The Role Of Beauty For Sustainability: A Discussion On Responsible Consumption, Aesthetics Attitudes And Product Design
Free (open access)
A. Marchand, S. Walker & P. De Coninck
This paper explores the relationship between sustainability, and product aesthetic qualities and experience. It presents the result of an ongoing study notably looking at responsible consumption and the resulting visual culture. Initial insights are presented and thoughts that have emerged from this research experience are discussed. The link between eco-ethics, aesthetics, and the intrinsic and extrinsic properties of objects is briefly examined. The paper explores an ‘aesthetic attitude’ related to the ethical, spiritual and pragmatic facets of sustainability, and proposes the valorisation and celebration of beauty in these terms – as opposed to the surface \“aestheticization of everyday life” that we are witnessing in contemporary society. Keywords: product design, material culture, responsible consumers, ethics, aesthetics, aestheticization, beauty. 1 Introduction Sustainability has fascinating implications for the aesthetic qualities of built environments, including the functional products that surround us, and for the way we experience them. Indeed, it is expected to affect how products look and are thought about, and to modify our response to a product’s visual qualities. The paper provides some examples to illustrate these effects, and starts to explore how the project of sustainability challenges aesthetic conventions and social norms. Ongoing research into the significance of sustainability for product design, visual cultures and products aesthetics experience, is described. This study examines how some individuals promoting sustainability through their
product design, material culture, responsible consumers, ethics, aesthetics, aestheticization, beauty.