Future living

Imagine a future in which living space was just that: the space/structure you inhabit shelters, feeds and sustains your life with energy and abundance. That is the vision described by inventor Richard Nelson who shared his vision and practical ideas for future living spaces with Critical Thinking last night.

Solar roof technology:

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(click the image to enlarge)

Richard pioneered these ideas in the 1980s and 90s and in spite of many attempts to bring his ideas to reality through conventional commercial structures, he found little appetite for such disruptive technology. Consequently in 2002 he open sourced the blueprints and ideas under the Creative Commons License and is involved in developing projects from his native Canada to Norway and Iceland.

Podnet is a built environment in which nature "does its thing" to provide everything we need. It is a living building powered by sunlight and is based on photosynthesis of plants and algae, generating food and energy.

POD Works Global
Resources Center for PODnet

Daily Pickings refers, on occasion, to Buckminster Fuller and his premise that we don't fight the existing system but build something better to replace it. Fuller's guiding principle was "doing more with less". In both terms of materials and energy, Richard's SolarRoof technology adheres to this principle - it generates its own energy and draws on less resources than conventional spaces. The current political economy is the impediment to such innovation because when energy and food are created for free, there is no attribution of value which attracts commercial interest. The system will always bury technology which threatens existing monopoly interests - that is why we need to develop such ground breaking ideas amongst ourselves.

Which brings us on to hierarchy and organisation. We've summarised our research and analysis in terms of the economic flaws and articulated many of the facets of hierarchy but what is yet to be established is how and why hierarchy took permanent root.

The importance of research and learning is central to all who engage with Critical Thinking. At a meeting, a few weeks back, a point was raised about the inevitable shortfall of this quest for knowledge. And how having gaps in our knowledge of certain subjects should not put us off joining a discussion. Participating and listening are of equal importance for accruing information.

However, it was suggested that one thing we all know something about, and in fact have a unique and intimate knowledge of, is ourselves. In between the multitude of online articles, science papers and philosophical texts we devour, it's important not to underestimate the knowledge we glean through our daily corporeal interaction with the world. Much can be learned from our own and others raw perceptions and experiences.....

Which is why we're inviting those who are available to join our discussion at next week's Critical Thinking session at the Cock Tavern, Euston, London - we're planning to record the session for the benefit of people those who can't be there.

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The full agenda will be online shortly at: http://www.freecriticalthinking.org/session-agenda

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