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|Title: ||Planet or people? Redefining the ideological position of sustainable design|
|Authors: ||Santamaria, Laura|
Escobar-Tello, M. Carolina
|Keywords: ||Sustainability discourse|
Semiotic and cultural analysis
|Issue Date: ||2015|
|Publisher: ||European Academy of Design|
|Citation: ||SANTAMARIA, L., ESCOBAR-TELLO, M.C. and ROSS, T., 2015. Planet or people? Redefining the ideological position of sustainable design. IN: Proceedings of the 11th International European Academy of Design Conference: The Value of Design Research, 22nd-24th April 2014, Paris, France.|
|Abstract: ||Despite the growing awareness of the concept of sustainability society-wide, the
diffusion and uptake of sustainable innovations and practices remains slow and
niche. Many have attributed the lack of uptake to an ineffective sustainability
discourse, which fails to drive the desired behaviours due to the limited appeal,
relevance and meaning it bears in people’s lives. This paper contributes to a
better understanding of the discrepancies between intended and perceived
meanings generated by discourse framing and representations.
The study first maps a trajectory of the sustainability concept in culture (its
past, present and emerging cultural associations) using Raymond Williams
(1977) Residual, Dominant and Emergent methodology. The analysis is
structured in three periods, reflecting two important cultural shifts in the
sustainability discourse: the ecology era, the sustainability era and the
innovation era. These map the transformation of the meaning of sustainability
over time, and from ‘marginality’ towards (potential) ‘popularity’. Secondly, as the ‘value proposition’ of sustainability poses an unapparent
opposition of interests between ‘planet’ and ‘people’ – a dilemma posed by
sustainable consumption – we set to analyse the positions and ideologies in
tension within the discourse by mapping these polarities in a Greimasian square.
Some conclusions are drawn upon how these positions might influence people’s
views, engagement and behaviour towards sustainable products and practices.
The results suggest that propositions which present sustainability as a means for
‘environmental protection’ (environmental benefits) might be unfavourable to
generate mainstream appeal and engagement, while discursive frames which
present it as a means to enhance ‘quality of life’ (personal and/or social
wellbeing benefits) may offer better predisposition and appeal.
The study also exemplifies the value of integrating socio-semiotic and cultural
analysis methods into design research and design ethnography for ‘decoding’
possible unarticulated socio-cultural meanings of artefacts and communications.
In this particular case, the methodology has helped to identify a favourable path
to strategically advance the legitimation and appeal of sustainability values and
accelerate its cultural transition.|
|Description: ||This conference paper is closed access.|
|Publisher Link: ||http://thevalueofdesignresearch.com/category/conference-ead-11/|
|Appears in Collections:||Closed Access (Design School)|
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