Category Archives: 05. transition world

a. The Simpsons Sweatshop


Banksy, Opening Sequence The Simpsons, Episode 3 Season 22; Fox Networks; Los Angeles, USA
October 2012, 1 min 44 sec

Banksy blows the lid off Simpsons Sweatshop! Street artist Banksy made his mark on The Simpsons, directing an opening-credit sequence that starts off with graffiti jokes and winds up in a grim Asian animation sweatshop. The last half of the intro, embedded above, plays like a miniature cartoon version of Upton Sinclair’s 1906 meatpacking exposé The Jungle. Apparently, vats of toxic waste, chipped furry critters and an abused unicorn all help keep the Simpsons entertainment factory chugging in the show’s 22nd season.

b. The Shareable Future of Cities


Alex Steffen, TEDxGlobal
2011, 10 min 14 sec

Do you ever wonder whether we should be optimistic or pessimistic about the future? If you want more reasons to think things may still turn out for the better, Alex Steffen’s your man. He doesn’t downplay the scope and scale of the problems
we face. Instead, he shows that we have the tools within our grasp for meeting those massive challenges, if we have the will to use them.

How can cities help save the future? Alex Steffen shows some cool neighborhood-based green projects that expand our access to things we want and need — while reducing the time we spend in cars. This isn’t just hopeful thinking, either. Steffen uses real-world examples and big-picture research to show us that a brighter, greener future is ours to choose, telling powerful, inspiring stories about the hard choices facing humanity … and our opportunity to create a much better tomorrow.

c. Torre David


Urban-Think Tank; Caracas, Venezuela
2012, 2 min 02 sec

Torre David, a 45-story office tower in Caracas designed by the distinguished Venezuelan architect Enrique Gómez, was almost complete when it was abandoned following the death of its developer, David Brillembourg, in 1993 and the collapse of the Venezuelan economy in 1994. Today, it is the improvised home of a community of more than 750 families, living in an extra-legal and tenuous occupation that some have called a vertical slum.

Urban-Think Tank, spent a year studying the physical and social organization of this ruin-turned-home. Where some only see a failed development project, U-TT has conceived it as a laboratory for the study of the informal. In their Torre David / Grand Horizonte exhibit and in their forthcoming book Torre David: Informal Vertical Communities the architects lay out their vision for practical and sustainable interventions in Torre David and similar informal settlements around the world. They argue that the future of urban development lies in collaboration among architects, private enterprise, and the global population of slum-dwellers. This film is a call to arms to architects and everyone – to see in the informal settlements of the world a potential for innovation and experimentation, with the goal of putting design in the service of a more equitable and sustainable future.

d. Architecture Without Architects


Justin McQuirk, Deezen Studio; Venice, Italy
2012, 2 min 03 sec

What can happen to an abandoned inner city office tower? 750 families can move in and live there. In Caracas, Torre David was standing at 45 stories, almost finished, when the project was left in its incomplete form following the death of its developer in 1993 and the collapse of the Venezuelan economy in 1994.

“The Torre David was meant to be a gleamy office tower. Now it’s a sky-high squat. With no elevators. For all its improvisatory resourcefulness, the settlement represents a massive failure of civic society. After all, the government could choose at any time to make the building habitable and safe. Meanwhile, the skyscraper is a modern ruin buzzing with life, a post-apocalyptic mockery of an oil-rich nation’s aspirations.”, says Iwan Baan.

e. Matt Coolidge: Landscape Literacy


The Center for Land Use Interpretation
2008, 3 min 56 sec

The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) is a research organization established in 1994 in Culver City, Los Angeles by Matthew Coolidge, examining the relationships between the physical landscape and its human occupation, taking on the role of the impartial expert relating an ‘objective’ view, a wry stance that allows them to highlight the problematic relationships between the economy and land-use and their impacts on the environment.

This is carried out through an investigation into different land uses, their ownership, and the economic and cultural value associated with parts of the landscape. CLUI raise awareness and stimulate debate about the physical landscape, from vast working factories to abandoned military facilities or sewage treatment works and waste incinerators. Their research uncovers the variety of unusual and often environmentally catastrophic uses that support the lifestyle that we are used to in developed countries.

f. In the Open: Art & Architecture


Deborah Gans and Matthew Coolidge; BOMBLive!
2010, 4 min 25 sec

Deborah Gans Studio is devoted to re-thinking how architecture can participate in the invention of new social forms, often by focusing on extreme situations that yield insights for everyday life.

Matthew Coolidge is a founder and director of the Center for Land Use Interpretation, an organization dedicated to improving the collective understanding about humans and the landscapes that they inhabit.

Part of the BOMBLive! series In the Open: Art and Architecture in Public Spaces, sponsored by Cary-Brown Epstein, Steven Epstein, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

g. Transition Town: What’s It All About


Apple & Eye-Filmpromotion
2010, 8 min 17 sec

What is Transition? Rob Hopkins leads a vibrant new movement of towns and cities that utilize local cooperation and interdependence to shrink their ecological footprints. In the face of climate change he developed the concept of Transition Initiatives — communities that produce their own goods and services, curb the need for transportation and take other measures to prepare for a post-oil future. While Transition shares certain principles with greenness and sustainability, it is a deeper vision concerned with re-imagining our future in a self-sufficient way and building resiliency.

h. In Transition 1.0

2009, 23 min 30 sec

In Transition is the first detailed film about the Transition movement filmed by those that know it best, those who are making it happen on the ground. The Transition movement is about communities around the world responding to peak oil and climate change with creativity, imagination, humour and setting about rebuilding their local economies and communities.

In the film you’ll see stories of communities creating their own local currencies, setting up their own pubs, planting trees, growing food, celebrating localness, neighbours sharing their land with neighbours that have none, local authorities getting behind their local Transition initiatives, schoolchildren making news in 2030 and so on. The film gives a sense of the scale of this emerging movement. It is a story of hope and a call for action.

i. David Johnson & Jim Newcomer about the Transition Towns Movement


Sustainable Today; Portland, USA
2009, 10 min 24 sec

The Transition Town movement, which originated in the UK, is spreading around the world. Meet David Johnson, who worked closely with Transition Town Handbook founder Rob Hopkins, and Jim Newcomer who is organizing locally in Portland, Oregon.

What is all this about? How does a town get started? It begins with the premise that we will have to make do with considerably less cheap fossil fuel energy in the future. The issue is too overwhelming for any one body of government or leadership of any kind to deal with. It is going to require the creativity, input and co-operation of many in the community, and the time to start coordinating efforts is NOW.

j. Sue Morrison & Clare Power talk about Transition Towns


Bathurst Community Climate Action Network; Bathurst, Australia
2010, 6 min 32 sec

Clare Power [Blue Mountains Transition] and Sue Morrison [Climate Action Now, Katoomba] visited Bathurst in central New South Wales, Australia. They were in town to attend a public meeting organised by Bathurst Community Climate Action Network (BCCAN) where the movie In Transition was shown. Before the meeting, Clare and Sue described the origins and aims of the Transition Town movement.