Tag: environment (page 1 of 2)

Certain surroundings seem to dispel enchantment, and others encourage it

I really liked this article by Simon Sarris about what we grasp for versus what we get in domestic settings. I’m definitely receptive to the emotional (and even spiritual) aspects of our build environment at the moment, for some reason.

Handcrafted objects, textured colors, unpainted and unpolished surfaces (my walls show their raw plaster), natural materials, sunlight and shadow—all of these are signs of life. Life accepts the imperfect and the changing. The domestic need not be flamboyant—though sometimes it is magnificent to be so—after all my kitchen and Laquy’s are far from neon. But no kitchen or home should look lifeless. The design cues of the modern home are grasping at a kind of modernist perfectionism, and become flat because all life is removed in the process. Professional atmospheres (restaurant kitchens, warehouses, operating rooms) are antiseptic, often they need to be, so they simply banish life.


Intimacy is not clutter, but the proper demarcation of space. To lure back enchantment, we must learn to create the nook, to appreciate the wilder garden, to consider the power of shadows and small spaces, to welcome living materials over insensate ones. There is no formula that can easily arrive at intimacy, only a sensitivity to context that can be cultivated. If we look beyond the economic and utilitarian world, we will find a secret one waiting for us.

Source: Patina and Intimacy | Simon Sarris

Nine planetary boundaries

This is a useful diagram to share in order to demonstrate that we might think we’re shafted with regards to climate change, but that pales into insignificance compared to pollution from chemicals and plastics.

Nine planetary boundaries

The researchers say there are many ways that chemicals and plastics have negative effects on planetary health, from mining, fracking and drilling to extract raw materials to production and waste management.

“Some of these pollutants can be found globally, from the Arctic to Antarctica, and can be extremely persistent. We have overwhelming evidence of negative impacts on Earth systems, including biodiversity and biogeochemical cycles,” says Carney Almroth.

Global production and consumption of novel entities is set to continue to grow. The total mass of plastics on the planet is now over twice the mass of all living mammals, and roughly 80% of all plastics ever produced remain in the environment.

Plastics contain over 10,000 other chemicals, so their environmental degradation creates new combinations of materials – and unprecedented environmental hazards. Production of plastics is set to increase and predictions indicate that the release of plastic pollution to the environment will rise too, despite huge efforts in many countries to reduce waste.

Source: Safe planetary boundary for pollutants, including plastics, exceeded, say researchers | Stockholm Resilience Centre

The end of petrol stations

Another article looking at the future of electric vehicles. I particularly like the section where it talks about how, if you were trying to sell the idea of petrol stations these days, you’d never get anyone to sign off the health and safety side of things.

Electric vehicle optimists paint a world where you can plug in anywhere you park – at home while you sleep, as you work, when you are shopping or at the cinema.

Pretty much whatever you are doing, energy will be flowing into your car.

At this point, says Erik Fairbairn, 97% of electric car charging will happen away from petrol pump equivalents.

“Imagine someone came around and filled up your car with petrol every night so you had 300 miles of range every morning,” he says. “How often would you need anything else?”

In this brave new world, you’ll only ever pull over into a service station on really epic, long journeys when you’ll top up your battery for 20-30 minutes while you have a coffee and use the facilities.

Source: Why it’s the end of the road for petrol stations | BBC News