My PhD titled ‘The Visual Communication of Ecological Literacy: Designing, Learning and Emergent Ecological Perception‘ has now been approved. This practice based work in the School of Architecture and Design and the University of Brighton was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. I will be publishing one chapter of my each week for […]


via Home

This chapter will examine psychological mechanisms that lead to environmental communication failure and also the psychological, cognitive and perceptual capacities that could enable the recognition of ecological self. Because the phenomenon of denial is central to environmental communication failure, seeking strategies to circumvent and eventually break denial is central to effective communicative processes. Psychology, cognitive […]

Chapter Eight explores environmental communications from a theoretical perspective examining concepts of crisis, power, discourse, identity and values. Communication and learning are intricately related and in this thesis these practices are often conflated. Environmental communication both reflects and shapes attitudes towards nature. Vested interests profit from a certain representation of nature, so issues of power […]

This thesis develops a methodology for a research-led practice-based design project informed by the traditions of action research and transformative learning. It aims to expand the scope of design research methodology towards one that is more critically informed on the nature of power relationships in research. These insights support the transition to a critical whole […]

Communication designers and educators have a unique role to play in the creation of sustainable futures, due to our ability to help people develop new cognitive skills for dealing with complexity and to create the social capacity to act on the basis of new knowledge. Transformative learning is a pedagogic practice developed in consciousness-raising and […]

Action research aims to create social change in the process of conducting research. Although it is linked to design research through a shared focus on practice, action research’s critique of power and its epistemological insights provide a more critical and holistic foundation. Action research (AR) emphasizes learning by doing, addressing real life problems, increasing participation […]

Part Two – Methodology and Methods |  Chapter Four – Design Research……. At its best, design is an integrative discipline, an applied trans-disciplinary field that bridges theory and action in pursuit of practical outcomes. Design is a problem-solving profession concerned with the ‘creation, realization and materialization’ of possible futures (Grand & Wiedmer 2010:3). Design is […]

‘The operational definition of sustainability implies that the first step to build sustainable communities is to become ‘ecologically literate’, i.e. to understand the principles of organization, common to all living systems, that ecosystems have evolved to sustain the web of life’. (Capra 2003:201) The defining characteristic of ecological literacy is that it recognizes ecological systems […]

This chapter presents a brief history of ecology, holistic science and systems theory. It describes the relevance of ecological epistemologies and critical ecopedagogy. It also proposes typologies of ecological literacy and describes the difference between sustainability vs. ecological literacy. Chapter Two, titled ‘Ecological Literacy‘, is now published here. 2.0 Ecological literacy describes ecology as the […]

One of the premises of this thesis is that there is great distance between accepting something as an intellectual truism and perceiving, thinking and acting according to this position. Another major theme is that the current way of knowing, the dominant cultural paradigm in the West is such that we are unable to deal with […]