31 Jan 2012

World running out of resources: UN

We, sustainable designers, already knew that for years, but the UN has put it in a report. And we know it's not only food, water and fuel!
A major United Nations report has called for a sustainable "evergreen revolution", warning that time is running out to ensure there is enough food, water and fuel to meet the needs of the world's rapidly growing population.

In a grim warning about the earth's increasing demand for resources, a panel led by the presidents of Finland and South Africa found demand will grow exponentially as the global population rises from 7 billion people to an expected 9 billion by 2040.

Within the next 20 years the world's population will need 50 per cent more food and vast new reserves of energy and water, according to UN estimates.
Read article

International competition for product design concepts

The new BraunPrize 2012 is embracing the increased relevance of well-designed products that help improve all aspects of everyday life.

With most people´s daily challenges becoming increasingly complex and demanding, we are relying on ubiquitous technology, highly connected social structures and our ability to cope with a fast, 24/7 lifestyle. Our everyday has become an artificial environment of architecture and technology and while it seems that the quantity of products around us is consistently increasing, their level of quality is not. We have surrounded ourselves by many things we don´t really value, instead of focusing on fewer but better solutions to help us live our lives.

With this in mind, the BraunPrize 2012 is looking for ingenious solutions and product ideas to make our everyday a better place.
More info here


Two outstanding materials come together: carbon fibers and concrete form the new composite material CARBOCRETE*. The possibilities of CARBOCRETE* are infinite.

Get creative and come up with some new ideas for using CARBOCRETE*. No idea is too outlandish!

The best ideas will be awarded total prize money in excess of €15,000. You’ve got to be in it to win it!
More info here

The Green Design Competition - Quick, enter 10 Feb

The Green Design Competition Promo Video from The Green Fashion Competition on Vimeo.

More information here

Stylish Carbon Filter Water Bottle

Eau Good, an organic and stylish looking water bottle that makes tap water taste great.

Black + Blum Dan Black and Martin Blum wanted to create a bottle that was ergonomically- (and aesthetically) designed and would filter tap water as you drink. Ever conscious of the environment, they are well aware that over 22 billion plastic water bottles are discarded yearly.

The ingenious and careful design is based on an ancient Japanese filtering system using carbon filters. In Japan carbon filters have been used as a water purifier since the 17th century. They reduce chlorine and chemicals, add minerals to the water and balance the pH. The active carbon filter lasts up to 6 months.
Read article

30 Jan 2012

Wed 8 Feb: Nanotechnology and the Environment

The event is free and is on a first-come-first-serve basis, no RSVP needed. It's at the Perth Convention Centre in Meeting Rooms 4&5

An end to GM crop development for Europe

BASF, the German chemical giant, is to pull out of genetically modified plant development in Europe and relocate it to the US, where political and consumer resistance to GM crops is not so entrenched.

The headquarters of BASF Plant Science will move from Limburgerhof in south-west Germany to Raleigh, North Carolina, and two smaller sites in Germany and Sweden will close. The company will transfer some GM crop development to the US but stop work on crops targeted at the European market – four varieties of potato and one of wheat.

The decision, which involves the net loss of 140 highly skilled jobs in Europe, also signals the end of GM crop development for European farmers. Bayer, BASF’s German competitor, is working on GM cotton and rice in Ghent, Belgium – but not for European markets.
Read Article

France Determined to Continue GM Maize Ban

Watch the video Scientists Under Attack - Part 1 And also watch the other parts.

Watch the video interview with a farmer Farmers Pigs All Sterile From GMO Corn


27 Jan 2012

Stop plastic pollution!

The Two Hands Project is a new and collaborative approach to cleaning up your world.

In 2012 Two Hands Project is teaming up with Save the Styx, Eco Divers and Take 3 to launch a mission to keep these turtle breeding beaches on Christmas Island free of plastic pollution.

Paul Nicholas and family saving baby turtles from plastic pollution!!

19 Jan 2012

The People's Supermarket

I don't watch too much TV in summer but today we were late and turned the TV on and there was this documentary on ABC 1 about The People's Supermarket and intriged by the story we kept watching, apparently it was last in a series of a chef who set up a supermarket for the people by the people in a sustainable way, using local produce, obselete stock what the big supermarkets don't want with the help from the people.

You can become a member of the supermarket for 25 pound and work a shift of 4 hours per month to receive a 10% discount on everything. The shop runs on volunteers and sources for local produce to keep it running. Watch the documentary on Iview.

Would this work in Perth do you think?
I wouldn't mind working a few hours per month in my local supermarket with good local produce if it gives me a discount as well!

18 Jan 2012

Job opportunity in Sweden

Design Management Researcher (12 positions)

Via o2 network:
DESMA is looking to recruit 12 Early Stage Researchers, a European doctoral level research training network in the area of Design Management. The positions are full time for three years, starting in September 2012. Opportunities for adding a fourth year for completing a PhD will bediscussed separately for each position.

DESMA is an Initial Training Network funded by the European Commission’s Marie Curie Actions that combines 4 leading universities within the areaofDesign Management (University of Gothenburg, Aalto University inHelsinki, Politecnico di Milano, and Imperial College, London), 4 Europeandesign consultancies (Ergonomidesign, Engine, Live|work, Future ConceptLab) and 4 complementary product and service organizations (Volvo Group,Philips Innohub, Poltrona Frau, Living Labs Global) in an unprecedented cross-disciplinary effort to understand how design can be exploited as a driver of innovation and competitiveness in Europe.

We are seeking applicants with a master degree in either design or business and some professional experience. The employed researchers will conductresearch projects in collaboration with their host organization, take part in a common training programme with doctoral level courses and build aforum for design management research in Europe. Last date for submissions is March 15th 2012

For more information visit our website
Anna Rylander,
PhDBusiness & Design Lab
University of Gothenburg
Box 611
405 30 Göteborg Sweden
Phone + 46 707 21 66 30

The Story Of Zeoform

This is the story of a company based in Byron Bay Australia, that has patented a formula for transforming plant fibres and water into a super strong material that has the potential to be the wonder material of the 21st century.

Remember my Zeopod poufs a few years ago? I won The Edge Design and Innovation Best Green Design 2009 award with them.

It was quiet for a long time while the company in NSW was developing the material further to be compettible with the industry. This video is just launced and my design is shown at 2.10 minute.

16 Jan 2012

Cycling in Perth

Are you already cycling?
I cycle everywhere and sometimes combine it with public transport, it's ideal, good for my health, waiste line and wallet!

I've just signed up for the yearly Super Tuesday bicycle count which is done Australia wide on Tuesday morning 6 March from 7-9am. I am at the river again, opposite UWA entrance and would be really great to count you in!

Interested in a free movie event, Beauty and the bike, related to cycling come along this Wednesday in South Cottesloe, check it out here.

The seven myths of agriculture

This video covers the seven deadly myths of industrial agriculture as described in the book, "A Fatal Harvest. The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture".

Myth 1: Industrial agriculture will feed the world = NOT
Myth 2: Industrial food is safe, healthy and nutricious = NOT
Myth 3: Industrial food is cheap = NOT
Myth 4: Industrial agriculture is efficient = NOT
Myth 5: Industrial food offers more choices = NOT
Myth 6: Industrial agriculture benefits the environment and wildlife = NOT
Myth 7: Biotechnology will solve the problems of industrial agriculture = NOT

What can you do? Buy seasonal produce and supporting local organic farms.

About myth 2, my cousin in Canada was a pilot on a pesticide spraying airplane and was diagnosed with acute leukemia at age 45 two years ago at the same time my father (74), a retired farmer in the Netherlands, was diagnosed with the same acute leukemia. My cousin opted for chemo therapy as they gave him a 25-30% chance of recovery. My father didn't want to do the chemo as he had never been in hospital and was pretty scared of it, besides he only got a chance of 5-10% to recover. My cousin died within the first two weeks of chemo, bald, ill, sore and very lonely as he had to be in quarantine. My father lived for another six months in reasonable health only receiving fresh blood every three weeks. What do I want to say with this story; it's not a romantic business being a farmer or working in agriculture. My cousin was working with the huge industrialised farmers while my father was one of the last small scale dairy farms but surrounded by big pig farmers and the rules of pesticides in the sixties and seventies weren't as strict as nowadays in the EU. Although Austrlia still allows lots of those forbidden pesticides to be used in farming and by councils who take care of parks and verges. When interested what happesn in WA, click here. Or check out the website Save our trees

12 Jan 2012

The Green Swing

IT may have taken a lot of extra effort, but East Victoria Park couple Eugenie and Helmuth Stockman believe their vision of creating a sustainable home will be worth it.

Mrs Stockman said the current requirement was for five or six-star energy-rated residences but the four homes in their project would have eight, nine and 10-star energy ratings.

She said the idea had been brewing with the couple for some time.

“We were looking for something different and a more sustainable way to live,” Mrs Stockman said.

Mrs Stockman said many of the development’s features, such as a joint water tank for two properties, had been difficult to get approval for.

She believed health and building regulations made it difficult for people to build sustainable homes.
Read article

More info on the whole proces, visit their website

11 Jan 2012

Hemp Information Meeting

For those in Queensland:
Paul Benhaim is a recognized world-authority in hemp research and development, as well as a published author of Hemp-related books and DVDs. He manages the world’s most popular Hemp websites and advises a number of international companies. As well as acting as an consultant and mentor to those interested in the hemp business, Paul is CEO and Director of a cutting edge Hemp company involved with hemp plastic and hemp food products. His own hemp farm offers public tours around the hemp buildings.
Paul continues his quest to ensure the path for the widespread use of the industrial hemp seed to be accessible to all so new and revolutionary Hemp products may become available to a worldwide audience.
Learn more here

I know Paul from the time that I designed the Zeopods for Zelfo where he was working. A pity that project didn't work out, but I guess you have to be patient working with a new material.

Hemp Information and Versativa Meeting
When: Monday, January 30th, 2012
Where: The Darcy Mitchell Room
Brisbane Broncos Leagues Club
98 Fulcher Road, Red Hill
Brisbane QLD
Time: Sign in by 7:20 pm for a 7:30 pm start sharp
Meeting will finish around 9:30 pm
Cost: Free!
Flyer: click here

10 Jan 2012

Job opportunity in San Francisco

Via o2 network:
Autodesk is hiring someone to help create and deploy learning materials for the Autodesk Sustainability Workshop.

This is a full time contractor or consulting position and will have a one-year duration. The ideal candidate will have an engineering background, be conversant insustainable design, and have experience with software modeling andanalysis. This position is appropriate for recent graduates, youngprofessionals, or educators.

Candidates should send a resume and coverletter to: adam.menter@autodesk.com

JOB DESCRIPTION: Sustainability Education Fellow
Education is a key element to improving how engineers and designers useenergy, materials, and resources to create our built environment. The Autodesk Sustainable Design Program oversees the creation of educationalcontent on sustainable design, maintains strategic relationships withacademia, and interfaces with students, educators, and professionalslooking to incorporate sustainable design into their projects. The candidate will support these programs and will report to the Sustainability Education Program Manager. The candidate will also collaborate closely with Autodesk Education.
It is preferred that the candidate work from Autodesk’s San Francisco office.

Project Role:- Develop and curate educational content (including case studies, softwaretutorials, technical articles).- Engage with students, educators, and professionals looking toincorporate sustainable design into their projects.- Collaborate with Autodesk stakeholders to incorporate sustainabilityeducation into their work (education field team, sales channel,partnerships).
Requirements:- Broadly conversant and up-to-date in Sustainable Design terminology and methodologies. Ideally for both building design and product design.- Experience with software modeling and analysis tools (FEA, CFD, energymodeling, LCA).- Excellent presentation, communication, writing, and facilitationskills. Candidates will be asked to submit two writing samples.- Real world engineering design experience through previous jobs or pastprojects.- Degree: Mechanical engineering major preferred. Building science,architecture, systems engineering, civil engineering, or engineering technology majors will also be considered.
Preferred Qualifications:- Demonstrated ability to work independently, problem solve, and dealwith ambiguity.- Attention to detail and ability to absorb new information, and learnnew tools, quickly.- Proven skills in writing both technical and non-technical pieces.- Ability to collaborate with a broad set of stakeholders includingtechnical personnel and marketing.- Demonstrated abilities in project management and setting priorities.
About Autodesk, Inc. As a global leader in 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software,Autodesk helps people imagine, design, and create a better world. Autodesk accelerates better design through an unparalleled depth of experience and abroad portfolio of software to give customers the power to solve theirdesign, business, and environmental challenges. In addition to designers,architects, engineers, and media and entertainment professionals, Autodeskhelps students, educators, and casual creators unlock their creative ideasthrough user-friendly applications.

9 Jan 2012

Meat glue...

If you've watched the video I've posted here a while back Pig as a raw material you've already heard about this meat glue.

This white powder sold by the kilo and banned overseas, is the meat industry's dirty little secret in Australia as there is no law here to prohibit this powder.

It's called "meat glue." It makes pieces of beef, lamb, chicken or fish that would normally be thrown out stick together so closely that it looks like a solid piece of meat.

It's not only misleading people in buying a good cut of meat instead of glued together less good cuts. But is also posible dangerous for your health if you cook this glued piece of meat for example rare. Watch the video.

6 Jan 2012

Council officials ordered the removal of 168 eucalyptus trees in Bentley

Four people were arrested this morning after protesters and local residents chained themselves underneath cherry pickers and up trees that line a median strip in Bentley.

Council officials ordered the removal of 168 eucalyptus trees along Manning Road after receiving complaints from residents that roots were lifting the road surface and causing traffic vibration.

But two engineering studies on the issue concluded: "contrary to expectations, there was no or minimal root invasion of the road subsurface."
Read moreThis is one of the responses and I can't word it better:
40 years of growth gone for the sake of some bitumen. Manning road is going to look like an eyesore for decades. When are people going to realize that four decades of tree growth is far more important then having to reseal a road with a few bumps in it. Where is the common sense? This would never happen in Sydney or Melbourne, where urban trees are valued for what they add to an areas amenity.