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Architecture and design versus consumerism : how design activism confronts growth

Author: Ann Thorpe
Publisher: Abingdon ; New York : Earthscan, ©2012.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The mentality that consumerism and economic growth are cure-alls is one of the biggest obstacles to real sustainability, but any change seems impossible, unthinkable. Our contemporary paradox finds us relying for our well being on consumer-driven economic growth that we actually can't afford - not in environmental, economic or social terms. Although architecture and design have long been seen as engines for  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Ann Thorpe
ISBN: 9781136315695 1136315691 9781849713559 1849713553 9780203119518 0203119517 9781849713566 1849713561
OCLC Number: 796932367
Notes: Includes index.
Description: 1 online resource (257 pages)
Contents: Title --
1. Design activism, movement society and a post-growth scenario --
2. Design in the shadow of the rise and fall of growth --
3. Design activism confronting economic growth --
4. From here to there, sketching a sustainable economy --
5. Picking up moves from social movements --
6. Political power on a budget --
7. Speculating on the steady state scenario --
8. Conclusion.
Responsibility: Ann Thorpe.

Abstract:

The mentality that consumerism and economic growth are cure-alls is one of the biggest obstacles to real sustainability, but any change seems impossible, unthinkable. Our contemporary paradox finds us relying for our well being on consumer-driven economic growth that we actually can't afford - not in environmental, economic or social terms. Although architecture and design have long been seen as engines for consumerism and growth, increasing numbers of designers are concerned about the problems resulting from growth. But designers face a paradox of their own; in scenarios of sustainable consumption, where people consume or build significantly less, what will be left for designers to do? This book, informed by recent research into the viability of a "steady state" economy, sets an agenda for addressing the designer's paradox of sustainable consumption. The agenda includes ways that architecture and design can help transition us towards a new kind of economy that prioritizes real wellbeing rather than economic growth. Packed with examples and illustrations, the book argues that taking action, or activism, is an important but so far underexplored way for architects and designers to confront consumerism. The first chapters explore how economic growth and consumerism shape and are shaped by the professions of architecture, product, and landscape design and how we can understand the problem of consumerism as four main challenges that designers are already addressing. The book maps out the main issues surrounding the development of metrics that designers and others can use to measure wellbeing, instead of simply measuring economic growth. The second half of the book looks at how design activism works and its connection to growth and consumerist issues. These chapters examine how activist practices are financed, highlight five specific methods that designers use in working for social change, and investigate the power of these methods. The book concludes with a consideration of what design's role might be in a "post-growth" society.

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'Architecture and Design versus Consumerism provides a highly productive and authentic investigation into what design means in the twenty-first Century. Through her lucid analysis, Thorpe surfaces Read more...

 
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