robertogreco + recycling   91

Agnès Varda's Ecological Conscience
"“Existence isn’t a solitary matter,” says the shepherd to the wanderer in Agnès Varda’s 1985 film, Vagabond. This vision of collectivity, the belief that we are all in it together, recurs throughout Varda’s films, from her early, proto–New Wave La Pointe Courte (1954) to her acclaimed Cléo from 5 to 7 (1961) to her most recent film, Faces Places (2017), made in collaboration with the young French street artist JR. (Filmmaking isn’t a solitary matter, either.) “This movie is about togetherness,” she told New York Magazine. Watching Faces Places, I couldn’t help thinking about Varda’s 2000 film, The Gleaners & I. Both are road-trip movies in which Varda interviews the kinds of people we don’t often see in movies—farmers, miners, dockworkers, and their wives. Both films proceed by chance, gleaning whatever they happen upon. But though The Gleaners is now seventeen years old, old enough to drive a car and almost old enough to vote, it’s feeling as fresh and relevant as if it had been made in parallel to Faces Places. It rewards rewatching.

The Gleaners & I is a documentary about the time-honored act of gathering what other people have abandoned or thrown away. Gleaning is most often associated with what’s been left behind after a harvest; think of that famous Millet painting, The Gleaners (1857), which you can find in the Musée d’Orsay. The women—gleaners used to be mainly women—bend over to collect the bits of wheat the harvesters have left on the ground; they gather what they find in their aprons. It looks like back-breaking work. “It’s always the same humble gesture,” Varda comments in voice-over: to stoop, to glean.

Today, they tell Varda, harvesting is more efficient because it’s done by machines, leaving less for gleaners to pick up. In her film, Varda interviews present-day glâneurs; some glean to survive, some out of principle (“Salvaging is a matter of ethics with me,” says a man who’s eaten mostly garbage for ten years), others just for fun. One woman Varda interviews demonstrates how they used to do it: with a sweeping extension of her torso she gathers ears of corn into her apron. It was a social occasion, when all the women in the neighborhood would get together and, afterward, go back to the house for a coffee and a laugh.

Varda enlarges the concept of the glâneur to include people like the artist Louis Pons, whose work is assembled from trash, from forgotten things, from pens, empty spools, wires, cans, cages, bits of boats, cars, musical instruments: “He composes,” Varda says, “with chance.” Or to Bodan Litnianski, the Ukrainian retired brickmason-turned-artist who built his house (which he calls “Le palais idéal”) from scraps he found in dumps—dolls, many dolls, and toy trucks and trains and hoses and baskets and plastic fronds—effectively brickmasoned into place. “C’est solide, eh.” Litnianski died in 2005, but there’s a corresponding figure in Faces Places who made me sit up in recognition.

All of the gleaners Varda speaks with are appalled at the amount of waste our culture produces—especially food waste. “People are so stupid!” says a gleaner who strides around his village in Wellies, going through the garbage for food, freegan-style. “They see an expiration date and think, Oh I mustn’t eat that, I’ll get sick! I’ve been eating garbage for ten years and I’ve never been sick.” Back in Paris, Varda interviews people who come around after the market’s been through, to save money. “You should see what they get rid of,” one says. “Fruit … vegetables … cheese, but that’s rare.” His entire diet, it seems, comes from eating the castoffs from the market and the boulangeries. Varda, intrigued by him, follows him back to the shelter where he lives and volunteers as a French teacher to immigrants.

The urban gleaner has often gone by another name: the chiffonnier, or rag picker. Until the 1960s, you could still hear his cry in the streets of Paris: “chiiiiiiiiiffonnier!” Baudelaire, in Les fleurs du mal, sees them “bent under piles of rubbish, jumbled scrap,” collecting “the dregs that monster Paris vomits up.” The rag picker moves through the city on foot, like the flaneur, collecting what it has cast off. Other cities have long had this tradition—the raddi-wallah in India, for instance (which can refer to both the scrap collector or the place where the scraps are brought). In Paris, the chiffonniers, like self-employed sanitation workers, went through the trash, separating out what was useful from what was not, collecting rags, rabbit skins, bits of metal, scraps of paper, bones, glass, yarn, fabric, old clothes, all manner of chemical compounds, anything that could be repurposed, reused, repackaged, or transformed into something else. “Very little went to waste, in Baudelaire’s Paris,” notes the scholar Antoine Compagnon in his recent book on the chiffonnier. Georges Lacombe’s 1928 short silent film, La zone, shows the process of rag picking and what happens to the detritus they collect. They would drag this in bags or in wheelbarrows to a collection point, of which there were many in the city; the rue Mouffetard, on the Left Bank, was the center of this reselling (side note: Varda made a short film about this street, 1958’s Opera Mouffe). The metal, of course, would be taken to factories where it was melted down and turned into other things made of metal. How many lives has metal had, how many shapes has it taken? How many more lives does any object have before it eventually finds its way to some landfill?

Today, this canny recycling spirit lives on in the brocantes, which you can find around town on any weekend afternoon. In among the real antique dealers, you can find people selling all the bits and bobs of things they don’t want or they found in their basements, laid out on tables or blankets. They are “objets that can be found nowhere else: old-fashioned, broken, useless, almost incomprehensible, almost perverse,” as André Breton writes in Nadja, visiting the flea market at Clignancourt. How many different people have made use of the same cast-off calculator, the little porcelain dish, the copy of a minor album by Renaud?

The threat to the environment posed by waste is incredibly pressing; the need to recycle is a question of ethics. If we must consume, let us consume each other’s castoffs. “All these old things,” Baudelaire noticed back in 1857, “have a moral value.” This is the ethos of The Gleaners. Yet it’s difficult to watch the film at times, to be reminded that others are living off what some of us throw away so carelessly, something Varda’s literary kindred spirit, Virginie Despentes, has also managed to do in her recent masterpiece, Vernon Subutex. But neither Varda nor Despentes sentimentalizes this cycle; the gleaners Varda interviews are gleeful. If there’s anyone to pity here, it’s us, paying retail, paying anything: we’re the suckers. Varda helps us see the hyperactive cycle of our materialism and, through the act of glanage, shows us a way to consume less and to engage with our environments more.

Before I watched the film, my suburban ways clung to me. Everything had to be new, of course. I’d never gotten out of the car to pick up some apples from the ground, or brought in a piece of furniture from the street. (I think of Patti Smith in Just Kids, scrubbing with baking soda the mattress she and Robert Mapplethorpe found in the street. She had that pluck and resourcefulness.) Even after it, I’m not sure I would go rummaging through the garbage after the market had finished. But Varda helped me see myself as not only a consumer but a participant in some greater cycle of custodianship. As Varda films people recuperating the copper coils from inside television sets that have been abandoned, or finding old refrigerators and repairing them, or turning them into very chic bookshelves, she seems to be asking us not to limit ourselves to accepting products as they’re offered to us commercially but that we take them apart, turn them into other things, that we imagine new uses for them, even, and especially, when they seem to be useless."
2017  agnèsvarda  environment  sustainability  film  laurenelkin  gleaners  waste  documentary  observation  noticing  women  gender  glâneurs  scraps  scavenging  chiffonnier  recycling  reuse  classideas 
7 weeks ago by robertogreco
Opinion | The Magic of a Cardboard Box - The New York Times
"On April 20, Nintendo released a new line of accessories for its best-selling Switch game console. Rather than being digital add-ons, they were physical ones: punch-and-fold parts engineered to turn the Switch console into a piano, a fishing rod or a robot. All are made of cardboard.

On March 4, Walmart ads shown during the Oscars centered on shipping boxes. The writer and director Dee Rees, nominated for “Mudbound,” created a 60-second ad in which the threat of bedtime gets incorporated into a sci-fi wonderland a little girl has imagined inside a blue cardboard box.

In June 2014, Google handed out kits for a low-cost virtual reality headset to be used with a smartphone. The headset was named Cardboard, for what it was mostly made of, and users assembled the units themselves.

In April 2012, “Caine’s Arcade,” an 11-minute short featuring a boy named Caine Monroy, was widely shared on the internet. Caine had spent his 2011 summer vacation building an arcade in the front of his father’s East Los Angeles auto-parts store out of the boxes the parts came in. He had the freedom to create an environment because cardboard comes cheap, and his father gave him space.

These 21st-century storytellers turned to cardboard for the same reasons that children have long preferred the box to the toy that came in it: cardboard is light and strong, easy to put up, quick to come down and, perhaps most important, inexpensive enough for experiment. Cardboard constructions can be crushed, painted, recycled and stuck back together. Cardboard furniture can be adjusted as children grow, and cardboard creations become more sophisticated as children gain skills: It is as malleable as the body and the mind.

Technology companies’ embrace of cardboard’s cool suggests something parents and teachers never forgot: The box is an avatar of inspiration, no charging required. Cardboard is the ideal material for creativity, and has been since the big purchase, and the big box, became a fixture of American postwar homes.

Corrugated cardboard boxes were introduced in the 1880s, and slowly replaced wooden crates as the shipping method of choice. Robert Gair, a paper bag manufacturer in Brooklyn, realized that he could slice and crease paper on his machines in a single step. A box could quickly be cut out and scored, creating a flat blank ready to be assembled as needed, the same construction method exploited by Google and Nintendo. Because flattened boxes were easier to ship and distribute, manufacturers could buy them in bulk, assemble, and then ship their own product to consumers.

As household objects grew larger, the play potential of those boxes increased. The purchase of a new washing machine was a cause for celebration in my neighborhood as a child, as it meant access to a new playhouse in somebody’s yard. Dr. Benjamin Spock praised the cardboard box as an inexpensive alternative to a ride-on car or a readymade cottage. In 1951, Charles and Ray Eames mocked up a version of the packing boxes for their Herman Miller storage furniture with pre-printed lines for doors, windows and awnings: When the adults bought a bookshelf, their kids would get a free toy.

Cardboard was considered such a wonder material during this era that Manhattan’s Museum of Contemporary Craft (now the Museum of Arts and Design) devoted a 1967-1968 exhibition, “Made with Paper,” to the medium. With funding from the Container Corporation of America, the curator Paul J. Smith turned the museum galleries into a three-dimensional paper wonderland. The CCA also funded a cardboard playground created by students at the Parsons School of Design that included pleated trees, an enveloping sombrero and a movable maze for children to explore.

James Hennessey and Victor Papanek’s “Nomadic Furniture,” published in 1973, was part of a renaissance in DIY instruction, one that emphasized the cardboard’s open-source bona fides, as online instructions for making your own Google Cardboard did. The “Nomadic” authors demonstrated how to create an entire cardboard lifestyle, one that could be tailored to different sizes, ages and abilities.

Cardboard sets you free from the average, as Alex Truesdell discovered when she began to design furniture with children with disabilities. Truesdell, inspired by another 1970s cardboard carpentry book, developed play trays, booster seats, high chairs and other assistive devices made of corrugated cardboard that could help children with disabilities participate fully in society. As founder of the Adaptive Design Association, Ms. Truesdell was named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow for her work. Her organization offers classes and consultation in design and methods at no and low cost, and expects participants to pass on their knowledge. Cardboard, as a material, wants to be free.

Cardboard’s central role in childhood has not gone unnoticed: in 2005, the cardboard box was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. “We were particularly motivated by the exceptional qualities that cardboard boxes hold for inspiring creative, open-ended play,” says Christopher Bensch, vice president for collections and chief curator at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester. Nirvan Mullick, the filmmaker who made “Caine’s Arcade,” went on to found a nonprofit group, Imagination.org, that organizes an annual “global cardboard challenge” — one taken up by over a million kids in 80 countries.

At a time when toys have become ever more complex and expensive, it is worth returning to the box, seeing it not as trash but as a renewable resource for play.

For my daughter’s seventh birthday, she requested a cardboard-themed party. (I swear, I had nothing to do with it.) “Cardboard creations” is a highlight of “choice time” at her school, where kindergartners and first-graders have an end-of-day craft session with shoeboxes and paper towel rolls.

We gave up recycling for several weeks before the party and accumulated an embarrassingly large pile in the center of the living room. When the kids arrived, I waved them toward the boxes and bins of glue sticks, washi tape, paint, wrapping paper scraps and stickers.

“Make whatever you want,” I said, and they did."
alexandralange  cv  cardboard  2018  victorpapanek  nintendo  caine'sarcade  hermanmiller  benjaminspock  jameshennessey  diy  making  makers  alextruesdell  design  disabilities  disability  choicetime  recycling  eames  charleseames  rayeames  robertgair  technology  boxes  creativity  imagination  cainmonroy 
june 2018 by robertogreco
25 small ways to make SF a better place - Curbed SF
"When it comes to making change at the local level, sometimes the tiniest actions can spark the biggest changes—and in San Francisco, where the options for helping the greater good can seem overwhelming, starting with small daily tasks is the best place to start. As more wealth pours into the city and the economic divide grows wider than ever before, it’s important to help out your fellow San Franciscan, zip code and tax bracket be damned.

For San Franciscans looking to make their hometown a better place, we present these small, but substantial, ways that you can help make a difference.

From your home

1. Stay informed about local news. It’s hard not to be aware of national news these days, but to get a sense of what’s changing in your immediate surroundings, soak in some local news by making local papers and blogs a part of your daily media diet. The San Francisco Chronicle is, of course, important, but other SF outlets can help you stay informed—from hyperlocal blogs (Richmond SF Blog, Mission Local, etc.) to established sources (Hoodline, San Francisco Magazine, etc.) and even more. Oh, and don’t forget Curbed SF.

2. Compost. Don’t believe the malodorous lies! Composting is easy and a great way of helping the environment from your kitchen. If your building or home does not yet have a green composting bin, the city will send you one free of charge.

3. Follow these pro-housing advocates and journalists on Twitter: Kim-Mai Cutler, Liam Dillon, Victoria Fierce, SF YIMBY, Laura Foote Clark, and YIMBY Action will keep you abreast of both anti-growth hypocrisy and action items that will help abate the California housing crisis.

4. Remember reusable bags. They’re easy to compile, but difficult to remember once you’re at Whole Foods. The cost of plastic and paper bags, both environmental and economical, are too much to bear. Stick a few reusable bags by your front door so you remember to bring them to your next shopping trip.

5. Donate, don’t discard, your old clothes. For those of you who simply cannot bear the thought of wearing last year’s jeans (perish the thought!) or want to whittle down your wardrobe to a minimalist offering, don’t trash your old clothes. Shelters like the St. Anthony Foundation can redistribute clean clothing to homeless San Franciscans. If you have professional women’s attire to toss, consider give them to Dress for Success. And Larkin Street Youth accepts gently worn clothing for at-risk, runaway youths.

In your neighborhood

6. Learn about your neighborhood’s history. Did you know the Castro used to be an Irish-American working-class neighborhood? Or that South of Market used the be called South of the Slot, which later became a novella by Nobel Prize-winning scribe Jack London? And who knew that Presidio Terrace was originally designed as a whites-only neighborhood? Take a deep dive into your neighborhood’s past, good and bad. After all, the city isn’t a blank slate.

7. Donate old books. Grab a handful (or trunkload) of books from your home library and add some inventory to the nearest Little Free Library. There are dozens in San Francisco and hundreds in the Bay Area. If you’d rather donate to the library, take your books to the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. It’s a tax write-off!

8. Take care of a neighbor’s pet at PAWS. For some people, especially those who are chronically ill, frail, and isolated by disease or age, animal companionship is crucial to their health and well-being. Volunteer with PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support) to get paired one-on-one with members of the community (who may be LGBT seniors or people living with HIV, Hepatitis C, or cancer) who need help caring for their pet. Ideal for animal lovers with no-pet rental agreements!

9. Attend neighborhood meetings. The best way to find out about what’s up in your neighborhood is to attend public meetings organized each month by your local community association. Here’s a good place to start.

10. Wave to tourists when they pass you on cable cars or tour buses. They freakin’ love that.

Along your route

11. Take public transit. It’s the best way to get to know your city. Learn Muni and BART routes along your most-traveled roads and hop on. And you’d be surprised how convenient the cable cars and F lines are.

12. Put foot to pedal. San Francisco is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. Here’s a beginner’s guide to help you get started.

13. Be kind to the homeless. It’s going to take great leaps and bounds from the city to solve its chronic homeless problem. In the meantime, there are small things that you can do to empower those who need help. For starters, remember that people become homeless for a number of reasons—so leave the stereotyping or judgmental attitudes behind.

14. Document your city. One of the best ways to get to know the city is to shooting photos. Better yet, post them on Instagram. You will discover thousands of photographers also share your love of the city’s many neighborhoods. It’s a great way of take a closer look at your hood and getting to know your neighbors. Just don’t forget to geotag.

15. Be a conscientious pedestrian. From moving over to the right when using your phone to helping fellow pedestrians with strollers, there are a lot of ways to improve your two-foot mode of transportation around town. Because it’s 2018 and there’s no excuse for blocking a sidewalk. Here’s a pedestrian etiquette guide to help sharpen your two-step game.

In your community

16. Say hello to people/ask people how they’re doing. San Francisco can feel like a big small town, and its residents know it. If you’re walking around a neighborhood, or stopping into a local store, say, “Hello.” Stop being rude to service industry workers. Do not order with your phone attached to your ear. It’s dehumanizing. Be friendly.

17. Be a poll worker on election day. Looking for a way to up your voting game? Become a poll worker. It takes roughly 3,000 workers on election day to bets all the ballots processed. And with this upcoming June election being a crucial one, the city could use your help. (Psst, you will also get a $195 stipend.)

18. Fight hunger in the community. The uptick in foodie trends and prices have made nourishment seem like a privilege for the lucky and well-to-do. Not so. People are still starving in the city. Get involved with groups like San Francisco Food Bank, GLIDE Church, and Project Open Hand to make sure everyone in the community has food on the table.

19. Volunteer with the San Francisco Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs. The department’s Pathways to Citizenship Initiative program always needs volunteers, interpreters, and legal professionals to assist with their bi-monthly naturalization workshops.

20. Get off Nextdoor. Beginning with good intentions, Nextdoor has turned into a cesspool of racism and bigotry for a lot of San Francisco residents.

With a group

21. Hook up with the Friends of the Urban Forest. See how you can help add foliage to San Francisco’s streets with this choice nonprofit. They organize everything from neighborhood tree plantings to sidewalk landscaping.

22. Dedicate your time to volunteering at one of the two Friends of the San Francisco Public Library bookstores. All proceeds benefit the public library system in San Francisco.

23. Host a letter-writing party. Written letters get more traction than email or @’ing your local lawmaker. If there’s an issue you feel strongly about, it’s more than likely you’re not the only one, and a letter-writing party is a great way to organize your community for a positive cause. Best of all, you can add a few bottles of wine and turn it into a real party.

24. Volunteer at Animal Care and Control. ACC receives roughly 10,000 animals every year and rely on volunteers to help out. These pets don’t get the luxe treatment found at nearly SF SPCA, so they could use all the love they deserve.

25. Show up. When people come together—especially in times of great need—they can do amazing things. This was especially true during the AIDS crisis and of the moments following the Loma Prieta earthquake. Go to protests. Attend rallies. Fight for others’ rights. Relish the fact that you live in a city that, in one way or another, however dim it seems at times, seeks for the betterment of all humans."
classideas  sanfrancisco  civics  community  activism  engagement  pedestrians  2018  etiquette  publictransit  transportation  bikes  biking  nextdoor  volunteering  animals  pets  nature  trees  protests  friendliness  elections  neighborhoods  environment  composting  recycling 
january 2018 by robertogreco
I’m Still Here: A Conversation with Agnès Varda - From the Current - The Criterion Collection
"At eighty-eight years old, Agnès Varda is still blossoming as an artist. Long known primarily as a filmmaker, a vocation she took up more than half a century ago, the French iconoclast is now in what she gleefully describes as her “third life,” a period in which her photography, video installation, and sculpture have finally gained international recognition. Last month, Varda visited New York for a revelatory new show at Blum & Poe gallery that spans over sixty years of her creative expression. The works on view highlight both her aesthetic versatility and her affinity for excavating the past to breathe new life into the present.

While in town for the opening of the exhibition, Varda visited us at Criterion for lunch and chatted about how her gallery art exists in the context of her career.

Q: Featured in the exhibition is a series of photographs that you first displayed in your courtyard over fifty years ago. What was your original experience of showing them like?

A: I made these photographs in 1953 and 1954 and printed them myself in my lab. At that time, I had done fifty, seventy—I don’t remember how many images—and I glued them to a woodlike material. I presented them in my courtyard, hanging them on the walls and the shutters. I was impressed to see them on a clean wall in a beautiful gallery in New York, when originally they were outside for two weeks, whatever the weather. Back then, I didn’t know anybody, and I didn’t ask any papers or journalists to come. I put up papers at the grocery and bakery on the two or three streets around me. People in my neighborhood came to visit, and some were name artists, like Brassaï, who lived next door. Now, fifty years later, the photographs are on a gallery wall and they’re called “vintages”—valuable things—and I feel very odd about that.

Q: Can you tell me about some of the other works on view?

A: Blum & Poe asked that the exhibition span from my early works in 1953 to what I’ve done in the last ten years. In the time in between, I have been inventing other ways of sharing images and sound in cinema, and I went from being an old filmmaker to a young visual artist. I especially love the triptych, a form of art used in sixteenth-century Flemish paintings. I try to bring together three images at the same time. In cinema, when someone goes out of frame, you don’t know where that person has gone. I always try to think about this when I see an image; my imagination is bigger than the screen. In my own triptychs, surrounding the central image, I like to be able to open side panels of what would have been off-screen.

I did something similar with a photo I took in Marseille in 1956. I was sent to do documentary images of a Le Corbusier building for a magazine, and I went to the terrace and took a snapshot. Every snapshot questions who these people are who happen to be there at that time: Did they know each other? Did they come here together? This inspired a short screenplay I wrote and shot years later, Les gens de la terrasse (2007). I took people I met, who weren’t even actors, and my friend, a set designer, built a wall like the terrace in the photo. Then I asked the people to act out the screenplay as if they were two families having a meeting. Maybe in real life these people didn’t know each other, but I made the screenplay work. In the gallery, on the same wall, the still image is near the video, at the same size.

Q: What is the inspiration behind the maquettes, which are miniature re-creations of larger shacks you’ve built using film stock?

A: I’m very into gleaners, recycling things. And as you know, film screenings have changed so much that now they no longer need film prints—they have DCP. And people watch films on little computers and even on smartphones, which I feel sad about. I feel sorry for all these cans full of 35 mm prints, which inspired me to build shacks out of real film stock. I made one with The Creatures and one with Lions Love (. . . and Lies). It’s funny to think about these films becoming shacks and transparent walls. People can enter and look at the walls and recognize the images. I was careful to put parts of Catherine Deneuve and Michel Piccoli at a good height, so people could recognize them. We all love shacks; as kids, we would make them with fabric in the woods, so it’s like an old childish desire to make them out of leftover abandoned prints. The gallery presents the miniatures, which I made by reshooting the films in Super 8.

Q: You seem to be creating a dialogue with the past, reimagining your own installations and photographs. Is this about reclaiming memory for you?

A: My point is not to remember but to revive the past, to make it now. My favorite landscape is the seaside, which I captured in a piece that mixes photography, film, and sand [Bord de mer]. I try to reinvent the photos I’ve taken, turn them into triptychs. The gallery also has three self-portraits: one from when I was twenty, one from when I was forty, and one from when I was eighty. It’s like me saying I’m still here. They show my long life as an artist.

I was mostly doing photography in my first life, then mostly making films in my second life, and now I’m mostly making installations—though I just completed a documentary with the artist JR, so I haven’t completely left filmmaking. An audience in a theater is different from the audience coming into a museum or a gallery. I had a big, big exhibition in Paris at the Fondation Cartier, and I also had one where I was born in a neighborhood in Brussels called Ixelles. I’m very happy that people want to show my stuff. It’s an extension of my sides, my arms, my body.

Q: How is your non-film visual art informed by your fifty-year career as a filmmaker?

A: I like to reconcile silver prints with digital, the past with the present. Sometimes I make my work with 35 mm negatives and video, mixing black-and-white and color, still images and movement. At the end of my life, I don’t want to say cinema is against video. I want to use all of these things and play with them and keep my wish to touch people. Not to make them cry, but to touch their sensibility. I’m putting together elements that touch your memory of your own life. I want people to get back to themselves; I don’t want to impose anything.

Q: How do you feel looking back on those photographs from your courtyard?

A: I feel old; I’ve learned a lot, suffered a lot, enjoyed a lot. But I think I’m blessed in the last part of my life to get so much understanding and so much love for my work. I think I’m spoiled, in a way, because I could just be home waiting for my children to visit me and watching TV and sleeping half the time. I’m almost eighty-nine, and I have an incredible, exciting life, so I feel very lucky. I’m most touched when I meet people in the streets who say, “Thank you, you gave me a lot of happiness.” More than when they say “Bravo.” I think it’s more touching to get a “Thank you,” no?"
agnèsvarda  hillaryweston  2017  film  filmmaking  learning  photography  1953  1954  recycling  smartphones  super8  memory  history  jr 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Darning Sampler | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
"When we talk about sustainability, why don’t we talk about mending?

The Netherlands-based Platform 21=Repairing project and its offshoot, Repair Cafés, do just that. Platform 21=Repairing published a manifesto extolling the benefits of mending, and the Repair Cafés bring together skilled tinkerers and those with items in need of repair together in a free social space over tea and coffee. Both of these initiatives engage the community, promote the sharing of hand skills, and resurrect a culture of caring enough to repair.

This darning sampler is also Dutch and was made in 1735 by a girl of about 12. She was confronted with a piece of fabric with 17 square-cut holes and with all four corners cut away. In the center and lower right corner she carefully darned the missing bits back into place and the rest she repaired with needle weaving (what you might call re-weaving if you were at the dry cleaners with a hole in your favorite wool pants). Each hole is filled in, thread by thread, with a different woven pattern to demonstrate the girl’s skill at repairing weave structures found in common household and clothing textiles such as herringbone, birds-eye twill, etc. Bright colors were originally selected to make it easier for the instructor to check for accuracy, but also contribute to a wonderfully fresh and modern overall effect.

While the textile industry is striving along with other industries to create fabrics from recycled, rapidly renewable or organic materials, the only truly sustainable option is to consume less. This sampler shows a reverence for the humble everyday objects that fill our homes (such as napkins, dishtowels, jeans, etc.) that we cannot afford not to emulate."

[Also here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BKmn7ktj6T2/ ]
cooper-hewitt  sustainability  via:litherland  clothing  fashion  textiles  fabrics  reuse  mending  glvo  repair  repairing  slow  recycling  platform21  darning  susanbrown  consumption 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Reclaiming Paper and Textiles | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
"Newsworthy is a wallpaper made of recycled newspaper and nylon filament. It is designed by New York-based textile designer Lori Weitzner and is woven in India on traditional handlooms using the coiled newsprint for the weft and nylon filaments as the warp. After the paper is woven, it is shipped back to the United States where it is paper backed to facilitate being pasted to the wall. The weaving process is handled by Xylem Papercraft, a design studio in Noida outside of Delhi, India, that manufactures and exports handmade paper for stationery products distributed globally. The company won the UNESCO seal of Excellence in 2006 for its innovative and sustainable approach, working mostly with paper waste and other reclaimed materials.

Xylem has also produced the one-of-a-kind covers of the newly published book Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse. In the spirit of the book’s content dedicated to recovering textile waste, the covers are done of hand block-printing textile padding cloths. Traditionally hand block-printing is made on a padded table covered with a muslin backing cloth called achada in Indian. With each impression, ink is deposited on the textile, but also bleeds through the padded surface below. Over time, fragments of a variety of patterns and colors accumulate on the backing cloth, which must be changed every few days. These discarded achada were used for the cover of Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse."
fashion  textiles  cooper-hewitt  recycling  glvo  loriweitzer  delhi  india  xylem  design  achada 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Scraps Stories | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
"Welcome to the blog series Scraps Stories, where we explore sustainable textiles and fashion in relation to the Cooper Hewitt exhibition Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse.

The exhibition and catalog present three designers’ approaches to addressing the issue of pre-consumer textile waste. The blog will broaden the discussion, exploring current concerns over the alarming social and environmental impact of fashion and textile production. It will also explore positive steps being made by designers and manufacturers to develop solutions, as well as look at past and present global traditions of repair, reuse, and recycling of textiles and clothing.

Please join this important conversation about the impact of the decisions we make about our clothing.  Comments and information sharing are welcome!"

[posts: http://www.cooperhewitt.org/?s=scraps+stories&count=100 ]
scraps  cooper-hewitt  textiles  2016  design  sustainability  fashion  reuse  waste  recycling  repair  slow 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Life of a Jamdani | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
"Jamdani is a Persian term for the extremely fine handwoven figured muslins made in India and Bangladesh. Thicker cotton threads laid individually into the weft produce the illusion of a suspended pattern on the surface of an almost transparent cloth. Intricate color motifs seem to float on the cloth. Jamdani is generally thought to have derived from jam-daar, a Persian weaving term for floral art in cotton thread, there are other possible sources, including jama, the Bengali word for dress.

The system of production, from dyeing thread to setting up the loom, is determined by the length of jamdani’s most marketable end-product, a sari. Looms are set up with warps eleven meters long, each warp yielding two saris, 5.5 meters in length. The patterns in these two saris will not be repeated again by the weaver.

Producing jamdani is very labor intensive with specialties divided amongst workers by religion, village and especially gender. Pit looms are still used and the original throw shuttle has been replaced by a more mechanical technique using a fly shuttle, which is faster and more efficient, but still depends upon the hand for guidance. The best quality jamdani is produced from locally grown fine cotton and is always woven during the monsoon season when the humid air prevents the fine threads from becoming brittle and breaking. Traditionally the plain weave background was white, off-white or grey, though today, colors are chosen from a vibrant array.

In fall of 2001, Christina Kim, founder of the clothing and accessories line dosa, attended a handloom fair in Ahmedabad, India where she was inspired by the transparency and unusual mix of colors and bold patterns of jamdani fabrics. Working within the eleven-meter format and tied to the idiosyncrasies of the individual weaver, Kim began to use jamdani in her designs for dosa.

Since 2003 she has used 11,000 meters of jamdani. The cloth is shipped to Los Angeles (the headquarters of dosa), where it is cut and sewn into garments. Remnants from this clothing production have been collected from the cutting room to make shopping bags, and since 2007 are inventoried, catalogued, and sorted by size and color to make new running yardage. The scraps for the new fabrics are reassembled in Gujarat, India.

This recycled panel is made of large remnants of plain, pattern-less jamdani, joined to make a four-meter base cloth onto which smaller, patterned scraps are positioned and basted into place. Hand appliqué adds another layer of texture to the patchwork cloth. Representing ideas of sustainability, longevity, and preciousness, Christine Kim’s jamdanis give new life to pieces of cloth."
textiles  design  persia  india  bangladesh  christinakim  jamdani  recycling  appliqué  cloth  longevity  sustainability  preciousness  fabrics  glvo  cooper-hewitt  matildamcquaid 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Artist in Residence Program
"About the Recology Artist in Residence Program
The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco is a unique art and education program that provides Bay Area artists with access to discarded materials, a stipend, and a large studio space at the Recology San Francisco Transfer Station and Recycling Center. By supporting artists who work with recycled materials, Recology hopes to encourage people to conserve natural resources and promote new ways of thinking about art and the environment.

Since 1990, over 100 professional artists and twenty student artists have completed residencies at this one-of-a-kind program and have made art from discarded materials. The studio is located at the San Francisco Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Center (Recology San Francisco), a 47-acre facility that includes the trash transfer station (where trash goes before being sent to landfill), the Household Hazardous Waste Facility, the Organics Annex, the Public Disposal and Recycling Area ("The Dump"), and other recycling areas. The facility, which is located west of Highway 101 near Candlestick Park, also is home to a three-acre sculpture garden containing work by former artists-in-residence.

During their residencies, artists have scavenging privileges and 24-hour access to the company's well-equipped art studio. Artists speak to elementary school classes and adult tour groups about the experience of working with recycled materials. At the conclusion of their residency, Recology hosts a two-day public exhibition and reception for the artists featuring the artwork made during their residency. When the residency ends, artists contribute artwork to the program's permanent collection and these pieces continue to be shown in off-site exhibitions that promote recycling and reuse."
sanfrancisco  residencies  art  via:lizette  recycling  ecology  glvo  recology 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Pressure Mounts to Reform Our Throwaway Clothing Culture by Marc Gunther: Yale Environment 360
"Americans dispose of about 12.8 million tons of textiles annually — 80 pounds for each man, woman, and child. In the U.S. and around the world, a growing number of environmentalists and clothing industry executives say it’s time to end the wasteful clothing culture and begin making new apparel out of old items on a large scale."



"London-based Worn Again began “upcycling” a decade ago by turning textile waste — including discarded McDonald’s uniforms, Virgin Atlantic airplane seats, and prison blankets — into clothes, shoes, and bags. But founder Cyndi Rhoades soon realized that making consistent products out of a variety of materials was “a very difficult business.” She turned her attention to recycling cotton and polyester, which poses a different set of obstacles. Mechanical recycling of cotton lowers its quality as chopped-up fibers get shorter and less soft, while recycled polyester costs more than new. Harder still is recycling clothes made from a blend of fabrics, which must be separated.

After several years of research, Worn Again joined forces with H&M and the PUMA division of Kering to develop chemical processes that will capture polyester and cotton from old textiles that have been broken down to the molecular level. Says Rhoades: “The holy grail is a process that can separate blended fibers, recapture the raw materials, and reintroduce them into the supply chain at a price competitive with their virgin counterparts.” The technology has been proven in a lab, but Rhoades declined to predict when it will be deployed more widely.


A partnership between Levi Strauss and Seattle-based startup Evrnu recently brought forth the world’s first pair of jeans made of post-consumer cotton waste. A preliminary lifecycle assessment of the product generated encouraging results, according to Paul Dillinger, vice president and head of global product innovation at Levi Strauss. “Cotton cultivation versus Evrnu, we’re looking at a 98 percent reduction in water use,” says Dillinger, noting that cotton is cultivated in places like China, India, and Pakistan that are — or could soon be — water-stressed.

Stacy Flynn, a former Target executive who is the co-founder of Evrnu, says its patented process purifies cotton garment waste, converts it to a pulp, and extrudes it as a clean new fiber that is softer than silk and stronger than cotton. Evrnu expects to announce partnerships with two more retailers soon, one of which wants to make knit shirts out of textile waste. The other will focus on footwear.

Flynn says: “Our goal — and we’re not there yet — is to use no virgin product in the creation of our fiber, and create no waste.” "
clothing  recycling  mending  textiles  us  fashion  environment  sustainability  wste  pollution  upcycling  levis  levistrauss  wornagain  glvo  h&m  puma  nike  patagonnia  zaa  thenorthface  eileenfisher  americaneagle  cotton  fabrics 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Dame Ellen MacArthur: The surprising thing I learned sailing solo around the world | TED Talk | TED.com
"What do you learn when you sail around the world on your own? When solo sailor Ellen MacArthur circled the globe – carrying everything she needed with her – she came back with new insight into the way the world works, as a place of interlocking cycles and finite resources, where the decisions we make today affect what's left for tomorrow. She proposes a bold new way to see the world's economic systems: not as linear, but as circular, where everything comes around."
ellenmacarthur  economics  systems  systemsthinking  2015  sustainability  coal  cycles  recycling 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Making as an Act of Caring — Medium
"My friend Deb Chachra wrote a great piece ‘Why I am not a Maker’ in the Atlantic last year, about the problems with taking on the identity of a “maker”, especially in tech culture, as it assumes intrinsic superiority to other forms of repair, fixing and especially, care-giving. Around the same time, friend and collaborator Tim Maughan wrote about his journeys through Chinese factories, a deeply moving piece on the conditions and lives of the people who actually make most of the things we use. I believe that such critique that challenges the dominant understanding of the ‘maker culture’ and its implications on labour, geopolitics and consumerism is important and urgent.

On a personal front, Deb and Tim’s essays got me thinking a lot about what ‘making’ means to me, and I realised that my understanding of this term is coloured by Jon, whom I live and work with. It got me thinking about the amount of time and energy Jon spends ‘making’ things. It is the sort of making that requires him to find, forage, build or improvise tools and materials in order to make things work.

From quickly knocking up a set of ‘acrylic chisels’ from waste plastic pieces as a bespoke toolset for gilding, to building an enormous drone with his partner-in-crime Jon Flint, resurrecting his grandfather’s cherished lamp, fixing the neighbour’s bike, reconfiguring his mother’s phone, retrofitting his son’s electronic toys, creating a DIY bioreactor, applying ancient Japanese techniques of Kintsugi as a means of adding the history of repair to his bike, and most recently foraging the city for waste in order to build salvaged prototypes that might help mitigate the shock of climate change. But he is not trained as a carpenter, metalsmith, engineer, or product designer. Nor does he go to makerspaces, he probably feels bit overwhelmed by them. He is an artist and then a designer.

Most importantly, Jon is a maker because, over the years he has developed an uninhibited curiosity for found materials and their potential applications to either fix things or build new things in the future. This deep knowledge of materials embodied within the stuff we use in our daily lives, as well as the numerous tools and techniques of making, is critical to understand the impact the things we use have on our environments. It also generates a pattern of lateral and anticipatory thinking, as he constantly scours the environment looking for materials and tools, anticipating their potential (re)use in an entirely different context. It’s an attitude of mending, helping, and, most importantly, caring, that defies mainstream consumerism.

This sort of an attitude is neither new nor unheard of. There are hundreds of thousands of people who would not call themselves makers but would quite easily fit this bill of a ‘maker’. The recently visible projects by such makers include the brilliant Fixperts and Engineering at Home amongst others. These projects and activities are often packaged as ‘fixing’, ‘jugaad, or ‘up-cycling’, and remain on the periphery of the dominant maker-culture discourse. These approaches are often associated with resource stripped individuals and communities (especially Jugaad in India), or some sort of hippie do-gooders. No, they are not just fixing, not just doing some little bodging in the corner, they are mainstream makers. In fact, I would argue that they are more than makers, they are actually care-givers, who steadfastly push back against the dominant philosophy of planned obsolesce.

Maker-carers who may not use 3D printers to make shoes or dresses, but instead embody making as a way of life. They are quietly shaping the ethos and values of a 21st century maker — adaptive, crafty, anticipatory makers who care deeply about the people and environment around them. And this is the sort of making-as-caring that we need much more of. As we head towards increasingly precarious political, social and environmental crisis, we will all need to nurture the capacity to think through materials and the systems that these materials manifest within, so we can find the means to restore, revive, resurrect, rewire, and reimagine the physical world of consumption we are drowning in. Obviously this would mean we will buy less things, but it also means that we will know what we buy and mostly importantly have the skills to adapt and re-appropriate materials and tools for uncertain conditions.

If we are going to idolise makers and create large-scale foundries, incubators and educational programs to inculcate and embrace the love for making, then lets nourish this idea of making as care-giving too, and ensure that the ‘maker-culture’ we build is diverse and inclusive. And in doing so, encourage a relentless inquisitiveness, integrity, and pliancy that it can bring for us, those around us and the environments we live in."
anabjain  jonardern  making  care  caring  caregiving  repair  maintenance  2016  adaptivity  resourcefulness  sfsh  ingenuity  jugaad  consumerism  debchachra  timmanaugh  technology  climatechange  consumption  labor  geopolitics  reuse  recycling  superflux  jonflint  art  design  makers  openstudioproject  lcproject  repairing  mending  fixing  fixperts  engineeringathome  upcycling  makerculture  caitrinlynch  sarahendren  kintsugi 
july 2016 by robertogreco
On the Political Dimensions of Solarpunk — Medium
[via: http://solarpunks.tumblr.com/post/131978924858/dont-ask-permission-from-a-state-beholden-to]

"Don’t ask permission from a state beholden to oligarchs, and definitely don’t expect those oligarchs to do any of this for you. Guerilla gardening is the model, but look further. Guerilla solar panel installation. Guerilla water treatment facility restoration. Guerilla magnificent temple to the human spirit construction. Guerilla carbon sequestration megastructure creation.

Figure out what a community needs to be prosperous, peaceful and sustainable in as long a term as you can wrap your head around, and start building whatever piece is most in reach before the absent state notices. Doing so just might create pockets of more effective, horizontal politics. As the state wanes, these pockets can grow in size and influence, creating a better world even if some government claims the authority of law and holds a monopoly on violence.

Now, political choices got us into this mess, and political choices could get us out. I for one argue for a comprehensive set of reforms that were inspired by the discussions held around the world during Occupy: a global debt jubilee to free both countries and individuals from debts that impoverish and enslave them; a tax on extreme wealth to control inequality and rein in the power of oligarchs; a guaranteed basic income to provide for the poor, the infirm and those more useful as caregivers, artists and thinkers than employees of businesses; a dramatic reduction in the workweek to slow down unsustainable levels of economic expansion and to eliminate the countless “bullshit jobs” that serve no function but to bore those who hold them; the regulation or even abolition of usury (once considered as great a sin as slavery), so that investments in sustainable infrastructure that will pay off in cathedral time are not hampered by interest payments that will eventually exceed principal."



"As I argued in my discussion of cities, solarpunk should be careful not to idealize either the gothic high tech or the favela chic. No matter how many High Line-style parks or vertical farms they build, Manhattan will be useless if it is only filled with the luxury condos of absentee financiers. And favelas may be full of jugaad-innovation and dense with diverse entrepreneurialism, but they feature a fatal flaw: no fire codes. Slums are fascinating from a design perspective right up until they burn down or wash away. In a world of more extreme weather, disasters will strike down favelas before their recycling-centric, low-carbon lifestyles can save the climate.

Instead, I like the idea of focusing on large-scale infrastructure projects that will provide value for communities into the long term. A seed bank; a hyper-dense vertical permaculture farm engineered for carbon fixing; a massive, low-maintenance desalination system; a space elevator. These projects could themselves be the organizing principle around which unique solarpunk communities are organized."



"I’ve seen many people describe solarpunk as optimistic. My last suggestion is this: don’t be optimistic, be hopeful. As Vaclav Havel explained: “Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” Havel, an artist turned activist turned statesman who led his nation out of a time of crisis, in many ways embodies the transformational power of ideas and aesthetics — and thus the potential of a movement like solarpunk to do real good in the world.

This essay has been long, and it has discussed many troubling situations and possibilities. I wrote these things because I think it is important for any cohesive body of political thought to contrast what it wants with what it opposes: for transparency and privacy, against surveillance and deception; for conservation and abundance, against hoarding and exploitation; for neighborhoods and collaboratives, against gangs and police.

I also wrote this because I believe the enormity of our problems doesn’t have to paralyze us. Quite the opposite: seeing the world as it is is vital if you are going to figure out how it could be. Now is the moment to be galvanized, to know that we are on to something, and to make acting on these ideas a real part of our lives."
solarpunk  2015  andrewdanahudson  politics  favelachic  gothichightech  recycling  diy  optimism  hopefulness  scale  activism  jugaad  infrastructure  organization  horizontality  sustainability  solar  water  climatechange  gardening  hope  refugees  longnow  longnowfoundation  williamgibson  madmax  paolobacigalupi  bladerunner  overconsumption  overpopulation  thecomingrevolution  cities  urban  urbanism  brucesterling  drought  blackswans 
october 2015 by robertogreco
The Next Black - A film about the Future of Clothing - YouTube
"The Next Black' is a documentary film that explores the future of clothing. Watch as we meet with some of the most innovative companies on the planet to get their opinion on clothing and its future, including: heroes of sustainability, Patagonia; tech-clothing giants, Studio XO; sportswear icon, adidas; and Biocouture, a consultancy exploring living organisms to grow clothing and accessories.

Learn more about the project: http://www.aeg-home.com/thenextblack

Join the discussion on Facebook, Twitter and on the hashtag #thenextblack

https://www.facebook.com/pages/AEG-Global/586037381449750
https://twitter.com/aeg_global "

[See also:
http://www.studio-xo.com/
http://www.biocouture.co.uk/
http://www.patagonia.com/us/worn-wear
https://www.ifixit.com/Patagonia
http://www.patagonia.com/us/worn-wear-repairs
http://www.patagonia.com/email/11/112811.html
http://www.patagonia.com/us/patagonia.go?assetid=106223
http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/ad-day-patagonia-136745
https://www.patagonia.com/us/patagonia.go?assetid=2388
http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2013-11-25/patagonias-confusing-and-effective-campaign-to-grudgingly-sell-stuff ]
design  documentary  fashion  video  clothes  clothing  glvo  reuse  mending  repair  materials  textiles  studioxo  biocouture  adidas  patagonia  recycling  waste  consumerism  consumption  capitalism  biology  wearable  wearables  suzannelee  technology  nancytilbury  suzanne  slow  slowfashion  fastfashion  dyes  dying  industry  manufacturing  globalization  environment  rickridgeway  uniformproject  customization  ifixit  diy  alteration  resuse  repairing 
july 2015 by robertogreco
1 | Adidas Knit These Sneakers Entirely From Ocean Plastic Trash | Co.Exist | ideas + impact
"As engineers work to find new ways to pull some of the trillions of pieces of plastic trash out of the ocean, companies are coming up with new uses for it. Like soap bottles, surfboards, and now shoes: Adidas just released a new prototype for a sneaker woven entirely out of ocean trash.

The sample shoe was made from illegal gill nets dredged up from the ocean by the nonprofit Sea Shepherd. "It's a fishing net that was spanning the bottom of the sea like a wall, and killing pretty much every fish passing by," says Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans, a new Adidas-supported nonprofit that is helping the company develop a larger strategy for fighting ocean waste. "They confiscated this net, and we're bringing it back to life."

Adidas is knitting the shoe using the same innovative technology they use to create Primeknit shoes with zero waste. "Knitting in general eliminates waste, because you don't have to cut out the patterns like on traditional footwear," says Eric Liedtke, Adidas Group executive board member of global brands. "We use what we need for the shoe and waste nothing."

For now, they'll turn to sources like fishing nets and easier-to-reach beach trash for their material source; Liedtke says they have no worries about finding enough to supply the line of shoes when it launches later this year. They won't be using the tiny fragments of plastic that swirl, soup-like, in places like the Pacific Gyre, though that could change as new technology becomes available. "If you want to take it out of the ocean, you can trawl for days and days and get a tiny spoonful of plastic," Gutsch says. "At this point we didn't see a feasible technology. What we believe now is that you can instead avoid the microplastic that's coming into the system."

The bigger aim of the program is not just to recycle plastic into shoes, but to help avoid plastic waste in the first place. Parley for the Oceans is working on new technology both to intercept plastic trash—and to change plastic itself.

"We're going to end ocean plastic pollution only if we're going to reinvent the material," says Gutsch. "We need a plastic that is not the current plastic—it's a design failure. It causes a lot of problems. Plastic doesn't belong in nature, it doesn't belong in the belly of a fish, it doesn't belong out there. The ultimate solution is to cut into this ongoing stream of material that never dies, is to reinvent plastic." Because without a reinvention, the plastic still exists in your shoe, which, presumably, you'll throw out again at some point, putting the plastic back into the system—and potentially the ocean.

A green chemist on the organization's staff is beginning development of a plastic alternative that could dissolve harmlessly if it was thrown out into nature. "That's the ultimate vision, but it's a moonshot," he says. "Right now it's far away. So we do what we can. That means we're going out there and cleaning up as much as we can. We're saving life. Every piece of plastic that we collect, every single piece, can save a bird, a turtle, even a whale."

As Adidas adapts the material, it may eventually start to include it in other products. "We don't have to limit ourselves," says Lietke. "We can put this in T-shirts, we can put this in shorts, we can put this in all kinds of stuff.""
materials  glvo  recycling  adidas  knitting  fishingnets  oceans 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Myth of the Garbage Patch – The New Inquiry
"The massive plastic trash gyre isn’t an island, it’s the disaster of capital circling the globe on ocean currents"



"Missing from that myth is a key series of related facts. That the debris breaks down into microscopic pieces. That the garbage actually constitutes more of a “plastic soup” than any kind of patch or island, and that its pollutants are, as a result, widely dispersed. That what breaks down doesn’t remain solely in the Garbage Patch; that anywhere ocean currents converge is this toxic soup. That this soup is suffused with Bisphenol A, pthalates, polychlorinated biphenyls, persistent organic pollutants, and other remainders from discarded commodities that contribute directly to the ocean acidification killing fragile ecosystems from the coral-based Great Barrier Reef off of Australia to Inuit territories in the Arctic. Far from a solid, particulate island, the Garbage Patch is, along with the rest of the ocean’s water, in constant motion. And it doesn’t necessarily stay at surface. In 2010 a team of ecologists, studying ocean garbage patches, observed that the plastic in them accounted for only a small portion of the plastic that has been produced since World War II. “[W]e don’t know what this plastic is doing,” said marine biologist Andres Cozar Cabañas, who worked on the team, adding only that it “is somewhere — in the ocean life, in the depths.”"



"Green capitalism is still capitalism, fundamentally unsustainable and exploitative, and while the world’s most privileged consumers insulate themselves, its devastating ecological effects hit poor communities living in the world’s severest locations especially hard. While Americans and Europeans with money can fill their diets with certified “ethical” fish, this isn’t really an option for native people in the circumpolar North—including the Inuit of Greenland and Canada, the Aleuts, Yup’ik, and Inupiat of Alaska, the Chukchi and other tribes of Siberia, or the Saami of Scandinavia and western Russia—whose cultures as well as diets depend on the ocean. Living, working, and fishing at the edge of glacial sheets, these people can’t really choose not to eat fish with plastic embedded in their scales, or the exorbitant concentrations of pollutants in the larger marine mammals high up in the food web—the ringed seals, walruses, narwhals, and beluga whales—that are both dietary staples and sources of clothing and building materials. Because of the cold and low Northern sunlight, pollutants break down especially slowly – over the course of decades or even centuries, according to Marla Cone, author of Silent Snow: The Slow Poisoning of the Arctic. Cone has also noted that even in the 80s Arctic mothers had seven times more PCBs in their milk than their counterparts in Canadian cities.

“At the periphery of the global capitalist system,” writes Chris Chen in “The Limit Point of Capitalist Inequality,” “capital now renews ‘race’ by creating vast superfluous…populations from the…descendants of the enslaved and colonised.” It’s no accident that plastic pollutants pool in the communities that capitalism has historically treated—and continues to treat—as refuse. Somewhere in that convergence—in the attitude that everything that gets thrown away stays far away—lies the second myth of the Garbage Patch.

“It’s been the end of the world for somebody all along,” says writer, spoken-word artist, and indigenous academic Leanne Simpson. Recent studies show that marine pollution and ocean acidification, once thought a separate if parallel disaster to climate change, are in fact contributing to global climate disruption, suggesting that, ecologically speaking, there is no such thing as somebody else’s end of the world. Although the idea of the Garbage Patch is entrenched in the collective imagination, we can use language to help dislodge it. We can begin this process by rejecting the myths of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. We must stop thinking and talking in terms of an island that captures everything we throw away in a faraway fever dream of plastic bags and marine birds, and begin to map out the deeply interconnected web of plants, animals, humans, and non-living things in which we actually exist. We must recognize that capitalism depends on us not seeing this web and that capitalism will never fix marine pollution or climate change. As long as, like Andres Cozar Cabañas’ missing plastic, there are lives whose fates remain distant and unaccounted for, everybody’s fates are at risk."
environment  garbage  plastic  recycling  oceans  capitalism  green  greencapitalism  2015  mayaweeks  chrischen  globalwarming  climatechange  greatpacificgarbagepatch  andrescozarcanañas 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Minato-ku Bicycle Recycling Department | VSCO GRID | VSCO Journal™
"Lee Basford is a graphic designer, artist, and photographer who in the past year has experienced monumental changes, including a move from England to Tokyo, Japan, to marry his sweetheart. Before relocating, Lee worked as an art director and designer at Fluid. Now, working independently under the studio name Humankind, Lee is currently designing and art directing for clients globally. He also recently began writing and photographing for Papersky magazine in Japan and Nowhere Fast, an online bicycle magazine, in England. With an extensive portfolio under his belt, including work done for companies such as Sony, UNIQLO, Nike, Capcom, EMI, and Sega, Lee has had the honor of seeing his work featured in numerous books and design journals.

Lee’s latest article for Nowhere Fast highlighted a bicycle recycling shop in Tokyo, Japan. “If you lock your bike in the wrong place for too long in any Japanese city, you are probably going to get a ticket slapped on it, informing you that it will be removed at a later date. For the unfortunate, once they’re taken, any unclaimed bicycles will only be kept for a limited time before being recycled or worse, destroyed. About 85% of Japanese own bikes; so there’s a lot of them around and a constant supply for the bike police.”

Referred by a friend, Lee went to the Minato-ku Bicycle Recycling Department in search of an economically priced bicycle for his own daily use. Comprised of a team of three bike lovers and led by Tomita-san, who started the project 14 years ago, this small but highly resourceful shop has recycled over 4,000 bikes to date. These men take pride in the fact that they never buy anything new, using only recycled parts to keep their program self-sufficient. With two rooms stacked and sorted in every direction with seat posts, saddles, wheels, frames, brake cables, and more, no space is left unused in this small workspace. Tools are organized neatly and efficiently, and tiny parts are meticulously placed in containers and buckets. Working hard to strip down and rebuild bikes, the team pieces together around 100 bikes each month that are then sold at a discounted price on the second Sunday of every month. To read more about the project, check out Lee’s complete article.

All of images below were processed using VSCO Film®. View more of Lee's photography on his VSCO Grid™."
bikes  biking  tokyo  japan  repait  vsco  photography  2013  leebasford  recycling 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Goddess of the Rainbow — My brain has been buzzing with ‘How did Solarpunk...
"My brain has been buzzing with ‘How did Solarpunk come to be?’ I think it started in two ways, with the people who had loads of money and the people who had none.

The poor started to live in a more sustainable way because it’s cheaper. They insulated their homes, used passive energy practices and collected solar energy because the power company was extortionate, collected rain-water and used grey-water because the city water was metered and the utility company was charging for every drop, they grew food because produce at the supermarket was unaffordable. Recycling, re-purposing, re-using are all cheaper then buying brand new. An earthship home can be built using trash which they can get for free and build themselves with the help of friends and family. Getting together with your neighbors and helping each other means you can save on childcare, medical care (community clinics and home remedies), education (workshops, sharing knowledge and informal apprenticeships), you can swap good and services instead of paying for them. It’s a much cheaper way of living, but doing it all low-tech and on a shoestring means that there’s a lot of drudgery involved and while they have become more resource rich they have become time-poor.

The rich started to live in a more sustainable way because they could just hand over the cash and then feel good about themselves. There’s exciting, cutting edge, sustainable tech being created but it’s beyond the price range of the poor and even the middle class. The rich start living in sustainable, multi-use, skyscrapers with aquaponic farms and sky gardens. They fill their homes with furniture hand crafted from plantation timber (carbon credits, to offset the mileage of import, built into the price), lovely antiques (hey that’s re-using) and brand new items made with 90% recycled materials. They fork over more and more money to the people inventing, producing and maintaining sustainable tech. The oil barons fall and sustainability tzars rise. But they’re disconnected from their tech, they didn’t make it, so when things break down they either have to pay ever greater amounts to the tzars to fix it or they have to replace it which isn’t really sustainable at all. And they’re disconnected from each other, not needing to go out because their homes produce everything they need and social media brings the world to them.

This is where the two classes look to each other. The poor see that some of that tech could reduce their drudgery and give them leisure time. The rich see that the poor are inventive, resourceful and can find ways to repair or work around anything; they have close-knit communities who share and problem-solve to make everyone’s lives better. So trade begins, tech for ideas. It starts with just the rich hiring the poor to fix thing but it grows into so much more. The rich give the poor the means to free up their time and the poor teach the rich how to live closer to their resources and get their hand dirty. This mixing is especially popular with the young. Young people have always loved new ideas and breaking social barriers, and they lead the charge in the merging of these two societies. They share music and art and fashion. They look to the past for inspiration and re-invent Art Nouveau - it starts as a fad but is soon embraced by everyone. Community forms, with different groups coming together to solve problems and share ideas. As the young people become adults there is intermarriage and children are born who grow up in both worlds. Then the next generation is born into a world where the divide has all but disappeared, the two societies have merged to a point where you can only see the echoes of how they started.

A vibrant culture of people who live everyday with extremely high tech but who still get their hands in the dirt is realized."

[See also: http://meraina.tumblr.com/post/98140608992/so-ive-had-an-idea ]

[both via: http://oddhack.tumblr.com/post/99066049686 ]
solarpunk  sustainability  2014  technology  class  leisure  artleisure  community  socialmedia  time  energy  repurposing  reuse  recycling  frugality  efficiency  slow  leisurearts 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Alexandra Lange on 3D printers versus the sewing machine
"In March, Slate Magazine's Seth Stevenson provided a public service when he borrowed a Solidoodle 4, pitched as the "accessible", "affordable" 3D printer, and attempted to print a bottle opener from Thingiverse. [http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2014/03/solidoodle_4_testing_the_home_3_d_printer.html ] Results, as they say, vary, but he ended up, after a series of phone calls and false starts, with "a functionless, semi-decorative piece of plastic."

The bumbling encounter with technology is a popular stratagem for Slate, but here it pointed directly to the reason we're not seeing a 3D printer in every den. I've seen those rhino heads, those dinosaur skulls. They do not fill me with delight, but remind me instead of the cheap toys my kids bring home from birthday parties and I throw away in the night. Why bother? How is printing your Triceratops at home more creative, more making, than buying one from a store? In either case, step one is scrolling through pages of online options, pointing and clicking in 2D.

Stevenson concluded that 3D printing was no place for amateurs, but for tinkerers. Those able to work under the hood of the printer: to understand the terms in the manual, to customise or create their own products for Thingiverse. For such tinkerers, neighbourhood printing hubs like Techshop, where subscribers can go to use physical or digital tools, make more sense. Designers taking advantage of 3D printers' capabilities for rapid prototyping and small-batch production have already started farming out the actual printing to places like Shapeways. When we stopped having to fax even weekly, we all got rid of those machines.

But then Stevenson took a turn toward the larger question of craft. He wrote, "Once upon a time, people purchased sewing patterns (like a program from Thingiverse) and yards of fabric (like filament) and they made their own clothes. I wasn't alive back then, but I'm pretty sure the process sucked."

I must be older than Stevenson, because my mother and grandmother sewed clothes for me. My mother, aunt and I have all sewed clothes and quilts for my children. They are not amateurishly constructed. We managed to make them while also holding down full time jobs. And judging from the extremely active online sewing community, the active trade in old machines and patterns on Ebay, and the ease with which one can locate a scan of a thirty-year-old sewing machine manual, the digital age has not turned sewing into a novelty, but spawned a revival of interest. In fact, if 3D printers are truly going to become a consumer good, they have a lot to learn from the sewing machine.

Because Stevenson snidely generalised from his own limited experience, he missed the instructive dialogue between craft and the machine age. Post-industrial sewing is not a freak but a respite. In Evgeny Morozov's recent New Yorker essay on the new makers, he quotes historian Jackson Lears' critique of the Arts & Crafts movement as "a revivifying hobby for the affluent." I'd say middle-class: (mostly) women who aren't seeing what they want, at a price they can afford, in the marketplace.

There’s an appetite for the "refashion," recycling an old dress or an adult T-shirt, and turning it into something new. Once upon a time, the use of flour sacks as fabric prompted grain-sellers to start offering their wares in flowered cotton bags. If some boutique grain company began doing that again, there would be a run on their product. Under the technology radar, there's a community of people sharing free patterns, knowledge and results, without the interpolation of brands, constantly obsolescent machinery, or the self-serving and myth-making rhetoric Morozov finds in Chris Anderson's Makers. There are the answers to the questions "Why bother?" and "How creative?" Rather than sewing being a cautionary tale, 3D printing can't become a consumer good until it learns a few lessons from why we sew now.

Number one: what's not available on the market. If you have a girl child in America, it is often difficult to find reasonably-priced, 100 per cent cotton clothing for her without ruffles, pink or purple, butterflies and hearts. If you go to the boy section, you run into an equally limiting set of colors, navy and army green, and an abundance of sports insignia. A full-skirted dress, a petite skirt, prints for the plus-sized – there are plenty of styles that are not novelties but, when not in fashion, disappear from stores. Online you can find patterns to make any of the above for less than $10, and fabric at the same price per yard. Online you can find step-by-step explanations, with photos, of how to make that pattern. That world of patterns is vast, constantly updated, and historically rich. Yes, sewing your own garment will take some time, but then you will have exactly what you want. That's why women bother.



Second lesson: recycling. Say my mother did actually sew something amateurishly. That's not the end of the story. A mis-printed jet-pack bunny is so much trash (unless I buy a second machine like a Filabot to remelt my filament). A mis-sewn seam can be ripped out and redone. An old dress can be refashioned into a new one. A favorite vintage piece can be copied. Sewing does not create more waste but, potentially, less, and the process of sewing is filled with opportunities for increasing one's skills and doing it over as well as doing it yourself. What are quilts, after all, but a clever way to use every last scrap of precious fabric?

So far, 3D printing's DIY aspects seem more akin to the "magic" of an ant farm, watching growth behind glass. Sewing lets the maker find their own materials, and get involved with every aspect of the process. 3D printing could do this, and there are classes, but even at the Makerbot showroom the primary interaction seemed to be ordering from Thingiverse. My local sewing shop has to teach more women to sew to survive; I don't see the printer makers coming to the same conclusion.

In addition, the machines themselves are constantly becoming junk. It's not unusual for new technology to change quickly. That's the fourth Solidoodle since 2011. Makerbot is on its fifth generation. It is early days for 3D printing, and the machines may eventually stabilise. But the rapid obsolescence suggests a lifecycle closer to that of a mobile phone than of a washing machine, which might also turn consumers off. The sewing machine was considered a lifetime purchase.

Last but not least, sharing. This is the one consumer area where 3D printing approaches sewing's success. From the Free Universal Construction Kit to full-body scans, the idea of open-source, free, and social-media enabled printing has been built-in to the 3D process. Showing off what you made is better when you created it, rather than printed it out. On the sewing blogs, the process pictures are half the fun, and most of the interest. What does it really teach your children when you can get doll house furniture on demand, except a desire for ever-more-instant gratification? For me to believe in 3D printers as a home machine, I'd have to see the digital file equivalent of women in their off-hours, making up patterns as they go along, sharing mistakes, dreaming better dreams. 3D printing feels bottled up, professionalised, too expensive for the experimentation of cut and sew and rip and sew again.

Stevenson wrote, "most people would much rather just get their clothes from a store — already assembled by people employing industrial-level efficiency and a wide variety of materials," and that's true. What Solidoodle and Makerbot and the rest should be looking at is the people who have seen everything in the store and found it wanting."
alexandralange  2014  sewing  3dprinting  makerbots  making  makers  repair  reuse  glvo  sharing  obsolescence  process  howwework  cv  waste  utility  technology  fabrication  alteration  thingiverse  purpose  usefulness  solidoodle  makerbot  recycling  agency  need  necessity  patterns  clothing  wearables  techshop  shapeways  sethstevenson  craft  lcproject  openstudioproject  homeec  repairing 
may 2014 by robertogreco
THE SOURCE | Conversations with DOUG AITKEN [Theaster Gates]
[Alternate link for video: http://www.nytimes.com/video/t-magazine/100000002652911/the-source-theaster-gates.html ]

Gates: "I have this great problem of space. When planners use words like blight and, uh, under-developed, it’s like actually what you’re talking about is available land. It’s just like no one’s really thought about it in those terms."

Aitken: "So tell us about this place that we’re in right now."

Gates: "We call this the archive house. It was just a shell of a building and I had 250, maybe 300 boxes of books in a basement. It really is an amalgam of labor over time that I think has made an amazing reading room."

Aitken: "And this kind of extends outside where I see a garden."

Gates: "I’m hoping that some of that willingness to grow things from very little will, will become hallmark to how we do things here on the block."

Aitken: "A lot of your palette and materials really is, you know, stuff that you find around you–these two by fours, this lumber, these bricks, it’s these, uh, trees have just been milled down into bark that you can put in your kiln."

Gates: "Yeah we talk about like how should these materials work? Like should we plane them, should we mill them? Should, should we sand them? And it’s not so much a story about like recycling this or that. But sometimes it’s just about what happens when you really care for the things that are in your life."

Aitken: "And when I see an exhibition of yours, you know, there’s a white wall, it’s a pristine space. It’s a gallery, it’s a museum. It’s very interesting to kind of see the isolation of the minimalism and like see this kind of like maximal landscape become very minimal."

Gates: "As artists, we’re always given the opportunity or we make the opportunity to say what a thing means. So let’s assume that the double cross in the atrium of the MCA is made from the same materials as this building right here. They function very differently in the world. Like say double cross will live in museums my–is my hope.

Gates: "At the same time, 6901, the building across the street where the guts of that building had in fact made double cross, that it gets to live here, a most excellent building that continues to function for our neighborhood. And I love that the same materials could do either work. It could either let you sit down and watch a good film or it, can help you imagine the sacredness."

Aitken: "So I, I want to come back to something else which I’m super curious about–performance."

Gates: "Yeah."

Aitken: "Yeah. Something's brewing inside."

Gates: "So the monks, which is a combination of great jazz musicians, some gospel players, some great classically trained and soul singers mashed up to, to reflect on the history of black music and to also slow that down so that instead of the whole song we would concentrate on a phrase and then in mantra style work it out."

Gates: "So if I’m thinking about clay and I’m making a pot but it–that’s one thing–but if I sang, I was born with clay in my veins, that turns into I was born with clay–you know, and it, and it’s like let’s just stay there. Let’s just stay there, let’s stay there all night, you know?

Gates: "And then I, I look at them, I’m not–I’m not an object. And they do something and it makes me do something else that makes them do something else. That’s a freaking good connection."
theastergates  dougaitken  2014  urbanism  urban  blight  development  space  cities  archives  art  glvo  houses  collections  reuse  recycling  caring  objects  materials  performance  music  jazz  via:soulellis  place  process  patterns  archivehouse 
january 2014 by robertogreco
MoMA PS1: YAP: Holding Pattern by Interboro Partners
"The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 announce Interboro Partners of Brooklyn, NY, as the winner of the 12th annual Young Architects Program in New York.

Interboro Partners' Holding Pattern brings an eclectic collection of objects including benches, mirrors, ping-pong tables, and floodlights, all disposed under a very elegant and taut canopy of rope strung from MoMA PS1's wall to the parapet across the courtyard. Creating an unobstructed space, the design incorporates for the first time the entire space of MoMA PS1's courtyard under a single grand structure, while creating an environment focusing on the audience as much as the Warm Up performance. A key component of the theme is recycling; objects in the space will be donated to the community at the conclusion of the summer. The designers met with local businesses and organizations including a taxi cab company, senior and day care centers, high schools, settlement houses, the local YMCA, library, and a greenmarket to determine what components of their installation could be used by those organizations following the Warm Up summer music series. Incorporating objects that can subsequently be used by these organizations is a means of strengthening MoMA PS1's ties to the local Long Island City community."

Again: "objects in the space will be donated to the community at the conclusion of the summer."

[See also: http://www.interboropartners.net/2012/holding-pattern-at-moma-ps1/
http://www.designboom.com/architecture/interboro-partners-holding-pattern-for-moma-ps1-now-complete/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKbC8oLdtTo and
http://www.moma.org/explore/inside_out/2012/01/12/checking-in-on-holding-pattern ]
moma  ps1  participatoryart  socialpracticeart  design  ncmideas  participation  furniture  interboropartners  art  audience  performance  recycling  community  architecture  openstudioproject 
june 2013 by robertogreco
On the Virtues of Preexisting Material | Contents Magazine
"What I want to do is try to explain why making work with preexisting materials is more interesting than making work with materials that seem newer. And at the same time, I want to look critically at some ways we think, and that I have thought, about appropriation. I’ll begin with my manifesto, which goes like this:

1. Why add to the population of orphaned works?
2. Don’t presume that new work improves on old
3. Honor our ancestors by recycling their wisdom
4. The ideology of originality is arrogant and wasteful
5. Dregs are the sweetest drink
6. And leftovers were spared for a reason
7. Actors don’t get a fair shake the first time around, let’s give them another
8. The pleasure of recognition warms us on cold nights and cools us in hot summers
9. We approach the future by typically roundabout means
10. We hope the future is listening, and the past hopes we are too
11. What’s gone is irretrievable, but might also predict the future
12. Access to what’s already happened is cheaper than access to what’s happening now
13. Archives are justified by use
14. Make a quilt not an advertisement"
rickprelinger  archives  preexistingmaterial  contentsmagazine  2013  manifestos  cv  future  history  wisdom  recognition  culture  buildingblocks  whyreinventthewheel?  quilting  poetry  creativity  remixing  creation  recycling  rediscovery  remixculture 
february 2013 by robertogreco
Unbuilding — Lined & Unlined
[now here: https://linedandunlined.com/archive/unbuilding ]

Here's another something that's too large to unpack in a quote or two or three or more, so just one, then read and view (many images) the rest.

"Unlike the thesis, Antithesis was an optional class. Instead of a constant, year-long process, it was interstitial, happening during a “down time” in the year. We didn’t really have class meetings — instead, I spent my time hanging out in the studio. Everyone loosened up. After thinking intensively about the thesis for 12 weeks, it was time to stop thinking about it — at least, consciously. The goal was not to keep pushing forward on the thesis but to get new projects started in parallel."

[video: https://vimeo.com/63008758 ]
completeness  sourcecode  viewsource  critique  susansontag  webdesign  aestheticpractice  criticalautonomy  canon  andrewblauvelt  billmoggridge  khoivinh  community  communities  livingdocuments  constitution  usconstitution  metaphors  metaphor  borges  telescopictext  joedavis  language  culturalsourcecode  cooper-hewitt  sebchan  github  johngnorman  recycling  interboropartners  kiva  pennandteller  jakedow-smith  pointerpointer  davidmacaulay  stevejobs  tednelson  humanconsciousness  consciousness  literacy  walterong  pipa  sopa  wikipedia  robertrauschenberg  willemdekooning  humor  garfieldminusgarfield  garfield  danwalsh  ruderripps  okfocus  bolognadeclaration  pedagogy  mariamontessori  freeuniversityofbozen-bolzano  openstudioproject  lcproject  tcsnmy  howweteach  cv  anti-hierarchy  hierarchy  autonomy  anti-autonomy  anti-isolation  anti-specialization  avant-garde  vanabbemuseum  charlesesche  understanding  knowing  socialsignaling  anyahindmarch  thinking  making  inquiry  random  informality  informal  interstitial  antithesis  action  non-action  anikaschwarzlose  jona 
november 2012 by robertogreco
raumlabor berlin » officina roma
The OFFICINA ROMA is a villa entirely build out of trash…consist of a sleeping room, a kitchen & a work shop. The plan lacks a living room, a comfort zone, instead there is an empty work shop in the center…is an experimental building practice, build within an one week long workshop with 24 high school students from all over Italy.

The building is composed as a collage: A kitchen entirely build out of old bottles, the sleeping room with walls from used car doors, the workshop using wooden windows & old furniture and the main roof set from old oil barrels & used dry wall profiles.

…radiates an atmosphere of urgency; a turning point…talks about the essential necessity to question our lifestyle, based on individuality, completion (competition), growth & exploitation of natural resourses. Although situated in the very dynamic & exclusive garden of the MAXXI, the design speaks of deadlocks, interdependencies & the need for more fundamental and tougher negotiations over privileges…"
alternativeliving  privilege  glvo  lcproject  openstudios  openstudioproject  education  unschooling  deschooling  sustainability  recycling  roma  rome  italia  italy  popupstudio  popupschools  pop-updesignstudio  pop-ups  design  officinaroma  raumlabor  2012  architecture  from delicious
april 2012 by robertogreco
PRE-Texts § Cultural Agents Initiative
"PRE-Texts© is an instructional program for teachers in schools and after-school centers to adopt and adapt techniques that enhance higher order thinking through hands-on engagement with literature. The program offers units of instruction that invite economically disadvantaged students to explore literature as recyclable material, re-writing classic texts through creative techniques that incorporate visual and performing arts. PRE-Texts© also encourages students to display their work in public performances, art exhibits, and entrepreneurial activities that involve the local community and feature dialogue between established writers and young people. It  is an ever-evolving program, and its underpinnings have been tailored to both a professional development curriculum and an after-school program for a range of students, from elementary to high school."
via:joguldi  literacy  literature  recycling  argentina  bookmaking  classics  performingarts  art  culture  classideas  curriculum  teaching  highschool  tcsnmy  k12  pre-texts  community  entrepreneurship  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Nau : The Thought Kitchen » Blog Archive » Made by Hand
"We recently stumbled upon Etsy’s provocative, short film about H.G. “Skip” Brack and his 42-year quest to single-handedly recycle and restore every tool in Maine.  His goal? To help artisans, craftsmen, welders, mechanics—and anyone else who works with their hands—create beautiful things.

Of course, this got us thinking: what was the last thing we built, not for money or merit, but for the simple satisfaction of knowing we handcrafted something beautiful?"
making  maine  handmade  2011  etsy  diy  craft  glvo  satisfaction  motivation  purpose  skipbrack  hgbrack  recycling  restoration  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
‪Teddy Cruz Presentation‬‏ - YouTube
"We can be the producers of new conceptions of citzenship in the reorganizing of resources and collaborations across jurisdictions and communities…We could be the designers of political process, of alternative economic frameworks."

[via: http://www.diygradschool.com/2010/06/professor-teddy-cruz-ucsd.html ]
teddycruz  cities  citizenship  sandiego  tijuana  watershed  conflict  borders  community  communities  militaryzones  military  environment  infromal  formal  collaboration  2009  housing  crisis  density  sprawl  natural  political  art  architecture  design  urban  urbanization  urbanism  recycling  openendedness  open  vernacular  systems  construction  economics  culture  pacificocean  exchanges  flow  landuse  neweconomies  micropolitics  microeconomies  local  scale  interventions  intervention  communitiesofpractice  crossborder  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
ariane prin: from here for here
"french designer ariane prin has created 'from here for here' as a part of her master's program at the royal college of art. with the aim of supplying drawing tools for students, this project produces pencils sustainably by using waste from various departments of the school: each writing utensil has a center filled with graphite from the glass department, and its body comprised of sawdust from the wood workshop, clay from the ceramic department, and flour from the cafeteria. aligning human activities with environmental principles, this efficient production process makes use of available materials and can be adapted to various contexts.

as prin explains, 'the 'from here for here' project include two main issues:


1. create useful products specific to a site from the waste generated there.


2. the legitimacy of creating new objects by keeping the enjoyment of making without the guilt.'"

[via: http://blog.radandhungry.com/post/7387757503/from-here-for-here-pencils-made-by-royal-college ]
design  art  green  pencils  recycling  arianeprin  officesupplies  make  making  fabrication  materials  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Lloyd’s Blog
"Lloyd Kahn is the editor-in-chief of Shelter Publications, an independent California publisher. Shelter Publications specializes in books on building and architecture, as well as health and fitness. Lloyd’s latest book is Builders of the Pacific Coast."
lloydkahn  building  homes  housing  houses  tinyhomes  self-sufficiency  energy-efficiency  architecture  blogs  books  environment  sustainability  shelter  recycling  design  glvo  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
kobberling and kaltwasser: jellyfish theatre
"berlin-based architects köbberling and kaltwasser have worked alongside volunteers to create 'the jellyfish theatre'. located in southwark, it is london’s first fully-functioning theatre made entirely from recycled and reclaimed materials. the project focuses on energy-efficiency, co-operation and human-scale construction. opening to the public at the end of august, this temporary structure is made of materials from all sources: junked theatre sets, reclaimed timber from building sites, market pallets, old kitchen units that the public brought along."
architecture  art  theater  pallets  design  recycling  temporary  energy-efficiency  reclamation  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
Matt Hern » RECYCLE THIS
"One is a market argument, the other non-market. I think that fundamentally the banally ubiquitous RRR’s – ReDUCE, ReUSe, ReCYCLE – is actually anti-capitalist. It is encouraging non-market behaviour, is anti-business and suggests another way of thinking about the production and distribution of goods. There are endless other, everyday activities that all of us participate in that actually harbinge another kind of economy, one driven by something more than greed and accumulation and profit. I’d say a lot more of us are at lot more anti-capitalist than we might think."
matthern  economics  capitalism  local  reuse  recycling  conservation 
december 2009 by robertogreco
The Hub of Detroit
"The Hub of Detroit is a non-profit, full-service retail bike shop. Funds raised by The Hub support our free youth and adult education program, Back Alley Bikes."
bikes  detroit  recycling  sharing  repair  repairing 
july 2009 by robertogreco
diane steverlynk: cardboard coverings
"'cardboard coverings' were designed by belgian textile designer, diane styverlynk.
cardboard  design  sustainability  recycling  materials 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Neo-nomad.net » transvaal: sleeping in residue
"Hotel Transvaal uses the surplus of empty spaces in the neighborhood. In houses soon to be demolished, not yet sold newly built on derelict land and in unused spaces that have been refurnished by merchants from the neighborhood and artists into 1 to 5 star hotel rooms. The supply of rooms is very diverse in terms of furniture, luxury and price, so that anyyone, businessmen, students, tourists, residents and other guests can rent a place. When homes are sold or the torn down the hotel rooms move on."
design  surplus  reuse  hotels  housing  homes  recycling  temporary  adaptivereuse  adaptive 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Marketplace from American Public Media | Marketplace and Homelands Productions | Working - Ismael 'Babu' Hussein, Shipbreaking Worker
""Did anybody ever tell you," I asked the child worker sitting on the cement floor, "'You're only 13, you shouldn't have to work like this'?"
bangladesh  shipbreakers  shipbreaking  recycling  childlabor  children  world  labor  safety  work 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Features: 'A narrower Atlantic' by Peter Baldwin | Prospect Magazine May 2009 issue 158
"Despite America’s move to the left under Obama, it’s still assumed that Europe & America are fundamentally different—in their economies, societies & values. But this is a myth...If we compare 4 areas: economy, social policy, environment & religion & cultural attitudes, the evidence in each case allows 2 conclusions. First, Europe is not a coherent or unified continent. The spectrum of difference within even the 16 countries of western Europe is far broader than normally appreciated. Second, with a few exceptions, the US fits into this spectrum...If there is anything that most separates American society from Europe, it is the continuing presence of an ethnically distinct underclass...No one is arguing that America is Sweden. But nor is Britain, Italy, or even France. And since when does Sweden represent “Europe”—at least anymore than the ethnically homogenous, socially liberal state of Vermont does America? Europe is not the continent alone & certainly not just its northern regions."
us  europe  culture  society  statistics  demographics  crime  poverty  literacy  education  socialism  nationalism  comparison  politics  similarities  differences  income  policy  socialpolicy  spending  perception  oil  environment  recycling  consumption  books  reading  energy  religion  govenment  science  barackobama  georgewbush  stereotypes  taxes  economics  evolution  health  families  healthcare  agriculture  secularism  healthinsurance  values 
june 2009 by robertogreco
unconsumption
"Consumption = word used to describe acts of acquisition...of things, in exchange for money. Unconsumption is a word used to describe everything that happens after an act of acquisition...an invisible badge...accomplishment of properly recycling your old cellphone, rather than the guilt of letting it sit in a drawer...thrill of finding a new use for something you were about to throw away...pleasure of using a service like Freecycle to find a new home for the functioning VCR you just replaced, rather than throwing it in garbage...enjoying things you own to the fullest – not just at moment of acquisition...pleasure of using a pair of sneakers until they are truly worn out – as opposed to nagging feeling of defeat when they simply go out of style...feeling good about simple act of turning off lights when you leave room...not about rejection or demonization of things...not a bunch of rules...an idea, set of behaviors, way of thinking about consumption itself from a new perspective...free."

[wiki here: http://unconsumption.pbworks.com/ ]
unconsumption  sustainability  consumption  consumerism  design  culture  trends  green  recycling  simplicity  luxury  value  unproduct  upcycling  beausage  plannedlongevity  thriftiness  thrifting  thrift  glvo  diy  make  dowithout  wabi-sabi 
may 2009 by robertogreco
rennpappe 09: cardboard sled races
"during the three days of the workshop, 52 students of 10 international design schools had the task of creating a sports vehicle, only using cardboard found in the streets of the city centre, glue and cutters. the 'rennpappen' (racing cardboards), designed and made at the university in just one and a half days, were thoroughly tested in an exciting race held on the snow of the obereggen-latemar ski area, italy."
cardboard  make  diy  sleds  tcsnmy  classideas  design  recycling  materials 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Teens in Oakland, Calif., find an outlet in ‘scraper bikes’ | csmonitor.com
"Led by young Tyrone Stevenson, they create two wheelers from tricked-out scavenged frames, recycled rims, and Oreo cookie wrappers." ..."The chorus of the song goes like this: “I’m moving on my scraper bike. I’m cruising on my scraper bike. My scraper bike, go hard. I don’t need no car.”"
bikes  oakland  youth  community  urban  culture  art  california  recycling 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Nick Cave’s Soundsuits : Bad at Sports
"Nick Cave’s Soundsuits are fabulous creations made of thrift store finds, twigs, plastic bags, discarded thcotchkes, and just about anything else that strikes his fancy. Children loved seeing his work and guessing the materials they were made from, and seeing a video presentation of people inhabiting them. They enjoyed learning about his process, too. Often, Cave’s Soundsuits are assembled by a multigenerational, multicultural group of volunteers in his Chicago neighborhood.”

[see also: http://blog.art21.org/2008/10/29/hallowgreen/ ]
nickcave  children  art  glvo  wearable  via:regine  sound  dance  performance  recycling  costumes  design  sculpture  soundsuits  sewing  classideas  tcsnmy  fabric  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  performanceart  wearables 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Earth911.com - Find Recycling Centers and Learn How To Recycle
"Earth911 is the premier environmental resource for source reduction, reuse, and recycling information.
search  recycling  green  sustainability  environment  batteries  local 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Amazon.com: Help > Shipping & Delivery > Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging FAQs
"The Frustration-Free Package (on the left) is recyclable and comes without excess packaging materials such as hard plastic clamshell casings, plastic bindings, and wire ties. It's designed to be opened without the use of a box cutter or knife and will protect your product just as well as traditional packaging (on the right). Products with Frustration-Free Packaging can frequently be shipped in their own boxes, without an additional shipping box."
amazon  economics  consumption  unproduct  recycling  shipping  packaging  toys  design  environment  green  waste 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Salvage Love: The Story - Dwell Blog - dwell.com
"With family and friends, I wasn’t that short on hands. I knew there was never a problem that didn’t have a fix. But my pockets were pretty shallow. I had a small construction loan and a couple of credit cards to work with. I knew I wanted the house to be modern and exciting, but I also wanted it to rely on recycled materials to help it feel warm and familiar. I didn’t want my grandma to feel like an astronaut when she visits. I used building materials that could feel at home, and probably had even called home, in a house in the 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s. All of the doors were bought cheap at a local Habitat for Humanity ReStore or reused from the old house, much of the flooring was made by milling what had been the old roof decking, old framing lumber was salvaged and reused where possible, ebay was a resource, light fixtures were often made and not bought. In the end, construction costs were around $45 a sqft."
homes  design  architecture  diy  glvo  housing  austin  texas  salvage  recycling  make 
august 2008 by robertogreco
How to refill a "disposable" Brita brand water pitcher filter with activated carbon. - Instructables - DIY, How To, food, green - Entry
"All that you will need is an old cartridge, some activated carbon, a polyethylene plug, a sharp utility knife or Xacto knife. A 1/2" drill motor and 1/2" drill bit are optional, but can aid in rounding out the hole."
howto  diy  water  brita  filter  recycling  reuse  money  carbon  green  instructables  household 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Design Observer: KT Meaney: Greening the Grocery Store
"Our graphics wouldn’t “criticize, condemn or complain” but give “honest and sincere” information to “arouse in the person an eager want” to help the environment."
infographics  recycling  sustainability  green  graphics  design 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Homegrown people planet profit - Raphael Grignani - Thoughts
"Our goal w/ Homegrown, the umbrella project, was & still is to work towards most sustainable, ethical, & desirable communication solutions for Nokia...Homegrown nurtured 4 case-studies: Zero Waste Charger, remade, Wears in not out, & People First."
sustainability  design  nokia  recycling  remade  mobile  phones  green 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Neigborrow: A social network with a purpose | Trade share DVDs books video games neighbors
"allows members to access items they want to use but don’t need to own...supports local borrowing as way to: strengthen communities, promote trust, eliminate waste & redundancy, reduce transportation & shipping costs"
activism  socialnetworking  sharing  local  green  borrowing  neighborhoods  socialmedia  simplicity  sustainability  networks  recycling  reuse  rent  trading  web2.0  environment  community  books 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Conscious Capitalism
"Eric Ryan and Nathan Shedroff discuss "why a deeper understanding of human nature needs to be central to a 21st century business strategy and how it can challenge people's attitudes toward consumerism."
consumerism  unproduct  consumption  materialism  design  attitudes  society  change  sustainability  capitalism  human  psychology  sociology  green  replacing  recycling  reuse  services  value  markets  marketing  emotions 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Greener Gadgets: Mary Lou Jepsen talks OLPC - Green Daily
"As it turned out, the team wound up designing the most environmentally-friendly laptop ever, almost by accident."
olpc  environment  green  recycling  energy  maryloujepsen 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Nokia remade - Raphael Grignani - Thoughts
"Remade offers a realistic and beautiful interpretation of upcycling and a tangible starting point for discussion. A discussion we have already started a few weeks ago when two designers from our team joined Jan Chipchase and a few others in Accra to disc
recycling  unproduct  nokia  janchipchase  mobile  phones  reuse  repairing  repurposing  business  cradletograve  future  sustainability  upcycling  repair 
february 2008 by robertogreco
textually.org: Nokia's Remade Concept
"The intent was to create a device made from nothing new....use of reclaimed and upcycled materials that could ultimately change the way we make things...designed to help inspire and stimulate discussion on how mobile devices might be made in the future."
nokia  sustainability  mobile  phones  reuse  recycling  materials  concepts  future  unproduct  repairing  repurposing  business  cradletograve  janchipchase  upcycling  repair 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Jan Chipchase - Future Perfect: Recycled, Upcycled: Remade
"Is it possible to make an upcycled mobile phone entirely from recycled materials? One that consumers want to buy? At a price that puts it within reach of the mass market? The discussion is well underway."
recycling  unproduct  nokia  janchipchase  mobile  phones  reuse  repairing  repurposing  business  cradletograve  future  sustainability  upcycling  repair 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Nokia - Eco Sensor Concept
"The concept consists of two parts – a wearable sensor unit which can sense and analyze your environment, health, and local weather conditions, and a dedicated mobile phone."
bluetooth  nokia  ubiquitous  ubicomp  sensors  wireless  mobile  phones  energy  environment  recycling  health  green  weather 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Leica M8: A Camera for Life
"Instead of dropping an M9 or M10, Leica is offering substantial upgrades to the M8 itself—mechanical and digital components, so it'll slowly evolve into a new camera"... wish more electronics manufacturers offered something like this
leica  sustainability  upgrades  recycling  reuse  gamechanging  unproduct  photography  cameras 
february 2008 by robertogreco
BLDGBLOG: Robbie Williams CDs will be used to pave roads in China
"You know that CD they used to pave the King's Road?" a man asks you, putting his coffee down as if to emphasize the point. He crosses his arms. "I played bass on that."
recycling  music  infrastructure  environment  china  sustainability  waste 
january 2008 by robertogreco
"Trash to Treasure" competition for kids
"challenge kids of all ages to take everyday discarded or recycled material and re-engineer it into functional products. The product can move things or people (Mobility), protect the environment (Environmental), or be something kids can play with inside o
competition  design  recycling  sustainability  products  kids  play 
january 2008 by robertogreco
.: Zwaggle :.
"Zwaggle provides members with a trusted place to: * give away used goods that are no longer needed by your family * receive value from their used goods via our proprietary points based system, called Zoints * use those Zoints to obtain items you need for
sharing  recycling  parenting  shopping  trading  children  families  money 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Tech Digest: Japanese engineers turn old mobile phones into new PCs
"Recycling gadgets...high-profile issue in the coming years...A team of Japanese engineers at Hokuto System have a new spin on the idea, turning parts from old mobile phones into PCs on business card-sized circuit boards."
mobile  phones  recycling  computers 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Click opera - Play = communication = fun = creativity = design = events = blah
"sometimes I wonder what the hell we're all playing at. Is all this waffle about "communication" and "play" just what post-industrial societies do when they've lost all productive sense of purpose? Where, in all this, is the relationship between design an
art  children  creativity  design  engineering  ethics  innovation  science  work  play  gamechanging  glvo  momus  industry  postindustrialism  us  sweden  japan  recycling  sustainability  environment  production  products  sweatshops  manufacturing  culture  consumerism  conferences 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Rural Studio Road Trip | Consumed | Sustainability Coverage From American Public Media
"The Speaking of Faith crew travels to rural Hale County in Alabama to document first-hand one of the latest projects of the Rural Studio project"
ruralstudio  alabama  mockbee  rural  design  architecture  community  service  poverty  sustainability  recycling 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Vintage Plant
"Here you can buy and sell plants with a history; second-hand plants that need a new home or third-generation cuttings with an old family-tree. Instead of throwing an old and tired plant in the bin you can come to us and we will try to find it a new home.
plants  sharing  free  exchange  share  recycling  gardening 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Brian Dettmer 03 Ram Skull [lo] on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
"Brian Dettmer: Ram Skull. Sculpture made from old cassette tapes."
art  sculpture  animals  recycling  glvo 
november 2007 by robertogreco
palimpsest: Definition and Much More from Answers.com
"a manuscript written on a surface from which an earlier text has been partly or wholly erased. Palimpsests were common in the Middle Ages before paper became available, because of the high cost of parchment and vellum. In a figurative sense, the term is sometimes applied to a literary work that has more than one ‘layer’ or level of meaning."
words  definitions  beausage  recycling  art  age  history  illustration  time  decay  archaeology  memory  remnants  wabi-sabi  palimpsest 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Berliner Kunstsalon (part 1)
"Hilde Kentane had some inflatable pets made of recycled plastic bags and still bearing bits of commercial messages, icons and labels."
animals  plush  recycling  glvo  art  inflatable  advertising  inflatables 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Guerra de la Paz
"The primary focus of their work deals with transforming the found object. Inviting the viewer to experience the work at a more personal level through recollections conjured up by their association to the familiar recycled items. It is important to the ar
art  artists  recycling  glvo  photography  sculpture 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Archinect : News : The Heineken WOBO (World Bottle)
"Seems like Heineken was about 50 years too early with the World Bottle concept of brick-shaped bottles that could be upcycled as building materials..."
materials  beer  recycling  sustainability  glass  construction 
september 2007 by robertogreco
AfriGadget
"Gadgets for Africa: Solving everyday problems with African ingenuity"
blogs  africa  gadgets  activism  craft  make  hardware  hacks  recycling  products  practical  technology  engineering  energy  environment  equipment  problemsolving  ingenuity 
july 2007 by robertogreco
If you've got the land, Group 41's got the planz (to design you a home out of shipping containers, that is)
"San Francisco-based architecture firm Group 41 will provide $10,000 worth of design services to those who 1. own some open land and 2. want to live in a home fashioned out of recycled shipping containers."
architecture  design  homes  housing  prefab  recycling  sustainability  reuse 
july 2007 by robertogreco
PingMag - The Tokyo-based magazine about “Design and Making Things” » Archive » Artecnica: Enchantingly Handmade Recycled Design
"Designers Artecnica from sunny California took the first step by abandoning toxic materials and changed its production to recycled goods, producing high-class designs from Hella Jongerius, the Campana brothers or Tord Boontje - handmade in developing cou
design  recycling  products  sustainability  pingmag 
july 2007 by robertogreco
Blueprint for a Green Laptop - Popular Science
"How to make one of our most ubiquitous gadgets—every part of it—environmentally sound."
green  environment  computers  technology  energy  recycling  sustainability  design 
july 2007 by robertogreco
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