Designer's Atlas of Sustainability: Charting the Conceptual Landscape, Through Economy, Ecology, and Culture

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Overview

Designing for sustainability is an innovation shaping both the design industry and design education today.Yet architects, product designers, and other key professionals in this new field have so far lacked a resource that addresses their sensibilities and concerns. The Designer's Atlas of Sustainability now explores the basic principles, concepts, and practice of sustainable design in a visually sophisticated and engaging style. The book tackles not only the ecological aspects of sustainable design-designers' choice of materials and manufacturing processes have a tremendous impact on the natural world-but also the economic and cultural elements involved.

The Atlas is neither a how-to manual nor collection of recipes for sustainable design, but a compendium of fresh approaches to sustainability that designers can incorporate into daily thinking and practice. Illuminating many facets of this exciting field, the book offers ideas on how to harmonize human and natural systems, and then explores practical options for making the business of design more supportive of long-term sustainability. An examination of the ethical dimensions of sustainable development in our public and private lives is the theme present throughout. Like other kinds of atlases, The Designer's Atlas of Sustainability illustrates its subject, but it goes far beyond its visual appeal, stimulating design solutions for "development that cultivates environmental and social conditions that will support human well-being indefinitely."

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

There's more to sustainable design than recyclable bottles and solar panels, asserts UK design instructor Thorpe (editor, On the Ground: Multimedia Journal on Community, Design and Environment). Thorpe presents a holistic approach to embedding sustainability into every step of the design process that is applicable to everything from jeans to office buildings. Rather than promoting any specific technology or process, she uses the metaphor of an atlas to guide the designer through various "landscapes," treating ecology, the economy, and culture as interdependent spheres the designer should strive to understand, engage, and enhance. In keeping with the atlas conceit, many photos, illustrations, and charts appear throughout the creatively formatted text. Thorpe's critique of endless economic growth and her stance on natural resources may rankle conservative readers, but others will find this book a welcome antidote to unfettered free-market capitalism. More a textbook than an atlas and supplemented with a companion web site (www.designers-atlas.net) offering a teaching guide, it should make a welcome addition to libraries serving design students and faculty.
—David Soltesz

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597261005
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 6/20/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 230
  • Sales rank: 488,367
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Thorpe teaches sustainable design at several universities in and around London, England. She was the founding editor and publisher of On the Ground: Multimedia Journal on Community, Design and Environment and has lectured widely on sustainable design.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     1
Introduction     4
Ecology     22
Economy     58
Culture     112
Frontiers     178
Endnotes     202
Illustrations: Credits and Sources     214
Index     218
About the Author     227
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