Lecture 10: Alasdair MacDonald & A Future Conversation

Our final design & technology lecture was delivered by Alasdair MacDonald and was titled ‘A Future Conversation’. We discussed the future of energy generation, transport, and their effects on climate change. The discussion of car-free cities reminded me of Barcelona’s recent work. Since 2014, it has been creating a series of ‘superblocks’ – areas zonedContinue reading “Lecture 10: Alasdair MacDonald & A Future Conversation”

The Public Opinion of Nuclear Power

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say the word ‘nuclear’? Probably an image like the one above. Ok. What comes to mind when I say ‘nuclear energy’? Probably still the image above, or perhaps the Chernobyl Disaster. That’s what I think of at least. In fact, I can’t think of aContinue reading “The Public Opinion of Nuclear Power”

Thorium Reactors – What’s All The Fuss?

Nuclear fusion is many decades away, and current nuclear technology carries severe drawbacks such as waste, meltdowns, proliferation, and cost. Is there anything that can be done to address these issues now? A common solution thrown around is ‘thorium’. From my research I have come across a long list of alternate nuclear reactor designs, eachContinue reading “Thorium Reactors – What’s All The Fuss?”

Nuclear Energy in Numbers

In this blog entry I will explore the current state of nuclear energy, compare it to alternative technologies, and justify why I believe we should be building more nuclear plants. I started by rewatching Michael Shellenberger’s TEDx Talks, which are a bombardment of statistics supporting nuclear power. These talks were hugely revelatory for me whenContinue reading “Nuclear Energy in Numbers”

Lecture 9: Kaitlyn Debiasse & Refugee Open Ware

This week’s lecture was delivered by Kaitlyn Debiasse, a design lecturer at GSA whose experience includes managing a project that creates prosthetic limbs for Syrian refugees. After the lecture, I spoke with my girlfriend Maryam, an upper limb congenital amputee who has experience with various prosthesis, but now chooses to live without one. I askedContinue reading “Lecture 9: Kaitlyn Debiasse & Refugee Open Ware”

Expensive Hillwalking Stuff

I love hillwalking. I don’t consider myself to be a massive consumer, but I definitely make an exception for hillwalking gear. The brands suck me in too easily with their spec sheets and fancy terminology. Since I got into hillwalking four years ago, my entire wardrobe has been replaced, ‘upgraded’. Part of me just lovesContinue reading “Expensive Hillwalking Stuff”

Lecture 8: John Thorne & Sustainability

This week’s design & technology lecture featured John Thorne as the guest speaker; GSA’s Sustainability Coordinator. He spoke about the product designer’s potential to impact climate change, among numerous other interesting points of discussion. We discussed the required shift in energy production to curb climate change, moving away from fossil fuels and towards renewables. IContinue reading “Lecture 8: John Thorne & Sustainability”

Nuclear Fusion and Generative Design

You can’t talk about the future of nuclear energy without talking about nuclear fusion. Actually, you can’t talk about the future of energy without talking about nuclear fusion. In this blog I will dive into this subject, looking at how a fusion reactor works, the pros and cons, the misconceptions, and how modern design approachesContinue reading “Nuclear Fusion and Generative Design”

Is Product Design Inherently Unsustainable?

On 25 November 2011, Patagonia published this advert in the New York Times. It discusses the paradox facing the self-proclaimed ‘activist company’: how can you be environmentally sustainable while remaining in business? As a clothing company, Patagonia makes money by selling products. Any product must justify its existence, and this goes double for clothes. SoContinue reading “Is Product Design Inherently Unsustainable?”

Lecture 7: Ben Craven’s Calculations

This week’s lecture was provided by Ben Craven from GSA and had a very simple message: quick calculations are extremely useful. A rough calculation early on in a project can quickly tell you the feasibility of an idea, and whether you should invest any more time into it. I think calculations are most effective forContinue reading “Lecture 7: Ben Craven’s Calculations”