Aesthetic Sustainability: Product Design and Sustainable Usage, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Aesthetic Sustainability

Product Design and Sustainable Usage, 1st Edition

By Kristine H. Harper


170 pages

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Why do we readily dispose of some things, whereas we keep and maintain others for years, despite their obvious wear and tear? Can a greater understanding of aesthetic value lead to a more strategic and sustainable approach to product design? Aesthetic Sustainability: Product Design and Sustainable Usage offers guidelines for ways to reduce, rethink, and reform consumption. Its focus on aesthetics adds a new dimension to the creation, as well as the consumption, of sustainable products. The chapters offer innovative ways of working with expressional durability in the design process.

Aesthetic Sustainability: Product Design and Sustainable Usage is related to emotional durability in the sense that the focus is on the psychological and sensuous bond between subject and object. But the subject–object connection is based on more than emotions: aesthetically sustainable objects continuously add nourishment to human life. This book explores the difference between sentimental value and aesthetic value, and it offers suggestions for operational approaches that can be implemented in the design process to increase aesthetic sustainability. This book also offers a thorough presentation of aesthetics, focusing on the correlation between the philosophical approach to the aesthetic experience and the durable design experience.

The book is of interest to students and scholars working in the fields of design, arts, the humanities and social sciences; additionally, it will speak to designers and other professionals with an interest in sustainability and aesthetic value.


"Kristine Harper has written a great book on a relevant topic we all ought to contemplate on and react to. She is well-informed of the history of aesthetic ideas and has managed to transform her knowledge innovatively into an independent, well-written and inspiring research contribution that can also be read by a broader audience."Professor Dorthe Jørgensen, Philosophy and History of Ideas, Aarhus University, Denmark

"As the window for action against irreversible climate changes is narrowing, Harper offers timely and practical advice on how, as designers and consumers, we can take responsibility for creating a sustainable future. Though informed by a deep understanding of the complexities of aesthetics and design, her book is highly accessible."Per Galle, Associate Professor, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design.

"With Aesthetic Sustainability Kristine Harper shines light on the role of aesthetics and how we as humans emotionally connect with the objects that surround us in everyday life, and through that, she manages to humanize the concept of sustainability." Hanka van der Voet, Head of MA Fashion Strategy at the ArtEZ University of the Arts, The Netherlands

"Most books on sustainable design focus on the effects of design on the environment mainly in terms of recycling, reuse and repair. Kristine Harper’s book "Aesthetic Sustainability – Product Design and Sustainable Usage" introduces the additional and undervalued importance of the aesthetic qualities of sustainable design. She argues that aesthetics are key to creating sustainability that is lasting, due to the added emotional values that both appeal to and nourish the user. A factor most sustainable designers have ignored. The book discusses the interaction and relationship between the three concepts, design, sustainability and aesthetics in depth, thereby giving the reader an (almost) how-to guide to producing aesthetic, sustainable and durable design. A book to be recommended for both professional practitioners as well as students of design."Karen Blincoe, Director Chora Connection

"The book addresses a highly relevant subject from an unexpected angle. This broadens our perspectives on sustainability to be about more than reusing and recycling but also about providing aesthetic experiences. In particular, the model for an aesthetic strategy provides a useful tool, as it brings forth relevant concepts for exploring and reflecting on choices of expression and how such choices might affect the perception of a design product." Per Liljenberg Halstrøm, PhD, Postdoc and lecturer at Copenhagen School of Design and Technology and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design

Table of Contents

Introduction: Aesthetic Sustainability 1. The Pleasure of the Familiar 2. The Pleasure of the Unfamiliar 3. The Expression of Flexible Aesthetics 4. Designing the Temporal Object 5. The Magical Thing 6. The Value of Aesthetic Sustainability 7. Aesthetic Strategy

About the Author

Kristine H. Harper is an Associate Professor in Sustainable Fashion at Copenhagen School of Design and Technology. Her research focuses on sustainable product design, philosophical aesthetics, aesthetic nourishment, the durable subject–object bond, and Designer Social Responsibility. She has written a wide range of articles on sustainable design and durable aesthetics.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Sustainability

Sustainability has become one of the most pressing social, environmental, economic, cultural and political issues of our times. Yet the meaning of ‘sustainability’ remains elusive.

This series provides original insights from across the social sciences and humanities on the meaning and practice of sustainability. It offers both theoretical and practical analysis of ‘sustainability’, including social sustainability, sustainable consumption, democratic sustainability and sustainable behaviour.

These interdisciplinary books give students, researchers, policy makers and practitioners the latest thinking from international authors. This thought-provoking series draws on and is relevant to those working in a wide-range of disciplines, including environment, development, sociology, politics, philosophy, business and marketing, media, geography, and anthropology.

To submit proposals, please contact the Editor, Rebecca Brennan ([email protected]).

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
DESIGN / Product