Could the desert sun power the world?

“The human race must finally utilise direct sun power or revert to barbarism,” wrote Shuman in a letter to Scientific American magazine the following year. But the outbreak of the first world war just a few months later abruptly ended his dream and his solar troughs were soon broken up for scrap, with the metal being used for the war effort. Barbarism, it seemed, had prevailed.

“In 1986, in direct response to the Chernobyl nuclear accident, he scribbled down some figures and arrived at the following remarkable conclusion: in just six hours, the world’s deserts receive more energy from the sun than humans consume in a year.”

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Source : The guardian

#38 Collected Reading – A year in review 2011

A selection of my favorite collected readings from this year. I hope you have enjoyed reading them. Happy new year!

1.Design Thinking 

Design should not be seen as a discipline in the same way as geography or physics. It is a method: a method to join together separate ideas, information, emotions and organize them to develop a thought. None of the books listed below have any real examples of what is traditionally thought of as design. There are no glossy photos, models or “concepts”. Instead they are books which develop a way of thinking, a method which realizes that what is made is only as good as the way an idea is framed. There is no style, no “big idea”, just different ways to help you see the world you live in and how to rearrange the complexity of that world in a way that makes sense of things.

-KP

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2. The food edition 

This week I have collected together a series of recipe videos I made. Most of them were made on a recent visit to London in my mum’s kitchen.

-KP

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3. Thinking about the present

A collection of thoughts around thinking, work and how to be in the present. 

“Today is a gift.
That is why they call it the present.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

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4. Introduction : Sherlock Holmes and the design process

After reading a collection of  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes short stories and novels,  I was struck by how much the process of detection has in common with the process of design. I have picked out some of the best quotes which illustrate these ideas.

-KP

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5. Free markets and democracy 

“And so, the balance of business expenditures shifts from product research to market research. The television commercial has oriented business away from making products of value and toward making consumers feel valuable, which means that the business of business has now become pseudo-therapy.”

– Neil Postman

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Climate Strategists: To Cut Emissions, Focus On Forests

“Hans Brasker, foreign minister of Norway, thinks it’s a great idea, and not just to slow warming. “We very strongly believe that we will have established a genuine global partnership to save the treasures of the remaining tropical forest,” he told the delegates at the South African climate talks. Norway is spending about $3 billion to make REDD happen.”

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Source : NPR

‘In Studio: Recipes for Systemic Change’, and Helsinki Design Lab

“I think, I hope, that it suggests one possible meaningful way forward for design itself, as well as suggesting new cultures for the public sector, for thinking about complex, interdependent problems, and for rapidly creating practical yet compelling visions built on a clear understanding of ‘the architecture of the problem’, as we call it.”

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Source : City of Sound