David Suzuki and the 11th Hour.


David Suzuki
“I see a world in the future in which we understand that all life is related to us and we treat that life with great humility and respect. I see us as well as social creatures, and when I began to look back and say, ‘what is the fundamental bottom line for us as social creatures?’…I couldn’t believe it because it seemed so hippy dippy, but it was Love. Love is the force that makes us fully human.”

– David Suzuki.

Who is David Suzuki?

David Suzuki is a television host, radio presenter, author, a geneticist, an environmentalist, and one of the most inspiring people for me as a designer-


“We need to design communities so that the people who live in them use their cars less and have a lower impact on the environment, and a better quality of life in return.”

I cant help but feel a sense of pride as an architect and designer, that i (even on a small scale) can change the quality of life directly through design.

I first came upon the wise words of David Suzuki in ‘The 11th Hour’ a documentary on the environment, our impact on the earth and the pleading of environmentalists and activists to reverse the damage already done, hosted by Leonardo DiCaprio (no.. don’t laugh, he does a good job) –

Myself and a half dozen other design students trundled along for the first screening of the 11th hour in Melbourne a couple months back, i’m sorry to say that the main reason we went along was that we were members of an offshoot of GBCA (green building council of Australia) called ‘Future Green Leaders’ – and admission (and after movie drinks!) were free.

The first half of the ‘The 11th hour’ mercilessly depicted the atrocities of humankind and our blatant disregard for the environment – it left me feeling uncomfortably humble and quite small (metaphorically) in the grand scheme of things – suggesting that the snowballing that is the earth’s destruction is already a tumbling avalanche, and that we are not just at the 11th hour, but the time is in fact 11:59.

However, hope is offered – (thanks Leo!) though it is up to all of us as individuals to reverse the negative effect we have had on the earth.

“Yeah, we’ve heard this all before,” I hear you say, “I’ve seen already seen an inconvenient truth, we need to change our ways, the earth is in deep shit blah blah blah.”

The message has been drummed into us from environmentalist, activists and politicians for years now, however, for me, it was the visual impact of this movie that particularly spurred me into actively thinking about environmentally friendly design (and lifestyle!) and from it I have adopted heroes such as David Suzuki, who’s passion for the environment is a real inspiration.

and finally, a nice (very relevant) quote that I particularly liked –

“We’re at a point in our history, with 6.4 billion of us, that we have to imagine what it would be like to redesign design itself, see design as the first signal of human intention, and realize that we need new intentions for our future where materials are seen as things that are highly valuable and need to go in closed cycles—what we call cradle to cradle, instead of cradle to grave… So, the design itself changes from mass production of things that are essentially destructive to mass utilization of things that are inherently assets instead of liabilities”

—William McDonough, architect and designer.

Start by checking out the trailer below, from there, see the movie!



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