A place to look for articles that inspire change in our industrial society with innovative idea's that are in line with a sustainable future. While also hopefully making you question what your own beliefs are.
Much has been made of the “Internet of Things” and a growing array of “smart” things that will soon change nearly every aspect of our lives — from (Everything on the network has access to collective intelligence of everything else.
"The lottery of birth is responsible for much of who we are. If you were not born in the country you were, what would your life be like? Would you be the same person?
IfItWereMyHome.com is your gateway to understanding life outside your home. Use our country comparison tool to compare living conditions in your own country to those of another. Start by selecting a region to compare on the map to the right, and begin your exploration."
The words “geodesic dome” are synonymous with Buckminster Fuller.
Popularized in the 1940s, it is a spherical or partially spherical structure built from a network of circles that intersect to form rigid triangular segments that make up a shell. Fuller proposed geodesic domes for numerous projects, from the built Montreal Biosphère to a concept that would have covered all of midtown Manhattan in a dome containing clean air. While Bucky’s legacy is most often associated his with spheres, the architect was not the first to theorize or construct them.
The first constructed geodesic dome was designed by Walther Bauersfield, a german engineer for the Carl Zeiss company. Built on the company’s roof in Jena, Germany, Bauersfield’s sphere contained a planetarium and was opened to the public in July 1926.
Visit the article link to view more spherical buildings inspired by the geodesic dome...
New forms of cooperative urbanism are harnessing the internet to achive grand civic goals.
A generation of intrepid software developers is creating powerful tools for ordinary people to work together to achieve civic goals. SeeClickFix.com and FixMyStreet.com are US and UK websites where users can report problems in their area directly to the relevant local authority. Collapsed walls, broken signage and faulty streetlighting can be logged by anyone in the community. Reports are mapped online while statistics about how swiftly issues are dealt with are automatically published, encouraging authorities to act quickly. Rather than individual complainants acting in isolation, the sites allow strangers to cooperate in holding their elected officials to account while improving their public spaces.
Critics argue the sites foster apathy − encouraging the public to rely on local authorities for relatively minor maintenance jobs rather than taking responsibility as a neighbourhood, but nevertheless, the idea of using decentralised web-based input as a generator for development is gathering momentum.
Despite what you’ve heard, Detroit is far from doomed. While the politicians and banks figure out exactly what to do about the city’s finances, Detroit’s creative class continues to innovate and build toward a future that echoes its past. It was the city’s own invention, the automobile, that once made it world class. Right now, the young inventors of today are forging a new story in Detroit, one where craftsmanship, ingenuity and dedication are again the ingredients of success.
Explore seven creative success stories in Detroit today...
Contrary to claims by Monsanto and government conspirators, we can indeed meet the world’s hunger without the use of genetically modified seed and manufactured chemicals. Bumper crops of rice, potatoes, and wheat are being grown in India using methods of Agroecology.
Agroecology is a dynamic agricultural approach that uses scientific information and local knowledge to produce practical methods that are low-cost and ecologically sound. This is quite a contrast to the “one size fits all” approach of GMO crops and chemical inputs being peddled by Monsanto and friends.
A particular kind of agroecology called System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is being applied in India to produce the record-setting yields.
SRI was developed in the 1980’s in Madagascar by Fr. Henri de Laulanié, S.J. He sought to improve their agricultural systems without being dependent on external inputs, as poverty was a widespread problem. Fr. Laulanié established a non-governmental organization that began working with the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development in 1994.
Now, SRI “is being hailed as one of the most significant developments of the past 50 years for the world’s 500 million small-scale farmers and the two billion people who depend on them.”
SRI is basically a change in the management of plants, soil, water and nutrients for irrigated rice. Seedlings are planted at a younger stage and spaced farther apart to encourage greater root and canopy growth and to increase yield per plant. These principles have more recently been applied to other crops like wheat, sugar cane, and millet, where it is known as System of Crop Intensification (SCI).
Water is carefully managed and applied at precise stages. Organic matter such as composted manure is routinely introduced to maintain tilth and microbial development. Even the process of weeding contributes to soil improvements. A simple rotary hoe used at certain times puts decomposed weeds back into the soil, aerates the soil, and stimulates root growth by root pruning.
It is basically using resources more wisely. SRI and SCI offer a long-term, sustainable future of agriculture for no extra cost, instead of patented GMO seeds and proprietary chemicals to enslave farmers in debt.
“Farmers use less seeds, less water and less chemicals but they get more without having to invest more. This is revolutionary,” said Dr Surendra Chaurassa from Bihar’s agriculture ministry. “I did not believe it to start with, but now I think it can potentially change the way everyone farms. I would want every state to promote it. If we get 30-40% increase in yields, that is more than enough to recommend it.”
Movements are growing around the world to embrace sustainable, efficient, and localized systems of agriculture. There is growing resistance to the efforts of Monsanto, western governments, and billionaire bankrollers to shove GMO crops down the world’s throat. The realities of local economies and the increasing knowledge of informed citizens will overcome the GMO juggernaut.
Theres no other way, trying to change someone else is as impossible as changing the structure of society from within. One must learn to change themsevles and "create a new model that makes the old one obsolete"
A map that illustrates global forest densities using wood textures wins a competition to reinvent the tessellated Dymaxion world map by Buckminster Fuller.
First presented in 1943, Fuller's Dymaxion Map projects the world map onto the surface of a three-dimensional icosahedron that can be unfolded and flattened to two dimensions. It is said to be the first two-dimensional map of the entire surface of Earth that reveals our planet as one, without inaccurately distorting or splitting up the land.
A team comprising designer Nicole Santucci and San Francisco firm Woodcut Maps was selected as the winner of the Dymax Redux competition to redesign the seminal map, which was launched in April by the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) in New York to coincide with the map's 70th anniversary.
“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” – Voltaire “We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers.” – Carl Sagan “The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop ...
miguel sa's insight:
question everything for we all know nothing, and it is only by asking that we may get to some kind of knowing.
Buckminster Fuller knew it was possible to feed clothe house and educate every man woman and child on Earth... and that our current economic system is based on the belief that we can NOT do that. He developed The World Game as a method for helping people learn how we can all work together - on a global basis - to make the world work for everyone.
As self-driving cars move from fantasy to reality, what kind of effect will they have on cities?
A research and urban prototyping project called Shuffle City investigates, and in the process, becomes a manifesto for a new kind of modern city--one that depends less on traditional public transportation like buses or light rail and more on creating a fleet of continuously moving automated vehicles to serve urban mobility needs.
Shuffle City looks at the new possibilities that could arise from cities transitioning to cars without drivers. If cars were put into some constant flow as a public good, and if people didn’t all have their own vehicles, there would be no need for the concrete wastelands and lifeless towers that serve as a parking infrastructure in the urban landscapes of car-centric cities like Phoenix and Los Angeles (Under the current ownership model, the average car spends 21 hours per day parked.)
The share of city space ruled by parking lots will shrink, making way for more green space, environmental buffers, workspace, housing, retail, and denser planning for more walkable cities...
It's easy to point out that there's something wrong with a system, such as the design of an urban street or neighborhood, but it's another thing entirely to come up with a design that would be better.
But when it comes to re-imagining the streets in your neighborhood, that process just got quite a bit easier, thanks to a new web app. With Streetmix, users design their perfect street, with the right balance of bike lanes, sidewalks, public transport and vehicle traffic lanes, just by dragging and dropping design segments and adjusting their parameters.
Some users are designing alternatives to real streets in their cities; the app uses real-world design constraints, which can help the layperson understand some of what urban planners need to incorporate in their designs and enable better communication between the planners and the population in design and use issues.
A landscape artist envisions a future of public transport when all buses and vans sport greenery.
Tourists in Girona, Spain, may have noticed something strangely pastoral about the city’s public buses. Or just one in particular- the Phytokinetic Bus is painted green, has a green roof, and shuttles visitors to and from a nature reserve. More important, its creator says it's truly sustainable transport.
Veryverde, and the first of its kind in the world...
Toronto High School Begins Innovative Tower Farming Project Marketwire (press release) Because of its vertical design and unique aeroponic technology, tower gardens use less than 10% of the water and land required by traditional, soil-based...
Over the last few weeks Ethan Schlussler has been working on a beautifully designed 30-foot-high treehouse and quickly became tired of “climbing a ladder six and a half million times a day,” so he decided to build a human-powered elevator out of an old bicycle.
At first I was expecting something pretty tedious to pedal in order to lift the weight of a full-grown man, yet as soon as he starts pedaling in the video it seems to work almost like magic. It really is a clever idea.
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