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Design, Ecology, Politics: Towards the Ecocene
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Joanna Boehnert
Design, Ecology, Politics: Towards the Ecocene by Joanna Boehnert at Abbey's Bookshop,

Design, Ecology, Politics: Towards the Ecocene

Joanna Boehnert


Bloomsbury Academic

Environmentally-friendly architecture & design;
Communication studies;
Political geography


224 pages

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Design, Ecology, Politics links social and ecological theory to design theory and practice, critiquing the ways in which the design industry perpetuates unsustainable development.

Boehnert argues that when design does engage with issues of sustainability, this engagement remains shallow, due to the narrow basis of analysis in design education and theory. The situation is made more severe by design cultures which claim to be apolitical. Where design education fails to recognise the historical roots of unsustainable practice, it reproduces old errors. New ecologically informed design methods and tools hold promise only when incorporated into a larger project of political change. Design, Ecology, Politics describes how ecological literacy challenges many central assumptions in design theory and practice.

By bringing design, ecology and socio-political theory together, Boehnert describes how power is constructed, reproduced and obfuscated by design in ways which often cause environmental harms. She uses case studies to illustrate how communication design functions to either conceal or reveal the ecological and social impacts of current modes of production. The transformative potential of design is dependent on deep-reaching analysis of the problems design attempts to address. Ecologically literate and critically engaged design is a practice primed to facilitate the creation of viable, sustainable and just futures. With this approach, designers can make sustainability not only possible, but attractive.

By:   Joanna Boehnert
Imprint:   Bloomsbury Academic
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 244mm,  Width: 169mm, 
ISBN:   9781472588609
ISBN 10:   1472588606
Pages:   224
Publication Date:   February 2018
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Introduction: Within and Beyond Error Part One - Design 1. Design Theory 101 2. Design as Symbolic Violence 3. Design vs. The Design Industry Part Two - Ecology 4. Ecological Theory 101 5. Epistemological Error 6. Ecological Literacy 7. Ecoliterate Design 8. Ecological Movements 9. Ecological Perception 1: Theory 10. Ecological Perception 2: Practice 11. Ecological Identity Part Three - Politics 12. Social Marketing 13. The Green Economy 14. The TechnoFix 15. Data Visualisation Conclusion: Towards the Ecocene

Joanna Boehnert is Research Fellow at the Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN) at the University of Surrey, UK.

Joanna Boehnert's book shows in a masterful manner that there are no technological, ideological or other easy fixes to the contradiction between capitalism and nature. She powerfully makes the point that we need political design in order to create a better world. A must-read for everyone interested in design, ecology, communication and politics. * Christian Fuchs, Professor of Social Media at the University of Westminster, UK *

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