VIDEO: Sustainable Design at Postopolis!

by , 07/19/07
filed under: Events, News, postopolis, Video

At the recent Postopolis event in NYC designers, architects, and bloggers came out to discuss issues surrounding architecture, urbanism, sustainability and a slew of other topics. If you were reading Inhabitat during this event, you might have recalled that Inhabitat’s founder Jill put together a panel discussion about sustainable design featuring Graham Hill of Treehugger, Susan Szenasy of Metropolis, and Allan Chochinov of Core77. You may also recall that we asked YOU – our readers – to submit questions and discussion ideas, which we used to shape the conversation. We finally got our video back and edited from the fascinating event, so check it out!

And if you thought this short snippet was interesting, we have a longer (15 minute) version over on Scribemedia that goes into more detail on the issues of consumption, blogging, and new media. Check it out here >

Finally, if you missed the Postopolis event but are intrigued by the series of lectures and presentations we put together, check out the Storefront for Art and Architecture’s videos of the entire Postopolis lineup >

Scribemedia is also putting together collection of polished and edited Postopolis videos, including this panel discussion and a video about Lot-ek here >

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  1. gregory74 August 6, 2010 at 6:07 am

    blah blah blah , if you want to talk sustainable housing why don’t you have some one on there talking about Earthships, you don’t get more sustainable than that. i’m sure Mike reynolds would love to participate in this conversation.

  2. mercan April 10, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    great site. thanks

  3. zwJrWwbdISfBwinfTD October 13, 2009 at 3:42 am

    Frampton used it on his album Frampton Comes Alive! ,

  4. ecothinker August 27, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    here’s something that no one else has thought of–I don’t know why. My father,having used it for a number of years, passed on to my husband, a drill. I used it . My husband used it. My daughter used it some twenty odd years later, to polish some brass.

    My point is that the renting/lending/borrowing does not need the mediation on Lowe’s or Home Depot, it can happen within a community or, even better, because no one really keeps tabs, within a family–however it is defined.

  5. gnosis January 8, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Since my hubby and I started doing our spiritual clearing work instead of going to malls and watching television, etc., we find that we need a lot less because our experiences are now inward generated whilst we do our spiritual clearing. We realize that now we need only a simple quiet and much smaller, less demanding house. When we are not doing our spiritual processes with each other we go on the internet or read or work in the garden or visit friends, but not shopping, pleeeez! Perhaps only those who are into spiritual clearing will understand our new orientation to the physical world space we seem to occupy.

  6. stefy May 17, 2008 at 3:17 am

    it is greet job. please,tell me more about green building to completed my study. for you to know that I’m study in architecture department. sent me an email. thank so much

  7. celine March 13, 2008 at 3:44 am

    Nice piece my friends!

    The rent vs. own thing is already happening left-and-right. The product-as-service model has been adopted by Xerox, Zipcar and Bag-borrow-steal to name a few! Sharing makes more sense if space and resources are at a premium. I mean, I would kill to keep my power drill somewhere other than my precious NY closet space! Also, if it were more expensive to buy a power drill, meaning I’d have to pay the real cost – including externalities – I’d probably think twice before I bought it… The point isn’t that its bad to have a drill, just that most people don’t really need their very own one, as long as one is close enough when needed.

    Remy: Check out and I think you’ll find what you were asking about. Oh, and how about the couch surfing project?

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  10. Rick February 12, 2008 at 12:23 am

    4 Minutes huh? I’ve taken almost that long to get one hole drilled, while building an energy efficient sustainable building. I think you’ve got your data wrong. It may take four minutes one one battery charge, although I have never timed it letting it run continuously for that long. Recharge expense and energy is probably less than 5 cents. Come on, there are far better things to pick on than battery powered drills!

  11. shehla January 12, 2008 at 3:02 am

    here in india, we have that kinda thing goin on all the time.. its a tropical country and we mostly need air conditioners in the summer months n the other times its not usd, so people juz rent air consitioners whenever they need them. there are even computers, laptops, power appliances..if anyone ever needs anything they can juz look into the classifieds and theres always one u can rent nearby! this kind of culture developed not becoz people wanted to ‘go green’ but becoz ppl dont have enough money to buy these appliances n these are the same people who actually think “y buy something when ill juz use it for a while and keep it wasting away for the rest of the while?”. funnily enough, people in developing countires have to think twice if not htrice before they go ahead to buy heavy aplliances..v hav too many poor people out there who need jobs and who offer services replacing need for appliances such as washing clothes, vessels etc for lesser prices…developed countires cant survive a day without electrcity and v hav power cuts too many times to be ‘dependent’ on power.
    these ‘ventures’ in this video r good approaches but not something novel, they’re juz the same ideas in another environment..ironically on the same planet earth!

  12. lee martin I. clancy December 16, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    just for the 1st time stumbled onto inhabitat, looked around, caught the stream with the dude who brings up the 4 min life of a power drill. He has the correct approach, but not with the idea of community, that is communality more so…

    I can easily understand how many people right off the bat would scoff at his power drill proposal. I mean really…share a power drill? But not I friend. The power drill you see is just the concept, or the representation of, and a good one at that. It is an item which the average homeowner may need only once a month for 10 sec. at a time, not to mention, let’s just say 1/4 of homeowners will never in their lives even touch one. Why than make so many when we can all just share – at a small price of course (for logistical requirements and maintenances, not to mention collateral for any possible damage inflicted, not to mention time and energy spent to deliver/pickup the drill {considering the drill is falling into the category of “the easiest things to share” in an implementation of this sort, not even thinking about say a deep-freezer storage unit, I just happen to know three families who went out and bought one just for the convenience in the preparation of a ONCE in a life time occurrence [but I don’t blame them, my sister’s wedding went perfectly thanks to the freezer and now we can buy a shit load of food on sale and save it]}, not to mention the ability to cater to that part of the community which is not e-friendly {the goal with anything being progressive in any facet of society I would assume should be to encompass everyone in the community, otherwise being flawed, also assuming this would be an e-based endeavor}, not to mention the energy spent to launch a campaign like this even in a small test community, must not forget to facilitate those non e-people…wow this is seeming more and more like a bad idea… these are all things which are coming to me at this very moment I swear, this is not meant to be a sarcastic message…) o.k. I just better get back to my point, so yeah at a small price to cover all that shit. But once again a very good example because not a lot use it, but when we need it, it is indeed crucial. No my friends, it is not the concept that is flawed, the proposition in my opinion is simply grand. Think of the connectivity involved, and the potential of. Hey anything that unites more so the individual with whole I’m for (provided I can close my bedroom door once in a while and turn off my cell phone, actually I’m a loaner at heart, but I promote globalization…..on all scales apparently). So my friends power tool idea actually does exist, exclusively for tools, and it does in the most optimal way it possibly can in our community at large. I just quickly perused threw a few earlier comments and some of them I think recognized…yes, that’s right, it’s Home Depot. Shit they are open from 6-10 mon.-sat. What more could a home owner want. Is he going to be drilling at 3 in the morning (I actually find myself doing that often, I swear it’s crazy, but I own a drill, 8 different kinds to be exact). The idea is valiant and hopefully it shall incite other more valiant ideas upon those who experience it. It is the context in which he places it.

    Assuming it wasn’t a capitalist society which bread our notions of consumption and production, materialism, ownership,…it can be viable. This is truly the problem with the concept. Even if by some miracle we can strip the american mentality and have a tabula rasa upon which we may begin, everything around us was created in this most capital producing efficient manner, the factory, the car, the method of production, the market… So what then, sticking to the example of the power tool, we have to redesign the factory which made it, and since it won’t be shitting out drills all year, it’s got to make other things. Than to consider all these other things it will make, with hundreds of thousands of product manufacturing design specs. that will only every be particular to that item, all those factories will close because we’re only going to be producing a smaller amount of them, than provided we still don’t have a sustainable replacement for crude oil, the pan American transportation of all this stuff. Well o.k. maybe we like four or five of the super-megamultiwunderuberabsurd factories so we cut down on spent resources, or would that even be cutting down…on that note, it is exactly my point – to considered the reciprocation of an endeavor like this how much expenditure will it involve. To address the pursuit of sustainability and environmental balancing in the way of production is not a task of citizen to corporation, no that can only be done through the government; through the citizen to the gov. of course. Ya gotta fight money with money that’s it. You’re only allowed to make x amount of drills a year, you wanna make more, fine we’ll tax the shit out of you. Who knows then, dewalt jacks the price of a drill than we can all share. Because now we’re affected in our wallets, now it truly becomes and inconvenience. My power drill friend has a technique of application that is to say “how can we best retro-fit life style with balance,” in my opinion it just isn’t a well thought out idea…speaking of I got a archi 264 mid-term I really gotta study for, and I just spent 45 min. spewing banter. how’s that for inefficiency

  13. Margaret Smiddy November 5, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    I was just reading the above and thought I’d mention that Home Depot and Lowes (don’t know about Ace) do rent tools and have been for years. Perhaps not every tool you need though, anyway, it’s worth checking out if you need that sort of thing.
    Interesting ideas all around.

  14. 51am September 8, 2007 at 1:16 am

    great video :D, thanks,

  15. RemyC August 11, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    Those four minutes that drill is used… and the concept of “sharing”, “bartering”… renting… think about this for a minute… why are there stores where you can “rent” DVDs… and yet, you can’t rent music CDs… or books for that matter… you can go to a public library, and if you’re lucky, you may be able to get an interlibrary loan for the book you’re looking for… but you can’t go into a borders and rent stuff… So what the DVD so “special” when in effect today, a DVD and a CD are more or less the same price?

    Well folks, it’s culture… when videos appeared on the scene, they were a lot more costly to produce than vinyl records… so the only way people could really afford them was to rent a video… like you rent a seat in a movie theater to see a film… the habit stuck… but now that DVDs are priced like CDs… the movie studios would much rather you buy a DVD than rent it… they’re priced to sell…

    In Japan there’s a new trend… Manga stores… where you can actually rent everything… it’s like a library, except instead of the books being free, afforded to you courtesy your tax dollars… you rent a book… the advantage? You save money, you preserve resources… but that happens in a society where disposible income isn’t so readily obtainable. It’s the business model of the Environmental Library Fund, which still can’t find any investors in the US… because “renting” is unamerican… that’s socialism, and that’s bad… that’s green is red inside!

    Imagine if Home Depot and Ace Hardware suddenly started renting tools? Wow! What a paradigm shift. Imagine if Nike started selling running shoes where you could, like in the old days, replace the heels? They’d sell ten times less shoes!!! Can’t have that, can we? Buying green is OK, as long as you buy just as much… if not more… but the instant buying green also means buying “less”? Ouch, they don’t want Reverend Billy’s gospel singers in front of their stores during AdBusters’s Buy Nothing Day… that would mean the end of commerce as we know it… sales people would lose their jobs, factories would close… it would spell the end of the consumer society… and would that be such a bad thing? If you’re a green, a real green? No, obviously not, a lot of us already live this way, through trading clubs on the Internet, swap shops, a whole green alternative counterculture lifestyle erupting…

    But it’s going to take a long time… it’s going take people realizing the earth isn’t finite… grow from the 80’s greed is good, to a little human compassion and empathy… here use mine… here, you can have a bit of mine… here, you can have half… but are we that way? New Yorkers especially? Despite all the ‘green” stuff that’s going on… are you going to lend your drill to a neighbor if he knocks on your door, are you going to share a cup of sugar?

    Live simply so that other may simply live… to quote a model I know quoting Gandhi… and that says it all… where are the hitch hiking clubs Lü magazine have been advocating since 2001? So we can start removing half the cars off the road? I ask you?

  16. nick July 25, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    great video….keep them coming

  17. nick July 25, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    the use not own idea….how about make the product with a higher quality so that you will keep if for longer…that way you will get more out of the same process of making the tool in the first place.

  18. naturcomments™ - insi... July 24, 2007 at 9:46 am

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  19. Hank July 19, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Re: Getting your precious hole:
    Indeed, use not own…that’s an amazingly powerful idea, but it’s difficult to imagine a system in place where people see that as a more convenient, less expensive relationship to have with stuff. Small tool-lending programs exist everywhere, but it just doesn’t seem very convenient. As Alan mentioned, utilizing Web 2.0 and social networking could make this process simpler, but it would have to be linked with some kind of local automated system for tracking and cataloging products. I mean….unless we completely re-build our communities…which would probably, in the end, be a good idea.

    Anyhow, local, social, sustainable sharing…sounds like utopia…any VCs interested?

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