“In the era of ‘sustainism’ it is no longer a matter of designing for society, but within it,” say the authors of the Sustainist Design Guide. Michiel Schwarz and Diana Krabbendam observe a wave of new social initiatives that is emerging locally and globally: millions of dedicated people are beginning to ‘design’ different kinds of living environments that are more collaborative, more socially just, and more sustainable. This movement, and how we can all become “social designers” is what the Sustainist Design Guide is all about.
This exploratory guide travels the new “landscape” of social design thinking and practice, viewed through the “lens” of “sustainism." The Sustainist Design Guide is co-authored by Michiel Schwarz, who together with Joost Elffers co-created the widely-discussed Sustainism manifesto. It is the first to take the idea of sustainism as cultural driver into into the realm of design for social innovation.
The Sustainist Design Guide presents a new agenda for design, based on values such as sharing, connectedness, localism, and proportionality, as well as sustainability. It challenges us to transform these and other sustainist qualities into design criteria and include them in our design briefs. The guide maps out best practices and explores how designers can become more socially and ecologically responsible. It opens the debate on what it means to be “sustainist designers.”