Category: BlogPage 1 of 7

Customer lift

I followed this sign expecting some sort of encouragement or affirmation.

Notes from RESTORE report Sustainability, Restorative to Regenerative

Here are my notes from reading the RESTORE report ‘ (REthinking Sustainability TOwards a Regenerative Economy) Sustainability, Restorative to Regenerative – edited by Martin Brown and Edeltraud Haselsteiner…

Engineering of the commons

If we want to think really regeneratively about engineering and the creation of buildings, then maybe we should consider building materials as a common resource. I realise that…

Exploring regenerative practice for engineers

As James and I start to delve into the writing for our book on regenerative design for structural engineers, I am gathering my thoughts on what regenerative practice…

Notes on building local

This month I am writing an article on that explores what if we restricted construction material use to those from a local catchment. Rather than a global supply…

Following abundance versus desire

At our local allotments, permaculture teacher Mike Fiengold re-distributes food waste in the community. Even after he has sent food to various local charities there is lots left…

Coming from Bristol, London is a pleasure to cycle through

After a two-year break I am back on my bike in London. This morning a short hop from Paddington to Kings Cross. Having moved to Bristol almost four…

Take the meat out of meetings

Please, take the meat out of meetings. Then you can say, no animal died in the making of this decision. Some meetings are pointless. Don’t add to this…

Restorative versus regenerative design

Restorative and regenerative are two words I am hearing used interchangeably. Both are relevant to engineering and design. Both are approaches to design that are valuable. But they…

Too many emails – the Eiffel Over guide

I am a connoisseur of email-reduction strategies, so I share this for friends and colleagues of mine who I know are struggling with this at the moment. The…

Making the Regenerative Design Lab a Regenerative System

In today’s planning session for the Regenerative Design Lab with my co-facilitator Ellie Osborne, we asked what if we made the lab itself a regenerative system? Based on…

Why close the train doors 40 seconds before departure?

This announcement always irks me. “To ensure a timely departure, train doors will shut 40 seconds before departure.” It reminds me of what a senior Network Rail manager…

Recognise the desert to return it to life

When renewable systems are over exploited they fall into a desertlike state. In this state the system population is too low to support regrowth and the system structures…

Bristol: from rainforest to desert

Where I live, coal was so abundant near the surface that you could have dug a hole in your garden and found it lying there. This coal was…

Nothing to say but lots to show

I have nothing to say but lots to show you – Walter Benjamin. I heard this quote this morning on In Our Time and it really struck me….

Four characteristics of regenerative systems

Work on regenerative thinking progresses on all fronts. Book writing with my friend James on Monday (read his excellent blog on this process), developing regenerative practice at Hazel…

Start by lighting the fire

It’s the first thing we do at Hazel Hill Wood. Light the fire for everyone else. A clutch of tiny twigs, a handful of finger-thick branches, and some…

Carbon vs everything else: system health vs system outputs

I’m getting this down while it is fresh in my mind following a planning conversation with Will Arnold this morning for our Net Zero Structural Design course. In…

Think resilience to observe and enhance a system’s restorative powers

I underlined these words in Meadows’s Thinking in Systems primer. ‘Thinking about resilience enables us to observe and enhance a system’s restorative powers.’ As with so much in…

Humbelievable

Last Friday I took the train from York to Hull. Onboard I was speaking on the phone to Will Arnold about our Net Zero Structural Design Course. As…

Where is the bus station?

Seen at Turnpike Lane station. Both left and right lead to the buses, but why is right prioritised? Was there once a member of staff who got so…

Storm’s coming: go to the cinema

In times gone by, people went to the cinema to stay warm. The movie theatre offers a place of shelter from the elements and also an escape from…

Regenerative Design Lab working notes

Sharing my working notes from today.

Travelling by high-speed glacier

On a recent trip to the Alps I took Robert MacFarlane‘s breathtaking ‘Mountains of the Mind‘. In it I found this delightful tale about Mark Twain taking his…

Regenerative Design: a process not a thing

As I continue my exploration of regenerative design in engineering, correspondents have said it would be helpful to gather examples of regenerative design. Templates that we can look…

When government bans protest against our projects, engineers must put down their tools

The cornerstone of our democracy is the right to protest. At the moment the government is pushing through amendments to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that…

Reflections on transformational innovation

These are my reflective notes as I work through chapter two of Daniel Wahl’s ‘Designing Regenerative Cultures‘. My aim in this reading is to find clues as to…

Our responsibility: reduce carbon on projects by 7% a year starting now

Hold this figure in mind: 7%. In 2019 the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) published a report concluding that in order to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees, we…

Sometimes I think it needs to get really bad before people will care about energy

In the bakery where I often go to write in the mornings they are having heating fitted. The cafe is in a warehouse and it gets cold in…

The Boy Who Cried Climate Emergency

We all know the story of the boy who cried wolf. He didn’t really mean it. In the end, everyone stopped believing him. Wolf didn’t mean anything. But…