The Aesthetics of Sustainable Design

Mads Nygaard Folkmann, Vibeke Riisberg

    Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftPaperForskningpeer review

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    This paper will investigate the aesthetics of sustainable design
    by exploring different strategies of communicating products as being
    sustainable. It can be questioned how the sustainable element is
    present and detectable in design: Whether it is a principle of internal
    construction, operates as a strategy of emotional commitment and
    subsequent prolonged use through employing symbolic elements
    or is detectable through ‘external’ signs designating e.g. “eco design”
    through a specific colour palette.
    “Aesthetic coding” will be employed as a central concept to describe
    the relationship between outer physical manifestation and inner
    idea of the object in the question of how the specific meaning content
    can be physically manifested and reflected in a variety of ways. In this
    way, the expression and appearance of sustainability in design may be
    contested along with the notions of sustainability behind the design.
    On this basis, the paper will methodologically pose a double question:
    Which types of aesthetic coding are in play, and how do they relate
    to historical notions (and visions) of sustainability in design? In so
    doing, the paper will propose both a typology of aesthetic strategies in
    sustainable design and connect it to its historical development.
    Aesthetic strategies investigated are: 1) direct representation of
    the idea where the sustainable element of the design can be detected
    on the object surface in colour or material, which can be seen in the
    “nature aesthetics” and tendency to jute instead of plastic in the 1970s
    and 1980s, 2) indirect representation and critical-constructive reflection
    of sustainability as a principle of the design as in newer explorations
    of materials, 3) avant-gardist explorations of the potential of
    sustainability and 4) the evocation of emotional attachment through
    elements which are not directly related to sustainability.
    Publikationsdato7. sep. 2017
    Antal sider14
    StatusUdgivet - 7. sep. 2017
    BegivenhedDesign History Society Annual Conference: The making and unmaking of the environment - University of Oslo, Oslo, Norge
    Varighed: 7. sep. 20179. sep. 2017


    KonferenceDesign History Society Annual Conference
    LokationUniversity of Oslo


    • Design
    • Æstetik
    • Bæredygtighed


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