100% Sustainable?

Jonathan Chapman, Nicholas Gant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Can anything be 100% sustainable? While we still have ice caps, igloos are said to be pretty harmless to the Natural World, yet when faced with the everyday demands of commercially driven product design, for example, it becomes difficult to imagine how anything manufactured can be truly benign in environmental terms. Everything has an impact of some sort, whether through resource extraction, production, shipping, retailing, use, disposal, recycling etc. So why ask the question? Sustainable design is about criticism. Essentially, it is an edgy culture that reinvigorates design with the ethos of debate that was once the hallmark of creative practice; it is a vibrant, dynamic and forward-looking discipline that questions why things are the way they are, and proposes how they could, and should be. Furthermore, for all its demands, sustainable design (beyond ecological benefits) offers creative sustenance, enduring meaning and genuine integrity to those who are willing to engage with it, and presents and unprecedented opportunity for Design to reinvent itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-39
Number of pages6
JournalNew Design
Issue numberIssue 54
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2007


  • black and white thinking
  • perceptions of sustainable design
  • value action gap


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