A Practice-Based Approach to Sustainable Design Research

Exploring new creative directions in product design to include sustainable principles.

The research addresses the challenges of sustainability, including localisation of design and production, as well as substantive values and deeper, enduring understandings of human meaning.

The approach iteratively combines scholarly inquiry, reasoned argument and the development of theory with speculative explorations to create tangible design propositions that both inform and exemplify the theoretical concepts.

These propositional objects, together with the theoretical and philosophical ideas that informed their development, represent an example of creative ‘academic-practice’.

The direction taken recognises that the proliferation of product functionality via microprocessor-based technologies effectively frees ‘form’ to address other areas of significance – taking form beyond function to express deeper human meanings.

Selected publications and presentations in this area include:

Walker, S. "IMAGINATION’S PROMISE: practice-based design research for sustainability", chapter in The Handbook of Sustainable Design, Berg, Oxford, edited by Walker S. and Giard, J. forthcoming (2012/13).

Walker, S., Design for Sustainability: Practiced-based research in objects, environment and meaning, Keynote Address, International Symposium on Sustainable Design (ISSD) September 29th-30th 2011, UFPE, Recife, Brazil.

Walker, S., Experiments in Design for Social Sustainability, Keynote Address: Sustainability Workshop, Cumulus 2010 Conference, Tonji University, Shanghai, China, September 6-10 2010

 

Design PhD Studies in this area: Prof. Walker is one of several faculty members involved in the Design PhD conference - an annual event offered in conjunction with Northumbria University. He is particularly interested in hearing from potential Design PhD candidates with interests that would fall within the broad themes of design for sustainability and/or design and human meaning (values, spirituality etc.), or who have interests in practice-based design research.

Project Team

WalkerWalker Stuart Walker Design for Sustainability ; Design, Values & Spirituality

Updates

Radical Design for Sustainability: Professor Stuart Walker at TEDx Brum

OutcomePresentation
Radical Design for Sustainability: Professor Stuart Walker at TEDx Brum

15 minute presentation at the 2013 TEDx Birmingham event Watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYScnBExa1c   ...More information

Design and Spirituality: material culture for a wisdom economy

OutcomeJournal Paper
Design and Spirituality: material culture for a wisdom economy

Published in Design Issues journal Summer 2013, Vol. 29, No. 3: 89–107. Author: Professor Stuart Walker ...More information

THE HANDBOOK OF DESIGN FOR SUSTAINABILITY

OutcomeBook
THE HANDBOOK OF DESIGN FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Published by Bloomsbury Academic July 2013 Editors: Stuart Walker (ImaginationLancaster) and Jacques Giard (Arizona State University) http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-handbook-of-design-for-sustainability-9... ...More information

New Images Added

New Images Added

Selected images from "The Spirit of Design: objects, environment and meaning" have been added to ImaginationLancaster's web pages.

Propositional objects discussed in Stuart Walker's book "The Spirit of Design" (Routledge-Earthscan, 2011) are available within the items entitled: Design and...Read full update

FORM BEYOND FUNCTION: practice-based research in objects, environment and meaning

OutcomeJournal Paper

An overview of practiced-based research conducted over the last four years that explores new directions in product design. The research addresses the challenges of sustainability, including localisation of design and production, as well as substantive values and deeper, enduring understandings of...More information

Sustainable by Design: Explorations in Theory and Practice

OutcomeBook

FROM THE BACK COVER: Sustainable by Design: Explorations in Theory and Practice (London: Earthscan/Taylor and Francis) offers a compelling and innovative, design-centred approach that explores both the meaning and practice of sustainable design.   The book introduces vital concepts to students...More information