An Array of Utopian Flowers
- Big Noise from Big Band Drummer Gene Krupa
Posted on April 10, 2018 | No Comments
- Loose Nuts: Edison Reveals Huge Gap in Safety at San Onofre
Posted on April 9, 2018 | No Comments
- The US Shame of My Lai in Vietnam
Posted on March 17, 2018 | No Comments
- The Lucrative and Violent Curse of Coltan Mining in Congo
Posted on March 3, 2018 | No Comments
- Iannis Xenakis and the Notion of a Cosmic Utopia
Posted on February 21, 2018 | No Comments
- Big Noise from Big Band Drummer Gene Krupa
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Twittering From the Trees
- Posted on February 21, 2018 | No CommentsIannis Xenakis, the Greek-French experimental composer and protege designer for the famous architect Le Corbusier, advanced theories of the vertical "Cosmic" city as the only sustainable way forward. Here, he wrote this essay in 1966, decrying decentralization (read: suburban sprawl) in favor of building up, up, up...5 million inhabitants to be housed in a single megastructure, a hyperbolic paraboloid of more than 3,000 meters high and 50 meters wide.
- Posted on March 26, 2017 | No CommentsUrban sustainability depends upon reducing energy from automobile usage and maximizing transportation efficiency through public trains, streetcars, electric buses, and people movers. The companies developing autonomous cars could not care less: they offer on-demand private transport for the masses, with specific intent to move people back to cars.
- Posted on September 27, 2016 | 1 CommentCan re-purposed shipping containers become the next inexpensive, quick to construct, green building solution for affordable housing? Danish "starchitect" Bjarke Ingels, as well as a recent Orange County, California, project, assert yes to all of the above, but there are limitations.
- Posted on September 6, 2016 | No CommentsFacing a major Coastal Commission decision this week, Newport Banning Ranch developers should adopt staff's recommendation that all environmentally sensitive habitat should be protected and could be integrated in a vision for a residential resort community through Regenerative Design.
- Posted on September 5, 2016 | 3 CommentsDestroyed in a dramatic and highly-publicized implosion, the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex has become a widespread symbol of failure among architects, politicians and policy makers. A 2012 documentary unveiled the many witting and unwitting villains, including urban poverty, public policy enforced racial segregation, and urban disinvestment in favor of the White Suburban Dream.
- Posted on August 23, 2016 | 2 CommentsTiny Houses, although lauded as a green way forward in a world covered in wasteful McMansions and debt enslaving rent payments, must overcome health, safety, and building standard regulations that still consider this form of housing either illegal or difficult to approve. Alyse Nelson charts a way through the red tape.
- Posted on June 4, 2016 | 2 CommentsWelcome to the Anthropocene age, where humans have transmogrified the planet, its oceans and atmosphere, caused mass extinctions and wholesale contamination that will remain for millennia. Beyond the politicians and scientists, the way forward remains in the hands of writers, artists, and designers taking inspiration from wild earth in a movement called Geo-Fauvism.
- Posted on May 12, 2016 | 4 CommentsNewport Beach's Banning Ranch, the site of a proposed mega commercial and residential development, is an extraordinary archaeological site. Once the site where an ancient Native American coastal village called Genga, a ritual and trading hub for both the Tongva and Acjachemen Native American Nations, existed for over a thousand years.
- Posted on May 4, 2016 | 4 CommentsJerry Brown, once known as governor Moonbeam who signed into law the California Coastal Commission, now can be seen as the man behind handing it over to developers. Governor Brown must fire his four at-will commissioners with significant lapses of judgement and ethics, as well as his powerful backroom dealer from the Resources Agency.
- Posted on April 27, 2016 | 2 CommentsThe California Environmental Quality Act, protector of resources and communities through consideration of implications of proposed projects, is under attack. Representatives from industry and real estate development, and sometimes even Governor Jerry Brown, seek ways to weaken it, or to exempt their pet projects. While the law is far from perfect, it remains the gold standard of environmental protection in the US.
- Posted on March 11, 2016 | 8 CommentsWhy did Coastal Commissioners dump popular Executive Director Charles Lester in a closed session at their February meeting in Morro Bay? It is part of a plan by well connected lobbyists and lawyers pushing environmentally damaging projects for their wealthy clients.
- Posted on October 30, 2015 | 1 CommentAlexis Slutzky tells the story of a September 2015 pilgrimage through California's Owens Valley, called Walking Water. This first phase of a much longer journey began at Mono Lake and ended 180 miles south at Owens Dry Lake. For 100 years, Los Angeles has piped water from there over 300 miles further south to sustain the city, draining ancient lakes and groundwater, destroying natural water systems. In the fourth year of an historic drought, Walking Water seeks to create a new narrative regarding this life-giving resource, investigating our common and often conflicting needs, and learning how to live within our means.
- Posted on June 5, 2015 | 7 CommentsThis is the first post in a series where I present the case for Geo-Fauvism, a growing movement of wild earth inspiration in art, literature, music and design. Taking off from the early 20th Century French art "Fauvists" or "Wild Beasts," these cross-disciplinary creations respond to and react against the collapse of global environmental systems, the destruction of indigenous earth-based societies, and a narrowing of cultural opportunities in the mainstream corporatized media. Geo-Fauvists create to reconnect with the wild and heal humanity's rift with the landscape, building a new community based on integration with the ecosystem.
- Posted on May 9, 2015 | 1 CommentThe prefab Active House B10 prototype in Stuttgart can be built in a day, but its implications will be felt for years. Taking the passive house net zero concept one step further, this fully recyclable tiny house actively generates enough power for multiple properties through its rooftop photovoltaics.
- Posted on April 8, 2015 | 1 CommentArchitecture must move on from an addiction to spectacle and fad, adrift in a sea of meaningless forms, leaving serious design and sustainability problems unresolved, says Peter Buchanan. But to do this will require a more critical perspective from architectural academe and the media.
- Posted on February 17, 2015 | 4 CommentsThe age of the pod car might be upon us, but not necessarily as the long-envisioned Personal Rapid Transit. Good for amusement parks and Google's main campus, as well as small newly-built cities or airport shuttles, PRT systems have too many limitations in dense urban areas. The real future for the pod car, like it or not: Autonomous (Self-Driving) Vehicles.
- Posted on December 17, 2014 | No Comments"Vertical City," a complete ecosystem in the sky that you never have to leave, accommodates population growth and protects the planet, but may have significant drawbacks for the people who call it home and their connection to the earth. Projects in China and Dubai illustrate the concept and its limitations.
- Posted on December 6, 2014 | No CommentsThe model planners and economists touted as "sustainable development" has only exacerbated ecologic distress and community dislocation through its focus on wealth-creation. The needs of our ailing planet facing an impending 11 billion population calls for ecology and human welfare to dominate economy, but how to achieve this in a world bought and paid for by finance capitalism?
- Posted on December 3, 2014 | 1 CommentAs the full moon approached and the winter solstice upcoming ~ on Sun Dec 7, 2014 in LA, Starhawk joined a conscious community including SoCal 350 Climate Action Coalition, collectively co-creating a vision of a just transition away from climate- and ecosystem-damaging fossil fuels and industrial agriculture to a sustainable permaculture-oriented new world!