Saturday, April 17, 2010

Design Science


Given all the jitters in space program circles, these EPCOT-like proposals to "colonize Earth" by using aerospace level technology are gaining new appeal.

The PR around such terms as "dwelling machines" (a variant of "smart house") is worth monitoring.

Perhaps people are finally ready to stand back and take a new look at their energy ecology. Futuristic artifacts make more sense when changes appear inevitable, with or without said artifacts.

I've been surveying the "peak oil" literature again, finding lots of awareness of the "design science revolution". Apocalyptic scenarists, if tempered at all in their doom saying, tend to steer towards these "more with less" aesthetics of aerospace and high efficiency.

Squandering fuel on commutes is seeming increasingly crazy.

Fuller cites "planners" as among those most empowered to think in big picture terms. Planning around lifestyles that don't require a daily commute might require some rezoning.

More communal kitchens are feasible, including in suburban settings. The metaphor of a campus might become less of a metaphor in that case, especially in light of all the student exchange going on (a lead counter to xenophobia around the world).

Our hopes to showcase some of these alternative future lifestyles clearly manifest in Portland, not least in connection with the Pauling Campus in zip code 97214. Sponsors looking for product placement opportunities have been stepping forward.

Having humans rewarded for not commuting while getting important work done nevertheless, will likely involve greater use of optical fiber.

Dreams around urban agriculture, less tied to fossil fuels for transport, and of eco-villages designed from the ground up to do more with less, seem semi-mainstream by this point.