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sustainability

Where The Leaves Fall focus with their latest issue on extinction - from extraordinary picture essay on the floods in Bangladesh to efforts to save the world’s wild coffee species, many of which are at risk of extinction to how some plants, surviving the worst manmade disasters, can offer an alternative model for living in the face of the environmental crisis.⁠ Buy...

Cambio is a small layer between the bark and the wood of a tree, which helps the tree to adapt to shifts within its biotope. But Cambio also means change in Italian. The visionary design practice Formafantasma created a critical exhibition of the same name for Serpentine Galleries, which deals with trees, forestry practices and wood production. Wood is such an old and renewable material that it is not the first we think of when we talk about the exploitation of the planet. We want to see it as a sustainable material without questioning whether our use of it is sustainable. We forget that trees are living beings we should seek a thoughtful coexistence with. The exhibition questions the role that the discipline of design can play in translating emerging environmental awareness into informed, collaborative responses.⁠ ⁠ Unfortunately, the exhibition is closed, as are so many places at the moment. But fortunately we have the accompanying book that will allow you to dive deep into the research and design process of Formafantasma. Essays and interviews by experts in the fields of science, conservation, technology, policy-making and philosophy are designed to give the reader different points of view, while a series of interviews with Formafantasma themselves, over the course of the research period, illustrate the enriching interplay that resulted from these conversations.⁠ ⁠ And if you want to see the whole video, you can find it on the Instagram account of Serpentine Galleries alongside Antenna Fantasma - a weekly series of discussions around ecology and design by Formafantasma.⁠ Buy...

While human activity is reduced to a minimum, earth is thriving. Looking at the images of the Venice channels being so clear that you can see every sand corn on the ground (who would have thought that the ground has beautiful light sand?!), one can not say anymore that the water is normally brown and muddy because Venice is build into a muddy lagoon. We know now it is not. We know now it is brown because we humans pollute it. And this is just one of many examples we are seeing in these days. ⁠So when you sit at home and wish that everything would go back to normal. Think again. If we go back to normal, we probably missed the lesson. Let us take this time to re-imagine what world we want to live in. And while we are convinced that the big steps for a more healthful coexistence of humans and nature should be regulated by far-reaching laws, there are many things everyone of us can incorporate into their daily life to do their part. How to start Nathalie Fee describes in her book How to Save the World for Free insistent, vivid, and lighthearted. Because if we don't, we might not be able to tell each other to "stay home" and "stay safe" soon anymore, since we destroyed our home and no one is safe.⁠ Buy...

Kenya is a country with a young, fashion-conscious population. However, as the local fashion labels are expensive and unaffordable for most people because the raw materials are imported, they have to resort either to mass-produced, low-quality and yet comparatively expensive garments from countries further east or to the Mitumba trade - imported second-hand clothes from the western world.⁠ Chaumont Zaerpour's "Things People Wear in Kenya" is a photographic study of fashion as it is lived, worn, produced and consumed there. The various fashion economies are interwoven in the book, which is primarily influenced by Kenyan voices - clothing designers and wearers alike, who talk about their perception of clothing.⁠ Moving between high fashion and everyday inventions, the duo records “the way people tinker, find ways to extract a new life out of used things, and the uniqueness of all these cobbled objects.”⁠ Buy...

Even though upcycling is a well known design principle, this book is not about design and so you also won't find questionable so-called solutions of cut plastic bottles turned into planters. On the contrary. This book focusses on reuse in architecture, from cannibal architectures to upcycling ruins to creating building materials out of waste or found objects to encourage sustainable thought and action in architecture to reusing building materials like they did for the incredible building of the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou.⁠ This book is bi-lingual: English and German. Buy...

We warmly invite you to discover with us the first issue of Lissome. A reading soundtracked by live music will guide you into the conscious, calm, and gracious world of Lissome.⁠ So if you are interested in New Years resolutions which are not solely existing in order to break them but actually transform the way we live as well as re-imagine our role as humans in an endangered ecosystem we are happy to see you on Tuesday the 21.01.2020 at 6.30 pm in our store in Auguststraße 28, Berlin-Mitte⁠. If that doesn't sound like a good start for this year...

There are plenty of ways to design a better future. So many, actually, that it took the elves behind do you read me?! a few night shifts to finally present you a collection which will let your christmas tree shine sustainably this year. ⁠Spanning from The Touch by Kinfolk and their friends from Norm Architects, Jeroen Junte's 'Do it Ourselves' spotlighting the latest verve in Dutch Design, the impressive compendium Atlas of Furniture Design by Vitra, the unlimited paperback edition of the marvelous work of Herzog & de Meuron, Magdalene Odundo's 'Journey of Things' as well as Materialisation in Art & Design (MAD) which gives a glimpse behind the scenes of a temporary master at Sandberg Instituut.⁠ ⁠ Oh, and did we mention the fantastic book 'Architektur für die Katz'? It will definitely change the seven lives of your cat for the better - or at the least the current one. ⁠ For more last minutes Christmas Gifts click here. ...

"Saving the planet begins at breakfast" states the subtitle of "We are the Weather", the latest book of Jonathan Safran Foer. And while we chew on our Sunday brunch, we might initially take a defensive state - Really? Now Foer tells us that even our most favorite Sunday habit is a threat to life? - But stay calm, this book is not about food and eating habits. On the other hand it is also not meant to calm you. So we take that back.⁠ In the first part of the book, titled "The Unbelievable", Foer tells shortly historical turning points and personal stories, which all lead to the suspicion that the human mind is unable to emotionally engage with something that is terrifying by the facts but invisible in every day life and therefor not shaking our emotions. Like the climate crisis. "Our alarm systems are not built for conceptual threats." Which seems one of the reasons why we know about climate change and the threat it is to human life but are unable to take actions. And even though Foer just concluded that we are somehow immune to the devastating facts, he presents us with them nonetheless - through bullet-point lists. Arranged in small size bites and still far from being easily digestible.⁠ ⁠But instead of now presenting us with tools or action plans, what one might expect, to overcome our paralysis, we will read impressions and anecdotes of what means "Home" followed by a inner monologue titled "Dispute with the soul". And latest now it dawns us. What the hard facts are unable to do, Foer is trying (and succeeds at) - he emotionally shake us.⁠ ⁠ May that be the wake up call we all needed to finally take the steps necessary to safe our biotope, our home.⁠ Buy ...

We all know these moments when we just have enough of breaking news that show us in what destructive times we live in or how we will all end up in disaster. In these moments we like to distract ourselves with something light, something beautiful, that lifts our spirit and draws a smile upon our faces - something like flowers. Well, that won’t work this time! At least not with the latest issue of The Plant. ⁠ ⁠ „Our house is on fire.“ said Greta Thunberg and thousands of pupils followed her on the streets. They fight for our biotope, for nature and all living beings. The Plant accompanied these kids to learn more about their thoughts. But while the young generation sees their future taken away from them, the „nature artist“ Herman De Vries finds soothing reassurance in the thought that humanity fades and nature returns. Photographs of plastic wrapped flowers, grown, cut, and then sold to bring for a short moment nature and life into our concrete homes, the artificial gardens of Disneyland, they add to the conversation a picture of how deranged our relationship to nature undoubtedly is. This issue is not about plants, it is not about flowers, it is about us living with nature. It is about our planet, about mother earth and how we treat her.⁠ ⁠ Well, and for the ones really needing some recreation time, there is also a conversation with Olivia Laing full of plant talk and dirty hands solely from gardening.⁠ Buy ...

Designers always have used natural materials, thinking of wood, stones, clay. With mass production, however, mass exploitation and destruction became an indispensable part of the design world. ‘Nature: Collaborations in Design’, the catalogue of the sixth Cooper Hewitt Design Triennal, mirrors the profound awareness of designers, that it is time to change the paradigm. In seven chapters - Understand, Simulate, Salvage, Facilitate, Augment, Remediate, and Nurture - designers collaborate with specialists stirred by the desire for a more holistic approach and regenerative future. Together with biologists, engineers, agriculturists, and environmentalists the contributors rethink design processes and anticipate future challenges. They let algae cultivate pre-shaped materials, rain create pattern structures, or salt crystals grow whole stools. And by that undergo the ultimate collaboration - the one with nature itself. Buy...