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June 2012

Al Medy Mosque

Al Medy MosqueWhile researching open source technologies for producing compressed earth bricks, I stumbled across Al Medy Mosque in Riyadh.

This mosque was built with semi-skilled in labor in only 7 weeks using compressed earth bricks (CEB). CEB makes a compelling case as building material being local, affordable and sustainable.

The interior of the mosque is quite stunning as well…

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How to Start a Tool Library

It might seem a little risky to lend out a bunch of power tools to those who probably don’t know how to use them. After all, tools can be dangerous, people can be idiots, and we live in an exceptionally litigious society. For some strange but very understandable reason, those concerns alone have been more than enough to effectively end many community tool libraries before they even start.

As the sharing economy continues to blossom, however, more communities are overcoming that inherent fear and establishing lending libraries to embrace the beautiful benefits of sharing with neighbors. Through Google groups, starter kits, and incubator workshops, new tool libraries now have the ability to overcome their inherent concerns by learning from the experiences of many who have come before them.

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Why We’re in Denial

Dr. William Rees is a professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia and former director of the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP). He is the originator of the “ecological footprint” concept and co-developer of the method. In this interview he speaks with us about why we’re in denial about the failure of the human enterprise. We ask Bill about the reasons we’re in denial and how we could start adapting to our ecological challenges through a new cultural narrative.