Viewpoint #36

Conscious Living

 

A recent report from the Global Footprint Network showed that we used up all of the 2015 quota of the planet’s natural resources by 13 August; six days earlier than in 2014. This alarming trend is set to continue for now – but all is not lost. Social movements around the world that start small but gather pace are supporting a wider shift from the ‘me’ to the ‘we’, a shift towards a society where there is a new sense of responsibility afoot; responsibility not just for ourselves, but also for our communities and for our planet.
This issue is themed around conscious living, and we take a holistic and wide-ranging view of this burgeoning phenomenon, from the current desire for healthier, happier individual lifestyles to the bigger picture that takes in global social and ecological consciousness. Disillusioned with focusing on the attainment of material goods, more and more of us are seeking to achieve balance and to enhance our lives with a greater sense of wholeness. This is not just about wellbeing, but about a holistic approach to making conscious choices, taking greater responsibility for ourselves, our communities and the wider planet. We explore ideas such as collective responsibility, activist brands, trans-seasonal retail and anti-obsolescence, as well as looking what this means for design and highlighting some of the inspiring innovations and thinking coming out of design studios.
As well as exploring the big idea, elsewhere in this issue we provide a round-up of the latest design, retail, lifestyle and technology stories, and report on some of the key behavioural and attitudinal trends that are shaping the design world. In Undercurrents Lifestyle we uncover the aspirational new design language of cannabis culture, where the image of the stereotypical stoner is being replaced by that of a modern cannabis consumer who is both discerning in taste and appreciative of good design. In our Innovation pages, we give you a run-down of the need-to-know new technologies, materials, approaches and working methods affecting the creative industries, from digital crafting to the power of plants. Turn to the Talent section, where we showcase a directory of the idea-makers of tomorrow, from ‘ultra-technologists’ to experience designers and material explorers.
 
Kate Franklin and Caroline Till, Editors.
 
Contents
 
The Context
As we face an environmental crisis of global proportions, sustainability is no longer a simple buzzword. Rather, it is a springboard for critical thinking and radical action. Less enamoured of lifestyle, we are fighting for life itself.
 
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The Evidence
We evidence how ‘conscious living’ is beginning to impact the creative industries, unpacked through cutting-edge case study examples and interviews with pioneers in the field.
 
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The Toolkit
Whether they’re tackling waste, addressing social issues, spreading the good word, forging new links between communities, or helping brands create more sustainable products and agendas, these creative makers and doers – some of the sharpest minds in the creative toolkit – are pushing for positive change in their diverse fields.
 
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The Visual Essay
A visual essay exploring conscious living and covering such topics as post couture, printing biology, make, break and re-make, and waste-not, want-not!
 
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The Opinion
Interviewing global design leaders to get their take on conscious living. We talk to Ilse Crawford, founder of Studioilse, Ross Urwin, founding creative director of Infrastructure, Henrik Lampa, responsible for sustainability strategy at H&M, and Tristram Carfrae, deputy chairman at Arup.
 
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The Delivery
An in-depth analysis of the way a leading brand is bringing The Big Idea to market. We talk to outdoor gear company Patagonia, which is on a mission to show that sustainable business is compatible with profit.
 
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The Translation
The design movements manifesting as a result of
 our Big Idea on conscious living – how they look and feel, the creatives driving these aesthetics, plus the associated colour palettes. Our themes cover: ‘waterless’, ‘from trash to treasure’ and ‘natural forces’.
 
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Undercurrents: lifestyle
Reporting on emerging behavioural and attitudinal lifestyle trends that are shaping the design world. Here, we uncover the aspirational new design language of cannabis culture, where the image of the stereotypical stoner is being replaced by that of a modern cannabis consumer who is both discerning in taste and appreciative of good design.
 
VP36-UNDERCURRENTS-LIFESTYLE
 
 
Undercurrents: design
A visual exploration of emerging design movements across the lifestyle industries and their influence on colour, shape and form. Our themes: ‘cubist luxe’, ‘primitive process’, ‘de-constructing Bauhaus’ and ‘space odyssey’.
 
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Innovation
We give you a run-down of the need-to-know new technologies, materials, approaches and working methods affecting the creative industries, from digital crafting to the power of plants.
 
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Talent
A directory of names that you should know. From experience designers to perfumers and creative technologists,
we identify the idea-makers of today – and tomorrow
 
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