Fighting Climate Change Through Design

Aristotle famously said: “Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; there lies your vocation.”

The needs of the world have always been great and diverse. These days, though, those needs are all starting to pool around one cause, namely, saving the planet. If we don’t have a planet, we don’t survive as a species, no matter what Exxon Mobil might think*. We need healthy ecosystems in order provide the basic human rights of clean water, food and air for everyone. And we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground if we want a climate that supports life. Period.

We need a global vocation. And that vocation needs to be about saving our home.

    Do as the smart man says.

    Do as the smart man says.

Luckily, there is no shortage of human talent here on planet earth. It’s just a matter of using those talents to a) build awareness b) find solutions and c) adopt those solutions. In this way we all contribute to the larger whole much like the self-organizing systems at the foundation of our whole universe.

We are designers here at na2ure, and as such always have one eye on the greatest talents in the field. Below is a list of ways that our design heros are using their talents towards the new global vocation.

AWARENESS

Smart as we humans are, we often have trouble spotting long-term trends, instead focusing on what is right in front of us. This project by celebrated architect Maya Lin catalogues the disappearance of species across the globe through personal and historical memories.

Most famous for his I Love NY logo, design icon Milton Glaser is using design to make the seriousness of global warming a central and rallying part of our cultural conversation.

Maya Lin's eerie map of species past.

Maya Lin's eerie map of species past.

SOLUTIONS

Biomimicry is all about using patterns and structures found in nature to solve human problems. From using human lungs as a model for sequestering carbon in limestone, to building more efficient solar panels based on leaves, the potential here is enormous.

One of the most exciting and overlooked areas of design is in agriculture. The Land Institute is leading the way towards a truly sustainable agricultural system that focuses on polycultures and perennials, emulating the ways that nature keeps itself in balance to provide sustainable abundance for humans.

For reasons environmental, economic and spiritual, people across the country are downsizing on space, designing their own dream micro-homes. Tiny houses are not only a sound option for affordable housing, but a way for people to create a sense of home in harmony with the earth.

Yestermorrow Design School students designed this gem. 10' ceilings! Compostable toilet! Yes, please!

Yestermorrow Design School students designed this gem. 10' ceilings! Compostable toilet! Yes, please!

ADOPTION

This one’s all on us! It’s up to us to start doing things the smarter way. Be the early adopter. Be a part of history. Let’s do this! Know someone who’s addressing climate change and biodiversity loss through design? Let us know who we missed.


 

* Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil infamously has stated “What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers?”