Art Forum: Professor Stuart Walker

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

Design for Life: creating meaning in a distracted world

In this talk Stuart Walker considers the relationship between creative practice, human values, and the importance of tradition and localization.

Through an interrelated process of theory development and speculative design that focuses on sustainable futures, he shows 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 demonstrates 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.


Stuart Walker is Chair of Design for Sustainability and a Director of the ImaginationLancaster Research Centre at Lancaster University, UK. He is also Visiting Professor of Sustainable Design at Kingston University, UK, and Emeritus Professor, University of Calgary, Canada. His distinctive practice-based research explores the environmental, social and spiritual aspects of sustainability. He has received numerous funding awards in Canada and the UK including SSHRC, AHRC and Arts Council England. His papers have been published and presented internationally and his conceptual design work has been exhibited in Canada, Australia, Italy, at the Design Museum, London and most recently at Brantwood, John Ruskin’s house in the English Lake District. His books include: Sustainable by Design; The Spirit of Design; The Handbook of Design for Sustainability (ed. with J. Giard), and Designing Sustainability. Forthcoming books include Design for Life (Routledge in 2017) and Design Roots (Contributing Editor, Bloomsbury, 2017).