So what, you may be wondering, is this Compostmodern really about? Well for one, it's not just your typical green conference...or your typical design conference, say co-chairs Gaby Brink and Phil Hamlett, who spent tireless hours working with a team from AIGA San Francisco, the organizers and sponsors of the one-day event. Compostmodern was created "to inspire designers to think about sustainability beyond just process and materials," says Brink. "That we can bring about change wherever we are, in our own ways."
And here's the fantastic Joel Makower, whose turn as moderator at Compostmodern last year was so influential, he's planning his own green design conference, Greener By Design. Since we saw him last he's also published a book: Strategies for the Green Economy.
Makower reminds us of one thing that's probably crossed everyone's minds at least once today: This is a very interesting time for this conference to be happening (um, understatement!). It's rather Dickinsonian, says Makower, totally a "best of times and worst of times" scenario.
The best of times: Technology has spurred the convergence of three rather important parts of our lives: energy, information, manufacturing. And this guarantees that we'll be able to use what we learned from the information revolution (how computers became smarter over time and learned to talk to each other) and apply it to our ancient energy grid (someday the exchange of energy will be intelligent and communicate wirelessly).
The worst of times: Makower wants us to think about a number: 5000. 5000 days is about how much time we have to figure all this out. It's about 13 years. In that time we can't just "be more sustainable," we have to completely transform the way we think.