After the most harrowing passenger trip of my life careening down the wrong side of a motorway 5 hrs out of Shanghai, playing chicken with overloaded lorries and buses, I swore I would never drive in China again. Yet here I am on my final day of a 3-day drive from Beijing to Xi'an and I have made it: armed with my own Chinese drivers license I have ducked and woven my way through the kamikaze traffic with my B-Class F-Cell unscathed. And I will admit it - by day 3 I was as mad as the rest of them.
Peter is equal parts hairdresser (mine, in Sydney) and photographer. His photograph of the pool at Bondi Icebergs is my favourite screensaver so - I am sharing. Nuff said.
Just finished a mind-blowing book about the relationship between humanitarian aid, war and war crimes that has really caused me to think long and hard about my recent trip to Cambodia and also my plans to return...and where I (and my companies) donate money.
Engineers Without Borders Australia - with whom I toured Cambodia - have the very practical aim of giving expert advice only until a local business is sustainable on its own...and then retreating from the project. In true "ginger beer" fashion the engineers keep a low profile and just get on with what needs fixing, solving or improving. A really good model.
Polman queries whether Henri Dunant's original ethos for the Red Cross to be "impartial, neutral and independent" is possible in today's war zones and uses potent examples in Rwanda and Afghanistan to make her point. Probably the best read for me in the past three years. I bought mine at Siem Reap airport and the cover is apparently different in the US version but the content remains controversial and thought-provoking. Do it!
I'm excited that the new DWR catalog is out - to be perfectly honest I am primarily excited because O MOON gets an entire page as well as a Moon-centric quarter page...and it is great to see my design getting some space!
I had heard from my Sydney factory that an upcoming Blanchett movie wanted 20 O MOONs for the set but the electric components couldnt be delivered in time...and I was pretty disappointed. Since we dont currently sell O MOON in Australia (despite the fact it was designed for our outdoor lifestyle) I was keen for it to maybe get some traction via the movie. ce la vie - perhaps I can get a local agent this year.
Meanwhile I hear that DWR are negotiating with Knoll to reproduce one of my all-time favorite chairs, the Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy butterfly chair with leather seat. Very exciting - stay tuned for details.
This is your new blog post. Click here and start typing, or drag in elements from the top bar.
The Green Cities conference ended with a live-on-stage Extreme Green shootout between a not-yet-prototyped windpower screen, an inproduction external blind system, and a biomass energy engine. An international panel comprising a builder, an architect and an engineer were moderated by MOI to pick a winner - and altho both proven systems - the biomass and the blinds - were impressive, it was the Windscreen that really BLEW us all away! (I couldnt help myself).
Tim Binion is a student who thought that this project was over - but the workshopping from on stage and from the informed audience got him excited about the prospects for his design all over again! In particular, the suggestion that the screen be mounted at least 2 ft/600mm off the building's surface so that the wind could be "double dipped" - once on the way in, the other, possibly higher yielding dip as the wind bounced off the surface of the building and returned back through the wind-harvesting blades. In addition we brainstormed using the frame to store rainwater, and covering the outside of the panel with PVs as a hybrid energy-producing cladding panel - or as temporary fencing for events such as the sustainable London Olympics in 2012 (more on Dan Epstein's excellent overview of the Sustainable Olympics in the next few days).
I am hoping Tim will prototype his invention and take it on the New Inventors - he has offers from Arup and LendLease to help - you cant get better than that!
Above, a shot from Tim's online portfolio which you can also view here. Below, Green Building Council CEO Romily Madew, Windscreen designer and Extreme Green winner Tim Binion, and me
Sally Dominguez writes, skis, designs and teaches, is curious about most things and loves Dr Seuss.