Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Friday, April 8, 2011

New School (Post)Sustainability Symposium MP3s

Clive Dilnot, Timothy Morton, Karen Pinkus, Allan Stoekl, Cameron Tonkinwise, and Damian White, in one convenient embedded player...please excuse the stops and starts and the inaudible chatter at the end as I spoke with Nicola Masciandaro and Eugene and forgot to hit “STOP.”


Bill Benzon said...

My father was an engineer, not an architect. But engineers are designers. My father designed processes for cleaning coal, that is, for separating coal from impurities. It’s a very dirty business, coal, anything connected with coal is dirty. And the cleaning of coal has been no exception. It produces lots of coal dust, and the dust goes into the atmosphere, where it is deemed a form of pollution, and rightly so.

As pollution it violates the boundary between the cleaning plant and its environment. That breach is a deliberate design feature of coal-cleaning plants. It’s only a side-effect of the collectivity of design features.

Here’s a story about my father’s last process design. The design he arrived at involved deliberately breaching – dissolving - transcending the boundary between the coal-cleaning process and the external environment. In brief, it goes like this. Once it's been cleaned, coal is wet. It needs to be dried. The standard method of drying is to do it inside the plant, and that creates all sorts of expensive problems, which I indicate in that blog post. My father's insight was that he could open the drying process to the air and thereby dry the coal more cheaply and in a way that dramatically redunced the amount of coal dust released into the air.

A paradox: Dry the coal inside the building and it spews dust into the air; dry the coal outside in the open air, and very little dust is released.

Karl said...

like the round table dynamic a lot. its very similar to the improv music post from a few days ago... really love OOO described as an anarchistic ontology.

Bill Benzon said...

Here's some thoughts about design in the software world. It's a very philosophical business in an environment that's not at all philosophical. If you're looking for applied philosohpy at it's most brutal and exacting, this is it.

Matt K said...

Thank you so much for making this available.