And in review…

A few things that have caught my attention over the past few days—

Urban agriculture

Urban farming, a subject I nominally addressed earlier, has been in the news in a variety of forms more recently. In England, the allotment, long a feature of urban life, is getting rarer and “nyudies”–new yuppie diggers–are getting concerned. Similarly in the US, the demand for a place to grow things but limited places to grown them has led to a similar years-long waiting list and urban gardeners are beginning to eye others’ back yards. And in St. Louis, the surprise of finding a piece of the ancient prairie in the middle of the city.

The corporate workplace
Interest in the character of the workplace and its influences, another recent subject, gets echoed in a report ranking the top “democratic” workplaces. It would be interesting to see the physical manifestations of these management concepts. (Maybe I’ll return to this later.) And in a similar note, there was this review of a consulting company’s approach to workplace design. Perhaps striking a contrarion note is this report about the reliability of the data supporting a generation of business best practices advisories.

Designer interests
Anxiety about the openness of designers was reflected in a couple of ways. Khoi Vinh took off on the self-reflective world of design dialogue and recognition, and the need for breaking out of the cultural box, so to speak. Michael Surtees, however, demonstrated the issue in a separate post. And Michael Beirut expressed anxiety over design rationalizations, and evoked earlier thinking on similar stuff.

Next generation auto technology and design

Meanwhile, GM was doing this, while the rest of the world was doing this.

* Image via Fast Company

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