A New Word For A New World

Also tired of the word sustainability? No clue what it actually means?

Michiel Schwarz and Joost Elffers think they do. They coined the new Modernism, called it Sustainism, and published a sustainist manifesto, filled with vocabulary and visuals to assist you in understanding what it means to live in a sustainist era. Schwarz and Elffers use the trefoil knot as its logo, because it “symbolizes the closed loop of sustainist life – endless, interdependent and cyclical”.

But, then, what does it mean? According to the writers, “sustainism marks a shift not only in thinking and doing but in collective perception – of how we live, do business, feed ourselves, design, travel and communicate, as much as how we deal with nature and development, and of our roles in them”. Ah, sustainism means integral change. Check.

Next? “In Sustainity everything is seen as interconnected and interdependent, a living web”. Ah, now we’re getting somewhere.

More catchy phrases? Oh, yes. This one: “Do more with less” is the sustainist addition to modernism’s minimalist “less is more”. Admittedly, a creative discovery.

And on it goes. Every page of the book is filled with graphically catchy words, phrases and more or less philosophical ideas. As an Industrial Ecologist, this language is native to me. But to those who want to extent their interpretation of sustainability, this book’s a must to experience.

4 thoughts on “A New Word For A New World

  1. Ik heb het boek een aantal maal doorgebladerd (het ligt op een dikke stapel bij ons in de winkel) en bij elke catchphrase riep ik naar de bladzijdes: “Maar hoe dan??” Naar mijn smaak te veel platitudes en te weinig inhoud. Volgens een vriend van mij geven de mannen daarentegen goede presentaties, waar de inhoud wél een plek heeft.

  2. Toegegeven, het is een hoop woorden – maar ik vind dat ze het “veld” wel goed in kaart brengen, met quotes en concepten. Maar blijft inderdaad heel conceptueel, en ik worstel nu met die hoe-vragen (scriptie). Had ‘m trouwens speciaal bij Athenaeum gekocht – maar toen was je er dus niet!

  3. Problem is that you can put sustainism aside as yet another ideology comparable to socialism, communism and vegetarism that might create anti sustainism. Sustainism is an ideology, sustainable is a description of a fact. More facts, less ideology.

    Groet, jan

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