Join Robert Crocker as he discusses some of the issues from his recent book Somebody Else's Problem: Consumerism, Sustainability and Design. This book calls for a radical change in how we think about our material world, and how we design, make and use the products and services we need. Rejecting the idea that individuals alone are responsible for the environmental problems we face, it challenges us to look again at the systems, norms and values we take for granted in daily life, and their cumulative role in our environmental crisis. The book encourages us to attend to the legacy effects, or ‘sunk-cost effects’ of sixty years of 'high carbon', oil-based development and 'post-cautionary' design and production, and to the consumerism that accompanies this. It argues against the idea that technology, even green technology, can be a magic bullet, at least without dramatically reducing the speed and intensity of the cycle of consumption, use and discard we have now adopted.
Robert Crocker, D.Phil (oxon), teaches the history and theory of design and design for sustainability in the School of Art, Architecture and Design at the University of South Australia. Beginning his academic career as a historian of early modern science and philosophy, he became interested in social and environmental sustainability whilst working as a volunteer for a local pedestrian advocacy group. This led him to develop an interest in other aspects of social and environmental sustainability, and particularly the role of consumption and technology in generating our present environmental crisis. This book is his most recent publication. It won Gold in the Axiom Best Business Books Awards for 2017 (sustainability category).
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