With radical and innovative design solutions, everyone could be living in buildings and settlements that are more like gardens than cargo containers, and that purify air and water, generate energy, treat sewage and produce food - at lower cost. Birkeland introduces systems design thinking that cuts across academic and professional boundaries and the divide between social and physical sciences to move towards a transdiciplinary approach to environmental and social problem-solving. This sourcebook is useful for teaching, as each topic within the field of environmental management and social change has pairs of short readings providing diverse perspectives to compare, contrast and debate. Design for Sustainability presents examples of integrated systems design based on ecological principles and concepts and drawn from the foremost designers in the fields of industrial design, materials, housing design, urban planning and transport, landscape and permaculture, and energy and resource management.
Janis Birkeland was an artist and architect before becoming an urban designer and city planner with the City of San Francisco. She later became an attorney, with a focus on environmental law and planning. Dr Birkeland is presently consulting in the area of urban and regional planning, and teaches in the Division of Science and Design at the University of Canberra.