Rebrand Sustainability!

sustainability1

Looking at the tag cloud on the right column of my blog, the word sustainability distinguishes with its size from the others. Obviously, I have tagged a lot of my posts with this word, which I have started to hate…What does “sustainability” mean? A buzz word that everybody uses, but nobody really understands it. “Sustainability” has started creating a “reactance phenomenon” with people getting tired of listening to this word, switching to a denial, more passive mode. But why? I will totally agree with Valerie Casey of the Designers Accord describing that the “language of sustainability” is all wrong, too firmly based in decades of shaming environmentalism and a subtractive rather than additive design process and lifestyle.

Do we really want a calvinistic future, full of moral regulations, laws, “efficiencies” etc or do we want a free life, where we can create and flourish without any guilts? I like Ehrenfeld’s view of aephoria (the greek word for “always flourishing”), but in the end does he just create another buzzword?  I think I will agree with John Bielenberg of projectM declaring that “sustainability needs rebranding” in order to become a more attractive idea that is unignorable and opportunity-based, rather than limiting.

(post inspired by core77, picture’s source: Winterhouse)

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2 responses to “Rebrand Sustainability!

  1. I spent about an hour with a group of people on monday night trying to think of an alternative word for ‘sustainability’. We couldn’t think of one. The meaning’s there but the associations are, as you say, more naysaying environmentalism that life and vibrancy.

    So yeah, rebranding sustainability is a fine idea.

  2. Thank you Jeremy for your comment. I hope that we are going towards this direction, by giving more value to anything “sustainable”. The connotations with the word should be possitive and not negative…

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