We've highlighted some of Branko Lukic's work on the site before, but his presentation was a great opportunity to get beyond the whiz-bang video teasers and really learn about what NonObject is all about. Branko is a well-credentialed designer, but gave up on big consulting, since "everything around us is the result of some business plan. Is this the world I want to live in?" "We became masters of the straight line and radii," he argued, rebelling in a set of design works that will soon become a book (with an introduction by conference host Bill Moggridge.) His words added up to a heartfelt plea, actually, giving the eye candy of the second half of his talk more gravity, and levity, actually. You can find some of the movies at www.nonobjectbook.com, but you'll have to wait a bit while he updates the new stuff.
Nathan Shedroff provided what one audience member said was "the best sustainability talk of the conference...and I've been to ALL of them." It was a gem, offering a sympathetic, comprehensive tour through the myriad considerations of the field. Shedroff ran down some of the existing frameworks (Cradle to cradle; Natural Step; Biomimicry; Natural Capitalism; Life-cycle analysis; Sustainability Helix), then asked the crowd a series of "better or worse?" questions, showing a plastic vs. paper bag; a Prius vs. a Hummer; and a paper cup vs. a ceramic mug. You guessed it: not so obvious which was "better" after all, but each example was followed up with useful information that provided at least some rudimentary tools for assessment. Watch for Nathan's book, entitled "Design is the Problem" soon, but today, you can download his Connecting '07 presentation right here on his websitewww.nathan.com.