Prof. Stuart Walker

Walker
Co-Director, ImaginationLancaster
Design for Sustainability ; Design, Values & Spirituality
s [dot] walker [at] lancaster [dot] ac [dot] uk

Stuart Walker is Professor of Design for Sustainability and Co-Director of the ImaginationLancaster design research centre at Lancaster University.

His research focuses on design for sustainability; product aesthetics and meaning; practice-based design research and product design that explores and expresses human values and notions of spirituality. He employs the creative design process itself as a mode of inquiry, which honours both the core practice and creative potential of 'designing'. He has written and edited several books on these themes.His dozens of peer-reviewed papers have been published and presented internationally (see recent selections below) and his propositional and experimental (academic) design work has been exhibited across Canada, in Italy and the UK, including an exhibition at the Design Museum, London.

He is Visiting Professor of Sustainable Design at Kingston University, UK; Adjunct Professor at Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto; and Emeritus Professor at the University of Calgary, Canada, where he spent much of his early academic career and where he was Associate Dean (Academic) and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Environmental Design.

He is also director of the Design PhD conference at Lancaster University - a biennial event (in alternate years the event occurs at Northumbria University).He is particularly interested in hearing from potential Design PhD candidates with interests that fall within the broad themes of:

  • Design for Sustainability
  • Design and Human Meaning (ethics, values and aesthetics)
  • Design and Spirituality
  • Practice-based Design Research.

 

Visit Stuart Walker's website to see images of his propositional designs and read and download articles

PROJECTS

LIVING DESIGN - AHRC funded, Principle Investigator - in collaboration with MMU, M. Evans (Co-I)

DESIGN ECOLOGIES - AHRC funded, Principle Investigator - in collaboration with MMU, M. Evans (Co-I)

DESIGN ROOTS - AHRC funded, Co-Investigator - in collaboration with MMU, M. Evans (PI)

EXHIBITION objects and writing from the DESIGN FOR LIFE exhibition at Brantwood.

VIDEOS see some of Stuart Walker's recent video works HERE

BOOKS

In Press

  • Walker, S. (2017) Design for Life: creating meaning in a distracted world, Routledge, London.

  • Walker S. et al (2017) Design Roots, Bloomsbury, London

Published

SELECTED BOOK CHAPTERS

  • Andrews, N., Walker, S., & Fahy K. (2016) Between intention and action: psychosocial factors influencing action on climate change in organisations, in Leal Filfo W. ed., 2016, Innovation in Climate Change Adaptation, Climate Change Management Series, Springer International, Switzerland, Ch. 19, pps.275-287.

  • Walker, S. (2014) ‘Sustainability and Designing with Dignity’ [‘Terra dos Resíduos: sustentabilidade e design com dignidade’], Chapter 1, pps 15-26 of Design, Waste and Dignity [Design, Resíduo e Dignidade], ed. Prof. M. C. Loschiavo dos Santos, University of Sao Paulo technical research report for the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Brazil. Simultaneously published in English and Portuguese, 481 pages.

  • Walker, S. (2014), ‘Propositional Objects: Designing with Waste’ [Objetos Propositivos: Design com Resíduos] Chapter 25, pps 445-481 of Design, Resíduo e Dignidade, ed. Prof. M. C. Loschiavo dos Santos, University of Sao Paulo technical research report for the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Brazil. Simultaneously published in English and Portuguese, 481 pages.

  • Walker, S. (2013) ‘Contemplative Objects: artefacts for challenging convention and stimulating change’, Chapter 10, Motivating Change: Sustainable Design and Behaviour in the Built Environment by Robert Crocker and Steffen Lehmann (Eds), Earthscan/Routledge, pp.198-214.
  • Walker, S. (2013) Imagination’s Promise: practice-based design research for sustainability, Chapter 28 of Handbook of Design for Sustainability, Walker, S. and Giard, J. eds., Berg Publishers, London, pp.446-465.
  • Badke, C. and Walker, S. (2013) Design Sleepwalking: Critical Inquiry in Design, Chapter 25 of Handbook of Design for Sustainability, Walker, S. and Giard, J. eds., Berg Publishers, London, pp.389-407.
  • Knowles, B., Walker, S. and Blair, L. (2013) Design for Cyber-sustainability: Toward a sustainable digital future, Chapter 30 of Handbook of Design for Sustainability, Walker, S. and Giard, J. eds., Berg Publishers, London, pp.488-512.

 

SELECTED JOURNAL PAPERS

  • Thomas, L., Walker, S., Blair, L. (2016) Beyond the Texhnological Blindfold: a fundamental design research approach to sustainability, Global Journal on Humanities and Social Sciences, [Online] 03, pp.532-539, available at: http://sproc.org/ojs/index.php/pntsbs.
  • Walker, S. (2014) A Narrowing of Meaning: loss of narraitve unity and the nature of design change, International Journal of Sustainable Design, Inderscience, Switzerland, Vol. 2, Issue 4, pp.283-296.
  • Richards, B., Walker, S., and Blair, L. (2013) 'Reframing Progress in the Digital Age: moving Forward Sustainably', The International journal of Social Sustainabilityin Economic, Social and Cultural Context, Common Ground Publishing, Champaign, IL, Vol 8, Issue 4, pp 53-61.
  • Walker, S. (2013) ‘Design and Spirituality: creating material culture for a wisdom economy’, Design Issues, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, Vol 29, No 3, Summer 2013, pp.89-107. Read the first page of this article.
  • Walker, S. (2012) ‘The Narrow Door to Sustainability: from practically useful to spiritually useful artefacts’, International Journal of Sustainable Design, Inderscience, Switzerland, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 83-103.Read the Abstract.
  • Walker, S. (2012) Design on a Darkling Plain: transcending utility through questions in form, The Design Journal, Berg, Oxford, Vol.15, No.3, pp. 347-372.
  • Walker, S. (2012) The Object of Nightingales: design values for a meaningful material culture, Design and Culture journal, Berg, Oxford, Vol.  4, No.2, July, pp. 149-170.
  • Walker, S. (2011) Form Beyond Function: practice-based research in objects, environment and meaning, International Journal of Sustainable Design, Inderscience Publishing, Switzerland. Vol. 1, No 4, pp. 335-347.
  • Walker, S. (2010) Sermons in Stones: argument and artefact for sustainability, Les Ateliers de l’éthique, University of Montreal, Canada, Vol. 5, No 2, Autumn, pp. 101-116.
  • Walker, S. (2010) Wrapped Attention: Designing Products for Evolving Permanence and Enduring Meaning, Design Issues, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, Vol. 26, No 4, Autumn, pp. 94-108.
  • Marchand, A., Walker, S., Cooper, T., (2010) Beyond Abundance Self-Interest Motives for Sustainable Consumption in Relation to Product Perception and Preferences, Sustainability journal, Vol.2, pps.1431-144, ISSN 2071-1050, peer-reviewed, open access journal, MDPI, Basel, Switzerland, (www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability).
  • Walker, S. (2010) Temporal Objects: Design, Change and Sustainability, Sustainability journal, Vol.2, pp. 812-832, peer-reviewed, ISSN 2071-1050, open access journal, MDPI, Basel, Switzerland, (www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability).
  • Walker, S. (2010) Sambo’s Stones: sustainability and meaningful objects, Design and Culture journal, Berg, Oxford, Vol. 2, issue 1, pp. 45-62.
  • Walker, S. (2010) The Chimera Reified: Design, Meaning and the Post-Consumerism Object, The Design Journal, Berg, Oxford, Vol. 13, Issue 1, pp. 3-30.

 

REVIEWS of the above books include:

"Quite simply, this is the best book on the key issues that engage us - values, culture, the environment, beliefs, making a better world - that I have ever read. It is utterly original, deeply rooted, supremely pragmatic and splendidly visionary. You will not see anything in our physical, designed, created world in the same way ever again." MARTIN PALMER - Secretary General, Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) (for Designing Sustainability)

"A seminal contribution to the profession of design that begins with the heart and mind of the designer and the values most important to human flourishing . . . Designing Sustainability aims to ground the practice of design in a vision of a civilization worthy of being sustained. The message is timeless." DAVID W. ORR - Distinguished Professor, Oberlin College, Ohio (for Designing Sustainability)

"Omg, this book could be the product designer's bible in our age of environmental degradation. ... Totally radical and at first perplexing ideas are presented to the soon to be product designer. Walker flips product design on its head and creates an environment where aesthetics and trends are brushed off the table and meaningful and consciously valuable products are lauded as an ideal to strive for. ... this may be one of the most IMPORTANT books product designers need. ... this book is an absolute treat for anyone who gives a damn about the world their kids are going to grow up in!!! Maybe not everyone will agree but damn it he makes a bangin good argument!!!!" MICHALE LE - Published on Amazon.com (for Sustainable by Design)

Updates and Outcomes

Lecture at Kwantlen, British Columbia

Lecture at Kwantlen, British Columbia

Stuart Walker recently gave an invited lecture to a packed audience at Kwantlen Polytechnique University in Vancouver

The industrial design programme at Kwantlen focusses on sustainability and the design of recreational gear and technical apparel and related products – i.e. "soft goods" or...Read full update

Imagination strengthens links with University of Sao Paulo

Imagination strengthens links with University of Sao Paulo

Prof. Stuart Walker visited University of Sao Paulo in December

At the invitation of Professor Cecilia Loschiavo dos Santos, in the first week of December, Stuart Walker made his second visit to Brazil in 2013,  to deliver lectures on Design for Sustainability and the Practice-based...Read full update

"DESIGNING SUSTAINABILITY" available via Amazon

"DESIGNING SUSTAINABILITY" available via Amazon

The forthcoming book by Stuart Walker: "Designing Sustainability" is available for pre-order on Amazon, with editorial reviews by David Orr and others.

"Designing Sustainability: making radical changes in a material world" will be published by Routledge in May 2014. Details are now...Read full update

Welcome to our new postgraduate students

Welcome to our new postgraduate students

Induction Day for the new cohort of MA Design Management students.

Imagination welcomed the new MA Design Management cohort today, introducing them to the University and in particular the design management postgraduate course. As part of the Induction session, the students took part in the...Read full update

ERASMUS 2013 in SYROS, GREECE

This year's Erasmus in Syros brought together students and professors from Lancaster, TUDelft, KISD in Koln, Politecnico di Milano and University of the Aegean to hear lectures and conduct project work in design for sustainability and in service design.

This intensive programme, running for...Read full update

New Book on Design for Sustainability to be published in 2014

New Book on Design for Sustainability to be published in 2014

DESIGNING SUSTAINABILITY: Making Radical Changes in a Material World by Prof. Stuart Walker will be published by Routledge in May 2014

Modern Western society, founded on a philosophy of materialism and fuelled by consumerism, has resulted in major disparities between rich and poor as well as...Read full update

ERASMUS IN SYROS Week 2

ERASMUS IN SYROS Week 2

The fourteen day intensive programme ends with project presentations in the city's Apollon Theatre

Following a first week of lectures and cultural visits, in their second week students got down to the project work. Six project groups were made up of students from Lancaster University, TUDelft,...Read full update

Erasmus Intensive Programme - First Week

Erasmus Intensive Programme - First Week

Week of lectures completed in preparation for project development

Students from ImaginationLancaster joined students from TU Delft, Koln and the University of the Aegean for a week of lectures on Service Design, Design for Sustainability and the Philosophy of Technology by Professors Bergit...Read full update

ImaginationLancaster Students Study on Greek Island of Syros

ImaginationLancaster Students Study on Greek Island of Syros

From September 16th to 30th 2012 eight ImaginationLancaster students and Professor Stuart Walker are participating in an Erasmus Intensive programme

The programme is entitled: “Emerging Theories, Methodologies and Applications in the area of Design: Sustainability & Service Design”. The...Read full update

Class of 2012

Class of 2012

MA Design Management and MA Sustainability, Innovation and Design students

On the day of their final project presentations, the 2012 class is photographed outside the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA) Building with their Major Research Project tutors Emma Murphy, Daniela...Read full update

Sustainable by Design

Sustainable by Design

available as an e-book

A Kindle edition has recently been published of Sustainable by Design: explorations in theory and practice by Stuart Walker (Routledge/Earthscan). ...Read full update

New Images Added

New Images Added

Selected images from "The Spirit of Design: objects, environment and meaning" have been added to ImaginationLancaster's web pages.

Propositional objects discussed in Stuart Walker's book "The Spirit of Design" (Routledge-Earthscan, 2011) are available within the items entitled: Design and...Read full update

Review of Designing Sustainability in SUBLIME MAGAZINE

Articleby Stuart Walker
Review of Designing Sustainability in SUBLIME MAGAZINE

A review of the book Designing Sustainability by Stuart Walker appeared in the 29 June 2015 edition of the sustainable lifestyle magazine SUBLIME. The article, published in the Book Review section, can be read here. ...Read full article

Design and Meaning

Articleby Stuart Walker
Design and Meaning

This research adds "Personal Meaning", understood as a combination of spirituality and substantive values (personal ethics), to our notions of sustainability. It expands conventional triple bottom line definitions of sustainability to include this fourth element (i.e. a Quadruple Bottom Line). Personal, Social and Practical Meanings are brought to the fore, while economic issues are demoted to a secondary order of priority, thereby acknowledging...Read full article

You can find a list of Stuart Walker's publications on the Lancaster University research pages.