Matilda Plöjel, Ramia Mazé, Lisa Olausson, Johan Redström, and Christina Zetterlund (eds) (2013) Share This Book: Critical perspectives and dialogues about design and sustainability. Stockholm: Axl Books. ISBN (Print) 9789186883140 ISBN (E-book): 9789186883195

"This is a critical time in design. Concepts and practices of design are changing in response to historical developments in the modes of industrial design production and consumption. Indeed, the imperative of more sustainable development requires profound reconsideration of design today. Theoretical foundations and professional definitions are at stake, with consequences for institutions such as museums and universities as well as for future practitioners. This is ‘critical’ on many levels, from the urgent need to address societal and environmental issues to the reflexivity required to think and do design differently." (back cover text)

"Design, formulated as a discipline concerned with form and problem-solving, may seem preoccupied with matters other than those of politics and the political. Traced through a history of the fine arts, for example, the concerns of design include aesthetic expression and material form. As a liberal art, design is arguably a discipline that synthesizes knowledge from across the natural and social sciences and applies it to solving complex technical and social problems. These dimensions of design are apparent in its expanding roles in sustainable development – for example, in expressing life cycle information about products, changing energy consumption behavior, rethinking transportation or food services, and steering decision-making processes in communities or companies. Amended as ‘sustainable,’ design is repositioned from being part of the problem of unsustainable development. However, preoccupied with forms or solutions, design is not always attentive to its political dimensions. How, by, and for whom sustainability is formulated are political questions to be discussed within discourses and practices of sustainable development – and sustainable design...

...Such questions are at stake in critical studies and critical practices of design. Reflecting here on design examples from my own work and that of others, I articulate a series of such questions inspired by critical theory and political philosophy. These open a discussion of the roles of design in sustainable consumption and sustainable communities, in which it is profoundly implicated in the reorganization of everyday life. Combining reflections and examples, the graphic form of this article reflects an interweaving of theory and practice, the materiality of academia and the criticality of design." (abstract from my article in the book)

Co-authored and authored chapters

Ramia Mazé, Johan Redström, and Christina Zetterlund, 'Introductions', 5-14.

Ramia Mazé, 'Who is Sustainable? Querying the politics of sustainable design practices', 83-122.

Ramia Mazé, Matilda Plöjel, Johan Redström, and Christina Zetterlund, 'Concluding Dialogue', 125-128.

More about the book
Book webpage with information about how to order
Press release

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See also

/ Projects / Forms of Sustainability