Design for a Better World
Meaningful, Sustainable, Humanity Centered
376 pp., 6 x 9 in, 8 b&w illus.
- Published: March 21, 2023
- Publisher: The MIT Press
How human behavior brought our world to the brink, and how human behavior can save us.
The world is a mess. Our dire predicament, from collapsing social structures to the climate crisis, has been millennia in the making and can be traced back to the erroneous belief that the earth's resources are infinite. The key to change, says Don Norman, is human behavior, covered in the book's three major themes: meaning, sustainability, and humanity-centeredness. Emphasize quality of life, not monetary rewards; restructure how we live to better protect the environment; and focus on all of humanity. Design for a Better World presents an eye-opening diagnosis of where we've gone wrong and a clear prescription for making things better.
Norman proposes a new way of thinking, one that recognizes our place in a complex global system where even simple behaviors affect the entire world. He identifies the economic metrics that contribute to the harmful effects of commerce and manufacturing and proposes a recalibration of what we consider important in life. His experience as both a scientist and business executive gives him the perspective to show how to make these changes while maintaining a thriving economy. Let the change begin with this book before it's too late.
“Norman's book shifts focus from the human to humanity, cracking the code on what values ought to be at the center when driving sustainable design. The message is loud and clear—the future of humanity is the future of the planet.”
Payal Arora, Professor and Chair, Technology, Values, and Global Media Cultures, Erasmus University; author of The Next Billion Users
“Don Norman joining the movement for responsible and sustainable design brings considerable heft to the demand for design to transform from a user-centric focus to serving society and the planet as a whole.”
Leyla Acaroglu, UN environmental program “Champion of the Earth” award; Founder and Sustainability lead of Disrupt Design
“Through examples from science, technology, design, philosophy, and human behavior, Norman narrates the current global challenges and shows how design can play an essential role for making the world a better place. Yet another classic!”
Srini Srinivasan, Senator and former President, World Design Organization; Chief Operating Officer, Design Innovation Institute Shanghai
“Norman does it again with this essential book! His profound wisdom provides a mobilizing awareness for everyone. In this age of waste, unsustainability and total irresponsibility this book makes us rethink our ways of life.”
Anne Asensio, Vice-President Design, Dassault Systems; Board Member, World Design Organization; Member of the Circular Design leaders circle, Ellen MacArthur Foundation