Somebody Else’s Problem: Consumerism, Sustainability and Design


The book calls for a radical change in how we think about our material world, and how we design, make and use the products and services we need. Rejecting the idea that individuals alone are responsible for the environmental problems we face, it challenges us to look again at the systems, norms and values we take for granted in daily life, and their cumulative role in our environmental crisis.

Robert Crocker presents an overview of the main forces giving rise to modern consumerism, looks closely at today’s accelerating consumption patterns and asks why older, more ‘custodial’ patterns of consumption are in decline. Avoiding simplistic quick-fix formulas, the book explores recommendations for new ways of designing, making and using goods and services that can reduce our excess consumption, but still contribute to a good and meaningful life.

ROBERT CROCKER is Deputy Director of the China Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development. He teaches the history and theory of design and design for sustainability at the University of South Australia.

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