just how much more impact we can have by teaching others how to design than by designing ourselves. The CAT is a package of resources and activities that enable groups of people anywhere to organize, build trust, and collaboratively create solutions for problems impacting their community. Designer Ezio Manzini calls for enabling solutions: systems that allow people to fulfill their potential buy using their own skills and expertise to create a solution. By this method the user becomes the “co-producer of the results h/she wants to achieve.” This is the democratization of access to solutions a direct response to productbased wellbeing, and the kind of culture we really wanted all along. Imagine the future of design as a pervasive discipline, something taught as a basic life-skill from childhood onward. There are those who dip their toes in it, everyday designers able to find solutions to their everyday problems, and those who dive in head-first to become keepers of the discipline. 52
NUMBER TWO Everyone is a consumer. For those of us in the design discipline life (we hope) is complex, exciting, and very busy, and it is easy to forget that we also partake in consumption. Remember that the choices you make everyday on what you own, use, and buy have consequences far outreaching your knowledge. As a designer (and that means you) be extra conscious of what you choose to fill your life with, the products and services you surround yourself with, and learn as much as you can about them. Remember that you vote with your dollar, so choose wisely from the shelf – or make what you don’t have to buy. Save material that you deem valuable; it can be cardboard, plastic bags, bricks, pallets, or anything that doesn’t make a mess. Begin to experiment with how you might use it, what you might make from it. Reduce your waste stream; When it comes to your actions as a consumer: set a high bar and begin to slowly set it higher. You will be amazed at how quickly the changes compound. And by all means make sure you take what you learn at home into yor desinging. 54
NUMBER THREE Lastly and probably most importantly, travel. Travel around the world. Travel to the next town or down the street. Travel to Japan or the Philippines or Iceland. The distance is not as relevant as the observations you make along the way. The best way that we can become better designers able to solve more problems is by exposing ourselves to more cultures, which are everywhere. There is a particular culture at the grocery store you frequent; open yourself up and talk to people about it the next time you visit. You may learn something powerful or be inspired to change the way things work. Travel to manufacturing plants, because watching “How It’s Made” is not the same thing. A crisis of will is the single greatest barrier to a designer on the path to sustainability. “Until a designer confronts the reality of his or her work in order to determine whether and how it contributes to the sustainability of the planet, there is little incentive to change,” so travel to landfills and toxic sites and slums. It will definitely change your perspective. Travel to reduce the stress of designing, because we all know that it is stressful. Even if it’s just a ten-minute walk, clear your head and take in the world. And if traveling is not an option, then read... 56
- selected images -
THE EVIDENCE IS GROWING OF LONG-TERM HEALTH PROBLEMS RELATED TO SPRAYING DDT IN HOMES IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD. http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/a_not-sosilent_spring/ A burr. This fruit attaches to animal fur via the hooks on its surface to improve distribution. Velcro is an example of a biomimetic invention which has copied burrs and uses small flexible hooks to reversibly attach to fluffy surfaces. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ File:Bur_Macro_BlackBg.jpg The Biosphere 2 sits on a sprawling 40-acre campus that is now open to the public. http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/File:Wiki_bio2_sunset_001.jpg Biosphere 2 from the inside, half the original size. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Biosphere2_Inside_big.jpg 59
A bright sun, a portion of the International Space Station and Earth's horizon are featured in this image photographed during the STS-134 mission's fourth session of extravehicular activity (EVA). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:STS-134_EVA4_ view_to_the_Russian_Orbital_Segment.jpg Artist's rendition of Earth's magnetosphere. http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Magnetosphere_rendition.jpg Coal cars in Ashtabula, Ohio. http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/File:Ashtabulacoalcars_e2.jpg Panoramic photo of South East New Territories Landfill. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:South_ East_New_Territories_Landfill_2.jpg HSBC China Flash PMI Falls To A 7-Month Low Of 49.6. http://au.businessinsider.com/may-hsbcchina-flash-pmi-2013-5 Catadores no Lix達o da Vila Estrutural. http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:LixaoCatadores2008022 0MarcelloCasalJrAgenciaBrasil.jpg 60
Redwood National Park, fog in the forest. http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Redwood_National_ Park,_fog_in_the_forest.jpg Credit:UN Photo/Michos Tzavaros. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jscherr/earth_summit_2012_ whats_in_a_n.html
- bibliography Benyus, J. M. Biomimicry, innovation inspired by nature. 2002. Perennial. New York : HarperCollins Publishers Inc , 1998. Print. Capra, F. The hidden connections: Integrating the biological, cognitive and social dimensions of life into a science of sustainability. New York, NY: Doubleday, 2002. Print. De Chant, Tim. If the worlds population lived like.... 2012. Photograph. Fast CompanyWeb. 25 May 2013. <http://www. fastcoexist.com/1680379/what-would-happen-if-the-entireworld-lived-like-americans>. Fox, Warwick. "Deep Ecology: A new philosophy for our time?." Environmental Ethics, An Anthology. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2003. Print. Hawken, P., A. Lovins, and L. H. Lovins. Natural capitalism. 1. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company, 1999. Print. Leopold, Aldo. â€œThe Land Ethic.â€? Environmental Ethics, An Anthology. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2003. Print. Lovelock, James. The Revenge of Gaia: Earth's climate crisis and the fate of humanity. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2006. Print. 63
Margolin, Victor, , and . The Politics of the Artificial. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002. Print. McDonough, William, and Michael Braungart. Cradle To Cradle, Remaking The Way We Make Things. 1. New York: North Point Pr, 2002. Print. Meadows, Donella H. Thinking In Systems. White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publishing Co, 2008. Print. Our common future. London: Oxford University Press, 1987. Print. Raquel Meyer Alexander, Stephen W. Mazza, Susan Scholz. "Measuring Rates of Return for Lobbying Expenditures: An Empirical Case Study of Tax Breaks for Multinational Corporations" Rittel, Horst W. J.; Melvin M. Webber (1973). "Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning". Policy Sciences 4: 155â€“169. Retrieved 25 April 2013. Singer, Peter. One World: The Ethics Of Globalization. 2nd . Yale University Press, 2004. Print. Thoreau, H. D. Walden. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006. Print.
Published on Oct 28, 2013
A primer for the uninitiated in sustainability, this booklet delves into popular theories in economics, sociology, and technology first crea...