By Ann Thorpe
The mentality that consumerism and monetary progress are cure-alls is among the greatest hindrances to actual sustainability, yet any swap turns out most unlikely, unthinkable. Our modern paradox unearths us depending for our health on consumer-driven monetary development that we really can’t find the money for ? no longer in environmental, monetary or social phrases. even supposing structure and layout have lengthy been noticeable as engines for consumerism and progress, expanding numbers of designers are fascinated about the issues because of development. yet designers face a paradox in their personal in situations of sustainable intake, the place humans eat or construct considerably much less, what is going to be left for designers to do?
This publication, educated through fresh study into the viability of a «steady country» economic climate, units an time table for addressing the designer’s paradox of sustainable intake. The time table comprises ways in which structure and layout might help transition us in the direction of a brand new type of economic climate that prioritizes actual wellness instead of financial development. full of examples and illustrations, the ebook argues that taking motion, or activism, is a crucial yet to date underexplored approach for architects and architects to confront consumerism.
The first chapters discover how fiscal progress and consumerism form and are formed by means of the professions of structure, product, and panorama layout and the way we will be able to comprehend the matter of consumerism as 4 major demanding situations that designers are already addressing. The ebook maps out the most matters surrounding the improvement of metrics that designers and others can use to degree wellness, rather than easily measuring fiscal progress. the second one half the ebook seems to be at how layout activism works and its connection to development and consumerist matters. those chapters research how activist practices are financed, spotlight 5 particular equipment that designers use in operating for social swap, and examine the ability of those tools. The booklet concludes with a attention of what design’s function could be in a «post-growth» society.
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Additional resources for Architecture & Design versus Consumerism: How Design Activism Confronts Growth
Fischer-Kowalski, M. U. von Weizsäcker, Y. Ren, Y. Moriguchi, W. Crane, F. Krausmann, N. Eisenmenger, S. Giljum, P. Hennicke, P. Romero Lankao, and A. Siriban Manalang, “Decoupling Natural Resource Use and Environmental Impacts from Economic Growth, A Report of the Working Group on Decoupling to the International Resource Panel” (United Nations Environment Program, 2011). Tim Jackson, Prosperity Without Growth? A Transition to a Sustainable Economy (London: Sustainable Development Commission, 2009), p.
Although issues of globalization, migration and uneven development make it difficult to separate the geographies of over-consumption and under-consumption entirely, this book takes as its main geographical context the over-consuming countries, and primarily the two English-speaking countries in which the author is most situated, the US and the UK. Although there are significant differences between these two counties, in a number of ways the UK has developed cultural characteristics that make it more similar to the US than to the rest of Europe.
Photo Steve Brandon. Since around the 1950s, economic growth has been a central organizing principle in many countries. Growth, driven by consumerism, is seen as the key to adequate levels of employment among other things. The market is viewed as the best decision maker, governed by rational individual consumers making free market choices. Economic growth has been taken as a proxy for overall well-being. Over the last few decades however, research and practical experience has led many people to question the idea that continuous economic growth is entirely beneficial.