About the Viridian Movement
The first five Viridian Notes introduced the Viridian movement to an
unsuspecting yet grateful planet:
Viridian Design Speech that launched the Viridian movement!
Viridian List Mechanics
Viridian Design Principles from October 1998, and the
The Next 20 Years, a Viridian precursor,
IDSA '99 Speech! 17 July, 1999
The Manifesto of January 3, 2000
Hacking Environmental Awareness: The Viridian Design
Movement by Jon Lebkowsky
Viridian Frequently Asked Questions
"How come some people on Viridian List have lots of ^^^^^ and **** after
their log-in names?"
Those symbols of achievement are known as "chevrons" (^) and "stars"
(*). You get a chevron if you send in some useful piece of information
to the list moderator, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If something you create appears publicly on the Viridian List, then you
receive the highly coveted star, to symbolize your star turn on the public
stage. The most direct way to receive a star is to enter a Viridian Design
People with a lot of stars and chevrons outrank you. You should feel
confident in devoting respectful attention to them.
"What's a Viridian Design Contest?"
The contests are opportunities for graphic or conceptual creativity.
Logos, posters, teapots, lamps, that sort of thing. We do this to amuse
ourselves, and to give some coherent form to our ideas. Images and symbols
are every bit as important to the Viridian Movement as our constant outflow
There's a Viridian contest archive at: http://www.bomoco.com/Viridian/viridian.htm
You can see from this site that Viridian design entries are not necessarily
professional-level efforts in postindustrial design. Rather, they're a
fun opportunity to show others that you not only "get it" == you have
the strength and energy to give it back.
You enter a Viridian Design contest by placing your entry on a website,
and sending the address to the moderator. The site must be up for the
length of the contest. The winner of the contest receives a prize via
snailmail. The prizes are modest: generally classy books and/or nifty
"Where can I read all the Viridian Notes I haven't seen already?"
And feel free to archive everything yourself! Having just put those 200
notes in order, I am now in a position to email the lot of them to anybody
who wants them. Why not decorate your own website with a free ton of Viridian
You can always show anything you see on Viridian List to anybody you
please. You need not ask permission, or pay anyone anything. If you want
to translate it into another language, be my guest.
"Do you guys ever make anything, or do you just make
up imaginary stuff?"
We are not a manufacturing or retail enterprise. However, we did recently
inspire a design contest that may lead up to a commercial product. http://sustainer.org/Viridian
We don't plan to start making meters, chairs, shoes, blimps, domes, fuel
cells, ubicomp chips, smart houses, spongephones, or any of the other
standard Viridian obsessions. It's like asking a Broadway critic when
he plans to build a theater.
"What's the difference between the Manifesto of January 3, 2000 and
"The Manifesto of January 3, 2000"?
In October 1998, I gave a speech in San Francisco, suggesting that January
3, 2000 would be a good time to launch a manifesto and start a design
movement. That 1998 speech should henceforth be known as the "Viridian
Design Speech." The actual Manifesto of January 3, 2000 appeared, just
as predicted, on January 3, 2000. It was a call to people in all walks
of life to put the bad habits of the 20th century behind them, and to
focus their creative energies on the realities of a new historical period.
"There seem to be some heavy issues here. I'd like to get into this
at greater length than these Viridian email essays. But how?"
Start reading books on the subjects at hand. We have quite a few of the
classics of ecological and industrial design listed on our Recommended
Books page: http://www.viridiandesign/products
You can buy them immediately through our Amazon site. Get them however
you please; but we can testify from personal experience that those books
are worth reading and will not waste your time. We're always looking for
more such worthy works. If you find a work that seems really up our alley,
recommend it to us.
If you yourself have written a book, we'd like to know that, too, whether
or not it's of direct relevance to Viridian interests.
"What's the 'Viridian Curia?'"
They're people on Viridian list who've volunteered to take part in off-line
efforts such as Viridian T-shirts, gizmos, magazine articles, etc. They're
hard-core zealots who are willing to sacrifice more sustained attention
and effort than other, lesser Viridians. Their exalted status is marked
with a bishop's crook (?).
"This doesn't have anything to do with your design contests, but I'm
designing something myself that seems very Viridian. What now?"
Send in a web address for it. If it seems relevant to our interests,
we'll list it as a "Viridian Individual Project" and post it to the list.
You will receive a valuable and prestigious star (*).
"Why does every Viridian Note end with those O=c=O marks?"
Those are carbon dioxide molecules. They're meant to remind us that the
Internet still runs on fossil fuels. The fossil fuel vice is so deeply
embedded that even our email discussions haplessly contribute to the Greenhouse
Effect. The reminder helps keep us focussed on our central concern: we're
wrecking the sky.
"How come dates are referred to in Viridian Notes with an extra zero,
like 'October 01998' and 'January 02000'?"
Stewart Brand of Long Now Foundation suggested that this extra zero would
be a good habit to break people loose from the poverty of short-term thinking.
It suggests the true depth of history that stretches, not merely behind
us, but ahead of us.