Sunday, April 18, 2010

Design Renaissance conference

I spent much of today at a conference in Santa Cruz, CA, on an incredibly beautiful day. I was inside much more than a sane person would have been. Santa Cruz is a special place: people care more about more things, per square centimeter, than almost anywhere else except maybe Berkeley.

This was a good conference, though it had less to do with Design or Sustainability than I would have expected. There was some of that, of course. But it was Politics in equal measure.

The best part of the entire day was Eric Corey Freed, Organic Architect. I'm sure he actually is an architect, but that was decidedly beside the point. The man gives an amazing presentation, right up there with Steve Jobs, except the subject matter is far more compelling than merely the next shiny computing device. If nothing else, Freed is a walking example of why PowerPoint should just be deleted. I'm not sure what presentation software he was using, but it was alive!

Here are some of the things I learned today:
  • There were more wind turbines in 1920 than today.
  • You are 8 times more likely to be killed by a cop than by a terrorist.
  • The average price of a home in Detroit right now is about $5,700.
  • There are 103,000 empty lots in Detroit (where once stood buildings)
  • The 1908 Model T got better gas mileage than the average 2008 figures.
  • The Environment: "too big to fail!"
  • Exxon alone spent more money lobbying Congress last year ($14.9M) than all CleanTech concerns put together.
  • Four times as many people (580M) voted in the American Idol contest than voted in the 2008 presidential election (129M).
  • The U.S. is indeed #1 in some important areas: obesity, crime, military spending, oil consumption, energy use...
I want to try to book Eric Corey Freed at a local peninsula event, if possible. He's quite thought-provoking.

1 comment:

Eric Corey Freed said...

Check out:
for info on the presentation software