The benefits of craft production

Moving from fast, quantity production to slow, quality production Industrial production in the beginning meant that goods were cheaper and more available to everyone. This was great to begin with but the ripple of higher productivity became a tidal wave. More and more goods were produced for ever-lower prices but the quality of both the … Read more

Bad advertising, Good advertising

The 2015 “Are You Beach Body Ready?” campaign highlights the depths bad advertising will plunge to. The UK banned the campaign (but not the US!) for it’s callous body-shaming method. In advertising there are two fundamental methods: advertising that informs and advertising that persuades. In the early days, advertising was informative and the majority of advertising is … Read more

Slow Design for Cultural Sustainability

by Michael Lockhart | 7 August, 2017 I was honoured to give a talk today at the International Cultural Sustainability Symposium run by Victoria University of Wellington. Thanks to the organisers, speakers and those who attended. The following is a transcript of my talk. The noted design academic Ezio Manzini said “There is too much … Read more

Craft technology for the future

When we think of technology we usually think of high-tech and big-tech, like robots and automated factories. However, hand tools and craft processes are technologies too. In a lower energy future there will be more use of manual, craft technology – tools, techniques and skills. A number of heritage technologies will be revisited. Whilst these technologies will probably be … Read more

Handmade for good

My partner Anna is a contemporary jeweller. Everything she makes is handmade. Apart from a few power tools and a gas torch Anna only uses hand tools. What she lacks in precision, she makes up for with touch and an eye for the less-than-perfect ‘ideal’. Even with the same design, no two pieces are the same and … Read more

Seven of the worst inventions

Margarine one of the worst inventions

The following ‘inventions’ provide seven good reasons why society needs to use the precautionary principle. Invention throughout human history has been a process of trial and error. When an error was made it impacted very few people because errors were confined to a particular locale. As economies became national and then global, ‘errors’ could spread around … Read more

Should there be an automation tax?

An article entitled “Robots could threaten up to half New Zealand’s jobs in next 20 years” highlights yet another problem with our economies. The problem is that workers are losing the ability to find jobs because of the greed inherent in a system that focuses on financial returns for a small minority rather than the well-being of the whole of … Read more

The benefits of round houses

Round houses, Round house

In the past, round houses were much more common. Traditional circular shelters include igloos, tipis, African mud brick huts, yurts and British and European roundhouses. They were the shape of choice because they were strong, energy efficient, good for ventilation and air circulation, less vulnerable in strong winds and they used the least amount of … Read more