Tag Archives: transformation

Embracing imperfections

13 May

506a2a76fb04d60a47000e15__w_530_h_530_s_fit_kleinWhat we did to pottery and ceramic ware yesterday, we can do to walls, rooms and houses today: enhance cracks, cuts, bruises and breaks by purposefully incorporating them . Olivo Barbieri’s image entitled Napoli shows this beautifully. Ironically enough Olivo’s print is worth a fair bit … as you can see on p. 216 in the issuu-based auction catalogue Italia.  Image found on FFFFOUND!; followed to ApartmentTherapy and beyond to David John’s site YouHaveBeenHereSomeTime.


Repair it, fixit, kintsugit

9 May

Kintsugi – a traditional Japanese technique for our modern times: Sustainable Habits include repairing things and fixing stuff – remember the Repair Manifesto here? Kintsugi takes it a level higher: You don’t just keep something [broken]. You don’t just fix it as best you can [and feel its lost its worth]. You keep it, fix it and make the fix so special you add to the value.

Kintsugi_kleinKintsugi – means to repair broken ceramic ware using gold joinery. Kintsugi involves attaching the broken pieces using lacquer (urushi) and applying gold powder to the join. DIY variants mix gold powder with adhesives. Also, there are similar techniques using silver or copper. Step-by-step pics shown here and on an antique bonsai pot here.

kintsugi-treasure-vessels--UDU2Ny0xMDg1MjUuNDgxMTIz_kleinkintsugi_2_klein???????????????????????????????Kitsugi restores functionality to something broken, though others contend that that is not its purpose. Kintsugi transforms by purposefully including damage and keeping it visible, indeed, highlighting it, imbuing an item with new characteristics. Kintsugi adds beauty and worth,  it turns scars, destruction and damage into the most valuable part of the piece and immortalizes in gold, silver, bronze or copper. Kintsugi: art, aesthetics and appreciation.


Sarkis Zabunyan, a Turkish-born, Paris-based Armenian artist, was commissioned by  Bernardaud, a Limousine porcelain brand (no, make that a French national icon) in lieu of the 150 year company celebrations in 2013. Sarkis, inspired by kitsugi, designed a 12-piece dinner plate set of individually crafted plates.

Do some reading on The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics here, recommended by Kenetha J. Stanton in her blog entry ‘About Kitsugi’ here. Vimeo clip on Ifixit here (you can take a Repair It Pledge on Ifixit here). First seen [Kitsugi] on ThisIsColossal here.

How to communicate sustainability

14 Nov

IMHO one of the sustainability areas we are struggling with is that of communication. Sure, there are some neat green ads out there, and maybe some smart campaigns and initiatives, and arresting visuals, as we mentioned here. But how much is really changing at the ground level? How much transformation are we effecting?

A lot of the messages going out about any aspect of sustainable development, and there are a whole host of attention vieers (just look at our lorem sustaina ipsum for a few), are based on one dimension, on one premise.

They are positioned mostly in the intellect, in knowledge and facts, such as when you are confronted with CO2e or virtual water data for consumer goods, with rise in global temperatures and sea levels data, or with numbers of species or forest units lost per second. The message senders hope in vain for a mental light to be switched on in the darkness of unsustainable habits and activities and an immediate conversion from Unsustainable Saul to Sustainable Paul.

NGOs and CSOs and some individual Sustainability Missionaries tend to position their messages in the emotions, making sure they are personal and designing them to touch you. Suffering animals, people and planet are a recurring motif. But a Bleeding Heart has largely moved people to donate time or money on a guilt-filled once-off excursion.

There are to date very, very few communication initiatives that position themselves solely in a do-message, in an active principle, in action. Maybe the various challenges, like the 100-things challenge would qualify for this dimension.

I think Messages for Sustainability, to be successful, need to Speak to the Head, the Heart and the Hand in concert. If you are not explaining to someone’s mind, while reaching for their empathy and giving them a leg-up to get doing, your message is not going to work sustainably.

Three simple steps to sustainable development

13 Nov

1. seeing

2. owning

3. doing

Getting on a path to sustainable development is like getting on a path to enlightenment. At the beginning most of the work is about becoming aware, seeing things that you didn’t see before, expanding your consciousness, your awareness of the state of things, of how things work, in what ways they are connected and of the consequences of things, its reframing what you see in ever bigger frames.

The second step is accepting what you now see, the more that you now see, and taking the responsibility for it, its owning your part in it, its owning your ability to be responsive to what you now see, accepting is an act of embracing, of surrender, of drawing something towards you.

The third step is acting on the ability you have to respond, its doing something, anything, its translating impulses into energy, its manifesting transformation. If accepting is drawing something to you so that it touches you, doing is stepping right into it, engaging, effecting.

All the steps are active steps. All the steps are empowering steps. All the steps can be repeated and repeated and repeated.

The power of transformative experiences

12 Jun

When I visit intermittently what Chris Jordan is doing about Midway, when I look back from the first photos, the follow-ups, the TED-talk, see the development to a film project, read some blog entries, read Victoria’s (Chris’s wife) accompanying poetry, read how others have been touched and gotten onboard,  and hear his voice in the trailer, then I think that the story of the fate of the albatrosses on Midway Atoll is a transformative experience. And it is a transformative experience with tremendous power, to touch and change people’s lives, to sustain a change.

What I think I see happening is something very valuable. Its something that has happened to others before and unfolded a similar power. The story of Aldo Leopold is one I would mention here. Leopold’s transformative experience came from watching a mother wolf he had killed – this is before the first world war – die and the subsequent changes he observes in the relationships between deer, wolves and mountains. He went on to become one of the most powerful voices in conservation, making the systems thinking that is ecology eloquently apparent. The experience and his reflections are best captured in his very short essay Thinking like a mountain which you can read here. If you want to know a bit more about Aldo you can read a short summary here or visit the Aldo Leopold Foundation here.

via http://www.eco-action.org/dt/thinking.html