alternative economics

Jul 012013

This piece was a curbside find from the South Coast. My sister has developed a habit of txting me when she sees things. It was beautiful but it was very old and had obviously been damp. It’s probably the first piece that I stripped right back to the frame and then built up. A lot of time I try to manipulate what’s already there and bolster it.   There’s a handwritten mark in there from […read the rest]

Jul 012013

At the centre of my design interventions is the idea of working in the margins, on the edge, in the spaces between. “Embodiment” refers to the tension and struggle between a world in which what is valued is increasingly digital, distant, and idealized and a world of everyday relationships, sensations, and mystery. I have lived in the interstices, gleaning, struggling for meaning between street protests and my job in an ad agency, building furniture while […read the rest]

May 262013
Lessons of the Local Food Movement at Vivid Sydney

I was invited to speak at Design your Day Job, organized by &Company, part of Vivid Ideas 2013. 25 May 2013 Sydney Australia I’m new to Australia, and since I arrived, I’ve really hoped to become part of something like this event, so I’m absolutely thrilled to be here with you today. Although I imagined we’d all be around a long table and I’d be cooking for you. But this is cool too. My talk today […read the rest]

Nov 162012

To build a movement, we need to spread the idea, far beyond the subculture which has nurtured it. We need to translate to older and newer ideas, and expand our way of seeing to recognize resonances and amplify them. As Matthew Crawford points out in Shop Class as Soul Craft, “by the mere fact that they stand ready to fix things, as a class [mechanics] they are an affront to the throwaway society.” He exhorts us […read the rest]

Oct 292012

Matthew B. Crawford, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work. 2009: Penguin Books. If the regard that many people now have for the wider ramifications of their food choices could be brought to our relationships to our own automobiles, it could sustain pockets of mindful labor… [102] This is the book I wanted to write, to try to get at the fulfilments of artisanship, and what this suggests for how we […read the rest]

Aug 052012

Last night I went to see some art, without knowing the topic in advance. And it was another theme. It was indeed frightening. (Fake smoke is amazingly moving –and versatile– with the right lighting and sound.) It seems many artists have taken it upon themselves these days to frighten viewers into action on global warming. It’s good to see artists embracing activism, and it’s good that people are taking these issues seriously. I want […read the rest]

Aug 032012
It's happening, musicians are figuring it out

Musicians, hackers, and writers are in mess right now, because they love making stuff and they want to share it, but the internet makes everything free, or below the wages that anyone could possibly live on. These days you can use Spotify to listen to any song you want, for almost no money. So folks are figuring out how they’ll be able to make a living from their creativity. In the meantime, some are giving it […read the rest]

Jul 262012

I’ve been talking with the awesome Charles Heying, author of Brew to Bikes (2010) about naming this movement. Is it: slow: “seeking to do everything at the right speed. Savoring the hours and minutes rather than just counting them. Doing everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible. It’s about quality over quantity in everything…” Carl Honoré, In Praise of Slow (2005) local, specific to each place, its culture, style, ecosystem, “terroir” … and […read the rest]

Jun 162012
The Integrity Economy

I don’t usually eat meusli, but my body targeted its cravings that way last week, and I follow. I found a beautiful one, and expensive, from realgoodfood. I was especially pleased with it because the phrase “organic” emblazoned on the label turned out to refer not only to the grains which make up the bulk of the product, but also to the dried berries (biodynamic, actually). This is rare. I didn’t mind paying $10, because I […read the rest]