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John Thackara


John Thackara is a writer, speaker and design producer, and director of Doors of Perception. In addition to this blog, he is the author of twelve books including In The Bubble: Designing In A Complex World and Wouldn't It Be Great If…. People seem most impressed by the fact that he once drove a big red London bus.

John lives in the small market town of Ganges, in southern France, with his wife, Kristi van Riet and his dog, a Carne Corso called Dora.

Follow John on Twitter @johnthackara, by visiting his blog, subscribing to his RSS feed, or sign up for this monthly review of his posts sent by email.

Before he started blogging here, John Thackara sent out a monthly email newsletter, Doors of Perception Report, which was also about the restorative economy, social innovation and design. That newsletter's archives are here.

Contact Information:
john [at] thackara.com
thackara.com/



Posts by John Thackara

CHANGE OBSERVER: When Tech In Care Is Evil (06.20.14)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Food As A Commons (05.13.14)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Presence and Encounter — How We Meet Is As Important As Why (05.07.14)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Keep Your Stuff Alive (04.02.14)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Cloud Commuting (03.25.14)
CHANGE OBSERVER: A ‘Wild Mirror’ For Desk-Bound Workers (03.18.14)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Summer Xskool in Sweden (03.11.14)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Energy: Thriving On Five Percent? (03.03.14)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Caloryville: The Two-Wheeled City (02.14.14)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Conflict and Design (01.22.14)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Shoe City vs Sole Rebels (01.13.14)
CHANGE OBSERVER: A Whole New Cloth: Politics and the Fashion System (01.06.14)
CHANGE OBSERVER: The Dementia Care Economy (12.19.13)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Ecuador, Open Knowledge, and ‘Buen Vivir’: Interview With Michel Bauwens (12.17.13)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Dementia: Care Before Cure (12.12.13)
OBSERVER MEDIA: John Thackara on Avatar (12.10.13)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Desert of the Real (11.28.13)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Designing In A Complex World: Two Talks In Mexico City (10.25.13)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Ways of Knowing (09.13.13)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Speed? What Speed? Prisoners of Speed, by Ivan Illich (09.06.13)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Speed? What Speed? The Belly-Dance Drummer, by Matthias Rieger (09.06.13)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Speed? What Speed? The Falcon, by Sebastian Trapp (09.05.13)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Flyways (09.03.13)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Connecting With The Other (08.26.13)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Between Sorrel And Supertanker (08.22.13)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Xskool, Sweden, August (07.04.13)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Green Tourism: Why It Failed And How It Can Succeed (06.25.13)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Trust Is Not An Algorithm (06.07.13)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Cycle Commerce As An Ecosystem (05.21.13)
OBSERVATORY: Paranoid But Pretty (05.07.13)
CHANGE OBSERVER: A Roof, A Skill, A Market (04.26.13)
OBSERVATORY: Big, Hairy, and Agile (04.17.13)
CHANGE OBSERVER: The Ecozoic City (03.20.13)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Artefact as Campfire: Where People and Living Systems Meet (03.13.13)
OBSERVATORY: Cycle Commerce: The Red Blood Cells of a Smart City (02.04.13)
OBSERVATORY: An Open Design School for India (01.29.13)
OBSERVATORY: Healing The Metabolic Rift (01.14.13)
OBSERVATORY: German Government Think-Tank Supports Fringe Change Agents (12.07.12)
OBSERVATORY: Venice: from Gated Lagoon to Bioregion (12.05.12)
OBSERVATORY: From Autobahn to Bioregion (10.23.12)
OBSERVATORY: Transition Dogville (10.16.12)
OBSERVATORY: How To Manage a Constellation (10.02.12)
OBSERVATORY: Old Growth (09.26.12)
OBSERVATORY: Top Down Nature (08.22.12)
OBSERVATORY: What Is, Or Is Not, a ‘Green Job’? (08.07.12)
OBSERVATORY: The Other Green Economy (07.23.12)
OBSERVATORY: Why Bill Gates Needs To Listen To More Gamelan Music (07.18.12)
OBSERVATORY: Love vs Power In Iceland (07.03.12)
OBSERVATORY: The Hidden Costs of Tiger Water (06.27.12)
OBSERVATORY: Why White Is Wicked (06.05.12)
OBSERVATORY: Who Is the Arne Jacobsen of Urban Food? (05.17.12)
OBSERVATORY: Istanbul: City of Seeds (05.01.12)
OBSERVATORY: ‘Beyond Good Intentions’ – The Movie (04.11.12)
OBSERVATORY: Oil-Powered Thinking (04.04.12)
OBSERVATORY: Blood Minerals and Cellphones (04.02.12)
OBSERVATORY: It’s Not Just The Bags (03.20.12)
OBSERVATORY: Regarding The Pain Of The Planet: A Reader (03.06.12)
OBSERVATORY: Zurich Eco Lab (03.01.12)
OBSERVATORY: Design In The Light of Dark Energy (02.14.12)
OBSERVATORY: A Reading List for Mr. Mario Monti (02.14.12)
OBSERVATORY: Beer and Solidarity (02.10.12)
OBSERVATORY: Roasted by a Chicken (02.01.12)
OBSERVATORY: Virtual Boring Agent (01.25.12)
OBSERVATORY: Navy Yard, GradComD, Brown Bag, Hard Hat (01.20.12)
OBSERVATORY: A Reading List for Mr. Monti (01.09.12)
OBSERVATORY: Why Walls Need Floors (12.27.11)
OBSERVATORY: From Milk to Superfoods: Supping with the Devil? (12.21.11)
OBSERVATORY: From Druids to Biorefineries: Innovation in a Small Nation (12.13.11)
OBSERVATORY: How Do You Make a Website for Transition? (11.21.11)
OBSERVATORY: Design and Health: Flipping the Pyramid (11.07.11)
OBSERVATORY: Turn-Key Food Hives (11.05.11)
OBSERVATORY: The Compost Candidates (10.18.11)
OBSERVATORY: Carrot City: Design’s New Shtick (10.03.11)
CHANGE OBSERVER: 5% Health: The Risk of Catabolic Collapse and Peak Fat in Modern Health Systems (09.26.11)
OBSERVATORY: World Capital of Wellbeing (09.07.11)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Iceland: Eaten Alive, or Growing to Live? (09.05.11)
OBSERVATORY: In Praise of the Feral: Update on Xskool (08.22.11)
OBSERVATORY: From Powerpoint to Permaculture, From Me to We (08.09.11)
OBSERVATORY: Lean Logic: A Dictionary For The Future and How To Survive It (08.04.11)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Ten Ways to Redesign Design Competitions (07.22.11)
OBSERVATORY: Life is a Picnic in the Fertile City (07.18.11)
OBSERVATORY: Edible Architecture (07.11.11)
OBSERVATORY: Knife Sharpening (07.05.11)
OBSERVATORY: Shoe Town to Brew Town (07.01.11)
CHANGE OBSERVER: How to Make Systems Thinking Sexy (06.30.11)
OBSERVATORY: Geeked-out Gardening (06.29.11)
OBSERVATORY: Open Season on Dutch Cultural Innovation (06.27.11)
CHANGE OBSERVER: The High-Tech Permaculture Metabolic Engine Greenhouse (06.22.11)
OBSERVATORY: Kick-off! (06.22.11)
OBSERVATORY: Bad taps, Good taps (06.20.11)
OBSERVATORY: Sweat Equity Infra (06.02.11)
OBSERVATORY: From Ecstasy to Exergy: Running Out of Easy Copper (05.31.11)
OBSERVATORY: From Participatory Mapping to Coastal Livelihoods (05.26.11)
OBSERVATORY: Energy: A Sense of Loss (05.11.11)
OBSERVATORY: Open: A Survival Issue (05.05.11)
OBSERVATORY: A Smooth Journey (05.03.11)
OBSERVATORY: From Eds & Meds to Farms and Watersheds (04.27.11)
OBSERVATORY: Rotterdam: Where Time is no Longer Money (04.25.11)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Off-Grid Water (04.21.11)
OBSERVATORY: Why Does Laura Bush’s Friend Want to Poison Our Water? (04.18.11)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Does Bilbao Need Another Guggenheim? (03.30.11)
OBSERVATORY: Utopia is Here (03.30.11)
OBSERVATORY: Collapse of Civilization Tango (03.22.11)
OBSERVATORY: From Bankster HQ to Start-up Central in Iceland (03.21.11)
OBSERVATORY: Can Thermal Perception Change Behavior? (03.14.11)
OBSERVATORY: Images de Pensée (03.09.11)
OBSERVATORY: Work Faster, India! (03.01.11)
OBSERVATORY: What Kind of Design Institutes for India? (02.21.11)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Africa: Where Events Are King (02.20.11)
OBSERVATORY: Bangkok Cable Ways (02.17.11)
OBSERVATORY: UK Design Policy Becomes Multi-Scalar (02.14.11)
OBSERVATORY: Ultra Modern (02.09.11)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Renewable Energy: Salvation or Snake Oil? (02.03.11)
OBSERVATORY: If It’s Not the Destination and It’s Not the Journey... (02.01.11)
OBSERVATORY: I am Compost (01.26.11)
OBSERVATORY: Spaced Out in a Flat World (01.24.11)
OBSERVATORY: The Service Ecology of a City (01.19.11)
OBSERVATORY: How the Banks Want to Make China Sick — and Broke (01.17.11)
CHANGE OBSERVER: The Gram Junkies: In Transportation Design the Key Issue Is Not Speed, but Weight (01.12.11)
OBSERVATORY: Afghan Culture Museum (01.05.11)
OBSERVATORY: Plan B "Best Architecture Book of the Year" in the Netherlands (01.04.11)
OBSERVATORY: UnBox: Where Next for Design in India? (01.03.11)
OBSERVATORY: The Unwatched Swatch? (12.20.10)
OBSERVATORY: What Should Design Researchers Research? Report from 2020 (12.13.10)
OBSERVATORY: Use Fewer Words — Or Less Ink? (12.09.10)
OBSERVATORY: Has Venice Cracked the Bottled Water Conundrum? (12.07.10)
OBSERVATORY: This is Not an Object (12.05.10)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Green Issues in Communication Design (12.02.10)
OBSERVATORY: Jellyfish Farm (12.01.10)
OBSERVATORY: In the Air of Madrid (11.29.10)
OBSERVATORY: Look — Or Connect? (11.17.10)
OBSERVATORY: Is an Environmentally Neutral Car Possible? (11.15.10)
OBSERVATORY: Of Popes, Pixels and Micropayments (11.10.10)
CHANGE OBSERVER: A Tale of Two Trains (11.08.10)
OBSERVATORY: Unplugged, But Not Alone (11.05.10)
OBSERVATORY: Design Steps to Heaven (11.05.10)
OBSERVATORY: Leave Nothing But Footsteps (10.27.10)
OBSERVATORY: A Lesson from Cornwall (10.26.10)
OBSERVATORY: From Easter Island to Three Mile Island (10.25.10)
OBSERVATORY: WeWare [September 2010] (09.01.10)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Could Green Energy Kill the Desert? (08.02.10)
OBSERVATORY: From Doomers to Do-ers [July 2010] (07.01.10)
OBSERVATORY: Whole, Whole on the Range [June 2010] (06.01.10)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Whole, Whole on the Range (05.31.10)
CHANGE OBSERVER: What Should Design Critics Write About? (05.26.10)
OBSERVATORY: Requiem For A Species – And For Lunch [April 2010] (04.01.10)
OBSERVATORY: Who Will Control Global Urine Flows? [March 2010] (03.01.10)
OBSERVATORY: Line Loss [January 2010] (01.01.10)
OBSERVATORY: Letters From Sri Lanka [December 2009] (12.01.09)
OBSERVATORY: In Halifax With Antigonishts [November 2009] (11.01.09)
OBSERVATORY: Letter From Poznan [October 2009] (10.01.09)
CHANGE OBSERVER: John Thackara Answers Your Questions (09.23.09)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Design & Development: Interview with 4baq (09.23.09)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Get Out of Your Tents! (08.17.09)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Fish Systems and Design (08.11.09)
OBSERVATORY: GDP As a Doomsday Machine [August 2009] (08.01.09)
CHANGE OBSERVER: From Philanthrocapitalism to An Eco-Social Economy (07.29.09)
CHANGE OBSERVER: The Internet of Things (07.01.09)
OBSERVATORY: Gone Transitioning [June 2009] (06.01.09)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Make Sense, Not Stuff (05.27.09)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Doctors with iPhones (05.08.09)
OBSERVATORY: With the i-Borg in New York [May 2009] (05.01.09)
OBSERVATORY: Design in a Therm-industrial Society [April 2009] (04.01.09)
OBSERVATORY: Tweets From America [March 2009] (03.01.09)
CHANGE OBSERVER: The Innovator Next Door (02.26.09)
OBSERVATORY: Bottle Half-Full Edition [February 2009] (02.01.09)
OBSERVATORY: City Eco Lab – From Open Money to VeloWalas [November 2008] (11.01.08)
OBSERVATORY: Tribal Currencies [October 2008] (10.01.08)
OBSERVATORY: City Eco Lab @ 70 Days to Go [September 2008] (09.01.08)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Alternative Trade Networks and the Coffee System (08.04.08)
OBSERVATORY: Eating Spin [August 2008] (08.01.08)
OBSERVATORY: Design for Resilience [July 2008] (07.01.08)
OBSERVATORY: We Are All Emerging Economies Now (06.05.08)
OBSERVATORY: Mapping Ecosystem Services [June 2008] (06.01.08)
OBSERVATORY: City Eco Lab [April 2008] (04.01.08)
CHANGE OBSERVER: From MySpace to Fake Space (03.15.08)
OBSERVATORY: Travels in Uncanny Valley [March 2008] (03.01.08)
OBSERVATORY: Of Doomers and Bottle Fillers [January 2008] (01.01.08)
OBSERVATORY: Tools for Sustainability: Sao Paulo Workshop [December 2007] (12.01.07)
OBSERVATORY: Better Lives With Less Stuff [October 2007] (10.01.07)
OBSERVATORY: Dott Debates Announced + Custard Pies [August 2007] (08.01.07)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Design for (Im)mobility: Interview with Domus (07.15.07)
OBSERVATORY: How High Is the Climate Change Bar? [July 2007] (07.01.07)
OBSERVATORY: What Will Sustainable Tourism Be Like? [May 2007] (05.01.07)
OBSERVATORY: Food Systems: The Design Agenda [April 2007] (04.01.07)
OBSERVATORY: Special "Do It" Edition [February 2007] (02.01.07)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Global Place — Or is it a Hat? (01.05.07)
OBSERVATORY: Mapping the Necklace [January 2007] (01.01.07)
OBSERVATORY: Stern, Monbiot, and the Tasks of Design [November 2006] (11.01.06)
OBSERVATORY: Juice, Fat, and Homeland Security [October 2006] (10.01.06)
OBSERVATORY: War as a Brand [September 2006] (09.01.06)
OBSERVATORY: Doors 9 on "Juice" Call for Projects [July 2006] (07.01.06)
CHANGE OBSERVER: Cities, Design and Democracy: Conversation with Sunil Abraham in Cluster (06.14.06)
OBSERVATORY: Announcing Doors 9 and 10 [May 2006] (05.01.06)
OBSERVATORY: Design Transformation [April 2006] (04.01.06)
OBSERVATORY: Utopias by Design? [March 2006] (03.01.06)
OBSERVATORY: If Pigs Could Fly... [February 2006] (02.01.06)
OBSERVATORY: The Diminishing Spaces of Childhood [January 2006] (01.01.06)
OBSERVATORY: Designs of the Time (DOTT) [December 2005] (12.01.05)
OBSERVATORY: Food Journeys [November 2005] (11.01.05)
OBSERVATORY: Design and Risk [October 2005] (10.01.05)
OBSERVATORY: On Time [September 2005] (09.01.05)
OBSERVATORY: Street Art Pro [August 2005] (08.01.05)
OBSERVATORY: Self-Service Economy [June 2005] (06.01.05)
OBSERVATORY: "In The Bubble" Special [May 2005] (05.01.05)
OBSERVATORY: Lessons of Infra [April 2005] (04.01.05)
OBSERVATORY: Emerging Economy Design [March 2005] (03.01.05)
OBSERVATORY: Street-level Innovation [February 2005] (02.01.05)
OBSERVATORY: Tools for Citizen Services [January 2005] (01.01.05)
OBSERVATORY: Skunk Space and Time [December 2004] (12.01.04)
OBSERVATORY: New Dark Ages? [November 2004] (11.01.04)
OBSERVATORY: Open Welfare [October 2004] (10.01.04)
OBSERVATORY: The Time Thief [September 2004] (09.01.04)
OBSERVATORY: Social Innovation Observatory [August 2004] (08.01.04)
OBSERVATORY: Research Governance [May 2004] (05.01.04)
OBSERVATORY: Quality Time At High Speed [April 2004] (04.01.04)
OBSERVATORY: Landscape to Mediascape [February 2004] (02.01.04)
OBSERVATORY: Presence and Embodiment [December 2003] (12.01.03)
OBSERVATORY: Now We Are 10 [December 2003] (12.01.03)
OBSERVATORY: Creativity and the City [November 2003] (11.01.03)
OBSERVATORY: From Movies to Moblogging [August 2003] (08.01.03)
OBSERVATORY: Danger: Disappearing Computers [June 2003] (06.01.03)
OBSERVATORY: Life in Traffic [May 2003] (05.01.03)
OBSERVATORY: Interior Design at War [April 2003] (04.01.03)
OBSERVATORY: The Promise of Proximity [March 2003] (03.01.03)
OBSERVATORY: Remembering Ivan Illich [February 2003] (02.01.03)
OBSERVATORY: Trophy Buildings Are Over [December 2002] (12.01.02)
OBSERVATORY: Oil As Yuppy Crack [October 2002] (10.01.02)
OBSERVATORY: Local Knowledge [September 2002] (09.01.02)
OBSERVATORY: Time in Design [July 2002] (07.01.02)
OBSERVATORY: Flow As a Design Issue [June 2002] (06.01.02)
OBSERVATORY: Museum Hit by Love Bug [May 2002] (05.01.02)
OBSERVATORY: The Real-time Economy [April 2002] (04.01.02)

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