Design for Sustainable Entangled Human-Nature Systems

Emīlija Veselova


Humanity must rapidly transition towards sustainable futures. Reaching planetary sustainability requires care for nature and radical transformation of human-made systems. Human and natural systems co-exist in extensive, complex, multi-layered entanglement. Design for sustainability and, ultimately, all design, will need to be transformed towards design for sustainable entangled human-nature systems. This paper outlines six developments to support this transformation. It suggests that all design projects must (1) be viewed as interlinked to human-nature systems and their sustainability, (2) include natural systems and entities as key stakeholders, and (3) include transdisciplinary perspectives on the entangled systems and sustainability. Moreover, design could adopt the connectedness with nature (CWN) concept from environmental psychology and (4) set high CWN score as competence for designers, and (5) an additional entrance criterion for design schools. Finally, (6) design should redefine its socio-cultural concepts and theory to increase care about and design for sustainable entangled human-nature systems.

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