Tag Archives: downshifting

Something extraordinary

24 Oct

I used to have a saying stuck up on my wall:

‘Live an ordinary life extraordinarily.’

Graphic designer Jessica Ettridge must have connected with that too for her project Extraordinary. She selected a few products that we use every day: soap, a toothbrush, scourers; products where we perhaps do not give much thought to the way they were made or our use and consumption of them. Jessica explains that her project is about enhancing our appreciation of everyday projects. That’s a sentiment that sits well with sustainability. Imagine if we gave the same appreciation to everything we use, to every object we touch. Imagine if we re-invested them all with the extra-ordinary.




In a postfossil world …

6 Mar

… we can use cutlery to nudge or effect change. Postfossil, a Swiss design collective did just that on the subject of eating less meat with their project 5 forks. The first progression takes a fork from being an implement with which it is difficult to one with which it is impossible to cut meat.


The second progression of anti-carnivore-cutlery is a statement on slow food: the smaller your fork the slower you eat.

pf_juri_cutlery_slowfood_01_webPostfossil have their product archive over at issu, see here. The Juri-Cutlery-Set can be found on pagespread 22-23.


5 Mar

“Der Garten ist der letzte Luxus unserer Tage, denn er fordert das, was in unserer Gesellschaft am seltensten und kostbarsten geworden ist: Zeit, Zuwendung und Raum.

Er ist Stellvertreter der Natur, in dem wir Geist, Wissen und Handwerk wieder gebrauchen in sorgsamen Umgang mit der Welt in ihrem Mikrokosmos, dem Garten.”

Dieter Kienast – Die Poetik des Gartens: Über Chaos und Ordnung in der Landschaftsarchitektur (Buch)

Danke für den Hinweis an Martina Hasewinkel, Convivienleiterin Slow Food Bielefeld/OWL

On the value of gardens

5 Mar

“The garden is the last luxury of our days, because it demands what has become most rare and most precious in our society: time, care and space.

It is a representative of nature, in which we use mind, knowledge and craft again, in headful dealing with the world in its microcosm, the garden.”

Freely translated from Dieter Kienast’s book: Die Poetik des Gartens: Über Chaos und Ordnung in der Landschaftsarchitektur

Thanks to an owl for sharing the find (^v^) Martina Hasewinkel, convivium host Slow Food Bielefeld/OWL


Raising the next generation

12 Feb


Discriminating between needing and wanting

30 May

One of my favourite hobbyhorses is the issue of needs versus wants. The oft-quoted excerpt from the Brundtland-Report that goes “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” specifically uses the word needs. Makes absolute sense, given that meeting the essential needs of the world’s poor was highlighted in the Report and given top priority. Except that I often get the impression in countries with a high Human Development Index (or whatever indicator has your preference) we find it very hard to limit ourselves and our solution-finding to needs, perhaps because all of our essential needs are usually well-met in these societies. To me it seems we are actually trying to find ways to meet our wants in a sustainable fashion… Nothing wrong with that, except that half the planet (make that half the population, we won’t go into the needs of other ecosystem members right now) aren’t having their essential needs met right now. And in our era of globalisation all your doing and my doing impacts meeting their needs and vice versa. Can you simplify your wants?

(via ffffound!, via CJwho)

Everything he has

27 Mar

Simon Evans: Everything I Have, 2008. Pen, paper, scotch tape, white out. 60 1/4 X 40 1/8 inches. Can be seen online at the representing gallery James Cohan Gallery. I first saw this over at Barbara Putman Cramer’s sustainable-foodie-design blog Living Antenna. Here’s some more detail.