State of design 09—Paola Antonelli

“Few labels are as frayed and worn out as “green” is. In absence of any organised approach or regulation, manufacturers and users alike have flaunted and overstated ecological virtue to the point of devaluing it, much as has happened to the label “organic” in American food retail. People have been encouraged to trust as “truly green” only products that manifest holier-thanthou austerity, vaguely crude looks and a sprinkling of freckles on the packaging to indicate recycled paper or plastic, all aimed at being a Birkenstock-style atonement for our vanity and sins of indulgence. But is it really true that everything that is tasty and sexy is bad for you? And is it really true that in order to be a better person one needs to flagellate one’s natural inclinations towards lightness, humour and pleasure? Environmentally responsible design should be like dark chocolate: delicious and sensual, yet still good for the health of body and soul.”

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