ABSTRACT 25 years ago, the engineer Meredith Thring enunciated six global propositions whose resolution, he con cluded, must lead us from an affluent to a creative global society. This paper revisits and updates these propositions and re-examines his idea of a creative society. It explores his postulated relationships between standard of living and quality of life with specific regard to product design strategies. In addition, it con siders the synonymy of this relationship with other relationships like stress and performance, and the paradox of choice. Resource issues are considered in relation to global inequity, one of Thring’s proposi tions. Suggestions are made for the reconsideration of guiding principles for design drawn from ecological concerns. The paper concludes that design education needs to be recontextualised if design is to make a useful contribution to a future global society.