Cardboard Castles and Other Amenities...

I am really interested in using different forms of cultural action to help build better communities. Communities are a vital social model, allowing us to tackle problems beyond the ability of individuals with the focus of a defined (usually relatively small) group of people. How do the arts and cultural work in general help communities grow more sustainable futures? If you have a cool website or project or your own ideas on these subjects please let me know.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Human Powered Technology: Be the Power You Want to Use in the World

In a world where sustainable energy creation is one of the largest problems facing the world, The Human Power Objects Workshop looks like a really important re-focusing of our conception of what is and what is not a source of energy. The workshop was headed by Myriel Milicevic and there is an interesting (efficient, i.e. short) interview with her at We-make-money-not-art. Milicevic wrote in the introduction to the online report that "While technology so far has been developed towards a state of minimum human effort, this workshop now explores the potential of using the human body itself as a renewable power source." There seems to be convergence from many different angles that humans should be actively engaging with technology. From one angle, lots of people are talking about how games like Dance Dance Revolution can be used as a weight loss option, especially for kids. There is also the fact that many places in the world are not connected to a power grid. For the millions who cannot afford generators, human powered technology is a possible solution. MIT D-Lab or Design that Matters - Kinkajou Power Challenge are two examples of great work being done in this area. Finally, human generated electricity is a sustainable alternative, especially if it is connected with normal day activity. For example, charge your Ipod while walking to class or using natural human traffic patterns (like walking through a turnstile at a train station) to create power. The whole interview is really worth a read.

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