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The Narrow Door to Sustainability: from practically useful to spiritually useful artefacts

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2012
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Sustainable Design
Issue number1
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)83-103
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Beginning with a rationale for extending design’s ambit beyond materialist and consumerist values in order to address today’s pressing sustainability concerns, the contributions and limitations of eco-technologies and service solutions are discussed. The case is made that a less consumptive path requires a more fundamental systemic shift in priorities and values, and the basis of this must be rooted in deeper understandings of human meaning. The difficulties of including traditional, primarily religious, expressions of ‘inner’ values in the public realm are identified. However, emerging trans-religious and/or supra-religious forms offer an opportunity for restoring notions of profound meaning and wisdom in our workaday endeavours. This provides a grounding for design development and the creation of a supra-religious ‘spiritually useful’ artefact, which offers a tangible, creative example of a post-materialist direction for design. In the process, contemporary sustainability concerns are embraced.