2nd Edition

Emotionally Durable Design Objects, Experiences and Empathy

By Jonathan Chapman Copyright 2015
    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    Emotionally Durable Design presents counterpoints to our ‘throwaway society’ by developing powerful design tools, methods and frameworks that build resilience into relationships between people and things. The book takes us beyond the sustainable design field’s established focus on energy and materials, to engage the underlying psychological phenomena that shape patterns of consumption and waste.

    In fluid and accessible writing, the author asks: why do we discard products that still work? He then moves forward to define strategies for the design of products that people want to keep for longer. Along the way we are introduced to over twenty examples of emotional durability in smart phones, shoes, chairs, clocks, teacups, toasters, boats and other material experiences.

    Emotionally Durable Design transcends the prevailing doom and gloom rhetoric of sustainability discourse, to pioneer a more hopeful, meaningful and resilient form of material culture. This second edition features pull-out quotes, illustrated product examples, a running glossary and comprehensive stand firsts; this book can be read cover to cover, or dipped in-and-out of. It is a daring call to arms for professional designers, educators, researchers and students from in a range of disciplines from product design to architecture; framing an alternative genre of design that reduces the consumption and waste of resources by increasing the durability of relationships between people and things.

    List of Figures.  Acknowledgements.  Preface.  1. The Progress Illusion 2. Consumer Motivation 3. Attachments with Objects 4. Authors of Experience 5. Sustaining Narrative 6. De-fictioning Utopia 7. Real World Feasibility  References.  Index


    Jonathan Chapman is Professor of Sustainable Design at the University of Brighton, UK. His research into product life extension has advanced design and business thinking in a range of settings, from Sony, Puma and Philips to the House of Lords and the UN.

    'Emotionally Durable Design poses two key questions: "Why do we throw away products that still work?" and "How can we design products that people want to keep for longer?" Jonathan Chapman analyses our patterns of consumption and waste, and successfully offers strategies and tools which can act as an alternative to our ‘throwaway society’. Emotional durability is vital to creating designs that people love and cherish, instead of simply making products to be thrown away. A wonderful and enjoyable read.’ - Marcel Wanders, designer and director, ‘Marcel Wanders’, The Netherlands

    'Jonathan Chapman dares to think differently about design. His inspiring insights are potentially hugely influential. By unpicking the complex emotions and psychology behind the way we relate to and feel about the objects with which we surround ourselves, he radically reimagines those relationships. Chapman suggests a more powerful, sustainable "story of stuff" – one where design delights and is cherished once again. Compelling, convincing and credibly evidenced, this is a very important book.' - Ed Gillespie, co-founder, Futerra Sustainability Communications, UK

    'Applying Jonathan Chapman's philosophy of emotional durability has helped our team to rethink not only the type of products that can be developed in the future but also the role they can play in our ever-changing world. In this second edition his rationale for environmental change is eloquently powerful and it is supported with new insights and product examples that are inspiring and motivational.' - Dr. Jon Mason - design researcher, Philips, The Netherlands

    'Emotionally Durable Design provides intelligent and accessible perspectives on how design can be valued beyond market forces. Highlighted are more resilient relationships between people and material things, as well as new sustainable business models for longer lasting products. Already influential on design professionals, academics, and governments, this welcome second edition is essential reading for anyone concerned about the current and future roles and responsibilities of design and the worlds it inhabits.' - Hazel Clark, PhD, Professor, Design Studies and Fashion Studies, Parsons The New School for Design, USA

    'Emotionally Durable Design offers a profoundly original view on sustainability by shifting our focus from the durability of products to the durability of consumer-product relationships. With six opportunities to foster empathetic bonds between users and their products, Jonathan Chapman shares his uplifting vision on durability that puts the mystery and wonder back into design, revealing how sustainable design can be a central pioneer of positive social change.' - Pieter Desmet, Professor, Design for Experience, Delft University, The Netherlands

    'While a coterie of theorists try to convince us that our objects are the albatross around our neck to blame for the environmental malaise, and must be rejected, Chapman makes the compelling argument that more, not less connection is needed. His passionate and accessible treatise explains how, by combining material and emotional intelligence, we can achieve the responsible and rewarding cycles we need in order to survive. This revised and updated edition is essential reading for any responsible individual involved in the conception, design, development, sale or consumption of objects.' - Tim Parsons, Associate Professor, Designed Objects, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA