Can we design sustainable habits of mind?

Dewberry, Emma (2008). Can we design sustainable habits of mind? In: Introducing the Affective in Sustainable Design, 08 Jul 2008, Central St Martins College, University of the Arts London.



There is a need for dynamic habits of mind for the long view; and an urgent need to [re]animate creative responses to unsustainability today.

I want to explore new ways in which to reconnect people to their ecological origin; to create development journeys that foster sensibilities to Nature and by so-doing, allow new (more radical) sustainable activity to emerge. This can be viewed as developing a practice of creating sustainability. We need to revise our sense of ourselves as learning beings and accept not knowing [the answers] as a place from where new learning can begin and different activities can emerge. As designers we need the capacity to grow people’s perceptions of their own and others’ ecology, Nature and the context of their environment. As our context becomes increasingly urban (The United Nations predict sometime this year more people globally will live in cities than in rural areas) we need to build understanding of how to develop real and deep connections to Nature and how to [re]define it, see it, nurture it (as opposed to ‘manage it’) and live it, so all can flourish now and in the future. Design and designing have great potential to respond to this call to create sustainable literacy in the 21st century. Discussion will include: what is a sustainable habit of mind and how do you describe it to others; how assumptions and perceptions within society shift; and what [design] interventions can foster more sustainable habits of mind?

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