PPD Major Project Proposal Ines Stuart-Davidson
Rationale How can you record and observe how a person works and chooses to communicate?
Observing the user and tapping into the experience Non-verbal communication can account for as much as 93% of total communication, with spoken words accounting for only 7%. ‘Behaviour doesn’t lie’ and what you observe is undoubtedly what they are experiencing and of all different types of communication, verbal provides people with the greatest control. Many people feel safer communicating through email or text rather than speaking in person, because they are nervous about the messages that their involuntary body language and facial expression will convey. It’s imperative not to jump to conclusions as there is almost always an alternative explanation to any observed behaviour and this is where verification through communication is essential. Observation provides information on physical characteristics, personal style, body language, facial expression, vocal range and tone, eye movement and through direct experience the communication forges a personal connection.
Listening to the user and hearing the experience When someone is speaking, do you think about what the other person is saying or do you think about what you are going to say next? Active Listening is a key component of a method called Active Observation as it influences techniques and advanced observation of non verbal communication such as facial expressions and body language to generate a deeper understanding of an individual. Communication not only uses content but also emotions, and it’s the emotions behind the content that tell us the most about a persons experience. This listening engages the speaker, asking questions, emotional discovery and other actions to gather more information from the speaker and build a relationship. Engaging in communication that will shape the behaviour of the speaker as their user experience can be found in specific techniques- eye contact, attentive body language, vocal style, verbal following, reflecting, silence, emotional discovery, empathy and etc.
Listening techniques should occur naturally, not as conscious actions that result from drawing from a knowledge base and you shouldn’t have to think about what you’re going to say next. When it comes to listening, we as a whole, don’t listen and don’t truly observe and miss most, if not all of the details that can help the understanding of the person you are speaking with and can help explain the world around you. Communication is an intricate system based on hearing, listening, observing and understanding. If you are trying to communicate an idea to another person and they aren’t listening, you have a problem. Through new means of written communication (technology), the message is always being misread, miscontrued, taken out of context or being completely lost and in its place is anger, frustration and resentment.
Hearing / Listening Hearing is the basis for communication, but that alone doesn’t make clear an idea being expressed. Hearing and listening are two different things and when you’re listening, you’re not thinking about something else, you aren’t on your phone or emailing and you are engaging in a conversation. Even the most skilled person can miss the context and some content of a conversation when engrossed in thought, emails etc.
Observing A person’s mannerisms, attitude and communication strategies, as well as consciously observing what a person is trying to convey is crucial to understanding and identifying what’s being said. You can accurately identify truths and non-truths and by also listening, you can begin to understand where this person is metaphorically coming from, their temperament, the very way they analyse life and you can think and feel what is being conveyed to you.
Understanding Understanding is something that facilitates more cohesive conversations and less room for misunderstandings. There are two ways to understand; the first is to have experienced what the other person is speaking of and the second is to understand through empathy. Empathy is used to understand how another person is feeling by putting oneself in their shoes and allows understanding of the other person’s feelings, actions or thoughts.
Understanding another human being is a pinnacle for life of support and respect and when you are understood you feel happy, healthy and free to be yourself. I use these on a daily basis (I can’t help it) and from experience, texting becomes a problem when you are expressing ideas, thoughts and plans for time. I have to use widely recognised symbols so that people can understand and not confuse what tone of voice or mood I am in. “Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” - Leonardo da Vinci
Rationale The Probe Effect is on the component or system by measurement instrument when the component or system is being measured, for example by a performance testing tool or monitor. The performance may be slightly worse when performance testing tools are being used. So the fact that you observe something, changes the behaviour or its very nature. Schroedingers Cat is a famous illustration of the principle in quantum theory of superposition proposed by Erwin Schroedinger in 1935. The principle of superposition claims that while we do not know what the state of any object is, it is actually in all possible states simultaneously, as long as we donâ€™t look to check. This demonstrates the apparent conflict between what quantum theory tells us is true about the nature and behaviour of matter on the microscopic level and what we observe to be true about the nature and behaviour of matter on macroscopic level- everything visible to the unaided human eye. The observation or measurement itself affects an outcome so that the outcome as such does not exist unless the measurement is made. That means, there is no single outcome unless it is observed. Macrophysical reality is defined by either/or situations and someone/something is either dead or alive, but Schroedingers thought experiment boldly replaced mutual exclusivity with an impossible coexistence- a so called state of indeterminancy. The act of observation breaks the state of indeterminancy and in quantum physics, observation is an active procedure. By taking measure and identifying, it interferes and engages with its object. By looking at the cat, we fix it in one of two possible but mutually exclusive states and we end its existence as an indeterminate interlocking waveform and freeze it an as individual thing. To acknowledge the observer in actively shaping reality is one of the main achievements of quantum theory and itâ€™s not poison that ultimately decides the fate of the cat, but the fact that it is identified, seen, described and assessed. Being subject to observation provokes the second death of the cat- the one that ends its state of limbo.
How can we then understand its conflicting desires? To want and dread the truth at the same time... Perhaps it speaks of a paradoxical superposition that can’t be understood with the conceptual tools of Enclidian physics, human biology or Aristotlean logic and perhaps it reaches out to an impossible coexistence of life and death. Both are interlaced in limbo as long as nobody opens the “box” of the unknown, which resembles a grave. What this implies is that the nature of reality on the observable level is one of the hardest areas of quantum physics.
At the moment, I am reading ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects’ that includes the very first objects found in 1931 made by man 1.8-2 million years ago to the solar powered lamp in made in 2010. “Human life began in Africa. Here out ancestors created the first stone tool. It was this increasing dependancy on the things we create that makes us humans different from all other animals.” Neil MacGregor “From the point where our ancestors started making tools like this, people have been unable to survive without the things they make; in this sense, it is making things that make us human.” David Attenborough
Rationale I have an interest in documentary photography which chronicals significant and historical moments and is typically real life reportage (possibly concerns), but also used in an artistic pursuit. Historically, photographs meant to accurately describe otherwise unknown, hidden, forbidden or difficult-to-access places or circumstances. Generally it relates to my projects with a more complex story line and where the images show perceived living or working conditions with an interest for political and/or social change. My responsibility as a designer refers to social design as the creation of social reality; design of the real world. The design process contributes to improving human wellbeing and livelihood. I am inspired by Papaneks idea that designers and creatives are able to cause real change through good design. The process is the cornerstone of sustainability that underpins human wellbeing and should be seen as a professional contribution that plays part in local economic development or livelihood. This implicates a perception of man-made reality, which consequently can only be changed by man and is changed my man all the time, whether people are aware of it or not and the social reality is created as a result of the sum of all our individual actions. People are changing the world and not always in the right way, our influence on nature transforms it. Man and nature interact dialectically in such a way that, as society develops, man tends to become less dependent on nature directly, while indirectly his dependence grows. For the first time the result of mans influence on nature is hugely significant. The role of nature as a source of solutions for the future needs and challenges on mankind. The environment influences how people live and how society develops and people, progress, economic development and the environment are closely linked and ultimately determines the nature of survival. I am part of the experience and this influences my thoughts and actions. This allows me to adapt to my surroundings and new places would motivate new behaviour.
Of the total sense receptors in the human body, 70% resides in our eyes and the human visual system is a pattern seeker. Processing, perception and cognition are closely interrelated, which is why the words ‘understanding’ and ‘seeing’ are synonymous. Visual communication in part or whole relies on vision and explores the idea that a visual message accompanying text has a greater power to inform, educate or persuade a person or audience. It seeks to attract, inspire, create desires and motivate the people that respond to messages, making an impact and help build humanitarian purposes. The process involves creativity and problem-solving.
Reading has influenced my ability to research and as a design student I have the ability to continue learning how to visualise problems other people can’t see and look to those problems becoming opportunities. Over this course, I have built upon my strengths and identified a style that includes my passion for design and photography. The aim in my work shows realism, yet the nature is dynamic so it fixes movement, life and moments. We have discovered how to make ourselves understood by means of pictures so it fixes and gives form beyond the limits of speech, to information, desires and ideas. It’s power conveys experience and can nearly always aid as a factual report.
Research Question experience - perception - influence - adaptation- understanding - seeing The word of physical experience occurs whenever an object or environment changes and relates to practicle contact with and observation of facts or events.
Mental experience involves the aspect Emotional experiences can affect huof intellect and conciousness expe- mans from falling in (and out) of love rienced as combinations of thought, to circumstances at a young age perception, memory, emotion and etc
Spiritual experience is subjective and involves arriving at some knowledge or insight that has enabled researchers to categorize for academic study
Social experiences are growing up and living within a society, fostering the development, providing individuals with necessary skills and habits
Virtual experiences can enable people experiences in virtual reality and many games feature progression with so called “experience points”
Second hand experience can offer richer resources- recorded and/or summarised from first hand observers expressing multiple points of view.
Subjective experiences can involve a state of individual subjectivity, perception on which one builds one’s own state of reality
Immediacy of experience is someone able to recount an experience as first hand experience and also remains subject to errors in sense perception
Research Question experience - perception - influence - adaptation- understanding - seeing The organization, identification and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment.
With perception experience, organisms can learn to make finer perceptual distinctions and learn new kinds of categorisation, which can result in people interpreting ambiguous figures so they see what they want to see, especially if someone is biased. Social perception is the part of perception that allows people to understand the individuals and groups of their social world.
Social perception allows individuals to make judgements and impressions about other people and gives up individuals the tools to recognise how others affect their personal lives through beliefs, desires and knowledge. This provides necessary information about how people usually behave across situations. Each person has their own selfconcept that reflects all of their personal attributes and beliefs, but this has given us the ability to take on another individuals perspective which is crucial for empathy, which gives us the ability to infer what another individual is thinking.
It starts with very broad constraints and expectations for the state of the world and as expectations are met, it makes more detailed predictions (errors lead to new predictions, or learning processes). Not only can there be no completely â€œunbiased, unfilteredâ€? perception, but this means there is a great deal of feedback between perception and expectation (perceptual experiences often shape our beliefs, but those perceptions were based on existing beliefs).
Research Question experience - perception - influence - adaptation- understanding - seeing The capacity to have an effect on the character, development or behaviour of someone or something, with oneâ€™s emotions and opinions affected by others.
Compliance is the act of responding to a request by others and is the change in behaviour but not necessarily attitude yet one still complies
Identitification changes the attitudes of others or behaviours due to the influence of someone that is liked and Advertisement may rely on celebrities
Internalisation is the process of acceptance of a set of norms established by people which are influential to the individual and is seen as â€˜rewardingâ€™
Conformity is a type of social influence involving a change in behaviour, belief or thinking to align with normative standards- usually appearance
Minority Influence takes place when Reaction is the adoption or a view Obedience is a form of social influa majority is influenced to accept the contrary to the view that they are be- ence that derives from an authority beliefs of behaviours of a minority ing pressured to accept, perhaps due figure to the perceived threat
Persuasion is a process of guiding oneself or another toward the adoption of some attitude by some rationale, symbolic means or appeal reason
Research Question experience - perception - influence - adaptation- understanding - seeing Adaptation is the changes in behaviour to become suited to an evironment - Understanding is to perceive the intended meaning of languages and images.
Adaptation changes the behaviour, physchology and structure of an organism to become more suited to an environment
Can also be a form or structure modified to fit and change the environment, adapting humans to other individuals to work together for a purpose
Co-evolution- existence of a species Includes the survival of individuals that is tightly overbound with the life and successions of environmental of another species emphasises that challenges as they grow and develop life and death is intimately connected
Understanding, also called intellectual (what is true or real) relates to an abstract or physical object whereby one can think and use concepts to deal
with that object. Understanding implies abilities and dispositions with respect to an object or knowledge sufficient to support intelligent behaviour
To define understanding we use the term concept, yet is it abstract? A brain pattern or rule? This represents a deeper level than simple knowledge
In the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, understanding is a person not confused by conflicting messages and in our culture the right way to live.
Research Question experience - perception - influence - adaptation- understanding - seeing Seeing is the ability to interpret the surrounding environment by processing information that is contained in visible light. ‘Seeing is believing’ is an ideom first recorded in this form in 1639 that means “only physical or concrete evidence is convincing”. It leads to sophistry that “seen evidence” can easily and correctly be interpreted, when in fact interpretation may be difficult. “We do not need to believe. We only need to see.” Steve Hagan (Buddhism Is Not What You Think - A book I have previously been interested in) ‘Realisation’ is an important word in Buddhism and just believing in some doctrine of no-seperation is pointless. To become transformative, the truth of the Buddhas teachings must be intimately experienced and realised for ones self, as it’s a more of a discipline than it is a belief system. If we relied on what we think, what it is that we conceptualise and how we reconstruct the world in our minds- so often this gets mixed in with our own egoistic desires and that kind of shades our understanding. Actual, immediate and direct experience is the truth of reality and is not something that forms in the mind as an idea; it is immediate and fresh, every-changing, now. The moment we freeze it out as an idea or thought or a belief, immediately we’re out of touch with the actual experience of the moment.
‘The foolish reject what they see, not what they think; while the wise reject what they think, not what they see’ (Huang Po) This is pretty normal for human beings to do this, because what we think and believe is so dominant so that’s what we’re holding to, that’s what we form our identity out of. The Buddha talked of what our actual experience is as that of non-self. While a sense of self forms in the mind, if we go looking for just what we think this is, we never find it and we never find that subject. Objectless awareness is a realisation that is without subject or object, without the dualistic split. Buddhism and science have increasingly been discussed as compatible and has entered into the science and religion dialogue. The case is made that the philopsophic and psychological teachings within Buddhism share commonalities with modern scientific and philosphic thought. This had led me to question if I am merely recording my realisation of the worldmy direct actual experience of society at this moment in time so that historically it shows that life is every-changing and nothing stays the same.
Pilot Research surroundings - recording - observing - behaviour - metaphor - imprint The area around a given physical or geographic point or place which includes the vicinity, setting and environment considering around a person or thing.
The vicinity is the area near or surrounding a particular place, neighbourhood, surrounding district, people and the state of living near something
The surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal or plant lives or operates including the ambience, setting or medium
Closeness and the feeling of being intimate and belonging together, a spatial property resulting from a relatively small distance
The character and atmosphere of a place, an agency or means of doing something, a particular place or position
In a particular position or a point in space, including a set of circumstances in which one finds oneself, a state of affairs
An area of ground on which a town, building or monument is constructed and to build or fix something in a particular place
A place or type of surroundings where To put or arrange in a particular place something is positioned or where an or way or a place where someone or event takes place, or around the time something is located or has been put at which something is happening
Pilot Research surroundings - recording - observing - behaviour - metaphor - imprint A recorded sound or picture, with the process of capturing data or translating information- necessity for recording historical and environmental events.
Picture, sound or record- represents someone/something, through the vibrations that travel through the air, set down in writing for later reference
Application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes- expands means for humans to express their thoughts and outgrown human memory
A way of carrying out a particular task with execution or performance of an artistic work or a scientific procedure through skill, ability and method
Be entitled or appointed to act or speak for someone/something and depict something in a work of art or literature,
Something that represents or stands for something else and can be a symptom of, a thing serving a symbolic representation of a concept
The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual or the nature of something, an object, quality or event that occurs of something else
Phenomena of the physical world collectively, from plants, animals and the landscape, the physical force- â€˜Its impossible to change the laws of nature
An event regarded as a portent of good or evil or typically caused by accident or damage, a personâ€™s state of mind in terms of being angry or calm
Pilot Research surroundings - recording - observing - behaviour - metaphor - imprint Watch, notice or perceive something and register it as being significant- to become aware or conscious; come to realise or understand
Attention, become aware of and Retaining possesion or maintaincan be the regarding of someone or ing something in its original state or something important or interesting existing over a period of time or to watch something and keep it safe
A brief record of facts or thoughts (written in aid of memory), a statement that indicates a possible impending danger, problem or situation
The provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance and protection of something/someone, and careful thought with regard
The process and upkeep of maintaining and preserving in life or existence for a means of securing the necessities of life with an income sufficient
The frequency of something happening, an incident or event with an aim, plan, purpose or idea arranged in advance
The reason for which something is done or created for which something exists, shows the look and function before it is made
Keeps something upright or bears the weight of watching and keeping it safe. Care is taken to avoid danger or mistakes for continued survival
Pilot Research surroundings - recording - observing - behaviour - metaphor - imprint The action or reaction of something under specified circumstances- from morals, ritual, routine, demeanor, attitude habits, presence and ethics.
A fact or condition relevant to an action/event and causes something to happen, typically something undesirable or concerned with behaviour
A sequence of actions regularly followed (everyday) or a religious or solemn ceremony consisted of series of actions performed to an order
A settled way of thinking or feeling A system of words, letters, firgures of a persons behaviour or a regular or symbols used to represent others practice, especially one hard to give especially for the purpose of secrecy up
An account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment and concerns morals of the goodness or badness with human characters
A commonplace, happening or some- The study of past events particularly thing used every day which is not un- in human affairs and the past considusual and is ordinary in which can be- ered as a whole have in a way to impress or mislead
A lie, fictuous or true narrative of a traditional story concerning the early history of people explaining some natural or social phenomenon
Pilot Research surroundings - recording - observing - behaviour - metaphor - imprint A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable and regarded as symbolic or abstract.
An representation of the external The manner or style in which someform of a thing or person and can be thing is given, ordered or displayed a shape, form or reflection and exists in thought or as an idea but not having a concrete existence
The throwing back by a body or surface or light, heat or sound yet is theoretically or seperatelely from something else and an external form
The appearance of something or someone and the visible shape and arrangement of things in relation to each other according to sequence
Intentionally unobtrusive and discreet The action or practice of meditating The resuming of season and the arisand one can pursue and reestablish and contemplation ing of each of the four divisions of the a relationship and restore to life and year marked by particular weather revive the practice and be apparent patterns and daylight hours
An idea or opinion produced by thinking or occuring suddenly in the mind or an action that is performed without conscious thought as a response
Pilot Research surroundings - recording - observing - behaviour - metaphor - imprint Impress or stamp on a surface or body leaving an impression or substance
Make someone feel admiration and A repeated decorative design or reoc- To produce by a mechanical process An effect produced on someone or respect or affect and influence deeply curing involving the design to paper an idea, feeling or opinion formed without conscious thought or on the bases of little evidence
A change that is a result of conse- A particular kind of matter with uni- A result of an action or condition of Not of natural origin, prepared or quence of an action or other causes form properties or an intoxicating, importance or relevance made artificially that form something to happen stimulating or narcotic chemical, essence or material
Subject of Photography
Object of Photography
The aesthetic expression in which form and content need to collaborate with the subject matter is to capture its unchangeable image. This collaboration provides an active examination of contemporary society and a presentation of experiences to enhance historical and cultural awareness. It shows purity and freedom, the purity of the relationship between the photographer and the subject with the freedom to create images of life as it happens. With documentary work, one can stretch the boundaries, nurture the subject matter and communicate critical thinking on many layers.
I photograph not to represent, but to encounter and experience object connection, the democracy of objects, connecting with the objects within objects. The object also has presence and actuality as I encounter it within its own history.
This gives me creative possibilities that are limitless and therefor have the freedom to show and explore parts of the process. Ultimately I photograph so I can choose the medium and my vision can dictate how the pictures are made and seen, which provides a visual history of our time.
The imagery of alienation, loneliness, mass culture forms, violence and death as well as the metaphors of the highway and automobile are readily found in the photographs that Robert Frank took in Brazil, England and Spain between 1947 and 1952. In essence, Frank was concerned with themes and subjects not peculiar to America; he sought in part to document the dilemma of modern man. Frank took his talent, vision and angst to America.
â€œI have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated.â€? -James Nachtwey-
Contextual Basis People with an interest in the environment People with an interest in the outdoors
For the revival of spring time as new plants resurface
unobtrusive and discreet places - the garden, and how one can pursue and reestablish a relationship and restore life and revive the practice of gardening that brings contemplation and relaxation for the warm seasons
The surroundings or conditions in which the person or animal lives and operates
People with an interest of an area they live in or as a whole
the people and the state of living near something or a surrounding area
Print For the future study of past events particularly in preserving as a whole
What an area is doing for the health, welfare, maintenance and protection for continued survival and awareness that we need to change our behaviour and exploring the process.
Apartamento and the Plant Journal both focus on perceotion and arrangement within the home or the love for plants.
Action Plan & Reading List Week 1- Determine the impact as the process of evaluating the occurence Week 2- Collect the content Week 3- Developing a process by using the information people have given me that will generate a pattern for the content Week 4- Generating and experimenting with many ideas and concepts, transforming them into prototypes Week 5- Analysing and synthesising all the research carried out to date to help decide on the direction Week 6- Print final outcome Week 7- Final outcome finished -Around the World in 80 Gardens is a BBC series that follows broadcaster Monty Don as he travels all over the planet searching for world-class gardens – ancient and modern, large and small, grand and humble. In total, exactly eighty gardens are featured during his 10 journeys, and include the Alhambra, the gardens of the Taj Mahal in India, the gardens of the Villa D’Este in Italy and many important botanic and royal gardens from Thailand to Bali, from New Zealand to Europe and from China to Mexico. Written and presented by Monty Don, the author of numerous gardening books and articles and the UK’s leading gardening broadcaster, Around the World in 80 Gardens is much more than a gardening series, since Monty believes that “..gardens are a really good way to understand a culture”. Each programme in this landmark documentary series combines history, natural history and travel and appeals to a wide audience. Each programme traces a personal journey for Monty as he exposes himself to new experiences and to cultures he has never previously encountered, leading him to question his ideas of what a garden actually is. With its intimate and engaging tone, we see how Monty’s own assumptions evolve as he learns from all he encounters…
-Without plants, there would be no life on earth. Kew Gardens is famous for its breathtaking displays of flowers and tree,s but this World Heritage Site is also a globally important scientific and historical organization. Scientists and gardeners use the plants and knowledge that have been collected at Kew since the eighteenth century to advance understanding of the earth’s environment and of how plant lfe can be used for human benefit. Published to accompany the ten-part BBC2 series A New Year at Kew, this fascinating book takes us behind the scenes to show the extraordinary range of work carried out at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst Place - home to the Millenium Seed Bank - and by Kew staff overseas. From using forensic botant to micropagating plants facing extinction, from investigating herbal cures from Alzheimer’s disease to replanting the volcano-ravaged island of Montserrat, the book shows us aspects of Kew’s work that are largely hidden from view abut the benefits of which are far reachingl In the process it provides an absorbing and accessible introduction to such topical subjects as biodiversity, practical conservation and economic botany. Lavishly illustrated and filled with engrossing stories and engaging characters, this book brings to life the world of Kew and the global importance of its work.
Action Plan & Reading List -Bankrupting Nature shows us that we are in deep denial about the magnitude of the global environmental challenges and resource constraints facing the world. Despite growing scientific consensus on major environmental threats as well as resource depletion, societies are largely continuing with business as usual, at best attempting to tinker at the margins of the problems. The authors argue that regardless of whether governments respond to the economic crisis through additional stimulus packages or reduced government spending, environmental and resource constraints will remain. The crisis will be exacerbated by the combination of climate change, ecosystem decline and resource scarcity, in particular crude oil. The concept of Planetary Boundaries is introduced as a powerful explanation of the limits of the biosphere to sustain continued conventional growth. -When Columbia professor Dickson Despommier set out to solve America’s food, water, and energy crises, he didn’t just think big - he thought up. Despommier’s stroke of genius, The Vertical Farm, has excited scientists, architects, and politicians around the globe. These farms, grown inside skyscrapers, would provide solutions to many of the serious problems we currently face, including: allowing year-round crop production; providing food to areas currently lacking arable land; immunity to weather-related crop failure; re-use of water collected by de-humidification of the indoor environment; new employment opportunities; no use of pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides; drastically reduced dependence on fossil fuels; no crop loss due to shipping or storage; no agricultural runoff; and, many more. Vertical farming can be located on abandoned city properties, creating new urban revenue streams. They will employ lots of skilled and unskilled labour. They can be run on wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal energy. They can be used to grow plants for pharmaceutical purposes or for converting grey water back into drinking water. -This is the inspiring chronicle of a radical movement against the industrial food behemoth, and a reclaiming of communities to grow, distribute, and eat locally. When you’re standing in the midst of a supermarket, it’s hard to imagine that you’re looking at a failing system. The abundance of food looks impressive but is really just a facade. In fact, there’s often no more than a 3-day supply of food available for any given city due to complex, just-in-time national and international supply chains. The system is not only vulnerable, given the reality of food scares, natural disasters and economic upheavals, but also environmentally unsustainable in the long term. One answer is urban agriculture. “Food and the City” examines alternative food systems in cities around the globe that are shortening their supply chains and growing food within city limits. More than just a niche concern of a few activists, urban agriculture is becoming a global movement that cuts across the private and public sectors, economic classes, and cultures. -In the common public perception, contemporary gardening is understood as suburban, as leisure activity, as television makeover opportunity. Its origins are seen as religious or spiritual (Garden of Eden), military (the clipped lawn, the ha-ha and defensive ditches), aristocratic or monarchical (the stately home, the Royal Horticultural Society). Radical Gardening travels an alternative route, through history and across landscape, linking propagation with propaganda. For everyday garden life is not only patio, barbecue, white picket fence, topiary, herbaceous border.… From window box to veggie box, from political plot to flower power, this book uncovers and celebrates moments, movements, gestures, of a people’s approach to gardens and gardening. It weaves together garden history with the counterculture, stories of individual plants with discussion of government policy, the social history of campaign groups with the pleasure and dirt of hands in the earth, as well as original interviews alongside media, pop and art references, to offer an informing and inspiring new take on an old subject. -In Human Well-Being and the Natural Environment, Partha Dasgupta explores ways to measure the quality of life. In developing quality-of-life indices, he pays particular attention to the natural environment, illustrating how it can be incorporated, more generally, into economic reasoning in a seamless manner. Professor Dasgupta puts the theory that he develops to use in extended commentaries on the economics of population, poverty traps, global warming, structural adjustment programmes, and free trade, particularly in relation to poor countries. The result is a treatise that goes beyond quality-oflife measures and offers a comprehensive account of the newly emergent subject of ecological economics.
Action Plan & Reading List -Architecure and Design vs Consumerism. The mentality that consumerism and economic growth are cure-alls is one of the biggest obstacles to real sustainability, but any change seems impossible, unthinkable. Our contemporary paradox finds us relying for our well being on consumer-driven economic growth that we actually can’t afford — not in environmental, economic or social terms. Although architecture and design have long been seen as engines for consumerism and growth, increasing numbers of designers are concerned about the problems resulting from growth. But designers face a paradox of their own; in scenarios of sustainable consumption, where people consume or build significantly less, what will be left for designers to do? This book, informed by recent research into the viability of a “steady state” economy, sets an agenda for addressing the designer’s paradox of sustainable consumption. The agenda includes ways that architecture and design can help transition us towards a new kind of economy that prioritizes real wellbeing rather than economic growth. Packed with examples and illustrations, the book argues that taking action, or activism, is an important but so far underexplored way for architects and designers to confront consumerism. -In 2008, the bestselling The Transition Handbook suggested a model for a community-led response to peak oil and climate change. Since then, the Transition idea has gone viral across the globe, from universities and London neighbourhoods to Italian villages and Brazilian favelas. There are now hundreds of Transition towns and Transition initiatives around the world. In contrast to the ever-worsening stream of information about climate change, the economy and resource depletion, the Transition movement focuses on solutions, on community-scale projects and on positive results. The Transition Companion picks up the story today, describing one of the most fascinating experiments now under way in the world. It answers the question ‘What is Transition?’ and shows how communities are working for a future where local enterprises are valued and nurtured; where lower energy use is seen as a benefit; and where cooperation, creativity and the building of resilience are the cornerstones of a new economy.