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View Diary: A material to hang your hat (and clothes) on - a cardboard photo essay (114 comments)

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  •  there are a lot of folks that say (15+ / 0-)

    Design has to play a huge role in solving a lot of our problems, and I agree. Not just for individual materials, but entire processes and systems, including urban design. I just wrote an article about Biomimicry and Cradle to Cradle for this month's issue of Yes Magazine, and all the people in those fields are working on whole systems designs. What they are all saying is that ecologically-attuned design actually makes life a lot easier, more fun and beautiful, unlike the old perceptions that eco-friendly automatically means drab, uninspiring and full of sacrifice. And on a larger level, ecologically healthy cities are eminently more livable and lovable than the current concrete jungles we've built.

    For example, here is ecocity pioneer Richard Register's drawing of a San Francisco ecocity. I would live there. ;-)

    eco-San-Francisco

    •  boy howdy, are you ever (9+ / 0-)

      preaching to the converted :D

      there are a lot of folks that say Design has to play a huge role in solving a lot of our problems, and I agree. Not just for individual materials, but entire processes and systems, including urban design.

      i stumbled into a freelance writing task a couple years ago, having been tasked with first-drafting a chapter on the water resources component of urban / green design possibilities for this book, whose author often opines that green design will save the world.

      to be candid, i'm not prepared to go quite that far, primarily because we're still stuck with economic and money systems that encourage and reward waste / cost externalization. big obstacle to rapid and broad progress imho.

      which, until that unpleasantness is reworked, our need for tireless and conscious designers to do what we can is huge.

      "i hear you're mad about brubeck ... i like your eyes. i like him too." -donald fagen

      by homo neurotic on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 11:18:50 AM PST

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      •  you're right, it's important to take (9+ / 0-)

        the most practical, often little steps first. But I think it's good to always keep the larger vision in the back of our minds, because it helps when having to make the more gradual decisions. Certain designs don't make any sense within the current framework, but with all other things being equal it's smarter to go with the design that will also work within a larger ecological context. For example, if you have a dilapidated city block that is being cleared for rebuilding, it makes more sense to rebuild with high density mixed-use and medium principles than to put up a bunch of single-residence homes.

        Cool gig for Neil Chambers! I've heard of him, but haven't read his work. I'll put that on my wish list.

        •  Do you know about the work of Shigeru Ban? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          citisven, liberated spaces

          I'm writing on my iPhone and can't link to images, but he's an architect that has used cardboard tubing as a cheap, fast, and sustainable way to get housing for emergency victims who've lost their homes. He's also done traditional Japanese structures like tea rooms with the same materials. They are all phenomenally gorgeous. I will try to post a link when I'm at my computer later. It's really fabulous how he's merging tradition- the emergency structures are clearly made with a yurt in mind- but obviously his approach to materials is fairly radical. I only wish that more architects were following his lead.

          •  I hadn't heard of him (0+ / 0-)

            but a quick google search yields some amazing results:

            Paper Tea House by Shigeru Ban

            Beautiful work, thanks so much for the tip, I'll definitely look into more of his creations. Cardboard seems to work really well with Japanese traditions and sensibilities. I think in order to make the designs really sturdy you have to use an Origami-like technique.

    •  p.s. (8+ / 0-)

      two quick nuggets of follow up:

      1) mangled my last sentence (some freelance writer. hmmmph!) -- should have read:

      which, until that unpleasantness is reworked, means that our need ... etc.

      2) i love yes magazine. had missed that piece of yours though, and really appreciate the link.

      cheers, hn / dave

      "i hear you're mad about brubeck ... i like your eyes. i like him too." -donald fagen

      by homo neurotic on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 11:28:18 AM PST

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