Developing an ecology of mind in design.
In: 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), 15-18 August 2011, Copenhagen, Denmark.
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The relationship between design and sustainability (DfS) is forever evolving: from the early focus on cleaner production processes and resource efficiencies to more recent endeavours to promote environmentally benign behaviours or to counter the increasing impacts of climate change. The uncomfortable truth though is that the majority of design activity serves market forces at a global scale and at an ever-increasing rate. Despite predictions of resource scarcity – peak oil, peak minerals, peak water – the increase in the linear transit of material through the Global economy rises year on year. Design straddles this production consumption cycle: it conceives of the processes and technologies that shape our artificial world; and it fashions the forms of that artificial world that drive a consumption ideology. Neither position is sustainable. Informed by Sterling’s rigorous exploration of different sustainable education paradigms, this paper reconstructs a design literacy that has the capacity to realize effective transitions for the long-term wellbeing of environment, biodiversity and humankind.
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