Thinking about possible means to convey-promote alternative lifestyle practices.
Faid-Luke notes the unbalance between over and under consumers. He states that both are in need of education and solutions, he encourages designers to intervene not only by helping the over consumers become aware of their impacts and the contrasting existing realities, but also by designing possibilities and/or mechanisms to improve quality of life for under-consumers and promote well being with reduced consumption for over-consumers1.
On the same frame of ideas, Helio Mattar states that “based on the premise that people can perceive that over‐consumption and waste are negative, and that poverty and a life of extreme material simplicity are also not motivating, it is necessary to create a desirable point of equilibrium for everyone”2.
Question: Can these lifestyle alternatives contribute to the search for a middle ground between over and under consumption?
1. Fuad-Luke, Alastair. Design activism: beautiful strangeness for a sustainable world. Earthscan, 2009. eBook.
2. Meroni, Anna. Creative Communities. Milano, It: Edizioni Poli.design, 2007. eBook.
“The first step towards supporting creative communities is undoubtly their recognition; identifying and communicating their reality is a useful initial gesture in sanctioning their existence and bringing them inside our collective imagination. The choices made by these people may be imitated or they my provoke opposition but either way they are not unimportant.”1.
“communication efforts for sustainability are crucial. The benefits of integrated environmental, economic and social development at a global, national and local level need to be better understood and illustrated. Besides massive campaigns, it is important to identify the messages and tools that will help make these benefits concrete through solutions and opportunities.”2.
1. Meroni, Anna. Creative Communities. Milano, It: Edizioni Poli.design, 2007. eBook. Visions for Change.
2. Sweden: United Nations Environment Programme, 2011. 26. eBook.
“There are no fixed measures of comfort and cleanleness and it is perfectly possible that future concepts will be less resource intensive than those of today”1.
1.Shove, Elizabeth. Comfort, Cleanliness + Convenience. New York, USA: Oxford International Publishers Ltd., 2004. 199. Print.
One of the arguments that arose from the research was the fact that these alternative lifestyle practices are commonly misunderstood by society.
Question: How could these lifestyle alternatives be conveyed, so they become socially understood and accepted?
Moreover, could interventions be designed to promote the recognition of these alternative practices’ value?
Could they even become mainstream?
As Ezio Manzini notes, “unconventional ways of thinking are, or could be, the seeds that could engender, context permiting, the plants capable of generating the new ideas of wellbeing, production and economy needed so badly today.”1
Question: Could these lifestyle alternatives enable the projection of possible routes to more sustainable lifestyles?
1. Meroni, Anna. Creative Communities. Milano, It: Edizioni Poli.design, 2007. eBook.
As part of my research proposal, I distributed cultural probes to four different subjects. For a week these four people documented their lifestyles through a diary, pictures and collected items. Here I am highlighting some of practices identified.
The present project constitutes a research about Lifestyle Alternatives as possible means to approach issues of sustainability in an urban context, with the purpose of opening up spaces for the inclusion of diverse perspectives within dialogs for the definition of what the “needs of the present”1 and the “needs of future generations”2 could and/or should be, arguing how the study and dissemination of these alternative practices could contribute in discussions of sustainability.