words@bld50 monthly talks


Saying no to the prima dona | Soumitri Varadarajan| Thursday 5 April 2012

Cooperative, consultative & community cultures in design projects

Soumitri Varadarajan
Associated Professor in the Industrial Design Program 
RMIT University, Melbourne (Australia)

It was 1994. I take up an academic position. 
I declare that from that point on I would not design products. 
  (How does one continue as an Industrial Designer without designing objects?) 
I rationalised that Brundtland had a fundamental flaw and was speaking only to the designers of objects. I have since disagreed with the fundamental position that there is any point in ecodesign or in making objects more sustainable. (In Portugal in 2000 I said Ecodesign was dead). There is no point in the cultural project of sustainable consumption. 
It is possible to say no to consumption. There are more worthwhile causes and more meaningful projects for design people to engage in than the indulgence in the joy of refashioning artefacts for human consumption. 
I have not designed an 'object' since 1994. I have no use for the black shirt!

Thursday 5 April. 700.pm start. Gold coin donation
RMIT building 50, Orr Street, Carlton. (Off Victoria Street between Lygon and Cardigan Sts.)

Formally known as the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), the Brundtland Commission's mission is to unite countries to pursue sustainable development together. 

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