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Design& TransitionWhat can designers learn from the Transition Movement? Jody Joanna Boehnert www.eco-labs.org
DesignHow can design facilitate -‘a rapid transition to a more restrained& elegant state called sustainability’ David Orr ?
Informed by ecological literacy design is nowposed for a radical change.The design industry must now prepare for asteep learning curve and look for methodswhich are leading change.
The Transition movement is a communitydesign initiative that facilitates re-localizationfor mitigation and adaptation to post-peak oiland climate change.
Transition Town Initiatives TransiTion Town 1. Totnes, England mate Change isEngland 2. Penwith, happening. Peak Oil is imminent. brixton 3. Kinsale, Ireland r world is 4.changing. Will we design that change Ivybridge, England 5. Falmouth, England 6. Moretonhampstead, England suffer the 7. Lewes, England consequences of our inability to act? 8. Stroud, England 9. Ashburton, England 10. Ottery St. Mary, EnglandSING TO THE CHALLENGE 11. Bristol, England 12. Brixton, England *** 13. Forest Row, England nsition Town Brixton is a community-led initiative, 14. Mayfield, England 15. Glastonbury, Englandengage all sectors of the community in designing our 16. Lostwithiel, England 17. Forest of Dean, England al pathway from oil dependency to a better low energy, 18. Nottingham, England 19. Wrington, Englandw carbon future. Our aims are: 20. Brighton&Hove, 21. Portobello, Scotland 22. Market Harborough, England raise awareness of Climate Change and Peak Oil. 23. Sunshine Coast, Australia 24. West Kirby, England ‘vision’ a better low-energy future for Brixton. 25. Llandeilo, Wales 26. Bro Ddyfi, Wales design the ‘Brixton Energy Descent Action Plan’. 27. Whitstable, England 28. Marsden & Slaithwaite, England make it happen. 29. Frome, England 30. Brampton, England 31. Isle of Wight, England 32. Waiheke Island, New Zealand O RY S O FA R 33. Orewa, New Zealand 34. Dunbar, Scotland ring our first year TTB has held many events, film 35. Rhayader, Wales 36. Seaton, England sentations, discussions, visionings, & working group 37. Bath, England 38. Exeter, England 39. Isle of Man etings. TTB has worked with Lambeth on the FUTURE 40. Canterbury, England 41. Kapiti District, New ZealandIXTON regeneration plan. TTB has initiated the 42. Carbon Neutral Biggar, a Transition Town 43. PresteigneUNDANCE Project; a green mapping & urban food 44. Wolverton 45. Leicester 46. Holywoodowing project. 47. Westcliff-on-Sea 48. Isles of Scilly 49. Liverpool SouthN WA R D S 50. Norwich 51. Tring 52. Crediton will continue raising awareness, visioning and research- 53. Boulder, CO, USA 54. North Howe future possibilities. We plan to actively involve more 55. Lampeter 56. South Pethertonthe Brixton community. We will form more working 57. Armidale, NSW 58. Chichester 59. Bell, VIC ups to vision and plan towards creating the Brixton 60. Bellingen, NSW 61. Berkhamstedergy Descent Action Plan. We will begin our Reskilling 62. Forres 63. Sandpoint, ID, USAurses for a more localised, low energy lifestyle. We will 64. Opotiki Coast, New Zealand 65. Newcastle, NSW 66. Chepstow ate visible practical projects to realise the vision. We working to over 150 March Brixton Local Exchange Trading & revive the 2009 Rethink, Reconnect & Relocalise.heme, to create a Brixton Food Hub and many other jects. PROGRAmmE OF EvENTS
Ecological Literacy The first step in our endeavor to build sustainable communities must be to become ‘ecologically literate’, i.e. to understand of the principles of organization, common to all living systems, that ecosystems have evolved to sustain the web of life… This systemic understanding of life allows us to formulate a set of principles of organization that may be identified as the basic principles of ecology and used as guidelines for building sustainable human communities... Thus, ecological literacy, or ‘ecoliteracy’, must become a critical skill for politicians, business leaders, professionals in all spheres, and should be the most important part of education at all levels. Fritjof Capra, 2002
Footprinting,lifecyle analysis,cradle to cradle, TMOne Planet Living ,biomimicry, etc.Researchers have created tools that can help designersgrasp complex environmental information.
TransformationDesign (The UK Design Council) 1 Defining and redefining the brief 2 Collaborating between disciplines 3 Employing participatory design techniques 4 Building capacity, not dependency 5 Designing beyond traditional solutions 6 Creating fundamental change
Transition MovementThe Transition movement is based on theassumption that we are approaching theend of the age of cheap oil, and that climatechange and peak oil are twin challenges thatmust be addressed simultaneously.
Despite the big changes ahead, the Transitionmovement holds that the move towardslocalized energy efficient living could make aworld that is better than our own.
4 Key Assumptions1. That life with dramatically lower energyconsumption is inevitable.2. That communities presently lack resilience towithstand energy shocks.3. That we have to act collectively.4. That the collective genius of groups is powerful.
2. Resilience to Energy Shocks ‘Climate change says we should change, whereas peak oil says we will be forced to change’. Hopkins Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI)
3. Collective ActionThe Transition approach attempts to engage entirecommunities in the process of change. New methods suchas citizens juries or panels, round tables, visioning, charettesand new ‘consensus conferences’ have become necessary,and they arise from the realisation that environmentalvalues are not preformed, but rather that they emerge outof debate.
1. VisioningCentral to the Transition approach is the idea we can onlypro-actively move towards something if we can imagine it.The Transition movement also works with visioningscenarios (adaptation / evolution / collapse) to come toterms with factors driving change.
Response Proactive Le an - fix no Ec on om ch y Te Rapid Depletion Slow Depletion Bu p se rn lla -o Reactive Response o ut C4 Energy Scenarios - based on work by Bryn Davidson: www.dynamiccities.square.com
Our best chance will emerge from our ability to engage people in a vision of transition to a lower energy future as anadventure, something in which we can invest our energy.
2. InclusionThe Transition movement seeks to facilitate dialogue betweendifferent groups.
3. Awareness RaisingThe Transition movement holds that the end of the age ofoil is a confusing time. We are constantly exposed to andbewildered by mixed messages. The movement aims to setout its case clearly by giving people the key arguments. H ow c an w e & still save th earn a living Join Transiti e planet? on Town Bri x ton for an of local resili exploration ence and glo into the eco how could a bal sust ainab nomics communit y ility. Local Ec and provide using less en onomy Day a higher qual ergy b e econ ask s: it y of life? omically stro Programme in nger clu des… o
4. ResilienceResilience refers to the ability of a system to hold togetherand maintain its ability to function in the face of change andshocks from the outside.
5. Psychological Insights‘healthy functioning requires that we have faith in thefuture, without this confidence; our trust in the worldis damaged. Damaged trust can lead to many neuroticreactions, narcissism, depression, paranoia, andcompulsion’. ‘post- petrole um stress disord er ’