DESIGNED TO BE GREEN (and TECHNOLOGICAL SIMPLICITY)


“You are so right we don’t need more heavy and extensive technology for excellent higher education, we need excellent technique and pedagogy, resilience. The advice and training [by StudioBlended] was a gift from heaven. I want you to train our entire team of professors!”

prof. dr. Patricia Samora
Senior lecturer and researcher
Pontificia Universidade Catholica de Campinas
Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism
Greater Sao Paulo Metropolitan Area
Brazil


'Don't ask what the technology can do for you, rather what the pedagogy needs.’Gilly Salmon, Professor of e-Learning and Learning Technologies, University of Leicest


“It’s not hidden, it’s just not talked about enough. But what people don’t realise is when someone sends a farewell email to 200 people, and someone hits ‘reply all’, you’re creating traffic. The more you increase your traffic, the more bandwidth you need, storage needs to be increased, computers need bigger disks, and so on. It all adds up.”Lorena Moreira Saenz, Palladium Director of ICT

‘We were told that the internet would dematerialize society and decrease energy use. Contrary to this projection, it has become a massive infrastructure and a rapidly growing energy consumer. [...] The internet isn’t an autonomous being. Its growing energy use results from decisions made by software developers, web designers, marketeers, publishers, and internet users.’  Kris De Decker & Marie Otsuka, How to build a low-tech internet. 2023



Are you curious for more? Would you like to get in touch? Feel free to contact our lead directly for any questions or inquiries you may have. tikvah@studioblended.com +31 6 42 47 29 69

Picture: A node in the Scottish Tegola Network, from Low Tech magazine. Copyright public domain.

When you design a course or training, you would like to ensure that your course’s content on sustainability resonates with the impact your technology and communication has on the environment. Our Studio believes in designing with integrity: all the dimensions of a curriculum should be coherent with your value system. At our Studio we call this design angle, ‘designed to be green’.

What you design for, has a direct impact on energy use and water use at data centers (and beyond). In other words: your decisions in the design phase matter greatly.

Any blended or bichronous curriculum that you design, implies the use of an online platform as well as remote communication technology. This in turn requires data storage, and an ever-increasing amount of communication, meaning your course impacts the environment.

There are many advantages with having a low-tech approach during delivery of a course/training. Imagine contexts with a digital divide or weak wifi signal for example. For contexts like these, our Studio is experimenting and innovating with ways to ensure high quality education with a minimal technological requirement.

Our Studio doesn’t primarily advise on the choice of technology. Instead, we advise on decisions you make in your curriculum design. We innovate through approaching technology from a pedagogical angle, and make decisions with you based on your value system. We partner with you to navigate all the possibilities and opportunities available. Above all, we aim for technological simplicity. When done well, such a design will be green.

We can advise on technological questions, accessibility and scoping related to procurement, values, and future proofing. We explore what is possible today, and what is possible in 10 years’ time by asking strategic questions.

Key projects

On the rise. Image by IEA. in The World Economic Forum (2021)

Integrity is key to us: we advice in things we also practice ourselves. Therefore, with our own website, we always aim to have the smallest ecological footprint we can. You can use some of these insights also for your own Learning Management System ​(LMS). Have a read what De VormForensen [Dutch] writes about this [translated by us]:

‘Even just reading these very lines, your personal CO2 emission is around 24 grams. With every new online search, 0,2 grams and with every email you send - between 4 and 50 grams, depending on the number of recipients and attachments.

How can we build a website with an ecological footprint that is as low as possible? 

So much is still untransparent and unclear when it comes to our digital footprint. How can you make green digital choices?

Our digital behaviour has an enormous footprint. Every click is connected to CO2 emission. All our online activities put together, cause an emission that is larger than the global aviation (GeSI 2019). An average annual internet user’s emission, is the equivalent of driving 1400 km (Hulst 2021). These are figures from before the COVID global lockdowns, times in which we started to video call, work from home and streaming films en masse.

Everything we do online is stored in enormous data storage centres, which are cooled to temper the enormos amouth of heat that comes off these servers. To illustrate: the use of electricity of all the datacentres in The Netherlands is more than that of the national railway.’

Practice what you preach!‘

This is how we apply De VormForensen [Dutch] advice on our Studio’s website:
1. We chose a green provider [Do the check Green Web Foundation]
This website is hosted Green - checked by thegreenwebfoundation.org
2. Ensure to have as little as possible data on our website. Images are max 2 MB and preferably 1 MB - which also helps actually to make phone usage much more user friendly, as well as facilitate users with low bandwith [we are currently on the task of converting images in bitmap to ensure we emit as little CO2 as possible]. Use existing fonts (our graphic designer uses a font designed specifically for pleasant reading on screens, Inter). 

3.  We use an existing Content Management System ​(CMS) - the artistic Cargo Collective in California.

4.  We constantly ensure that content that is outdated, is also taken down from the Internet entirely. 

5. Our lead always works with refurbished (Mac)laptops.

Image: visualisation of how the value of ‘simplicity’ is central to our Studio’s philosophy and methodology, and makes greenfully designed an organic part of the whole. Find our valuesystem here.

Our Audio Podcast

Follows soon.

Related publications


The paper below featured in a qualitative Dutch newspaper, NRC Handelsblad, under ‘NRC Future Affairs’ on June 19, 2021.


Breimer, Tikvah, Browne, Nigel & Bart Slob 2021 ‘Envisioning blended higher education in post-lockdown Europe: Reflections on experience, needs and risks through a pedagogical lens.’ Conference on the Future of Europe.

We explore the digital divide as well (here northern and southern Europe).






More design angles we use

Technical resilience
Human resilience
Modular
Evidence-based design
Financial health and resilience by (re)design
Innovative and deep pedagogy
Multi- Inter- and transdisciplinary
Blended
Bichronous
Designed to be green (and technological simplicity)
Nature and aspirations
Flexibilisation and personalisation
Simplicity and decluttering


References

Connections by Finsa 2021 Low-tech: sustainability on the internet.

Cruz, Luis. 2024 ‘De efficientie van AI wordt afbetaald met grote ecologische voetdruk’. In RED Pers. 

Decker, Kris de 2015 How to build a low-tech internet. Low Tech magazine.
For book publication (2023) see here and here

Mahan, Josh Data Center energy consumption. C&C Technology Group.

Palladium Group 2021. The hidden carbon costs of technology.

Smart water magazine 2022
How much water do data centres use.

We are here especially for you as unique professional, to come alongside you and partner with you, as you work on a (architecture / urban / development / policy / land / water / climate) curriculum, so that you can offer effective and resilient education in its simplest form.
StudioBlended Foundation 2024

Prefer to have direct contact?
Feel free:
Tikvah Breimer (MSc MAEd MSc)
Independent senior advisor, teacher trainer, lead
tikvah@studioblended.com
+31 6 42 47 29 69



Non profit Foundation

Registration Chamber of Commerce
KvK-number 86242598 (Dutch)

VAT identification number
NL 86 39 07 29 5 B01

Bankaccount

NL40 INGB 0709 6156 04
SWIFT/BIC: INGBNL2A
StudioBlended Foundation


 
   


Our work

About us

We are here especially for you as unique course/training coordinator, to come alongside you and partner with you, as you work on a (architecture / urban / development / policy / land / water / climate) curriculum, so that you can offer effective and resilient education in its simplest form.


This website is hosted Green - checked by thegreenwebfoundation.org