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16 May - Sustainism: A New Ethos for Design?
Michiel Schwarz , Herman Miller, 2012 Architects & more

In the book Sustainism is the New Modernism: A Cultural Manifesto for the Sustainist Era, Michiel Schwarz & Joost Elffers explain how we are transforming into a world that is more connected, more locally orientated, more digital and …more sustainable! What does this world look like and what does this mean for designers? How do we use this perspective in the research process? In the New York Times, Alice Rawsthorn comments on the book: “The critical issues for any designer committed to the principles identified in “Sustainism” is how to put them into practice, which always threatened to be problematic, but is proving to be even more so than expected. Progress is hindered by the general confusion over fundamental questions such as what does — and doesn’t — constitute environmentally sensitive design, sourcing, manufacturing and disposal; and how we should judge them.” (New York Times 9 January 2011)

In this lecture architects, designers, digital entrepreneurs and cultural researchers will give short  talks and workshops about this “new” cultural movement and how to operate successfully in the green world.‘

Keynote Michiel Schwarz is a cultural thinker, consultant and researcher, and founder of SustainismLab, based in Amsterdam and New York. He initiates projects on global issues, the future of design, technology, media and culture. His cultural manifesto Sustainism Is the New Modernism, co-created with New York based symbol maker and creative producer Joost Elffers, coined the word “sustainism” as the new cultural era of the 21st century. The New York Times called Sustainism “A new ethos for design.” Among his current activities is Open Book for Sustainist Design, a project with The Beach.

Cesare Peeren, Jan Jongert 2012 architects
2012Architecten designs products and buildings and develops strategies to facilitate the transition to a sustainable society. A shortage of fossil fuels and other natural resources is already forcing major changes in societies around the world. 2012Architecten develops processes that empower local exchange and production, as an alternative to transporting our resources, products and components around the globe. The work of 2012Architecten shows that waste streams and limited resources are an opportunity for innovative design.

UNITHINGS is a University-wide online platform that creates the ability to exchange your things from previous projects, assignments and other activities. Students and employees are able to offer and purchase their things from each other within the University.

Wessel Breeuwsma/ Herman Miller
The international design firm Herman Miller strongly believes in a Journey toward Sustainability. The firm aims to design all their products with consideration for their environmental impact, by making products that are designed for ‘decades’ (many classic Herman Miller products manufactured in the 1950s are still in use today.) The company has a Design for the Environment team (DfE) which is responsible for developing environmentally sensitive design standards for new and existing Herman Miller products. One of the design tenets is durability. Miller designs for repeated use, repair, maintenance, and reassembly using standard parts, as often as possible.


The White Lady programme focuses on the cultural, social and economical context of design with monthly lectures, debates and talks. The programme presents acknowledged design thinkers and makers from in and outside the design discipline. The aim is to explore how design is related to societal developments and vice versa.

The programme is compulsory for bachelor students and open to the public (students have to attend at least 8 lectures).
The public can register for individual parts of the programme at:
Press or questions concerning content contact:

Location: Designhuis, Stadhuisplein 3, Eindhoven
Time: All lectures start at 15.30 pm till 17.00 pm
Admission: Free; please register at
Language: English


Published: 15-May-2012 11:00


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  • Lecture Schwarz, Miller and more


  • Lecture Schwarz, Miller and more

    Poster: Sustainism: A New Ethos for Design?

  • Lecture Schwarz, Miller and more

    Michiel Schwarz

  • Lecture Schwarz, Miller and more

    Wessel Breeuwsma