Cradle To Cradle

PULP: Reclaimed Materials Art and Design April 27th

There will be a unique event Architecture For Humanity Toronto and PULP: Reclaimed Materials Art and Design is holding on April L7OdEt0U5pxgbFRu-V9DKA3VHtVF0DQzjOzYV2MNDjA27th at Metropolis Factory (50 Edwin Avenue – close to Dundas St. West Station on Bloor)). It’s called PULP: paper art party and it will be exploring more active programmatic uses for an art show such as dancing, play, and conversation inside, under, or on the art.

From their release:

We are organizing artists and designers to collect blue-bin materials, especially paper and cardboard, to source their designs of installations and furniture. Our vision is to bring together professional artists (some of which we already reached) and students from all schools around Toronto. We have student representatives at U of T, Ryerson, Waterloo, OCAD, and Humber College. We are excited to give students the opportunity to work alongside professional designers and other students from different schools, to form connections and strengthen Toronto’s design community in a casual and fun settings. We are also committed to explore new sustainable practices and alternatives to the current life-cycle of paper products – it is our belief that while recycling is a good idea, its current practice can be greatly improved. We are inspired by Cradle to Cradle (William McDonough) and Garbage Warrior (Michael Raynolds).

We have these ideas about community, collaboration, and sustainability but we do not want to preach people – we’d rather get them on the dance floor or see them sitting on a cardboard sofa with a drink. The earlier part of the event will be more relaxed (music-wise) to encourage conversation and interaction with the art. There will be a live band (from Humber College’s music program) and several DJs. There will also be a large projection screen that will show video art (we are accepting submissions for that too) and design students’ copywork.

You can find out more on our website -

Our Facebook page -

And the Facebook event page -

New book from William McDonough: The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability—Designing for Abundance

UpcycleCover_webThe Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability—Designing for Abundance, which William McDonough wrote with Michael Braungart, will be published next month. Four years in the making, the book re-joins the conversation sparked by Cradle to Cradle in 2002.

Cradle to Cradle is a foundation, a fulcrum against which we can lean levers of desirable change. The Upcycle is a collection of stories about amplifying, scaling up and accelerating change, about discovering those leverage points where innovation tips the world not just toward sustainability but beyond. They believe upcycling the quality of our design—seeking purposeful, continuous improvement instead of simply recycling yesterday’s sub-optimal or obsolete ideas—is the force that will raise up a more just, prosperous, fruitful world.

President Bill Clinton haswrote a foreword to the book. Here’s an excerpt—

“The Upcycle is a book about creativity, about thinking big even if we have to act small, and about approaching problems with a bias for action…Bill McDonough and Michael Braungart invite you to think about the future we share; to imagine what could be and how to make it so. We are all in this together, and we’ll need a global commitment to sustainability if we want our children to inherit a world of shared opportunity, shared responsibility, and shared prosperity. Let’s get to work.”

We are living in a moment of reckoning and extraordinary opportunity, a calamitous time when many businesses are seeking new ways to apply their considerable energy and resources to meeting the world’s needs. Agile, responsive businesses, those able to upcycle everything they do, will create more value for more people. They will prosper, and so will the places and people sharing their beneficial presence. Generosity, abundance and the good health of our world will define success.

Mindset of Green Growth

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

Culture|Futures’ Olaf Gerlach-Hansen moderated the panel session ‘Mindset of Green Growth’ at the World Sustainable Development Summit in Delhi, India, on 1 February 2013

mindset_workshop2_1000The panel discussants included

  • Ms Mili Majumdar, Director, Sustainable Habitat Division, The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI)
  • Ms Mette Morsing, Professor, Copenhagen Business School, and Co-Director, CBS Sustainability Platform,
  • Mr Kasper Guldager Jørgensen, Architect, Partner and Co-Founder of 3XN, and
  • Mr Denis Leclerc, President and CEO of Ecotech Quebec, Quebec Cleantech Cluster.

The discussion between Ms Mili Majumdar and Ms Mette Morsing stressed upon issues such as green architecture as an alternative to energy intensive buildings. They also suggested the use of biological ecosystems in them.

Danish Architect Mr Kasper Guldager Jørgensen shared his expertise in new building materials as a road to sustainable development. Mr Jørgensen, who is also a founder of Cradle to Cradle in Denmark, has just published the first official ‘Cradle to Cradle Guide’ for Danish construction companies and business.

Mr Denis Leclerc from Canada shared his experiences about new mindset from Quebec Clean Tech Cluster. The development of clean technology and training of future managers with a focus on business and sustainability was also recommended.

The session gave weight to ideas, such as algae ecosystems in green buildings. The speakers also talked about focusing on ensuring executive training on sustainability issues in business school curriculums. They concluded with recommendations on the use of clean technologies with aggressive targets for carbon-neutral growth based on the Quebec model.

More information about the summit:

Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.

Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.
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Call for participants/presenters in a panel presentation and round table discussion, with possible breakout sessions at Scenofest, PQ2011

Roundtable Information

10am  21st June

Considering Sustainable Design: expanding the possible by rethinking the way we create

In their book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, William McDonough and Michael Braungart argue that we will never sell sustainable practice by pitching cutting back, but rather through creating products that are beneficial to the earth. As Braungart points out, ants have a greater biomass than humans, and have been industrious for millions of years, yet unlike humans, their industry nourishes the planet. This panel will consider the benefits of sustainable design practice beyond the ‘it feels right’ motivation. By Rethinking the Way We Create Things, might we be opening up to a whole new and exciting world of design possibilities?

If you are planning to attend PQ2011, are interested in this aspect of design, and feel you would be interested/available to participate, please send your proposed presentation topic (abstract), and a short bio to William Mackwood:

2pm 21st June

Sites of Performance – Theatre out of frames

This years Scenofest sees two major performance projects happening outside of a theatre building, so what is it that this form of theatre achieves that cannot be achieved through other means ? Over the last ten years there has been a real surge in the interest in making work in unorthodox spaces from garages, botanical gardens, intimate apartments to massive industrial units.  Increasingly this work seeks out intersection with other collaborators, historians, cultural geographers, urban planners as the work seeks to map hidden histories. Street theatre performance too has developed in sophistication and scale and artists are employed as a catalysts to re-imagine their futures. Work by pioneering artists like Meredith Monk, Ariane Mnouchkine, Peter Brooks and companies like Dogtroep, Skewed Vision, Wilson+Wilson, La Machine all shaped the form, but what does the future hold ?

This roundtable considers the unique opportunities offered through this work and explore sites of performance potential for spectacle / community engagement / regeneration / as text / scenographic material.

If you are planning to attend PQ2011, are interested in this aspect of performance, and feel you would be interested/available to participate, please send your proposed presentation topic (abstract), and a short bio to Peter Reed at

The literature of climate

@climateboom and @ashdenizen have started a thread on Twitter discussing the literature of climate change, using the hashtag #climelit. So far the reading list includes:

David Holmgren’s Future Scenarios
George Monbiot’s Heat
Mark Lynas’s Six Degrees
Clive Hamilton’s Growth Fetish
George Marshall’s Carbon Detox
David Archer’s The Long Thaw
anything by John Houghton
Mann and Kump’s Dire Predictions
Mike Hulme’s Why We Disagree About Climate Change
Debi Glior’s The Trouble with Dragons
Alistair McIntosh’s Hell and High Water
William McDonough & Michael Braungart’s Cradle to Cradle

Robert Butler (@ashdenizen) Christian Hunt (@climateboom) also suggests a second hashtag category, #climefiction, to classify the words of Nigel Lawson, Christopher Booker and presumably Ian Plimer.

Also listed now:

Andrew Simm’s Ecological Debt
David MacKay’s Sustainable Energy Without The Hot Air
Elizabeth Kolbert Field Notes from a Catastrophe

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology