As culture is becoming increasingly recognised as a crucial element of sustainable development, design competence has emerged as a useful tool in creating a meaningful life within a sustainable mental, cultural and physical environment.

Design for a Sustainable Culture explores the relationship between sustainability, culture and the shaping of human surroundings by examining the significance and potential of design as a tool for the creation of sustainable development. Drawing on interdisciplinary case studies and investigations from Europe, North America and India, this book discusses theoretical, methodological and educational aspects of the role of design in relation to human well-being and provides a unique perspective on the interface between design, culture and sustainability.

This book will appeal to researchers as well as postgraduate and undergraduate students in design and design literacy, crafts, architecture and environmental planning, but also scholars of sustainability from other disciplines who wish to understand the role and impact of design and culture in sustainable development.


chapter 1|16 pages


ByAstrid Skjerven, Janne Beate Reitan

part I|50 pages

Contextual perspectives

chapter 2|10 pages

Design research

Contents, characteristics and possible contributions for a sustainable society
ByAstrid Skjerven

chapter 3|9 pages

Distributed systems and cosmopolitan localism

An emerging design scenario for resilient societies
ByEzio Manzini, Mugendi K. M’Rithaa

chapter 4|17 pages

Social ecologies of flourishing

Designing conditions that sustain culture
ByPeter Jones

chapter 5|12 pages

The idea of simplicity as a pathway to cultural sustainability

ByJorge Andres Caro del Castillo

part II|38 pages


chapter 6|20 pages

Housing culture, residential preferences and sustainability

ByPetter Næss

chapter 7|16 pages

Designing a sense of place

ByArild Berg

part III|50 pages

Products and cultures

chapter 8|10 pages

The importance of culture in design for sustainable behaviour research

ByJohannes Ludvig Zachrisson Daae

chapter 9|12 pages

The social construction of child consumers

Transmedia toys in light of Slavoj Žižek’s notions of pleasure and enjoyment
ByTore Gulden

chapter 10|12 pages

Contemporary vernacular Inuit clothing as sustainable fashion

ByJanne Beate Reitan

chapter 11|14 pages

Fit in ready-to-wear clothing

Why people dispose garments before they are worn out
ByVeronika Glitsch

part IV|59 pages

Design education for citizenship

chapter 12|14 pages

Developing holistic understanding in design education for sustainability

ByIngvill Gjerdrum Maus

chapter 13|14 pages

Rethinking consumption culture

Educating the reflective citizen
ByEva Lutnæs

chapter 14|12 pages

Persuasion and play

Crafting a sustainable culture
ByRagnhild Tronstad

chapter 15|17 pages

Teaching cultural sensitivity at architecture schools for more sustainable buildings

Lessons from reconstruction
BySabrina Brenner