the way we live

design and climate change


i found thomas matthews book, “ten ways design can fight climate change” over at mocoloco yesterday.  now to most of us there is nothing earth shattering in those pages and much of it is very basic.  nonetheless, i think that’s where the book’s success lies.  the simple matter-of-fact way in which mr. matthews spells out ten logical, rational, and simple ways to use design to fight climate change is wonderfully commendable.  the book is brief, to the point, and punctuated with very small examples (often personal) for each topic.  the best part though, is that the treatise is available free via pdf, which, of course, just goes hand in hand with being sustainable.  i would recommend this quick read to everyone, even if you are well versed in the areas of environmentally responsible design it’s worth reading through to remind yourself.  you can view/download the book here.

22 November 2007 - Posted by | architecture, green, society, technology


  1. I have just come across this entry on your site and much as I am happy to see our book being seen, discussed and, I hope used there are some factual mistakes in your review.
    Firstly thomas.matthews is a communication design company in the UK set up by myself, Sophie Thomas and Kristine Matthews in 1998. As you can see neither of us use the prefix ‘Mr’ and if you asked for him in the studio you would get a quizzical response. Secondly, every project illustrated in our booklet is work that has come out of the studio and this is the whole point. We use our projects to show that sustainable design need not be dull and hairy jumper. We follow these principles in every design commission we do and we aim to inform our clients and our suppliers what they need to do in order to reduce their impact. I am also a bit confused by your wording of our very small examples. If you mean the booklet size or the small paragraph of explanation copy- then I agree. If you mean the size of the project then some it depends how you define ‘small’. Some of these projects were large six figure commissions and for a studio of nine people I think that is quite big. If you want to see more information visit our website and if you want to know about what communication designers can start doing to change their bad habits join up to the mailing list on

    Comment by Sophie Thomas | 17 May 2008 | Reply

  2. sophie, my sincerest apologies in the errs of my posting, most especially in obviously incorrectly using the term, “mr.” clearly there was a gross misunderstanding on my part as to your studio. as for the “small” you argue against, i was, in fact, referring to the booklet itself as i do not doubt the actual scale of any of your projects. i would like to take this opportunity to both thank you for clearing up my mistakes as well as stopping by for a read. i am a fan of your work and i wish you the greatest future success.

    Comment by Geoff | 28 May 2008 | Reply

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