I just spent the week in Brazil and attended the UN Earth Summit on sustainable development. Here’s my ramblings about what it was like from a designer’s perspective.

A perfect setting for the world’s largest Earth Summit.

As your plane makes its final descent into Rio de Janeiro airport, you are presented with an incredible landscape: tropical rain-forests, a dense city spread around the coastline with favelas tucked into every free space, and a good spread of large tankers and ships making their way in and out of the port. From that aerial descent to your hotel you can see the complexities of what the Earth Summit, also known as Rio+20, has been trying to tackle: the division of wealth, our reliance on commerce, and our desire for more stuff, overpopulation, the ever encroaching hand of man over his environment, all set against the vibrancy and optimism of the Brazilian culture and people.

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