Today, we live in an economic system that revolves around producing and consuming objects made of plastic and metal, electronics, synthetic textiles and other things that do not decompose within a foreseeable amount of time. We start to review the role of these objects in a series of challenges that lie ahead of us. In the design discipline, sustainability and social responsibility have become prolific epithets, generating new products, materials, and technologies, designed to change the course of our future. The intrinsic design ideologies are often not new, but form a fundamental part of design history, reappearing throughout the previous centuries. This book presents a history of socially committed design strategies within the western design tradition, from William Morris to Victor Papanek, and from VKhUTEMAS to FabLab. A critical resource for designers, students, cultural critics, and anyone interested in building a sustainable future.
Marjanne van Helvert explores the dynamics between theory and practice of design. Her main fields of interest are the relations between ethics and aesthetics, DIY practices, gender politics, utopia and dystopia.