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This week’s essential reading January 28th through February 1st

by mel starrs on February 1, 2009

in News

These are my links for January 28th through February 1st:

  • CrazyAuntPurl: January wrap-up – A lovely post from Laurie on coming to terms with uncertainty: "Because I think 2010 — TWENTY TEN!!!! — is going to be a really great year. That doesn't say much for the year we are currently in, year not-twenty-ten. Is it just me? Or does 2009 feel like a gap year, where there's so much housecleaning and hard work you have to do?"
  • Stop navel-gazing and look up – Building – Chris Wise of Expedition has a wonderful article – wants to replace 36 engineering and architecture institiutes with just 5 societies: "The Society of Need would cover us, society at large, and the planet as a system. The Society of Briefing would be a child of the Society of Need and would put the world’s needs into an understandable form, which would look at societal value rather than just shareholder profits, lowest cost or client egotism.
    Then we come to the three linked bodies that together make up “design”: the societies of Conception, Testing and Judgment. These replace contemporary things like maths, codes, systems, form and function, although they would include useful bits of those."
  • BBC NEWS | TODAY | Evan Davis’ blog | The threat of de-globalisation – As it happens, economic history supports the idea that protectionism is bad at times of global recession.
  • Inhabitat » IS IT GREEN?: IKEA – Really good case study on IKEA's sustainabuility efforts.
  • United Nations Statistics Division – Environment Statistics – Statistics on Water and Waste are based on official statistics that had been supplied by national statistical offices and/or ministries of environment (or equivalent institutions) in countries in response to the biennial UNSD/UNEP questionnaire. They were complemented by data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on water resources. Data on EU and OECD member and partner countries are from OECD and Eurostat.
  • Is the architecture of Dubai socially responsive? | Design from Construction Week Online Middle East Editorials – Fairly scathing critique of Dubai from the point of view of providing housing for families: "Socially responsive architecture evolves as a direct reflection of the life patterns of its inhabitants, reflecting the collective will of the society. Architecture should employ sustainable design to address client goals and user needs while responding to the surrounding community.
    Architecture that serves a community; addresses inequities in society; and responds to climatic, cultural and environmental conditions can be considered socially responsive. Socially responsible design goes beyond aesthetics and function—it emphasises interaction between structure and people."
  • ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy – " Will public, private and civic actors take action to create low-carbon economies? What emission reduction strategies will be efficient, equitable and acceptable? How much should we invest, and when, on measures to reduce vulnerability to climate change? Who will bear the costs and enjoy the benefits?
    These types of questions inform the work of the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy. Its mission is to advance public and private action on climate change through rigorous, innovative research."
  • Turn trash into energy in your office parking lot | Green Tech – CNET News – Gasification unit: "Feeding the maximum of three tons of trash will yield about 120 kilowatts of electricity and about double that in heat, which will fulfill about 15 percent of a building's energy needs, IST Energy figures. The bigger financial benefit is in cutting disposal fees, Haber said.
    With an up-front cost of $850,000, a GEM unit will have a payback in three to four years, the company calculates."