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Green Politics And Design

  The burgeoning Green movement has had unexpected and striking spinoffs in design. The history of green design goes back to pioneers like Victor Papanek whose popular book Design For The Real World, published in 1971, stressed low-technology, recycling and a social role for the designer. In general, however, the environmentalist lobby viewed designers with suspicion regarding them as part of the consumer culture that lay at the heart of environmental problems. That position has seen a radical shift in the 1990s. Nowadays designers take on board the long-term implications of their designs and the materials they use. These concerns range from furniture designers refusing to use rare hard woods to graphic designers exploring the possibilities of recycled paper and non-toxic printing inks. More importantly legislation by the EC and US will force designers and manufacturers to change design practice and thinking. As we approach the end of the century a new green aesthetic for design will influence the whole of our visual culture. CMcD

See also ecology; pollution.



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