Wednesday, November 7, 2007


We are here to challenge and inspire individuals from all fields to consider the efficient use of our resources in order to mitigate climate change, prepare for the crisis of peak oil, and evaluate our actions on a global scale. A deep consensus exists around the causes of climate change and a significant amount of work has already been done to identify technical solutions to mitigate carbon emissions. As a nation we have benefited from the processes that have placed these issues at the forefront of our concern and now need to lead the way in setting an example to the rest of the world. It is in our economic, environmental and security interests to commit to this path. The United States should be leading the way!

To illuminate how this can be achieved we look to the Presidency of the United States of America and the White House as the symbols of our Nation. Together they wield a powerful influence over the perspectives of world leaders, the opinions of the individual, and the course of our Nation’s political agenda. The White House is a physical structure and the Presidency a seat of power; together they can carry a symbolic importance that can yield a great educational impact to demonstrate the viability of this vision.

Time is of the essence! We need to act and we need to act now. The United States needs to consider the efficient use of resources in all aspects of the Presidency in order to say to the public and the rest of the world that sustainability, efficiency, and environmental responsibility are tenets that need to be applied to the policies, structures, and systems of our nation. America needs to step up to this challenge!

Traffic Mitigation

This link is for all you folks interested in different methods of traffic management.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Quantifying is EASY!

Here's a start if you're daunted by the complex mathematical formulas required to accurately calculate a model of carbon emissions.

Final Agenda


Carbon emissions are a worldwide concern; its detrimental influence over resources and climate conditions negatively affects human development and environmental quality. Many attributed current increases in sea level and temperature to a number of factors; however it is largely due to carbon emissions from human pursuits, where America stands out as a significant leader and offender in developments and implementation of policies regarding carbon emission.

In terms of business operations and lifestyle, America consumes a large amount of resource, ranking as the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide. However, this is not only due to our amount of business or economic pursuits, but our lifestyle as well. The long term effects of carbon emissions do not strike the American population as an immediate or local concern, which can be specifically demonstrated in our habits around transportation.

As the relationship between land, resources, and human development, transportation is a concrete vehicle to analyze society’s impact on the environment. Governmental policy, market factors, development in technologies, and public opinion greatly shapes transportation. Thus, the overall culture of a country greatly impacts how carbon emissions are in relation to this topic; we wish to change this culture.

This is a large topic to tackle, where many are intimated to consider its future developments due to is overlying complexity. Problems of feeling disassociated with the operations of the White House including government and the policy making process, lead many to doubt their individual effectiveness and judgment. As a studio we will present the topic of carbon emissions in terms of transportation in an understandable manner. This will enable the American public to be confident in their assessment of the situation and their ability to participate in our governing structure.

In order to address this subject, a simple visual and conceptual symbol is needed. As the governing structure that influences policies concerning carbon emissions, we chose the White House to explored and used as a vehicle to educate the American public.


  • Reduce carbon emissions as much as possible knowing that the United States uses 80% more then other developed countries.
  • Collectively as a class, quantify our findings.
  • Mitigate climate change through the reduction of carbon emissions from transportation and the consideration of effective resource management.
  • Use the symbol of the White House as a way to educate the public about transportation.
  • Show the U.S. and international communities that the US is willing to initiate innovations related to climate change.


CLASS: Projects need to operate as a single cohesive system.

INDIVIDUAL: Each student must evaluate outputs of their intervention and identify solutions or possible alternatives.


CLASS: Present a visual outcome that reflects our ultimate goals, and unifies our individual projects.

INDIVIDUAL: By December 8th 2007, individual projects should be completed to give time for the visual outcome to be created. (ie. Wrap up boards, possible mapping, exhibit or final booklet showing our work together.)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

October 25: Working Session

On October 25th the studio visited New York to meet with designers, environmental scientists, green strategists and architects to discuss how to use the White House to focus the work of the studio.

The White House was reframed as a site of operations (the building) the seat of national leadership (the presidency) and a potent international symbol.

Thanks to Phu Duong, NBBJ, Nicholas Eisenberger & Noam Ross, Green Order, Claire Hartten, Dirt Cafe Project, Andrea Kahn, DesignContent, Meret Lenzlinger, LOCAL, Kyle Meng & James Weng, Environmental Defense and Michael Fishman, HALCROW who graciously hosted the session.

Monday, October 22, 2007

In the News: Change your Leaders not your Light Bulbs

Op-Ed Columnist

Save the Planet: Vote Smart

Published: October 21, 2007

People often ask: I want to get greener, what should I do? New light bulbs? A hybrid? A solar roof? Well, all of those things are helpful. But actually, the greenest thing you can do is this: Choose the right leaders. It is so much more important to change your leaders than change your light bulbs