Change Labs & Ecological Aesthetics … an afternoon with design luminary and business provocateur John Thackara

In an unexpected coup, the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre is pleased to announce that writer, philosopher, event producer and international design luminary John Thackara, who is currently touring Australia, will be giving a one-off presentation and workshop on the state of the art in ecological literacy practice at the Cultural Centre at 1pm on Saturday 12 October. He will be speaking on the urgent need to develop ecological aesthetics and a Change Lab to explore ways to creatively reawaken our empathy with living systems. He will use his extensive knowledge of design and sustainability projects around the world to help local artists, designers, environmentalists, teachers, students, architects, tourism operators and business people look at ways to develop projects and actions that will help communities rediscover a sense of ecological responsibility for the present and for future generations.


Fast Company described John Thackara as “a business provocateur …”. For the Wall Street Journal, he “has established a global reputation as a cutting edge design expert”. Wired called him a “design luminary”. The San Francisco Chronicle described him as a “wired era visionary”. The Economic Times of India noted his “brilliant insights into the internet and sustainability”. For the influential weblog Rhizome he is “top dog in the space of flows”.


According to John, “my job is to start conversations that reveal opportunities for change. The outcomes are, typically: a shared perception of new opportunities; new connections between motivated people; and the determination to make something happen.”


John is a Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art, in London, and a Fellow of The Young Foundation, the UK’s social enterprise incubator. He sits on the advisory boards of the Pixelache Festival in Helsinki, the Future Perfect festival in Sweden, and Design Impact in India. He is also a member of the UK Parliament’s Standing Commission on Design.


He has been first director of the Netherlands Design Institute in Amsterdam; program director of Designs of The Time (Dotto7), the social innovation biennial in England; commissioner of France’s main design biennial, Cite du Design; editor of Design, Modern Culture Editor ofHarpers & Queen, and design correspondent of The Guardian. He has run conferences and exhibitions at the Pompidou Centre, Victoria & Albert Museum, Axis Gallery in Tokyo, and other venues. From 1989-1992 John was Director of Research at the Royal College of Art.


For thirty years John Thackara has travelled the world in his search for stories about the practical steps taken by communities to realize a sustainable future. He writes about these stories online, and in books, and he brings these stories together in festivals, events and talks for communities and business. He is the author of the widely read blog at


Among John’s 12 books are Design After Modernism: Beyond the Object (1987), and Lost in Space: A Traveller’s tale (1995). His most recent book, the best -selling In the Bubble: Designing In A Complex World, was published by MIT Press in May 2005 and has since been published in nine other languages. He has lectured in more than forty countries.


Bookings to the presentation and workshop are essential to 4780 5410.