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Posts Tagged ‘CONSUME.LESS’

The ruins of Detroit

In around the world on January 14, 2011 at 11:13 am

This series of photographs made me remember a short film screened in one of our lectures. Definitely worth watching and wondering what happened to Detroit and why.

and the series by Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

At the end of the XIXth Century, mankind was about to fulfill an old dream. The idea of a fast and autonomous means of displacement was slowly becoming a reality for engineers all over the world. Thanks to its ideal location on the Great Lakes Basin, the city of Detroit was about to generate its own industrial revolution. Visionary engineers and entrepreneurs flocked to its borders.

In 1913, up-and-coming car manufacturer Henry Ford perfected the first large-scale assembly line. Within few years, Detroit was about to become the world capital of automobile and the cradle of modern mass-production. For the first time of history, affluence was within the reach of the mass of people. Monumental skyscapers and fancy neighborhoods put the city’s wealth on display. Detroit became the dazzling beacon of the American Dream. Thousands of migrants came to find a job. By the 50’s, its population rose to almost 2 million people. Detroit became the 4th largest city in the United States.

The automobile moved people faster and farther. Roads, freeways and parking lots forever reshaped the landscape. At the beginning of the 50’s, plants were relocated in Detroit’s periphery. The white middle-class began to leave the inner city and settled in new mass-produced suburban towns. Highways frayed the urban fabric. Deindustrialization and segregation increased. In 1967, social tensions exploded into one of the most violent urban riots in American history. The population exodus accelerated and whole neighbourhoods began to vanish. Outdated downtown buildings emptied. Within fifty years Detroit lost more than half of its population.

Detroit, industrial capital of the XXth Century, played a fundamental role shaping the modern world. The logic that created the city also destroyed it. Nowadays, unlike anywhere else, the city’s ruins are not isolated details in the urban environment. They have become a natural component of the landscape. Detroit presents all archetypal buildings of an American city in a state of mummification. Its splendid decaying monuments are, no less than the Pyramids of Egypt, the Coliseum of Rome, or the Acropolis in Athens, remnants of the passing of a great Empire.

This work is thus the result of a five-year collaboration started in 2005.

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The Plastiki adventures

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2010 at 8:17 pm

The Plastiki boad adventure had started at the intiative of David de Rothschild of Adventure Ecology and has been designed by Exploration Architecture. What is the Plastiki boat? Well, the clue’s in the title, a ‘boat made of bundles of bottles that are wrapped in a shell of fibreglass-like material, itself made entirely from recycled plastic bottles.’

Plastiki Expedition boat by Exploration Architecture for Adventure Ecology

It’s been designed to be  fully recyclable at the end of its journey, produce all its own energy and create no pollution. The boat is nearing the end of its journey across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Sydney to highlight pollution of the seas.

Plastiki Expedition boat by Exploration Architecture for Adventure Ecology

While I can definitely see the travel journal of this project fit for a Wes Anderson film, it is a strong statement about how we treat what we cannot see. And more than that, it provides viable solutions that with a bit of thought could be easily upscaled. It’s all about good design, folks…

P.s.: Do check the bigger versions of the boards explaining the vitals of the boat.

‘We take this situation very seriously, which is why tonight’s oil wrestling event will be followed by a candle light vigil.’

In Uncategorized on June 7, 2010 at 12:38 am

An interesting infographic on the history of oil following the depressing update on DeepWater Horizon. As probably most of you will have seen the photos of the poor birds covered in oil, it’s pointless to rant even more about how badly this situation was managed. And yet, people (at least on this side of the ocean) seem to be more interested in the direct impact on BP and the British economy rather than the disastrous effects on the local economy and environment. Great. Well, as Kitsune Noir phrases it, ‘fuck you if you defend BP. It’s a trillion dollar company that fucked up, not your brother who crashed the family car.’

Keep calm and carry on or keep calm and don’t smoke at beach parties?

Joaquin Phoenix vs. the shoe gods

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2010 at 10:19 am

The video has been sent by PETA to Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin along with a letter that says ‘I think that you will find it hard to continue to sell exotic-animal skins after seeing just how much cruelty goes into making a single alligator or snakeskin shoe or bag. Animal welfare is simply not a consideration at all for those who hunt, poach, factory-farm, and often skin alive animals such as these.’

Yet another horribly wrong aspect of the fashion industry.

via Fashionista

il n’y a pas de petite pollution – surfrider foundation europe

In Uncategorized on March 13, 2010 at 2:23 pm