SUSTAINABLE DESIGN – WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?
I started thinking about sustainability over 40 years ago when it was obvious that we would need to take a radical look at the way we live, to take account of the finite nature of the planet. Initially, I was more interested in a platform to explore a fresh visual language, creativity thrives on a crisis.
Now climate change is very much for real, and we have done depressingly little to alleviate the inevitable outcome, (we have actually become far more profligate and probably less satisfied) I still feel that an alternative future is possible and potentially much more fun.
On the principal that an interesting answer is most likely to come from an interesting question, I designed furniture with sustainability high on the agenda. Really good design makes the challenges of tomorrow feasible and exciting.
There is a noble tradition which includes Windsor chairs, the Shakers, the Mini, where appearance is born of utter pragmatism, style comes as a by-product of creative attention to its use and its making. Perhaps the most important aspect of a sustainable object is peoples wish to sustain it. As well as looking great, even as fashion changes, it must also work exceptionally well for a long time. In a chair’s case this means that comfort, durability and user convenience have to be taken seriously.
I see my work being an example of how a green economy could look, and how performance can be raised without complexity, with a short supply chain and providing dignified employment. Design’s challenge is to make the future fulfilling and exciting, for producers and consumers and the environment. In other words, to help make viable culture.
If we are to achieve a carbon neutral economy Now is the time to do it.