Over the past hundred years, even when driven by the most positive intentions, designers have been active promoters of the ideas of wellbeing and ways of living that we have recently and dramatically discovered to be unsustainable. That is, designers have mainly been part of the (social and economical) problem that we now have to face. Moving from here to become part of the solution, to become active agents in the transition towards sustainable ways of living, designers must make a profound change in their culture and praxis. New conceptual and methodological tools need to be developed. New ideas, solutions and general visions need to be conceived. And an effort must be made to play a positive role in the social discourse on how to imagine and build a sustainable future.
Given the urgency, dimension and complexity of the problem to be faced, we must conceive an articulated research programme: a worldwide collaborative research programme into design for sustainability, targeted to catalyse and focus all the available design energies.