What is Sustainable Design?
There’s no more fashionable buzz-term in modern design than “sustainability”; it substitutes for less sexy terms like “recyclable” and more ear-jarring terms like “up-cycled”, but it is more than that. Sustainability has become an umbrella term which has evolved over the last 20 years to encompass a whole range of products and aesthetics that pursue a shared ambition: ecological responsibility.
However, in the rush to be labelled “sustainable”, many products have been embraced because they were simply recycled, or design ideas have been championed for their “carbon neutrality” as if those positive aspects alone made up for the rest of their design flaws.
Enter the concept of Total Beauty. It’s as old as the sustainable movement, yet it’s never quite made it to the mainstream (possibly due to conflicting trademarks with numerous nail salons).
Total Beauty refers not only to an object’s aesthetic value, but also to its sustainable value: its carbon footprint in design, construction and transportation; its longevity; its materials; and, of course, whether it’s pleasing.
It’s not a simple metric (although it might be in a future post!), but it is a powerful design ethos and it’s what Whole Mood is all about.
To be totally beautiful a design should not make us choose between superficial beauty on the one hand and not crapping all over the world we and every future generation hope to inhabit on the other.
Here at Whole Mood, we believe sustainability is no longer a matter of compromise or sacrifice – it need not be the hair-shirt of architects, designers and their clients, anxious to wear their eco-friendly credentials on their sleeves. In myriad ways, the best and most innovative designers are finding new ways every day to do more (and more beautiful!) with less: whether it’s less money, less impact or both.
Throughout this blog we’ll be seeking out and sharing products, methods and inspirations that can help to draw just a little more beauty (if not quite total beauty) into all of our daily lives.