Archive for the ‘Sustainability’ Category

Ghost Town Transformed Into Ecovillage

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Definitely worth watching and listening all the way through. Inspiring.

Come To Maker Faire!!

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Yes? Yes!

Recycled NYC Traffic Signs

Sunday, May 15th, 2011






Repair-Ware: Fix Your Own If You Need To

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Repair-Ware product concepts designed by Samuel Davies.

Via Treehugger and Yanko Design

WEEK 3, DAY 21

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

I feel like I’ve just had the recipe for getting to sleep ASAP. It includes an early morning, day of stuff, beer before a meal, and a filling dinner. Add a dimly lit room and voila! Instant sleepiness!

I received the Tisch Alute notice today in the mail and the card colors are more or similar to the cover of  the Cradle to Cradle book, but bolder.

Today, I also ate some yogurt and found this under its lid:

The idea of reducing junk mail and al the paper manufactured along with it is a great task. But this makes me think of SPAM and electronic junk mail – and I wonder just how much SPAM is actually circulated. What percentage of email is straight up junk? And how much data storage does all that SPAM take up in data centers around the world?

For my final last year in the Sustainability/If Products Could Tell their Stories class – I found a 2007 Environmental Protection Agency report ( that stated in 2006, data centers consumed 1.5% of the total electricity used in the U.S. – or I 61 billion kilowatt hours. When this study was published, it was estimated that those numbers would double by 2011 and 10 additional power plants would be needed – if the energy consumption continued on the same track.
Since then, many companies have started to make/build “energy efficient” data centers – such as Google . But even then, I don’t know what kind of follow-up has happened via the EPA or other organizations, nor do I have a clue what those numbers are today in 2010. Energy efficiency is addressed in the Cradle to Cradle book and essentially they say “efficiency” is not enough and should really be replaced with “effectiveness”.

Going from paper junk mail to virtual junk mail and the data centers that store all the virtual and electronic-ness – prompts me to question how much energy “cloud computing” currently consumes. As the cloud grows (just as gmail’s storage capacity grows infinitely bit by bit) and the need for space increases, how many more data centers will pop up in the next 3-5 years? And with them, how many more power plants? The next question after that is – what kind of power plants?

I also just found this article from a few days ago about Facebook building their first data center in Prineville, OR – and this related blog post by Jonathan Heiliger of Facebook.

Some food for thought.

WEEK 3, DAY 17

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

I’ve been thinking more on the sustainability/alternative energy idea and have come back to some books from the If Products Could Tell Their Stories class. The one I have in my bag at the moment is the well known Cradle to Cradle. I’m also going back into Emotional Design and Shopping Our Way to Safety.

It’s pretty evident to me that all these things are intertwined – and they inherently address our (not sure who “our” is exactly, but certainly mine) manner of consumerism.

I can say that I’ve spent a good portion of time when looking for and researching products I want to own – whether it’s the nuance of detail in design, the materials, and/or the final price that drives my search. I wonder what percentage of online shoppers – or shoppers in general go to such lengths. I also wonder if perhaps a materials breakdown or some kind of sustainability rating will soon enough become a part of the shopping search engine process.

If even novel at first, such a feature would really augment the consumer experience. Would it make consumers overly self-conscious about what they’re purchasing or even desiring? Could it make manufacturers more responsible? Could it work? Even then – how could it be smartly implemented in a way that would feel balanced to both consumers and manufacturers/companies? I think it would be an interesting possibility that could work similarly to the way consumer ratings are created, though admittingly time-intensive.

Definitely something to ponder.

WEEK 3, DAY 15

Friday, February 26th, 2010

sustainability – (from

sus·tain [suh-steyn]
–verb (used with object)
1. to support, hold, or bear up from below; bear the weight of, as a structure.
2. to bear (a burden, charge, etc.).
3. to undergo, experience, or suffer (injury, loss, etc.); endure without giving way or yielding.
4. to keep (a person, the mind, the spirits, etc.) from giving way, as under trial or affliction.
5. to keep up or keep going, as an action or process: to sustain a conversation.
6. to supply with food, drink, and other necessities of life.
7. to provide for (an institution or the like) by furnishing means or funds.
8. to support (a cause or the like) by aid or approval.
9. to uphold as valid, just, or correct, as a claim or the person making it: The judge sustained the lawyer’s objection.
10. to confirm or corroborate, as a statement: Further investigation sustained my suspicions.
Origin: 1250–1300; ME suste(i)nen < AF sustenir, OF < L sustinēre to uphold, equiv. to sus- sus- + -tinēre, comb. form of tenēre to hold

1. carry. See support. 3. bear. 5. maintain.

sus·tain   (sə-stān’)
tr.v.   sus·tained, sus·tain·ing, sus·tains
1. To keep in existence; maintain.
2. To supply with necessities or nourishment; provide for.
3. To support from below; keep from falling or sinking; prop.
4. To support the spirits, vitality, or resolution of; encourage.
5. To bear up under; withstand: can’t sustain the blistering heat.
6. To experience or suffer: sustained a fatal injury.
7. To affirm the validity of: The judge has sustained the prosecutor’s objection.
8. To prove or corroborate; confirm.
9. To keep up (a joke or assumed role, for example) competently.

[Middle English sustenen, from Old French sustenir, from Latinsustinēre : sub-, from below; see sub- + tenēre, to hold; see ten-in Indo-European roots.]

sus·tain’a·bil’i·ty n., sus·tain’a·ble adj., sus·tain’er n.,sus·tain’ment n.

I am thinking about what I am doing, this daily process, this idea of 21 days – and it’s now making me think of sustainability, specifically sustainable energy.

I find these words both literal and metaphorical in their implication.
I feel it would be worth exploring how my personal process of creative sustainable energy is mirrored in/into a process of environmental sustainable energy. Possibly giving this a MIRRORED MICRO/MACRO bent.
I’m thinking of it less in the way of an individual recycling and reducing their carbon footprint to help reduce the global warming and more in terms of the creative process of the changes and shifts an individual goes through in order to maximize their personal energy & productive output and how that energy flows out and effects the world around them.

This is a rough idea that I just came up with this evening. I’ve been thinking about my interest in environmental sustainability, the related classes I’ve taken at ITP, my general personal pursuits in this area, as well as the desire to educate myself even further in this area. This would be a good opportunity to do that. We’ll see.

Which Do You Choose? And When?

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Just one more TED post. I know this has been the most viewed video in the TEDTalks this past year, but I had to link it here. Reminds me of the poem I wrote back in 1995 and how the subtle, but significant difference between “ALONE” AND “A-L-L-O-N-E” is that L. Anyways…

Life Cycle Analysis & Service Design for Public Space

Monday, January 26th, 2009


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