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Design, Ecology, Politics: Towards the Ecocene – website launch

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Chapter Nine: Communication Failures: Strategies of Denial of Ecological Self

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: Ecological Communication Design: Crisis, Discourse and Identity

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 […]

Chapter Six: Transformative Learning (or Lessons for Environmentalists from Feminist Education)

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 […]

Chapter Five: Action Research

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 […]

Chapter Four: Design Research

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 […]

Chapter Three: Patterns and Process of Nature

‘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 […]

Chapter Two: Ecological Literacy

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 […]


Whether or not we are interested in ‘the environment’ or identify with the concept of being ‘an environmentalist’ each of us is entirely dependent on the air we breathe, the food we eat and the environment we inhabit for life. Despite this basic fact, statements about our connections with the natural world are often interpreted […]

The Visual Communication of Ecological Literacy – Paper No.1

ABTRACT. This new paper will describe how graphic design can support ecological literacy. Starting with a brief introduction to ecological literacy and a proposal that communication design must join the crisis disciplines in responding to predicaments in the earth science, the paper will argue that within an increasingly visual culture, visual intelligence can support the […]