We all fondly remember our college days and our favorite professor’s ‘additional reading’ list that always followed the 15 page syllabus. Those pages were chalk full of titles that, not being the classics, didn’t make the cut to be required reading. And while some of us still have those lists sitting painfully free of any check marks, others of you need to continuously find new books to feed your knowledge appetite.
So take out your pens, ready your computer’s copy function, because here is another list, and it’s one that will further your understanding of the great topic of sustainability.
Economic and industrial models are crumbling. Economists everywhere seem incapable of predicting or solving problems facing Western countries. The reality is that universities of economics, recently recognized by the Shanghai ranking for the quality of their research, have not turned out the “finders”, who alongside researchers, are expected to provide solutions to calm the stormy seas that lie ahead.
Moreover, the exact and objective science that is technology, which once put its trust in humanity-based progress, has gone so far in its quest for the “knowledge of things” that it has managed to spread panic by objectifying progress and the end of the world. GMOs, genetic decoding, atoms, etc. so many topics on which the all-knowing powers-that-be astound and threaten us with the best and worst of scenarios.
Globalization, internationalization, the intermingling of populations and cultures challenge our cultural references of value and meaning. Morals take a backseat to the law as our notions of right and wrong, freedom, justice, respect of nature, others and oursleves, manners, etc. are thrown out of whack as a result of different cultural approaches. These shifting contexts are particularly favorable to design.