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Design Activism: Beautiful Strangeness for a Sustainable World

By: Alastair Fuad-Luke

272 pages, diagrams, photographs, charts, line-drawings, index


Paperback | May 2009 | #180816 | ISBN-13: 9781844076451
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £24.95 $33/€28 approx
Hardback | May 2009 | #180817 | ISBN-13: 9781844076444
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £85.00 $111/€96 approx

About this book

Design activists, who comprise a diverse range of designers, teachers and other actors, are setting new ambitions for design. They seek to fundamentally challenge how, where and when design can catalyse positive impacts to address sustainability. They are also challenging who can utilize the power of the design process.

This book provides a rigorous exploration of design activism that will revitalise the design debate and provide a solid platform for students, teachers, design professionals and other practitioners interested in transformative (design) activism. It provides a comprehensive study of contemporary and emergent design activism, collating, synthesizing and analysing design activist approaches, processes, methods, tools and inspirational examples/outcomes from around the world.Inspired by past design activists and set against the context of global-local tensions, expressions of design activism are mapped. The nature of contemporary design activism is explored, from individual/collective action to the infrastructure that supports it generating powerful participatory design approaches, a diverse toolbox and inspirational outcomes. This is design as a political and social act, design to enable adaptive societal capacity for co-futuring.

This title reveals the power of design and designers to effect positive social and environmental change. This is new from Alastair Fuad-Luke, sustainable design guru and author of "The Eco-Design Handbook". It presents a rigorous exploration of design activism, with examples, methods and tools from around the world. It offers an attractive, full-colour addition to the successful Earthscan sustainable design book list.

'A kind of bible for eco-designers.' Treehugger 'A must-read for all architecture students and professionals ... A key resource, packed full of graphical diagrams, figures and references ... this book is a real achievement that revitalises the 'sustainable' design debate.' RESET 'This important book rouses the latent activist in us all, to reanimate design discourse with the properties of social, economic and environmental revolution ... and not a moment too soon.' Dr Jonathan Chapman, Course Leader MA Sustainable Design, University of Brighton 'We admire gymnasts for making difficult tasks look easy. And we enjoy watching acrobats make easy tasks look difficult. In making this important - and difficult - topic so accessible, Alastair has succeeded twice. This is a wonderful toyshop.' Prof. John Wood, Goldsmiths, University of London 'Having once predicted that design will be the new paradigm for saving the planet in the 21st Century, I am immensely pleased to recommend Design Activism.' Janis Birkeland, Professor of Architecture, Queensland University of Technology and author of Design for Sustainability and Positive Development 'The author of the Eco-Design Handbook (2004) has yet again created a kind of bible for eco-designers. This book helps everyone to become a better (or good!) designer.' Treehugger 'This fascinating series of essays looks at how activism through design can help create positive social and environmental change. Part history book, part design catalogue, part toolbox, this book arrives at a crucial moment in our history where we all need creative minds to work on sustainable solutions for our future.' Leonora Oppenheim 'Design Activism's main strength is its wide-ranging nature, and this is frequetly a benefit of Fuad-Luke's work...I recommend Design Activism as a useful overview of activism within design culture. The book covers a valuable range of conceptual and case material and represents an important step on the way to rethinking design practice.' Ann Thorpe, Design Activism blog 'This pedagogical book provides a historic and topical overview of design and activism, together with examples, toolkits (virtual and material) and lots of useful references for design activism.' Judith Ryser, Urban Design


Past Inspiration: a Short History of Design in Activist Mode; Global-Local Tensions: Drivers for Design Activism in an Unsustainable World; Contemporary Expressions: Design Activism Goes Beyond Form and Function; Ego and Equity: Balancing Individual and Collective Design Activism; Activist Frameworks and Infrastructure: Nodes, Networks and Technology; Designing Together: Co-Creation, Co-Design, Participatory Design, Transformation Design, Experiential Design, Metadesign, Design as Seeding, Dialogic Design and More; Political and Social Dimensions: Democratisation of Design, Stakeholders and Social Actors, Value Shifting; Adaptive Capacity: Design as a Societal Strategy for Co-Futuring; Resources: Toolbox, Bibliography, Other Resources; Index.

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Alastair Fuad-Luke is a sustainable design consultant, facilitator, lecturer, & writer. He is author of The Eco-Design Handbook (2002, 2004) and The Eco-Travel Handbook (Sept 2008). He is also a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Plymouth, University College for the Creative Arts, University College Falmouth, and Royal College of Arts, all in the UK.

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