Design for Life

Design for Life: creating meaning in a distracted world is published by Routledge and will be available from May 1st 2017.

The design work featured in this book has been described as life-changing, inspiring, disturbing and ferocious.

Drawing on wide range of sources and informed by creative practice, Design for Life examines the heart of modern culture and the malaise that underlies today’s moral and environmental crises. It is a malaise that is both deep-seated and fundamental to the modern outlook, which is preoccupied with technological progress, growth and the future. This has produced a constricted view of life – one that is both destructive and self-reinforcing.

Based on over twenty-five years of scholarship and creative practice, this book demonstrates the importance of solitude, contemplation, inner growth and the present moment in developing a different course – one that looks squarely at our current, precarious situation while offering a positive, hopeful way forward – a way that is compassionate, context-based, human scale, ethically motivated and critically creative.

Design for Life is available for pre-order direct from Routledge and from Amazon.


'Design for Life is full of brilliantly original thinking and practical guidance for building a better world. It offers a framework for designers and consumers alike and makes a more meaningful material culture feel possible.' Sebastian Cox, Designer and Maker, Director, Sebastian Cox studio & workshop

'This book adopts a wholly new approach to design, one that gets right to its heart. Rooted in values, beliefs and creativity it adopts a rhetorical approach to its subject, blurring the boundary between designing and thinking about design.' - Penny Sparke, Professor of Design History, Kingston University

'Brimming throughout with intelligence and curiosity, this deeply rooted, powerful book shapes design around the processes of life.' - Kate Fletcher, Professor of Sustainability, Design, Fashion, University of the Arts London

'Both contents and narratives are impressive. This book interprets design in a unique way, and the key clue is its glorious humanism. It is the foundation of design s new missions, new roles and new approaches, in this changing era.' - Yongqi Lou, Professor and Dean, College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, Shanghai

'In this stunning book, Stuart Walker s sensibility explores deep and complex dimensions of design thinking and doing, shedding light on the role of intentions, priorities and values.' - Maria Cecilia Loschiavo dos Santos, Professor of Design, University of Sao Paulo

'Our society expects and needs a new wisdom for developing our lives in more meaningful ways. In this book, Stuart Walker opens the door for dialogue on wisdom in design. It is a wisdom permeated by creativity, the human imagination, intuition and comprehension.' - Takeshi Sunaga, Professor of Design, Tokyo University of the Arts

'Stuart Walker's emphasis on reflection and values brings a welcome dimension to the design process. He stresses personal vision as a way of contributing to design's capacity to make the world a better place.' - Victor Margolin, Professor Emeritus of Design History, University of Illinois, Chicago

The Design for Life Exhibition at Brantwood - John Ruskin's House in Cumbria showcased many of the designs in this book along with other recent works - the website has designs, videos and recipes (see Other News - below).                                                                                      


Watch a short TEDx video

Excerpts at;; and selected publications at Articles           

Exhibition: April 16 - June 6 2016: In collaboration with Suzy Jones Projects and supported by Arts Council England, an exhibition of propositional design work by Stuart Walker entitled DESIGN FOR LIFE at Brantwood, John Ruskin's home at Coniston in the English Lake District. Read an article about the exhibition in SUBLIME magazine. Watch The Tell-tale Notch audio-visual presentation and the Confession video performance, both featured in installations at the exhibition.

Keynote: April 11 2016: Stuart Walker gave a Keynote Talk at, EurOMA Forum 2016 Lancaster

Conference Paper: Lucas Pantaleão and Olympio Pinheiro presented their work on the designs of Stuart Walker at the 5th Symposium of Sustainable Design in Rio de Janeiro on 9 November 2015.

Journal Paper: In August 2015 A Narrowing of Meaning: loss of narrative unity and the nature of change appeared belatedly in the International Journal of Sustainable Design, published by Inderscience (Vol. 2, No. 4, 2014, pp.283-296). It considers where design might best focus its efforts in relation to contemporary concerns about sustainability, particularly in view of the magnitude and nature of change required. I trace the long entrenchment of assumptions, conventions and outlooks that led to the modern/late-modern worldview - a shift not only associated with unprecedented environmental damage, but also with a narrower perspective, a loss of narrative unity, and a loss of meaning. I argue that design, by widening its purview, can be a catalyst for restoring a more balanced approach to products and processes in context; thereby contributing to a recovery both of narrative unity and of meaning.

Exhibition: In August 2015, Stuart Walker's design work was on show at Craft ACT, in Canberra in their Embracing Innovation Volume 5 Exhibition. The show was introduced by Dr. Susan Ostling and highlighted in Art Guide Australia and the Sydney Morning Herald

Book Review: A review of the book Designing Sustainability appeared in the 29 June 2015 edition of Sublime Magazine Book Review

Interview: An in-depth interview is featured in the May/June 2015 edition of Design Magazine - read it HERE.

Book Review: A review by Dr. Paul Micklethwaite of Designing Sustainability is published in the Design Journal Vol.18, Issue 2, pp.295-300.

Book Review: Designing Sustainability is reviewed by Tiago Krusse in Design Magazine.

Keynote: Stuart gave a keynote address to a joint audience of the World Conference on Design and the Arts and the 4th International Education Conference, 26-28 June, 2015 at the Christian University, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Keynote: Stuart gave a keynote address at the UnMaking Waste conference in Adelaide in May 2015 and exhibited various designs in the accompanying Gallery Show