the princples of the viridian design movements can be found at

published in 'Whole Earth Review' Summer 2001

Futurist Principles

  • Embrace Decay - Entropic processes should be closely studied, harnessed for industrial use, and even aestheticized.
  • Planned Evanescence - the product and all its physical traces should gracefully disintegrate and vanish entirely.
  • Eat what you Kill - take pains to fully comprehend the thing you have rendered obsolete.
  • The Future is History - Be when you are.
  • History Accumulates - invent better ways to manage our increasing wealth of history

Moral Principles

  • Look at the Underside First - point out malfunctions, bugs, screw-ups, design failures, side effects, and the whole sad galaxy of trade-offs and failings inherent in any technological artefact.
  • Design for Evil - Every design process is incomplete unless it takes into careful consideration what could be done with the product by a dictatorial megalomaniac in command of a national economy, secret police and large army.
  • Design for Old - The 21st century will have a historically unprecedented demographic structure.
  • Superstition isn’t Inspiration - There’s no effective substitute for experimental verification and verifiable results.

Political Principles

  • Viridian Inactivism - Activism is an attention hog. Find the things you are doing that intensify problems, and cease doing them. Seek command of your own life.
  • Do Less with Less - We should struggle valiantly to find alternative sources of energy, but it’s just as gratifying to simply become less frenetic. What exactly are we doing at the moment that is worth ruining the climate for? Relax.
  • There’s No One so Green as the Dead - If you feel helpless with guilt because of your bad environmental habits, pause and think of the very brief time in which you employ the Earth’s resources, and the long, long eons in which you’ll just be raw material again.
  • The Viridian Grandfather Principle - Viridians prefer to carry out green activities than living people can do well

Principles of the Avant-technogarde

  • The Biological isn’t Logical - The living world was not designed by a teleological, rationalist, reductionist process. The living world grew irrationally through nonsystematic, genetic exploration of niche possibilities, pruned back by natural selection and occasional massive disasters.
  • Augment Reality: Aestheticize all Sensors - Sensors, instrumentation, and mediated monitoring systems of all kinds are the next aesthetic frontier. Sensors must interact with the human sensorium, and are properly seen as not primarily technical, but aesthetic.
  • Make the Invisible Visible - Advances in instrumentation can be used to change the zeitgeist
  • Less Mass, More Data - If you always know where something is, you don’t have to chain it up. Physical resources should be replaced with information where possible.
  • Tangible Cyberspace - introduce computer generated artefacts and processes into the deepest and most intimate textures of the physical world. Make the screen permeable, and turn ‘computers’ into worldly, sensual entities.
  • Seek the Biomorphic and the Transgenic - “Nature” is over. What does it mean when you look into the garden and the garden looks back?
  • Datamine Nature - There is a wealth of aesthetic novelty to be found in previously invisible aspects of nature, such as cellular metabolism, noninvasive medical imaging, hybridomas and chimeras, artificial life entities and chemosynthetic life forms.
  • Grow Complexity - look for patterns that are both tasteful and previously impossible. With computers it is absurdly simple to create any level of busyness and complexity. Without human aesthetic intervention, this art is puerile and ugly.

Research Principles

  • Walk Through the Walls of Knowledge Guilds - The boundaries that separate art, science, medicine, literature, computation, engineering, and design and craft generally are not divine. These boundaries are socially generated. Research techniques are not identical, nor are results all equally valid under all circumstances; quantum physics isn’t opera.. There exists a sensibility that can transcend intellectual turf war with no loss of rigor. If you choose to do it, you can step outside the boundaries history makes for you. You can walk through walls.
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