The Green Imperative

Ecology and Ethics in Design and Architecture


A fresh edition of the sustainable design pioneer Victor Papanek’s classic and ever-relevant book


ISBN: 9780500296196 Category:

Victor Papanek


Whether it’s horror at plastic littering the world’s beaches, or despair at the melting of the polar ice caps, the world is gradually waking up to the impending climate disaster. In The Green Imperative, Papanek argues for design that addresses these issues head on. This means using materials that can be recycled and re-used, no more pointless packaging, thinking about how products make us feel and engage all our senses, putting nature at the heart of design, working at a smaller scale, rejecting aesthetics for their own sake, and thinking before we buy.

First published at the close of the 20th century, the book offered a plethora of honest advice, clear examples and withering critique, laying out the flaws and opportunities of the design world at that time. A quarter of a century on, Papanek’s lucid prose has lost none of its verve, and the problems he highlights have only become more urgent, giving today’s reader both a fascinating historical perspective on the issues at hand and a blueprint for how they might be solved.

With 141 illustrations, 26 in colour

Additional information

Weight 334 g
Dimensions 12.9 x 20 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 30 October 2021
Number of pages 256
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 12.9 x 20 cm
Weight 334 g


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Victor Papanek was a distinguished designer, educator and writer, widely praised for his visionary and strongly expressed ideas on design theory. Born in Vienna and educated in England before emigrating to the US in the 1930s, he also spent time living with and learning from Navajo, Inuit and Balinese peoples over the course of his career. He was J.L. Constant Distinguished Professor at the School of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Kansas as the time of his death in 1998.