Stuart Walker is Professor of Design for Sustainability at Lancaster University, UK and Emeritus Professor at the University of Calgary, Canada. He is author of several books and his designs have been exhibited at several highly regarded institutions.

Designing Sustainability-Making Radical Changes in a Material World, published in 2014, is a work of reflection aimed at students attending courses in design and sustainability as well as qualified designers. Stuart Walker says the book is an “attempt to make a contribution to the debate about designing sustainability through an interwoven process of thinking and doing, writing and design.” The book is a critical and political document – the interest is in making evolutionary change at the discipline’s focus – the nerve centre, the creative process.

There is a clear vision about some of the worst aspects of industrialization and a system designed to make profit by feeding worldwide and irresponsible consumerism with useless products that are “shiny novelty surrounded by hyperbole”. All these critiques are based on solid arguments but more than that the book is a call to our intelligence and to our use of good sense.

It is our opinion that Stuart Walker conceived this book with the individual in mind – the designer, man or woman – to promote the shift from an imposed world of numbers, to reverse it from the chaotic and unsustainable natural and social environment in which we are all submerged. He targets the creative process because this is where design has to question and raise discussions, challenging the status quo of irresponsibility and harmful conventions. He underlines the importance in understanding the facts of provenance and consequence, the causes and the effects. It is also a call to the return of values, of moral and ethical a priori or posteriori thinking.

From the introduction to the epilogue there are profound reflections that promote changes towards evolution, an evolution through improved or rediscovered behaviour seeking for harmony and equilibrium. A most positive and generous work of thought with specific proposals, schematic guidelines and conclusions, all well documented, providing good design orientations and solid principles. There is no doubt that this book is a powerful and spiritual tool for a better way of living. Education at its best!

Proofreader: Helen Walker

Designing Sustainability / Stuart Walker
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 978-0-415-74411-9
English
187 Pages
2014