GOOD - Big Ideas

Is there a word for naming something after a stated goal, in the spirit of onomatopoeia? Because such a word would be quite useful right now to describe GOOD, a magazine and web community devoted to doing good works in the world through innovative technology and information dispersal. Much like SEED magazine or TED talks, GOOD is about utilizing forward-thinking design, learning from our technological blunders and forging a new relationship with the built and natural environment. It’s an attempt at a radical rethinking of our (human) place in the universe.

While GOOD is ostensibly a magazine, it has made several forays into web video. Thematic “shows” include Transparency, which features brief, clever and exploratory videos on topics like internet porn and nuclear weapons; a series of mini-documentaries from around the world called Look; and numerous categorized GOODvideos like the water-polluted “Dirty Crocodile Mile.”

The latest project from GOOD CEO Ben Goldhirsch and Babelgum, called Big Ideas, launches today and will serve as a sort of video forum for new ideas from prominent and innovative thinkers.

Though TED has been promoting a similar vision of progressive thought and entertainment for a few years now, the latest GOOD project appears to be a midway point between TED-style talks and BigThink video blogs/interviews. Add to this the design acumen of SEED-style graphic genius and we get a novel – not to mention beautiful – video series that seeks to share some pretty grand ideas.

The straightforward title, Big Ideas, clearly gives away the premise, but the videos aren’t going to be dry explanations of some future technology. The point is to use the videos as springboards for an alternate way of looking at design and the built environment. We will get to meet minds who will exposit not only an idea they think is pretty cool, but why it will be useful and contribute to not just the welfare of our species, but other species or the planet as a whole.

The first installment of the series features English singer/multi-instrumentalist Imogen Heap. Her idea for floating orb housing may not be practical in the near future, but embedded in her thoughts are strains that architects or other designers could latch onto and run with for practical applications now. For instance, Imogen’s desire to live “above the planet,” thus saving terra firma for flora and fauna, could lead to new ideas about tall buildings that let light filter to ground level. We could have tall buildings and yet still have trees, gardens, nature-ways, etc.

GOOD - Floating HousesThere are numerous nods to ecological design here just waiting for the chance to become memes in our collective consciousness; this is the point of Big Ideas.

Even if you’re not into these aspects of design, I can’t see how anyone would find these to be boring or uninteresting. GOOD has done a great job with the other video elements on the site which bodes well for both the production and content values to be unveiled in Big Ideas. For those reasons and more, I highly recommend exploring the rest of the website’s non-video features. Of course, this assumes you have a few hours of free time available, because you’ll not only want that many, you’ll need that many.

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