Monthly Archives: June 2009

Negative Carbon Footprint

We’ve heard of the term “zero carbon footprint” in the past few years to bring awareness to the sustainability movement. But even if we all go zero carbon right now, what happens to the years when we didn’t do much about the environment? Don’t we need to do even more than zero carbon and go into the negative territory to bring the environment back to its sustainable state?

I suppose I am sort of looking at this like the national debt. We have a debt, and at the same time we try to balance our annual budget. Even if we don’t have any more deficits, we still have a debt. We need to have a surplus every year to get us back in the black (even though I am told we intentionally will never pay back our debt, for certain economic reasons).

I know that right now, we can’t even get to absolutely zero carbon, so getting negative carbon is even harder. And I’m pretty sure that involves more than planting trees for every whatever product we buy.


Outside-In/Top-Down Design Process

Normally, my design process is based on the “form follows function” philosophy: you have a problem, you define the criteria/limits, and you build your solution up from that. But I’m beginning to notice that there are times in my design process where I would immediately come up with a “cool” solution, and then I look for meaning and useful characteristics of the solution to explain my “reasoning” afterwards. When I think of that, I am reminded of the “BS your way” approach to presenting your projects.

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