Friday, 3 October 2008

Sustainable by Design

I have been reading this really interesting book, Sustainable by Design - Explorations in Theory and Practice by Stuart Walker.

It gives great insigt into how we are designing things and how we should be designing things. It poses the question that we have the capability to make things last for a very long time but should we. Walker poses

'To think we have the ability, at this point in our history, to design long-lasting products that fully address the complex, multifarious issues inherent to sustainability could be seen as arrogant, not to say foolhardy.'

Walker makes a good argument so instead of manufacturing things that will last for an eternity but are out dated and unwanted we should design for todays society where fashions change quickly. We should adapt our knowledge of practice to produce products that are less harmful to the environment but at the same time disposable. Disposable is always seen as a bad word in the fashion sence but I think that if we can produce a disposable fashion that can be less detrimental to the environment, made with bio degradable fibres, grown in an organic way, eliminating toxic pesticides and chemicals, dyed and printed in a more ethical way and not produced in sweatshops, disposable fashion might not look that bad after all.

'Instead of relying on product longevity, we should be exploring design with humility, and assume that whatever we design for today will not be appropriate in the future. Whatever we produce should be designed in a way that places little burden on the planet, in its production, use and disposal, while also providing healthy and fruitful work.'

(Walker, 2006, p75)

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