The Shape of Green
8 x 9
65 photos, 38 illustrations
Does going green change the face of design or only its content? The first book to outline principles for the aesthetics of sustainable design, The Shape of Green argues that beauty is inherent to sustainability, for how things look and feel is as important as how they’re made.
In addition to examining what makes something attractive or emotionally pleasing, Hosey connects these questions with practical design challenges. Can the shape of a car make it more aerodynamic and more attractive at the same time? Could buildings be constructed of porous materials that simultaneously clean the air and soothe the skin? Can cities become verdant, productive landscapes instead of wastelands of concrete?
Drawing from a wealth of scientific research, Hosey demonstrates that form and image can enhance conservation, comfort, and community at every scale of design, from products to buildings to cities. Fully embracing the principles of ecology could revolutionize every aspect of design, in substance and in style. Aesthetic attraction isn’t a superficial concern — it’s an environmental imperative. Beauty could save the planet.
"Hosey's holistic investigation of the way we perceive and react to our surroundings is fascinating. His underlying argument—that green living doesn't have to be punishing, expensive, or boring—is a refreshing take on an old debate that fans of Malcolm Gladwell and other big thinkers will find informative and illuminating."
"The Shape of Green is a positive thesis. It might even inspire hope in the most pessimistic readers."
"The Shape of Green...deals with the fundamental issues that I could never quite express to my students about the importance of aesthetics, design and yes, even beauty, to green building. I could never quite justify why I would post some projects on TreeHugger and skip others that might have a higher LEED score. After reading The Shape of Green, I am much more confident in saying that if it doesn't move the heart, it doesn't move the needle on sustainability."
"The Shape of Green is essential nourishment for a smarter intuition, and Hosey's principles for design are just what we need for so-called sustainable design to mature past its awkward adolescence."
Environmental Building News
"What is new about The Shape of Green is Hosey's synthesis of research and design innovations that have been overlooked in many other books. He has crafted a sophisticated rallying cry and assembled a nascent toolbox for the next generation of eco-architects."
"Lance Hosey... has written a valuable book with a clear yet strong argument at its core: How something looks is as important to sustainability as how it performs."
A Daily Dose of Architecture
"True to its own philosophy, The Shape of Green is a beautiful book that designers (and design lovers) will turn to time and again."
"The book is...intriguing because it explores a difficult and important subject and brings together key observations from various authoritative sources and realms of inquiry. In the end, the book provides a good introduction to issues of sustainability and aesthetics."
"In The Shape of Green, Lance Hosey delivers a passionate critique of the design equivalent of CP Snow's 'two cultures' dichotomy."
"...Hosey returns sustainability to its rightful place..."
"Design has the power to create a world that can be economically, equitably, ecologically and elegantly enjoyed. In The Shape of Green, Lance Hosey explores the critically important but too rarely discussed dimensions of this goal—elegance, joy, and beauty."
William McDonough, coauthor of "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things"
"It's tomorrow's great design challenge: how to make sustainability not just likeable but loveable; and not just efficient but beautiful, sensual, sexy. Lance Hosey is an inspirational guide to a future we can't wait to embrace."
John Elkington, co-founder of SustainAbility and author of "The Zeronauts"
"It's time someone revealed that the opposition of sustainability vs style, ethics vs aesthetics are false starts. In this book, Lance Hosey helps retire that opposition and shows us what makes beauty and sustainability one and the same."
Susan S. Szenasy, Editor in Chief, "Metropolis" Magazine
Chapter 1. Sustainability and Beauty
Chapter 2. The Aesthetic Imperative
Chapter 3. Three Principles
Chapter 4. Many Senses
Chapter 5. Ecology and Imagery
Chapter 6. The Animation of Inanimate Things
Chapter 7. The Architecture of Difference
Chapter 8. The Natural Selection of Cities
Chapter 9. Visions of Earth
The Shape of Green won the 2013 New York Book Show design award.
In honor of St. Patrick's Day, Island Press wanted to share an excerpt with a little green in it. In The Shape of Green, nationally recognized architect and designer Lance Hosey offers an answer to the question: does going green change the face of design or only its content? The first book to outline principles for the aesthetics of sustainable design, The Shape of Green argues that beauty is inherent to sustainability, and that how things look and feel is as important as how they're made. In addition to examining what makes something attractive, Hosey connects these questions with practical design challenges. Drawing from a wealth of scientific research, Hosey demonstrates that form and image can enhance conservation, comfort, and community at every scale of design, from products to buildings to cities.
Check out an excerpt from the book below.
Katharine is the Publicity & Marketing Associate at Island Press.