Tutor: Juliana Luna

Timetable: Thursday 2:30pm – 5:30pm

Location: 051.07.004

This course explores and documents current relationships between material culture and spirituality from an ecological perspective and speculates about the future role of design in the emerging field of spiritual sustainability through the production of critical objects.

More than a set of fixed goals and outcomes, sustainability can be seen as a way of being in the world. Today, some of the most evident manifestations of sustainability revolve around personal transformations towards self-awareness, self-transformation, mindfulness and self-development. Some examples are changes in consumption patterns; ways of life based on austerity and thriftiness; comeback of ancestral beliefs; activism in favour of human and non-human entities; new enterprises around meditation and wellness; or practices to strengthen relationships with our mind and body. These manifestations make evident that apart from environmental, social and economic perspectives, sustainability has a strong spiritual dimension. In fact, some design scholars see spirituality as a fourth pillar of sustainability.

This course explores and documents current relationships between material culture and spirituality from an ecological perspective and speculates about the future role of design in this emerging field by producing and exhibiting a series of critical spiritual objects. Initially, we will review well-known and mainstream theories and ideas about sustainability, and then, we will conduct different practice-based exercises and field trips to explore and document spiritual manifestations of sustainability in our everyday lives. In the second part of the course, each student will select a specific area of interest and will project her/his own design practice to create a critical object that represents, questions, challenges or advances her/his personal views on the relationships between design, spirituality, and sustainability. The course will conclude with an exhibition of these critical-spiritual objects.