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The Spirit of Design

The Spirit of Design: objects, environment and meaning
By Stuart Walker

About this book
Imaginative design will be a crucial factor in enacting sustainability in people's daily lives. Yet current design practice is trapped in consumerist cycles of innovation and production, making it difficult to imagine how we might develop a more meaningful and sustainable rendition of material culture.

Through fundamental design research, The Spirit of Design challenges a host of common assumptions about sustainability, progress, growth and globalization. Walker's practice-based explorations of localisation, human meaning and functional objects demonstrate the imaginative potential of research-through-design and yield a compelling, constructive and essentially hopeful direction for the future – one that radically re-imagines our material culture by meshing mass-production with individuality, products with place, and utilitarian benefit with environmental responsibility. In so doing, the author explores:

• How understandings of human meaning affect design and how design can better incorporate issues of personal meaning
• How mass production needs to become integrated with localised production and service provision
• How short-lived electronic goods can be brought into a more sustainable design paradigm
• The changing role of the designer in a post-consumerist world

Taking a design-centred approach – a combination of creative, propositional design practice, reasoned argument and theoretical discussion – the book will impel readers to investigate the nature of contemporary material culture and its relationship to both the natural environment and to deeper notions of human meaning.

About the author
Professor Stuart Walker is head of design and co-director of the Imagination Lancaster creative research lab at Lancaster University, UK and visiting professor of sustainable design at Kingston University, UK. Formerly, he was associate dean at the Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary, Canada where he retains his affiliation. His research papers have been published and presented internationally and his conceptual designs have been exhibited at the Design Museum, London, across Canada and in Italy. He also serves on the editorial boards of several international journals. His book, Sustainable by Design: explorations in theory and practice is also published by Earthscan.

This book costs £24.99. Send us an enquiry to order.

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