HQ Activity: The Last Whole Earth Catalog Library

If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don't bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.” -R. Buckminster Fuller

Between 1968 and 1972 American Writer Stewart Brand served as the founder and editor of The Whole Earth Catalog, a publication that functioned as an access device that sought to give “power to the individual to conduct her own education, find her own inspiration, shape her own environment, and share her adventures with whoever is interested.”

An item was listed in the catalog if it was deemed:

1) Useful as a tool,
2) Relevant to an independent education,
3) High quality or low cost,
4) Easily available by mail.

What are the tools that artists and designers need today? How can we live better together, make sustainably, and positively shape our environments? How can we do more with less? How can we design for all, with all in mind? For Design Week Portland 2014 Jen Delos Reyes has used The Last Whole Earth Catalog: Access to Tools as the foundation of a library geared toward design thinking, education, and meaningful living. The non-lending resource library features over three dozen titles originally listed in the catalog that focus on thinking through form, utopian experiments, cost effective living and survival, radical pedagogy, architecture without architects, nature, and philosophy.

The Last Whole Earth Catalog Library will be located in Design Week Portlandʼs Head Quarters in Pioneer Square. Delos Reyes will be available for library consultation throughout DWP.

Consultation Hours:
Monday, October 6, 2014 1:00pm-3:00pm

About Jen Delos Reyes:
Jen Delos Reyes is a creative laborer, educator, writer, and radical community arts organizer. Her practice is as much about working with institutions as it is about creating and supporting sustainable artist-run culture. Delos Reyes worked within Portland State University from 2008-2014 to create the first flexible residency Art and Social Practice MFA program in the United States and devised the curriculum that focused on place, engagement, and dialogue. She is the director and founder of Open Engagement, an international annual conference on socially engaged art that has been active since 2007 and hosted six conferences in two countries and locations including the Queens Museum in New York. She is currently working on Iʼm Going to Live the Life I Sing About in My Song: How Artists Make and Live Lives of Meaning, a book exploring the artist impetus toward art and everyday life.