Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome

We have worked with Design Miami/ and Art Basel Miami Beach since 2005, first helping them get introduced to the South Florida market and, in recent years, telling their story of phenomenal growth.

This year, we created a fun time lapse video of the installation of Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome. The video was picked up by the New York Times, and can be seen here:

Design Miami: Back to the Future

The 24-foot, monohex, geodesic Fly’s Eye Dome, patented in 1965 by R. Buckminster Fuller as a futuristic, low-cost shelter, was one of the renowned inventor/architect/environmentalist’s most iconic structures, and one that he wrote would “be highly efficient in its use of energy and materials.”  He envisioned the structure would be used as a beautiful, fully-equipped, air-deliverable dwelling machine that would weigh and cost about as much as an automobile.

Time lapse videos are fun, and this one is particularly cool. Hope you enjoy it.

Meet me in Doha

My last post was made from my hotel room in Doha, Qatar where I lamented having missed a local bloggers conference. Since I made that post, I have made amends and connected with several of the attendees and organizers.  I am pleased to be heading back to Doha for several days starting December 26 and I want to use this blog post to connect with even more of you.

I am working on a long term project in Doha that focuses on several interesting topics including food security, green and sustainability issues, solar energy and technology. I will be in Doha  from December 27-New Year’s Day and really want to connect with as many  local bloggers, tweeters, and podcasters as I can, so please feel free to connect with me via the blog or twitter. (#tweetupqa)

In the meantime, Happy New Year to all of you, and thanks so much for supporting the blog and podcast this past year.

All the best in 2010.

Hybrid cars, sure. But hybrid dance clubs? Why not?

Energy is where you find it. Or something like that.

In Rotterdam in the Netherlands, a company called
Sustainable Dance Club has opened Club Watt, a huge performance space with a sustainable energy dance floor, rainwater-fed toilets, low waste bars (everything is recycled) and heat that is harvested from the amplifiers and other musical equipment.

The experimental dance floor harvests the energy created by people jumping around and converts it to electricity. The average person’s dancing creates about 20 watts, so two people could light a light bulb. It is the clubbing equivalent to driving a hybrid. Aryan Tielemen, the club’s owner, says energy use will be reduced by 30% and water use by 50% compared to the space’s previous tenant.

The costs of creating the dance floor will are not likely to be recouped since it is a first generation model and is not as efficient as it will be after some real world testing and modification, but think of the other possible permutations of this technology: gyms, fitness centers, railroad or subway platforms, sidewalks.

According to their website, “Doing your part for the environment doesn’t have to be boring, and you don’t have to stop doing the things you love.”

50 ways to recycle your old cell phone

With apologies to Paul Simon, here is a useful article from Treehugger.com about how to recycle your cell phone. We found it rather shocking to learn that the average life of a cell phone in this country is a mere 18 months.

The "50 ways" are actually found in a link to VoIP News, but we wanted to give some link love to Treehugger since they consistently come out with practical information and even the occasional yummy recipe or two.

Kill a catalogue, save a tree

Saw this twice over the weekend, once on TV and once in the NY Times, and it seemed like the perfect time to share since, at least in the US, the onslaught of holiday catalogues has begun.

CatalogChoice.org was launched by a coalition of environmental groups as a free service to cut down on the number of catalogues we all receive in our mailboxes this time of year. According to one source, since the service launched on October 9, they have helped more than 165,000 people opt out of nearly 1.7 million catalogues.

All you do is sign up and then they contact the vendors on your behalf to have you removed from their mailing list. Every year 53 million trees are felled to send 19 billion catalogues to Americans. Recycling is great. But what if the paper never got used in the first place?

And in a nice bit of eco-friendly marketing, several companies like LL Bean, Lands’ End and Lillian Vernon have signed up as official merchant partners of Catalog Choice. In exchange for working with the coalition, the merchants get a link back from the website.

We urge you to sign up. The internet never did (and never will) create the once heralded "paperless office." But at least you can cut down on the paper that does come into your house. Think how happy your mailman will be.

Consumer consequences

American Public Media, producers of such radio programs as Marketplace, Weekend America and Speaking of Faith (among many others) has a cool tool on their website right now.

As part of a special series called "Consumed," which explores whether the modern American lifestyle is sustainable in the long run, there is an interactive game designed to illustrate the impact of our lifestyles on the Earth. It asks you a series of questions about your lifestyle and, as you play, it will show you how many "Earths" of natural resources it would take to sustain all 6.6 billion humans if everyone lived like you.

Most of our friends think we’re weirdos (or incredibly annoying, I cannot tell which) since we belong to an organic food buying club, drive a hybrid, recycle and compost like mad, etc. Despite all that, my score was still 2.6, meaning it would take 2.6 Earths if everyone lived like us. (Curiously, the transportation section was devoted to questions about how often you car pool or use public transit. No questions about the kind of car you drive, other than its mileage.)

Check it out.

Not only hybrid cars have to be “green”

I was feeling pretty good about myself when my wife and I went out and bought a hybrid Toyota a couple of weeks ago. Then I read this in the paper the other day and thought, "Hey, this is a new twist." Seems as if a different state beat California to the "green" punch, as it were. I wonder if this means that we can get ready for a hybrid model from either Jeep or Chrysler. (So far these are the only models we are aware of.)

In other encouraging sustainability news, Florida Governor Charlie Crist recently convened a two-day Summit on Global Climate Change in Miami.
Recognizing that tourism is critical to Florida’s economy, the leadership in the capitol can no longer wait for the federal government to take the lead on this issue that affects us all.

Businesses and governments are realizing that it pays to be green, but as consumers, we need to make sure there are clear and enforceable definitions of what that means. Sort of like using the word "natural," which can mean just about anything. Sometimes doing the right thing requires a bit of legwork on the part of the do-gooder.

UN Commission on Sustainable Development

On May 9, 2007, the Permanent Representative of
Switzerland, Ambassador Peter Maurer, hosted an event entitled "Clean
Energy for All-The sun21 Adventure" as part of the United Nations
Commission on Sustainable Development.

Click below to see the
video produced by Clearcast Digital Media that was presented during
this event. We are very proud to have been associated with this
remarkable group of people, and special thanks to Ainsworth & Associates for making it all possible.

Download sun21_UN.mov

Values influenced business practices

When I decided to make a go of business on my own, I followed the path that I think many entrepreneurs pursue: how do I get the next client? As time goes on and confidence builds (and we get older) hopefully your personal values play a greater role in informing your business decisions.

Two issues that have been near to my heart for as long as I can remember are education and protecting the environment. Recently we worked with a client, sun21, who completed a transatlantic crossing on a boat that used only solar power. (You can see the video in our last post, or see it in iTunes.) The 5-man crew were truly an inspiring bunch and we are proud to have brought part of their story to a larger audience.

Another recent experience I had was participating in mock interviews with a group of Miami high school seniors at  Turner Tech who were completing a four year course in television production. There is a lot to say about this experience that I will save for another post, but suffice it to say that if the future of production and, indeed, the future of our country is in the hands of these young people, we have nothing to worry about.

sun21 transatlantic crossing

In a boat powered exclusively by the sun, five men crossed the ocean from Basel, Switzerland to New York City. They traveled more than 7000 nautical miles completely free from fossil fuels. Sun 21 completed an historic adventure while respecting the environment.

Join us to welcome the arrival of the sun21 on Tuesday, May 8 from 2:45 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the North Cove Marina in Battery Park City in New York City.

The sun21 transatlantic crossing put clean energy into practice. Now it’s your turn.

Watch the video produced by Clearcast Digital Media here.

Click here for video