Designing Sustainability and Radical Changes to the Material World.

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photo credit: jude hill via photopin cc

An excerpt from Stuart Walker’s new book  “Designing Sustainability: Making radical changes in a material world,” Routledge, 2014.

The design and production of consumer products has been on a steeply rising trajectory of innovation and growth for decades. The impacts have been enormous and while, undoubtedly, many of these have been positive, the products themselves, the methods employed and the side effects of their production, use and disposal are, in a multitude of ways, severely damaging in terms of practical meaning and the natural environment; social meaning and ideas of equity and justice; and personal meaning and the creation of conditions supportive of the spiritual self.

Today’s most widely distributed, often least enduring, technological products are designed, produced, distributed and marketed by global-scale corporations whose priorities are largely incompatible with traditional understandings and values that seek to harmonize the inner person with outer activities and the world in general through ways that, crucially, include service, and concern for others. Scientific and technological advancements have provided us with unprecedented power over nature, yet, in pursuit of profits, use of that power has tended to work against the common good…

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