Before making eco-consciousness the basic principle of our approach to designing, it is important to analyze an almost cliché tending question: do we have to design objects to be eco-conscious at all? Of what extent does our need to “eco” originate from our resistance to change, passing and to our replacement? It is commonly known that if we don’t change the present structure of industry and economy in reasonable time we will disappear from Earth dragging lots of other species with ourselves. However, the question arises: why do we judge this to be absolutely negative?
The fact itself, that other species are becoming extinct due to our present way of life raises the question, if this is a moral question of humans or much rather the law of natural selection. Considering the latter, humanity is more viable than other species as it is able to radically change its environment, to solve its problems by inventing new technologies and to exploit resources much more effectively than other species. Out of the other possible traits (e.g. the Amazon Indians against the Northern-American civilization) of humans, those populations possessing industrial thinking, proved to be more viable than others, thus becoming dominant and conquering (see Spanish conquests). From this aspect, it will also be the result of evolution when we will become extinct due to our eco-harmful way of life, and will be superseded by other species. As dinosaurs disappeared quickly from Earth and were replaced by others, this could happen to humanity as well. We make the Earth unhabitable thus clearing away every existing creature. The planet will be covered by ash and dust for a long time until the first, primitive living beings come to existence again from nothing.
From an objective point of view, the number of species becoming extinct is absolutely insignificant, these cyclic changes on Earth are normal. However, most of the people respond to this by saying there is a need for sustainability and evaluate the extinction of a species – especially its own – negatively. Why? In my opinion, the answer is in the theory of gene selection out of the many evolution theories. According to gene selection, the base of natural selection is not the individual, but a much smaller unit, a gene. This theory considers individuals as machines – from amoebae to human – that built their genes for the sole purpose of their survival. The gene has only one aim: to ensure its survival. Ergo every living thing has one basic task: to reproduce itself with an adequate amount of errors. Thereby it can maintain the state to have a replica every moment – and only the most successful in dominant amount. With other words, the task of genes is not growth or “development”, but the sustainable diversity. I draw the conclusion that in the design business eco-consciousness is not a question of ethics, but the fulfillment of an elementary task that is valid for every creature.
Click here to Receive free weekly updates in your inbox!