What is Sustainable Technology?: Perceptions, Paradoxes and Possibilities by Karel Mulder, Harro van Lente, Didac Ferrer (Hardback, 2011)
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About this product
- DescriptionDesigners of techlogy have a major responsibility in the current age. Their designs can have tremendous effects on society, in both the short and the long term. In fact, sustainable development itself has all the characteristics of a design project, albeit a vast one. But a failed product design here will be t just be unsuccessful in the market - it will have far-reaching consequences. It is our common responsibility to make the project successful. Techlogy has played an important role in creating the problems that we w face; but it will also play an important role in solving them. But this does t mean the techlogical fix will be easy. How do we allocate resources and attention when there are myriad issues under the umbrella of sustainable development currently in competition with one ather? How do we arrive at precise specifications for the sustainable techlogies that are to be developed and, furthermore, reach consensus on these specifications? What if our sustainable techlogical solutions aggravate other problems or create new ones? And, because sustainable development is all about the long-term consequences of our actions, how do we assess the effects of modifying existing landscapes, infrastructures and patterns of life? How could we be sure in advance that the changes that new techlogies bring will make our society more sustainable? These dilemmas and paradoxes are the subject of this provocative book. Sometimes the claim that a techlogy is sustainable is made in order to make the techlogy acceptable in the political process, as in the case of nuclear energy production, where the claims of sustainability refer to the absence of CO2 emissions. In the case of biofuels, claims of sustainability have led to a fuel or food debate, showing that sustainability has counteracting articulations. And the well-kwn rebound effect is observed when increased resource efficiency can create a stimulus for consumption. What is Sustainable Techlogy? illustrates that the sustainability impact of a techlogy is often much more complicated and ambivalent than one might expect. Making improvements to existing designs is t the techlogical challenge that will lead to real solutions. We mustn't look to change a part of a machine, but rather the machine as a whole - or even the whole system in which it functions. It is these system invations that have the potential to make a genuine contribution to sustainable development. What is Sustainable Techlogy? will help all those involved in designing more sustainable techlogies in determining their strategies. It does so by presenting case studies of different techlogies in contrasting contexts. Each case asks: 1. What articulations of sustainability played a role in the design process? 2. What sustainability effects did this techlogy lead to? 3. Who was affected, where, and when? 4. Could the designer have foreseen these consequences? 5. How did the designer anticipate them? 6. How was societal interaction dealt with during the design process? Finally, the authors reflect on future options for the sustainable techlogy designer. They argue that an important first step is an awareness of the multitude of sustainable development challenges that play a role in production, use, recycling and end-of-life disposal. What is Sustainable Techlogy? will be essential reading for product designers, engineers, material scientists and others involved in the development of sustainable techlogies, as well as a wide academic audience interested in the complexities of the sustainable design process.
- Author Biography
KAREL MULDER is Head of the Sustainable Development unit at TU Delft. DIDAC FERRER-BALAS is an industrial and materials engineer. HARRO VAN LENTE is Professor of Philosophy of Sustainable Development at the University of Maastricht.
- Author(s)Didac Ferrer,Harro van Lente,Karel Mulder
- PublisherGreenleaf Publishing
- Date of Publication01/05/2011
- SubjectTechnology: General & Reference
- Place of PublicationSheffield
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintGreenleaf Publishing
- Content NoteIllustrations
- Weight510 g
- Width156 mm
- Height234 mm
- Spine20 mm
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