AMES, Iowa — Stuart Walker, a professor of design for sustainability and co-director of the ImaginationLancaster research center at Lancaster University, England, will explore the relationship between creative practice, human values and the importance of tradition and localization in a lecture at Iowa State University.

Walker will present “Design for Life: Creating Meaning in a Distracted World” at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 3, in Kocimski Auditorium, room 0101 College of Design. Part of the “Changing Change: Thoughts and Actions for Sustainable Environments” lecture series, his free talk is co-sponsored by the graduate program in sustainable environments, Department of Industrial Design, Department of Art and Visual Culture, Bioeconomy Institute and Office of Sustainability.

In his lecture, Walker will illustrate why scientific ways of knowing are insufficient, why technological approaches can only take us so far and why more substantial, lasting and positive change will depend on a transformation in outlook. He will present his “Quadruple Bottom Line of Sustainability” based on human values and meanings to show how this can inform practice-based creative research. Through a series of exploratory objects, he will demonstrate how these considerations can affect the nature of practice, the nature of our material culture and, consequently, how such manifestations can inform our values and priorities.

About the speaker

In addition to his positions at Lancaster University, Walker is a visiting professor of sustainable design at Kingston University London and an adjunct professor of inclusive design at Ontario College of Art University, Canada. He is an emeritus professor at the University of Calgary, Canada, where he spent much of his early academic career and served as associate dean (academic and research) in the Faculty of Environmental Design.

Walker’s distinctive practice-based research explores the environmental, social and spiritual aspects of sustainability. He has received numerous funding awards in Canada and the United Kingdom, including from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Arts Council England. His papers have been published and presented internationally and his conceptual design work has been exhibited in Australia, Canada, England and Italy, including at the Design Museum in London and most recently at Brantwood, John Ruskin’s house in the English Lake District.

Walker is the author of Sustainable by Design: Explorations in Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2006); The Spirit of Design: Objects, Environment and Meaning (Routledge, 2011); and Designing Sustainability: Making Radical Changes in a Material World (Routledge, 2014), and the co-editor of The Handbook of Design for Sustainability (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013). Forthcoming books include Design for Life: Creating Meaning in a Distracted World (Routledge, May 2017) and Design Roots: Local Products and Practices in a Globalized World (contributing editor, Bloomsbury, June 2017).


Marwan Ghandour, Sustainable Environments, (515) 294-3543, marwang@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu