marisa morby

Nature & Climate Change

Design and Nature Reimagined: The universe beneath our feet (Part 1)

Fungi are everywhere, and the more I've seen it the more entranced I've become. So let's look at how fungi works, and how we might learn from it. Part 1 will include cool fungus facts (a phrase I never thought I'd say), and Part 2 will reimagine how we might learn from fungus.

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: Can art give us hope?

I've been thinking a lot lately about how art influences us and the way we influence it. I think that having nature inspired art is a wonderful way to both appreciate nature, and even discover things that you hadn't noticed before.

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: Can the soil save us? (Part 2)

We're continuing with Part 2 on how the soil can save us, based on the documentary Kiss the Ground. Previously we talked about the importance of soil and the scary realization that desertification was expanding on a global level. The open question for all of us is; what can we do about it?

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: Can soil save us? (Part 1)

The other day I was watching the Netflix show Kiss the Ground, which is all about soil. I enjoy documentaries, and although climate documentaries can be overwhelming, I don't know all that much about soil and thought the movie might be informative. But I watched it two weeks ago and am still thinking about it! Here's a little bit of what I learned. Buckle in, cuz this is only Part 1 of 2...

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: Robots in the water

Conservation is a huge part of combatting climate change, because once something is damaged or lost it takes many, many decades or generations to build itself back up again. And refusing to clean up our plastic mess, in addition to refusing to stop using plastic, leads to especially harmful pollution in our water.

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: How grief can be our gateway to hope

I thought this week I would talk about mental health, climate change, and hope. How do we deal with feelings of grief and loss of what we know?

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: Understanding the un-understandable

One of the (many) things that makes climate change so hard is the inability to truly understand it. If we don't understand it, it makes it hard to push for change. So, today I want to talk about climate modeling and visualization. How might we use these tools to better understand the challenge that we all face?

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: The dirty business of healthcare

Healthcare is a unique place for design, innovation, and nature to come in, because healthcare really isn't something that's really in the front of our minds when we talk about waste.

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: A new way to fly

Today I want to look at the possible future of planes. What might we do differently to reduce emissions when using air travel?

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: Mass reforestation around the world

I want to talk about trees again, mainly because I love them so much and because I think planting trees is one of the most hopeful acts you can do. A tree is a bet on the future, something that will be most appreciated after you've lived and died, and therefore something that you do for others.

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: Natural light through the night

As spring comes and brings more light later into the day, I've been thinking a lot about how light plays in our life. It's easy for us to flip a switch as night comes, without even thinking about it. However, a lot of material goes into our lighting and the impact of our lights creates light pollution that confuses migrating birds and nocturnal animals and insects.

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: Water bears in space!

Hi there! Today we're gonna talk about tardigrades, also known as water bears. Water bears are some of the strongest little creatures out there.

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: Do flowers party at night? No they go to bed early.

If you know anything about me by now, you may have noticed I love (love) plants. I love growing my garden, and spend a lot of time watching the flowers. If you've ever done this, you may have noticed that some of your flowers close at night. Purple shamrocks, tulips, lotus, morning glory, and california poppies are just a few of the many flowers that exhibit this behavior.

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: Look to the birds

I often talk about the future and climate change mitigation. How might we change something going forward to reduce or reverse climate change? But an important part of climate justice requires a realistic view. And that view must include adaptation. How might we reimagine our relationship with nature in order to adapt to a changing climate?

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: Using mushrooms to fight climate change

Sitting with untapped potential, how could mushrooms help us create a better future and mitigate climate change?

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: Mimicking nature to help us store and use energy

Although we all likely know about renewable energy by now: wind, hydro, solar, and even nuclear energy, one of the ongoing problems we've had for moving toward new energy is being able to store that energy in a battery. Today I wanted to look at opportunities for understanding how nature stores energy and how we might mimic that with our own technologies.

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: Using mapping to save our coral reefs

This week we'll be talking about a sad subject, but one filled with a lot of hope.

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: The beauty of bogs

Today I'm going to talk with you about something you probably never thought you'd read about.... peat bogs! Why peat bogs, Marisa, I hear you ask me through the screen.

Read full article →

Is Betterment's Socially Responsible Investing actually socially responsible?

Today we take a quick look at Betterment's Socially Responsible Investment portfolio. What's that all about and is it any good?

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: Solving the plastic pollution problem

This week we're going to talk about plastic. Something that we use every day, and is one of the easiest ways to perpetuate our fossil fuel usage.

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: An ocean of innovation

I've talked a lot so far about trees and plants, but there's so much more beyond what's beneath our feet. So today I wanted to talk about the ocean. Think of this as an introduction into how the ocean and climate are related.

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: Connecting with nature through sound

Hope your day is going well. Today we're going to talk about some ways people are using sound to connect with nature.

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: The Future of Growing Food

I love food and love gardening so I figured this week we'd look take a look at some possible futures for growing food. How can tech, nature, and innovative thinking reimagine how we plant and what types of food we grow?

Read full article →

Design & Nature Reimagined: Reforesting cities and towns

This week we're looking at some examples of cities and towns that are putting in the effort to reforest their communities in an attempt to make their areas better for themselves and the planet. We see how we're reforesting both outside and inside our lived spaces.

Read full article →

Getting Involved in Climate Work

I spend a lot of my time thinking about climate change. Over the years, I've struggled over how to have an impact, especially when I'm not specifically working in the climate space. This post is about how my thoughts have evolved on this over the course of my career.

Read full article →

Taking back the streets

Streets were originally meant for all people to use. With the rise of the car, people got pushed further to the edges, and an entire legal system was set up to defend drivers of cars rather than those impacted by them. How can we change that narrative now?

Read full article →

Designing a better built environment

We can design a better world if we're willing to ask better questions and make real change.

Read full article →

We all belong in the climate conversation

Joining the conversation on climate is for everyone, because it will impact all of us.

Read full article →

Designing for people: How research and design can help us create smarter cities

I had the opportunity to give a talk at the Portland Junior Developers meetup. This post is a link to that presentation, where I shared some ideas on how can we use research, design, and tech to create better cities.

Read full article →

Finding hope as our world changes

A few months ago I was lucky enough to go to the Cooper Hewitt Design museum in New York. The exhibit I saw was what I've been waiting for. It made me sad, excited, angry, and most of all—hopeful. It changed me in such a way that I still think about it almost every day. I want to share some of what I learned with you.

Read full article →

Dealing with climate anxiety in a dying world

How anxiety can give way to productive anger.

Read full article →

Gardening for the non-gardener

Sometimes house plants can be really difficult to maintain. They usually die from being loved to death... overwatered. So, I wanted to share tips on how to get started with gardening even if you don't have a lot of space. If you have a window that opens or a little balcony then you've got yourself a little outdoor garden!

Read full article →