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The Visual [Emotional] Vocabulary of Sustainability
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The Visual [Emotional] Vocabulary of Sustainability

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Presentation made Feb.8, 2014 at the Interaction14 conference in Amsterdam.

Presentation made Feb.8, 2014 at the Interaction14 conference in Amsterdam.

Published in: Design
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  • 1. @ABirt hat t...w bu do?? an I c Climate change. Air pollution. Loss of Biodiversity. Prejudice. Water Quality. CO2. Inequality. Social Injustice. Child Labor. Unsafe drinking water. Global Warming. Topsoil erosion. Desertification. Poverty. Human rights abuses. Oil Spills. Natural Disasters. The Visual Emotional Globalization. Unemployment. Rainforest destruction. Loss of cultural Vocabulary labor. Corruption. Chemical spills. Water heritage. Slave of Sustainability scarcity. Radioactive waste. Working conditions. Nuclear contamination. Loss of the polar ice caps. Endangered species extinction. Drought. Inhumane working conditions. resource conflict. [ ]
  • 2. Definition: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Brundtland Commission of the United Nations, 1987
  • 3. Sustainability: the ability to endure.
  • 4. Design for Sustainability: Concept Process Material Communication
  • 5. Design for Sustainability: Concept Process Material Communication
  • 6. A Lot to Communicate Climate change. Air pollution. Loss of Bio Quality. CO2. Inequality. Social Injust drinking water. Global Warming. Topso Poverty. Human rights abuses. Oil Globalization. Unemployment. Rainfor cultural heritage. Slave labor. Corruptio scarcity. Radioactive waste. Worki contamination. Loss of the polar ice c extinction. Drought. Inhumane working co
  • 7. Supply Chain CSR sourcemap.com CO2 LCA
  • 8. Info alone is not enough. “the diversity of barriers which exist for any sustainable activity means that information campaigns alone will rarely bring about behavior change.” Doug McKenzieMohr, author
  • 9. Need to Engage Emotions. “Facts and information don’t activate the emotional centers of our brain that cause us to take action.” Deanna Zandt, author
  • 10. Connection
  • 11. “Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.” Plato
  • 12. “Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge ” knowledge. Plato
  • 13. A Lot to Communicate Climate change. Air pollution. Loss of Bio Quality. CO2. Inequality. Social Injust drinking water. Global Warming. Topso Poverty. Human rights abuses. Oil Globalization. Unemployment. Rainfor cultural heritage. Slave labor. Corruptio scarcity. Radioactive waste. Worki contamination. Loss of the polar ice c extinction. Drought. Inhumane working co
  • 14. Challenges: • • • human constraints previous strategies (shame game) info overload Opportunities: • • • vivid visuals in-context individual
  • 15. Metrics, Data, Info Visual, Emotional Storytelling
  • 16. Challenges to Establishing Emotional Connection (in order to change behavior)
  • 17. Challenge: Human Constraints
  • 18. Challenge: Human Constraints concept: Stephen Covey
  • 19. Global Warming melts polar ice -> polar bars left homeless
  • 20. Concern for cute, fuzzy creatures concept: Stephen Covey
  • 21. Concern for cute, fuzzy creatures Percieved inability to do anything about it concept: Stephen Covey
  • 22. hat t...w bu do?? an I c Climate change. Air pollution. Loss of Biodiversity. Prejudice. Water Quality. CO2. Inequality. Social Injustice. Child Labor. Unsafe drinking water. Global Warming. Topsoil erosion. Desertification. Poverty. Human rights abuses. Oil Spills. Natural Disasters. Globalization. Unemployment. Rainforest destruction. Loss of cultural heritage. Slave labor. Corruption. Chemical spills. Water Challenge: scarcity. Radioactive waste. Working conditions. Nuclear Info Overload the polar ice caps. Endangered species contamination. Loss of extinction. Drought. Inhumane working conditions. resource conflict.
  • 23. ycle. to rec forgot just... I onest. H Challenge: Emotional Baggage: Shame = Shutdown
  • 24. Opportunities Vivid Visual, In-Context, Individual
  • 25. Vivid Visuals
  • 26. Inspiring attention: “Vivid, concrete and personalized” information inspires attention and increases the likelihood of the information being recalled later. Doug McKenzieMohr, author
  • 27. Inspiring attention: “Vivid, concrete and personalized” information inspires attention and increases the likelihood of the information being recalled later. Info that is remembered is more likely to have a lasting impact on our attitudes and behavior. Doug McKenzieMohr, author
  • 28. Vivid: “producing a strong or clear impression on the senses : sharp, intense; specifically :  producing distinct mental images.”
  • 29. photo: manaphy0930 photo: misterperturbed
  • 30. Story produces clear mental images.
  • 31. Sainte-Chapelle (Paris) window #14: Kings I II, Solomon I II
  • 32. Benefits of Visual Storytelling Engages people • Encourages memorization • Communicates context • Avoids people ‘putting up defenses’ •
  • 33. “[Cartoons are about] condensing info so it can be transmitted and ‘unpacked’ in your mind.” Scott McCloud (comic guru)
  • 34. “Words make division, pictures make connection” Otto Neurath (isotype designer)
  • 35. 65% Visual Learners of the population are
  • 36. Tool for Education Help people learn what ‘sustainability’ is by showing the context; people can start to recognize the patterns.
  • 37. Source: ecolabelling.org
  • 38. Nutrition Facts Serving Size 1/2 cup (144g) Servings Per Container 4 productBiographic.com Green, ethical and local benefits of this product throughout its life cycle. Amount Per Serving Calories 260 Calories from Fat 120 % Daily Value* Total Fat 13g Saturated Fat 5g Cholesterol 30mg Sodium 660mg Total Carbohydrate 31g Dietary Fiber 0g Sugars 5g Protein 5g Vitamin A 4% ï Calcium 15% ï 20% 25% 10% 28% 10% 0% Fair Trade CERTIFIED + human rights + fair wage Organic CERTIFIED + clean water + clean soil PROCESSING Local + economy PACKAGING Vitamin C 2% Iron 4% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs: 2,500 Calories: 2,000 80g Less than 65g Total Fat 25g Less than 20g Sat Fat 300mg Cholesterol Less than 300mg Less than 2,400mg 2,400mg Sodium 375g 300g Total Carbohydrate 30g 25g Dietary Fiber Calories per gram: Fat 9 ï Carbohydrate 4 CULTIVATION ï Protein 4 Quick Bagging + freshness DISTRIBUTION Local + economy + air USE Organic + health DISPOSAL Compostable + reduced waste 3rd-party certified ecolabel
  • 39. The Sustainability Communication Problem: a missing link Green Ethical Local CSR Consumers need information to make good decisions. Reporting of product information has been ineffective.
  • 40. In-Context
  • 41. Connect the ‘every-day’ to ‘the-big-picture’
  • 42. Prius monitor
  • 43. Västra Hamnen Behind-the-Scenes of Sustainability MEDEA Artist Residency, Malmö, Sweden, 2010
  • 44. http://youtu.be/1HtT_rBrlSw
  • 45. Individual
  • 46. image: The New York Times Sacramento Municipal Utility District
  • 47. Message to guest: A. Help the hotel save energy B. Partner with us to help the environment C. Almost D. 75% 75% of guests reuse towels of the guests who stayed in this room reuse towels Towel reuse: 16% 31% 44% 49% Sources: Study by Noah J. Goldstein, Vladas Griskevicius, Robert B. Cialdini of Arizona State University; AOL
  • 48. Project sponsored by MN Center for Energy and Environment, Minneapolis.
  • 49. Project sponsored by MN Center for Energy and Environment, Minneapolis.
  • 50. Project sponsored by MN Center for Energy and Environment, Minneapolis.
  • 51. Project sponsored by MN Center for Energy and Environment, Minneapolis.
  • 52. if = + then use vivid visuals; in-context & individual.
  • 53. More info: Behavior-changing campaigns: Basic Sustainability: Systems-Thinking: by Michael Braungart by Donella Meadows by Doug McKenzie-Mohr
  • 54. Behavior-changing campaigns: Basic Sustainability: Systems-Thinking: by Michael Braungart by Donella Meadows by Doug McKenzie-Mohr Thanks! Arlene Birt | arlene@arlenebirt.com www.backgroundstories.com @ABirt

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