energy / environment strategies

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mapping the puget cleantech innovation ecosystem

Innovation is about much more than a couple of people in a garage or coffee shop with an idea and a laptop. Instead, researchers have found it’s about a web of relationships – an ecosystem – of inventors, marketers, researchers, subcontractors, financiers and educators. I have identified more than 250 entities in the Puget Sound region that comprise the cleantech innovation ecosystem. I have also compared the Puget Region to six other metro areas throughout the country and the comparisons are surprising – we’re not as overwhelmingly green as we think!

placemaking is about more than decor

This is Seattle, right, the home of the coffee meeting. I have just concluded a couple of these at Starbucks; where else? The eponymous coffee brewer has defined the premium coffee chain category and has become the default off – site, out – of – the – house venue for working/meeting countrywide. But the interesting [...]

choice architecture and transit

I recently moved to the Seattle suburbs after living more than 25 years on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. My wife and I love the Pacific Northwest’s natural environment but we’re less enamored of the time we spend in the car; especially sitting in traffic. For Seattle, and most solvent big cities, traffic vies for [...]

The “I” Layer; How Information Transforms Urban Design

Conventional urban design has organized and deployed systems of physical objects to create more functional, sustainable and pleasing cities. Now, a multitude of mostly non – physical, information based technologies and applications have added another vital layer to the designer’s toolbox. I call this the “I” layer – for information. Unlike the physically based [...]

A Short History of Making

In the beginning, the consumer was also the producer. People made simple tools and weapons and used them to survive. Gradually, consumer and producer grew apart. Nowadays, many of the objects we use are made half a world away. But, this could change, with the advent of a disruptive technology. Consumers and producers may once [...]

Wind on the Cliff; Production Tax Credit in Jeopardy

We hope the coming budget debate doesn’t leave the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind a victim. Due to expire at the end of the year, the tax credit has been a boon to wind power development. The tax credit has not only resulted in more than 52,000 MW of wind power in [...]

prototyping interactive sculpture

I’ve been prototyping a motion sensor responsive sculpture; a large, off kilter origami, with crowd sourced motion.

creating a maker oriented science center

We recently completed a conceptual design and programming study for a maker oriented science center in the Mid Atlantic region. Informal education venues, such as science centers and museums, will be increasingly important nodes in a national network for STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). The proposed concept puts hands on activities and making [...]

Economics of Additive Manufacturing

I’ve written previously about the advantages of digital fabrication and additive manufacturing (3D printing) specifically. But how do the economics for 3 D printing stack up in the real world against conventional manufacturing techniques such as injection molding.
Summarizing 3D printing selling points:

Ability to print shapes and assemblies likely impossible with other methods – such as [...]

A Longer and More Winding Road to Personal 3D Printing?

A Mixed Bag of Making
I have touted the prospects for digital fabrication and more specifically the economic benefits of the additive manufacturing revolution enabled by 3D printing. Great strides have been made to bring 3D printing out of computer lab and into the R&D shop. Thousands of firms now use printers costing from $15,000 to [...]


We develop and market energy efficiency strategies and technologies. We focus on the building and transportation sectors, which account for more than two thirds of the energy budget.