Author(s): Marjanne Van Helvert
Within the design discipline, calls for sustainability and social responsibility have become some of the most common rallying cries of the past decade, generating countless new products, materials and technologies--all designed to change the course of our future. Adjectives like "sustainable," "green" and "eco" describe this new wave of socially committed design. But though today's conditions are urgent and particular, the ideologies behind these new products are often not totally new, but rather a part of design history. Contemporary sustainable design is just the newest chapter of a story that stretches back throughout the previous centuries. The Responsible Object presents a selected history of socially committed design strategies within the Western design tradition of roughly the last 150 years, from William Morris to Victor Papanek, and from VKhUTEMAS to FabLab. It includes about 20 interstitial mini-posters with slogans from the text, printed on different colored papers.