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The Experience of Sustainability - Applying Metadesign to Invite Emotions to Further the Design of Sustainable Futures

Mathilda Tham , Anette Lundebye

What is the experience of a carbon neutral society? How does it feel to wear a cradle-to-cradle garment? This paper explores how the experiential dimension can enrich the development and communication of sustainability. The authors argue that such an approach can reach where quantitative and abstract language cannot, and foster a deeper relationship with ethical and environmental concerns, thus inviting designers and their colleagues into new and richer idea territories as regards sustainable futures. A series of methods and tools are proposed, designed to promote multi-sensory, and emotive engagement with the sustainability imperative and tested in recent empirical research taking the form of creative workshops. The rationale behind, the operation and benefits of the approaches are introduced through three cases, representing the fashion and automotive industries and a current AHRC funded research project ‘Bench-marking Synergy Levels within Metadesign’, (Goldsmiths, University of London.)


sustainability, experience, transformation processes, fashion, lifestyle, futures studies, metadesign