In this paper, I argue that sustainable design is constrained by the Western worldview that imagines that humanity is separate from nature. Drawing on scholars such as Arne Naess, David Abram, and Priscilla Stuckey, I propose that designers embrace an holistic worldview, one that envisions humans and non-humans within a non-hierarchical interdependent community. At the practical level, designers grounded in this ecocentric understanding can apply natural system theories for sustainable design more effectively. Philosophically, ecocentric design expands design’s engagement to include more than human needs, and can manifest a new spiritual, ethical and holistic understanding though the material language of design: a new collective intelligence.
|Keywords:||Design, Collective Intelligence, Cultural Understanding, Nature|
Assistant Dean, Associate Professor, Design and Dynamic Media, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, BC, Canada