Shared a few thoughts on, amongst other things, how ecological regime shifts will impact upon people and planet in the 22nd Century for Factor magazine's Winter 2017 edition. Exploring myriad aspects of the not so distant future, and free to download on mobile, tablet, and laptop, the edition marks the launch of Factor's new format, which bigger and slicker than before is a joy to behold.
Read Factor's 'Life in the 22nd Century' edition here.
The Geovation Challenge seeks to find and support ideas that benefit human and environmental health and wellbeing. Successful entrants will receive support and opportunities for funding during a programme that launches in London in spring 2018. I've entered an idea titled GEO ECO NET, which highlights the need to increase awareness and understanding of ecological networks within and across cities, focused on the need to help not hinder fauna to traverse the architectures, and more broadly, the environments we create.
If you'd like to support the idea, please give it your vote at:
GEO ECO NET: Ecological and Social Network
"Humans aren’t the only ones that need traverse cities. Both here in the UK, and worldwide, innumerable faunal species need travel about urban environments too. Some species are permanent residents, of which one example is the hedgehog. Whereas others, including a great many bird species, come and go throughout the year, their movements synced with the seasons. Others still, are sporadic, but welcome visitors that tend drop in when weather conditions necessitate, of which waxwings are one.
However, urbanism, and in particular architecture and planning that works against not with the needs of faunal species interferes with these movements, and in the worst instances to the extent of causing injury and mortality. For example, did you know that bird deaths into the hundreds of millions per annum are attributed to the use of non-friendly bird glass in buildings? Or, that many bird species navigate by moonlight or starlight, meaning light pollution at the scale now manifest in many cities sends them off course?
The above are just a few of the ways in which human activities are undermining the integrity of faunal movements at the local, national, and global scale, and to such extent as may endanger some species. But, much is there that we can do to help mitigate the problem.
As with so many other types of challenge, we first need assess what need be done, how and why. The task is far too great for any one individual, any one school, any one city, or any one nation. And, not least, because complex though faunal migratory routes are, at a time of environmental flux, life is evolving in ways both expected and otherwise."
Read more here.
Share the idea on Twitter via #GeoEcoNet
Open access, peer-reviewed, and featuring contributions from leading-edge researchers and practitioners worldwide, the Journal of Biourbanism is the bi-annual online publication of the International Society of Biourbanism. Edited by Dr. Stefano Serafini, and featuring papers from Prof. Rachel Armstrong, and Prof. Sergio Los, and Prof. Besim Hakim, its latest issue, explores the epistemology of design at the interface of architecture, planning, and the environmental and social sciences. A few words on my contribution are below:
Mind the Gap:
A Discussion of Philosophical and Psychological Dichotomies
Abstract: Differences, dualities, and dichotomies play a fundamental role within the psychological and philosophical frameworks through which humans interpret phenomena. Boundaries and binary oppositions abound in our thinking and actions, manifesting metaphysically and physically, internally and externally, and on all conceivable scales. Drawing upon insights from past and contemporary systems thinkers and integrating an assemblage of personal experiences, together with observations, the present work aims to understand how and why our psychological, thereon our philosophical relationship with oppositions frame the collective societal response to rapid change and upheaval, and what role might transdisciplinary thinking have to play in reconciling societal differences.
Download the Journal of BioUrbanism Vol. 5 here.
Save the Date: November 9th 2017 :: Monument Masterclass :: An Evening with 5x15
Atop one of the best vantage points in London, The Monument, historian and author, Dr. Matthew Green and I will be uniting past, present, and future, as we round off the Monument Masterclasses series in an event curated by renowned literary salon, 5x15.
Exploring the theme of the evolving relationship between nature and the built environment, we'll be taking inspiration from "a constantly changing city skyline", which is "still shaped by the lasting impact of the Great Fire of London in 1666".
The Monument was designed by Sir Christopher Wren between 1671-1677 in commemoration of the Great Fire of London. Standing 202ft high and 202ft from where the fire started in Pudding Lane, it is "the tallest isolated stone column in the world and has been open to visitors for over 300 years".
Those hoping to attend need note the event "space is not suitable for anyone who suffers from vertigo, a fear of heights or a fear of confined spaces".
Tickets are limited and available at:
Save the Date :: October 27th 2017 :: V&A Friday Late :: Every Last Drop.
"The original contemporary late night event", the V&A's Friday Late "celebrates all aspects of contemporary visual culture and design in society, bringing audiences face-to-face with leading and emerging artists and designers through live performance, film, installation, debate, DJs and late-night exhibition openings". Exploring the theme of water, the forthcoming Friday Late, Every Last Drop will take participants on a journey that examines the manifold facets of "the most abundant material on Earth". From tracing "the spirituality of the Ganges", to uncovering "the impact of industry on China's drowned landscapes" to asking "if algae can break our addiction to plastic and expose what tap water is really comprised of".
I am delighted to be moderating a roundtable discussion on water as artistic media, which curated by CLOT magazine will feature a line-up comprised visual artist Berndnaut Smilde, artist Wayne Binitie and genre-breaking experience designer Sam Bompass from Bompass and Parr.
Berndnaut Smilde is a dutch artist whose most well-known work is Nimbus series, a project featuring hyper-realistic miniature clouds in unique spaces such as museums, factories, castles and dungeons. Wayne Binitie is an RCA PhD candidate whose research and practice recalibrate the perception of glacial water through audio-visual contemporary art. Sam Bompass is one half of Bompass and Parr, a studio recognised for its otherworldly jelly creations.
Find out more at: https://www.vam.ac.uk/info/friday-late
Artists in residence at the Department of Genetics, University of Leicester, McFarland & Singer, are hosting a collaborative exhibition titled "My DNA". Scientists and artists are invited to submit an exhibit in a petri dish, to be representative of an aspect of their research, practice, or approach. Join me in contributing your scientific or creative DNA.
Pictured above: my submission, titled 'DNAbstract' [canvas, crystallised salt: medium saliva + powered metallic], which is representative of the intersection of the abiotic, biotic, and anthropogenic.
Submission deadline: 30th September 2017.
Delighted to be joining peers to present at Propela + Space10's contribution to London Design Festival, which titled Intelligent Spaces is taking place at Protein Studios in Shoreditch on the evening of September 20th 2017. Co-curated by IKEA's research laboratory, Space10 [Copenhagen], and leading-edge agency for creatives crafting the future, Propela [London], Intelligent Spaces is part of a week-long series of events under the theme of Exploring the Spaces of Tomorrow.
Intelligent Spaces speakers: Liam Young: speculative architect, sci-fi shaper, extreme explorer & technology storyteller; Kaave Pour + Bas Van De Poel: Space10's Creative Director + Head of Playful Research; Maarten Nefkens: Strategy Director at Amsterdam-based creative agency Dawn; & myself.
I'll be presenting Biome Shock! Anthropogenic meets Ecological Intelligence, which asks "what is intelligence? How do define what is, and is not ‘smart’, and why does that matter to designers?". Liam Young will present “an audio-visual expedition to a city found somewhere between the present and the predicted, the real and the imagined, stitched together from fragments of real landscapes and designed urban fictions”.
Collaborators in the week-long event include: WikiHouse Foundation, Central Saint Martins' spatial practices and architecture students, Brooklyn design studio Anton & Irene, pop-up location curators Appear Here, futures research studio Franklin Till, which curates and edits biannual magazine Viewpoint, and materials research studio Ma-tt-er, which, in residence, is producing an exhibition, workshop and a talks programme envisioning future spaces as multi-sensory.
Exploring the Space of Tomorrow:
Tuesday 19 September: Shared Spaces: CSM + Anton & Irene + SPACE10
Wednesday 20 September: Intelligent Spaces: Propela + SPACE10
Thursday 21 September: Portable Spaces: WikiHouse + SPACE10
Friday 22 September: Temporary Spaces: Appear Here + SPACE10
Saturday 23 September: Material Spaces: Ma-tt-er + SPACE10
Reserve a place at: https://space10.io/program/intelligent-spaces-propela-plus-space10
Related events: The Future Of_ event series, which is curated and produced by Propela, and takes place in the space during the day. Learn more about the program at futureof.co.
Please join me, and several thousand scientists from over 100 countries, in becoming a co-signatory on the article World Scientists' Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice (Ripple et al, 2017), which marks the 25th anniversary of the first notice, which was initiated by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The deadline for signatory is September 19th 2017.
"Twenty-five years ago, the Union of Concerned Scientists and more than 1500 independent scientists, including the majority of living Nobel laureates in the sciences, penned the 1992 "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity". These concerned professionals called on humankind to curtail environmental destruction and cautioned that “a great change in our stewardship of the Earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided.” In their manifesto, they showed that humans were on a collision course with the natural world. They expressed concern about current, impending, or potential damage on planet Earth involving ozone depletion, freshwater availability, marine fishery collapses, ocean dead zones, forest loss, biodiversity destruction, climate change, and continued human population growth. They proclaimed that fundamental changes were urgently needed to avoid the consequences our present course would bring."
"On the 25th anniversary of their call, we look back at their warning and evaluate the human response by exploring available time-series data. Since 1992, with the exception of stabilizing the stratospheric ozone layer, humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse. Especially troubling is the current trajectory of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change due to rising GHGs from burning fossil fuels (Hansen et al. 2013), deforestation (Malhi et al. 2008), and agricultural production--particularly from farming ruminants for meat consumption (Ripple et al. 2014). Moreover, we have unleashed a mass extinction event, the sixth in roughly 540 million years, wherein many current life forms could be annihilated or at least committed to extinction by the end of this century."
Read the full article here:
Scientists become a co-signatory here:
Kevin Kelly on the new biology of machines, social systems, and the economic world, in Out of Control, 1994.
Earlier this year Forum for the Future launched its Living Grid project to bring together an international collective of "corporate energy users, academics, community energy organisations, local authorities and experts in energy and technology to contribute their opinions and reflections, inspired by experts in regenerative development and biomimicry". Together we explored the question "How might we design an energy system inspired by life?". A few of the insights and ideas have been assembled and shared online under the hashtag #LivingGrid.
Read more at:
Melissa Sterry, design scientist, systems theorist, futurologist, cross disciplinary designer developing Bionic City®, and PhD Researcher.
Asking the question "how would nature design a city" since 2010.
© Melissa Sterry 2017 All Rights Reserved