Shifting to an eco-aesthetic begins by recognizing that design is bound to a tyranny of tradition; that we are more comfortable with design from the past. Even the USGBC model simply conforms the status quo to greener standards. So it is no surprise, as today’s clamor for sustainability takes on unprecedented importance, neither a style nor a unifying aesthetic approach to sustainability has emerged. But there are outliers.
This talk, hosted by furniture designer Peter Danko, reviews past design movements that have altered our worldview. It reveals style as the vector which merges novel ideas to our social consciousness. It shows that design movements are driven by the emergence of new technologies or the impact of social change. The presentation then illustrates eco-effective designs that transform our understanding of materiality and challenges people to rethink their approach to the timeless issues of function and beauty. Until sustainable materials are recognized and understood on their own terms, and not seen as substitutes for traditional materials and processes, the advance toward truly eco-effective design will be elusive.