Posted by: Helen Walters on February 11, 2008
Just posted a mega-package on Green Design, which has been both a positive and slightly disheartening place to keep my brain for the past few weeks. Jessie Scanlon’s written a really thoughtful Insight piece on the necessity for the American government to step up to the sustainability plate — to stop talking/promising and start funding. Unlikely to happen with this lame duck administration, but hopefully whoever takes the mantle come next January will have some fire in his or her belly and address this issue with radical investment and innovation before it’s too late. We also feature a piece by Alex Steffen of Worldchanging, on the need for designers to give up trying to turn cars green. The problem, he argues, isn’t under the hood but in the design of our cities: If we didn’t have to drive everywhere, it wouldn’t matter what mileage we got. That’s simplifying radically, so read the piece. And if you have a spare half an hour, check out something that isn’t in the Green Design package at all — a great talk by Robin Chase, the founder of ZipCar (and now new social networking ride-sharing site, GoLoco, about which I wrote last year). She’s been banging the car design/urban design drum for some time now, and was speaking at a sustainable design-themed event moderated by another wonderful colleague, Reena Jana. Unfortunately, the film was too long for us to stream it without all sorts of technical problems, so check it out at Continuum’s site (the consultancy hosted the event). Robin is super articulate — and seems equally racked with hope and doubt.
What comes next? The BusinessWeek Innovation and Design team of Michael Arndt and Helen Walters chronicle new tools for creativity and collaboration, innovation case studies in both the corporate and social sectors, and the new ideas that have the power to change the way things have always been done.