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

Radical Design for Sustainability: Professor Stuart Walker at TEDx Brum

OutcomePresentation
Radical Design for Sustainability: Professor Stuart Walker at TEDx Brum

15 minute presentation at the 2013 TEDx Birmingham event Watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYScnBExa1c   ...More information

Exploring Sustainability Research in Computing: Where we are and where we go next

OutcomeConference Paper
Exploring Sustainability Research in  Computing: Where we are and where we go next

This paper by Bran Knowles (HighWire), Stuart Walker (ImaginationLancaster) and Lynne Blair (Computing) develops a holistic framework of questions which seem to motivate sustainability research in computing in order to enable new opportunities for critique. Analysis ofsystematically selected corpora...More information

Design and Spirituality: material culture for a wisdom economy

OutcomeJournal Paper
Design and Spirituality: material culture for a wisdom economy

Published in Design Issues journal Summer 2013, Vol. 29, No. 3: 89–107. Author: Professor Stuart Walker ...More information

THE HANDBOOK OF DESIGN FOR SUSTAINABILITY

OutcomeBook
THE HANDBOOK OF DESIGN FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Published by Bloomsbury Academic July 2013 Editors: Stuart Walker (ImaginationLancaster) and Jacques Giard (Arizona State University) http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-handbook-of-design-for-sustainability-9... ...More information

Sustainability in broadcast and digital media at the BBC - watch the presentations

OutcomePresentation
Sustainability in broadcast and digital media at the BBC - watch the presentations

The BBC R&D Sustainability Team and BBC Sustainability Committee, in collaboration with BBC R&D Partnerships, hosted its ‘Sustainability in broadcast and digital media’ event on March 6th 2013 at New Broadcasting House. The aim was to create an academic and industry-wide forum to help...More information

Lecture at Aalto

Objects, Environment and Meaning: practice-based research in design for sustainability by Stuart Walker

February 2nd 2012, 14.00-15.00 Aalto Mediafactory School of Art, Design & Architecture Aalto University, Helsinki ...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.