The recent spate of publications on 'green design' tend to view the greening of design as a relatively straightforward process of applying certain environmental principles to the practice of designing products for industry, 'sustainable development' poses fundamental and uncomfortable challenges to the design status quo as it does to other professions and disciplines (Burall, 1991).
Such criteria within the environment and development movement introduce into the debate over design, industry and ecology a whole range of issues that have been discussed in the ecological literature for at least three decades. Because this literature is by its very nature 'holistic', a study of design and ecology requires an inter- or multidisciplinary approach.
Throughout its history environmentalism has been, if not overtly political, at least oppositional, and key texts are usually part of a continuing debate. It is this which makes a historical perspective particularly necessary because it can help to clarify the confusing range of current ideas and issues and explain their origins and thus begin to offer a critique of today's conventional wisdom. ...