Here is a draft of the first two chapters, it’s just a lot of materials I found online and on papers and books, but it’s way too long for a dissertation which must be 5000 words long overall. I’ll have to do a big trimming work.


1.1. Climate change should unify everyone.

“The politics of climate change are very strange,” Greg Nickels, 51st Mayor of Seattle. “It should be the most unifying issue in history.”

Global warming and climate change are topics which probably do not need any introduction anymore as we’re used to be alarmed to such topic for many years now. It is claimed that we humans are destroying our planet and that its own future is in our hands. Everybody seems to recognise the gravity of the situation, but not many actually really worries about changing their behaviours, or law and policies when speaking about government and big corporations.

(Papanek) Wes Jackson, hwo founded the land institue in Salina, Kansas, says that our society is the first to have created “do-it-yourself extinction”. He propose something he calls an “ignorant-based” view of the world to halt environmentla deterioraion, instead of our present, supposedly knowledge-based system. He argues strongly that things can be changed only by admitting that we can no longer continue under the assumptions that “we will figure out something”, or that “we know what we’re doing”, He makes a powerful case for starting from the premise that we know almost nothing about the future consequences of what we do now.

(Buhr & Reiter, 2006, 2) Unfortunately, given the ‘‘failures’’ of Rio and Kyoto it is clear that even though we are all in the same boat, we are not all rowing in the same direction. As far as the corporate world goes, Hawken (1998, 376) states:

If every company on the planet were to adopt the environmental and social practices of the best companies – of, say, the Body Shop, Patagonia, and Ben and Jerry’s – the world would still be moving toward environmental degradation and collapse.

(Baptista 2014, 362) On 17 August 2009, the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, made a speech at the Forum on Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Asia and Africa, where he said:

‘Never has the imperative of acting together been so clear. Our future will depend, quite literally, on how well we come together in common cause’.2

The problem is that (Klein, 2014) climate change has never received the crisis treatment from our leaders, despite the fact that it carries the risk of destroying lives on a vastly greater scale than collapsed banks or collapsed buildings.
Scientists feel much more comfortable in their studios than exposing themselves to the public to assert an idea so big, but if they do it

The only historical precedent for a crisis of this depth and scale was the Cold War fear that we were heading toward nuclear holocaust, which would have made much of the planet uninhabitable.

1.2 Not possible to change without changing the system

(Klein, 2014, 41) It seems to me that our problem has a lot less to do with the mechanics of solar power than the politics of human power. Indeed, technologies are being developed and the innovation is definitely moving towards eco-friendly solution which would reduce the impact of gas emission and energy waste, an emblematic example of such technological progress is the city of Masdar being build in Abu Dhabi, EUA, designed by Forster + Partners, which will be completely fossil-fuel free and will self produce all the energy needed.

The real problem is that it’s difficult, if not impossible at the moment to change market-driven big corporations companies, which are the real main global influencers. Here I considered a drastic measure which potentially might be taken in order to reduce emissions.

During World War II it was not possible to drive for leisure as fuel had to be used from armies. But just thinking about something like that it would sound utopic, the first thing which would naturally come up to mind is the question “yes, and what the big petrol companies which rule the world do?” they would stop to sell just in name of a right cause? Impossible. The first thing to research is to find a solution where these companies will keep making profits, being realistic if they are the ruler, it’s unthinkable to discard them all in once, the ideal would be a solution in agreement. Is this agreement which makes such politics so difficult, nobody wants to sacrifice anything.

As Naomi Klein states (2014, 40) there is no way capitalism and ecology could survive at the same time. Is it possible [to save our planet reducing emissions]? Absolutely. Is it possible without challenging the fundamental logic of deregulated capitalism? Not a chance. […] Our economic system and our planetary system are now at war. Or, more accurately, our economy is at war with many forms of life on earth, including human life.”

Indeed, if we want reconduct also the example of Abu Dhabi, at least currently could hardly be realised in other parts of the world as it is something which only the funding from a over rich society, which surely is empowered by the actual economic system it now actually stands outside it. This project and the whole development of Emirates Arabs United cities doesn’t happen in a capitalist logic, it is not made to take and actual profit, it is a showing off of a small elite which reached an economical superpower.

1.3 Capitalist that it is an ideology born to discard capiltalism.

On the other end, right wing people, whose aim is to justify the system anyhow, see the themes and in particular climate change as “green trojan horse” designed to abolish capitalism and replace it with some kind of green communitarianism”. As it is reported from Naomi Klein in her book, Marc Montano asserted (pag.50, This Changes Everything) “Environmentalists are like Aztec priests, sacrificing countless people to appease the gods and change the weather.”

1.4 Sustenaibility and its issues becoming an ideology, but it’s exploided by capiltalism, which wants to impose the future to control people and reinforce its power (Berardi)

It’s undeniable though that despite capitalists tend to oppose ecologists, in particular the ones classified by Gray, Owen, and Adams (1996, 56) as social ecologists – those who are concerned for the social environment and feel that because large organizations have been influential in creating social and environmental problems they should also be influential in helping to eradicate these problems; they also saw the power of such a global fear and embraced the theme of sustainability for their purposes. is certainly one of the most popular words of the century and as every important concept it is strumentalised by politics. The controversy is probably given also by the timing, indeed the alarm to a climate change and the appeal from scientists to reduce emissions was launched just when capitalist power reached his peak in history in the middle of the eighties,

It has been made as an ideology. Now everything is pursued to be done in the name of sustainability. It is a means of control on our future, which automatically is shaped by capitalism.

(Baptista, 2014, 360) emerged from a world elite aspiring to be a representational universalizing authority and, despite its rhetoric of democratization and local participation, it has been maintained as an elite domain.

the spread of sustainable planning throughout the world has generated conflicts between different cultural interpretations of the future.

(Baptista, 2014, 362) The cultivation of the ideals that support the globalization of such a reality is mostly done through a language of universal morality, or what Melanie Wiber and Bertram Turner (2010) called ‘moral talk’. That is, doing sustainability is largely based on a transnational discourse that resorts to universalizing conceptions of ethics. These, in turn, serve as symbols of intellectual and moral authority used for policymaking, defining the rightness or wrongness of actions. Finally, such a moralization empowers the ‘ecological modernization’ (Hajer, 1997) and technocratization of the world’s future along with most of the products, services and peoples associated with it.

(Baptista, 2014, 376)Sustainability is based on a very basic contradiction: on one side, it requires community participation and advocates for the diversity of perceptions and beliefs – the often-stated ‘traditional knowledges’ – but on the other side, it operates under a singular perception and belief about the future: ‘our common future’.
[…]that this moralization of global interventions leads to a process of subordinating
peoples and places to a ‘Western’ politics of technocracy, which, in turn, obtains its hegemony through the government of imaginaries and representations.

(Baptista, 2014, 363) The declaration adverts for future bipolar possibilities: ‘great peril and[/or] great promise’. The first is in line with end-of-the-world themes that have proliferated in popular culture mostly since the 1980s, which are highly imbedded in sustainability discourses. These narratives of the future’s crisis and imagining end-times institutionalize the problem. But the future is also simultaneously represented as a ‘great promise’; that is, there is a solution for the projections of future disaster. It is within this optimal vision that the Charter proceeds by announcing the ‘principles for a sustainable way of life as a common standard by which the conduct of all . . .  is to be guided and assessed’. […] Sustainability and its inherent project regarding the future are used by the Charter as a moral rhetoric tool for social, political and economic globalizing regimentation.

stated: ‘we [the entire world] have to learn our way towards more sustainable futures’ (Tilbury, 2010: 146).
All in all,UNESCO not only promotes the idea that ‘we [the entire world] have to learn’ a way towards an idealized and singular future, but also, in the same way, takes to itself the task or, to be more exact, the job of guiding the world in that.
UNESCO’s attempt to globalize a set of ‘principles, practices and values of sustainable development’ based on the perils and promises of the future could not be more clear…

All this suggeststhat the future in sustainability is a rather strategic representation
of institutional-normative constrains, which ultimately is used to govern in the present. […] in the era of sustainability, the ideas of development and progress are morally eligible only if linked with sustainable principles.

Also what is argued by Baptista is that sustainability pushes, global intervention on local level, but also here there isn’t a balance for such a process.”some spaces are open to sustainable development, while in other spaces it is restricted; some assessments are limited in targeted localities, while the same assessments are privileged in other localities (e.g.
the displacement of local populations in the name of conservation parks in
Southern Africa versus major urban deforestation in the suburbs of
Washington DC). Also he explains how such ideologies pursued by the countries which brought the planet to this level is not accepted by local communities in Africa for example, where they fairly say ‘What we need is industry, as you have; something to resolve our problems of the future now, not tomorrow!’.

1.5 The concept of sustainability not clear

(Baptista, 2014, 361) Richard Norgaard (1988: 613), among others, clarified it shortly after: ‘sustainability is becoming the clarion of a new age’. But what, precisely, is sustainability?

“sustainability has always lacked conceptual clarity (Butcher, 2003:27)

categories, such as ‘sustainability’, do more than ‘misunderstand social reality; they also shape it’ (Ferguson, 2006: 7). More important still, they generate a moral domain according to which (some) peoples have to live.

1.6 Reasons to change, report what is happening [find data]

Despite this, the alarm is clearly there, ice are melting, the world is changing and as humans we should be all concerned of this threat.

Taken as a whole, the range of published evidence indicates that the net damage costs of climate change are likely to be significant and to increase over time.

– Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

I won’t report here numbers and statistics which can be easily found online on load of official website such as the one of NASA, with data reported by

Despite this, the alarm is clearly there, ice are melting, the world is changing and as humans we should be all concerned of this threat.

Taken as a whole, the range of published evidence indicates that the net damage costs of climate change are likely to be significant and to increase over time.

– Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

I won’t report here numbers and statistics which can be easily found online on load of official website such as the one of NASA, with data reported by

Probably the issue is that number sond small.
Numbers sounds small. Once it happen to discuss with some friends for example of the consequences of global warming, I arrive to say temperature will grow of 2 degrees. Obviously I go on exaplaining the catastrophic results of such apparently small increase, however I always realise that most of the people I talk to are not even listening to what I am saying next as they are busy thinking how 2 degrees would influence their life and after all they would think that a lighter jacket will do, or sometimes it’s not even needed with only 2 degrees of difference.


(Papanek, 1995, 9) I remember a time when food, shelther and clothing were considered to be the absolute necessities of life. This no longer holds true. We have moved backwards and are now far from certain that we can expect fresh air, pure drinking water, food that is safe to eat and an environment that is unpolluted by damaging levels of noise.

[…] I feel very strongly that the present world-wide concern for the environment cannot now be dismissed as a fashion, as it was during the early 1970s, nor as pure panic over the sustainability of life on earth. I believe that it is rather a great spiritual rebirth or re-awakening, a desire to re-establish closer links between nature and humankind.

In all this everyone of us can do the difference. As citizen we have the right and the duty to press on our government to take decision for the environment, but everyone in our society has different tasks and can make the difference, so it’s important that everyone will focus on a different aspect of it.

Politicians and institutions must take action actuating environmental friendly laws and policies. They surely can have the biggest impact on this crisis, but at the same time everyone should be taking its responsibilities.

Engineers have developed environmental-friendly technologies, working with renewable energies and minimising all the waste of energy.

(The Green Imperative, Papanek, pag. 17)
We seem to adopt one of two ways in approaching the problems posed by a deteriorating environment. The first is try to do something on an individual or faimily level. We use less water to flush our toilets, we separate and recycle our garbage, we buy cars that run more economically, we insulate and retro-fit our houses, and generally practise conservation and preservation whenever possible. We join cosnumer initiatives to campaign against toxic chemicals in agriculture, to keep trees from being cut down or to save the whales. The second way is mentally to shrug our shoulders and decide to “leave it to the experts”. This amounts to shrinking our moral accountability and leaving ethical resposibilities to an ill-defined group of sceintists and activists.

I would suggest that we add a third way. We must examine what each of us can contribute from our own specific role in society. We must ask the question: “What can I do as a professor, construction worker, taxi-driver, school teacher, prostitute, lawyer, pianist, housewife, student, manager, politician or farmer? What is the impact of my work on the environment?

Regarding energy saving, which is one of the features which can play an important role in the climate change crisis, an example is a technology of the smart grids, which allows to distribute only the amount of energy that people need, depending on their necessities. It is a great technology, which is increasingly growing also thanks to the support of IoT and other technologies which allow its ubiquity and efficacy. Analysing the smart grids it’s possible to consider the process as a chain: the energy goes from the source, through the distribution network, to the condensators and finally to houses and utilities. At that point humans play their role, using the energy. Now this process allows to optimise the emission of energy, but the amount of energy which is eventually used still depends on humans, the are the ones who actually decide how much energy to use. Thus, to further optimise this system it’s important to act also on human behaviour and this is something which only designers can possibly do. Engineers can act on the technologies and improve them as much as possible, but it’s designer’s tasks to influence people behaviour, which can’t be forced or imposed through mechanisms.

(The Green Imperative, Papanek, pag. 10(?)) A designer has always been a teacher, in a position to inform and influence the client. With the present environmental mess it is even more important that we help to guide the intervention of design with nature and mankind.

What could become possible if designers used their power to influence choices and beliefs in a positive way? Imagine: what it we didn’t just go good design…we did good? [David D. Berman]

This is also one of the first point of the “First Things First Manifesto” published by Ken Garland in 1964, where it was state that design must be used for meaningful and useful causes rather than for secondary and decorative purposes.

And this has been also the focus of my previous project, such as my final major project for my bachelor’s degree. A communication design project focused on the promotion and valorisation the of green spaces in the city. As it was a two years project it focused in particular on Rome and Lisbon, but the project was covering the overall importance of these spaces.

Furthermore, I developed a project still focused on energy saving, which was however quite critical regarding the smart houses and the smart objects in general, which can be sometimes even an obstacles and even if acting for the user’s good they might result being annoying.

This is way I argue a new way how design could influence people behaviour, which is not that of invasive objects or algorhitim conditioning people life arriving to the point that people would be scared of them or even start to rebel to the technology. Instead I want to induce people to have responsible behaviours with the consent, on the other hand the mission of design is to provide benefit to people in a pleasurable way.

(maybe last chapter)
There is largely a control of human behaviour made by algorithm they manage to control literally whatever a person does. This is however a superpower that even if subtle can always be seen as hostile, as an obstacle that people inevitably will try to avoid. My intent is however to act directly on people behaviour, changing their attitudes and possibly arriving to change their habits.


Undoubetly, I believe that the process of gamification is a deception, it’s about pushing people to do something without letting them think what they are actually doing. If people will start to have responsible behaviours because of gamification doesn’t mean they became more responsible. But at the same time, people are mislead by years of marketing techniques, dictated by capitalist multinationals, which brought the society to be what it is right now. I do not believe that the capitalistic system can be reverted and indeed, my purpose is not to fight it, but just to use its same weapon (deception) in order to induce people to save rather than consume.

Capitalism bases it’s form on deception, people are continuosly targeted by marketing campaign, it can be asserted that whatever happens around us is manipulated by marketing strategies.
Marketing campaigns and operations are leaded by expert marketer who studied precise rules on how to influence people, in the moment that a strategy is applied the result is already forecasted, this is the best proofed way how masses can be influenced.

Now considering that the main purpose of marketing is to sell, convincing people to buy. However what happens if marketing is applied not for its original function, but to influence people to do something different. The rules would always stay the same, the deception at his basis and its arguable ethic, but the outcome would be different.

I believe that even if against something the best way to fight it is not to boycott it, but to change it, to reverse it or just trying to use it in a different way. In this case it wouldn’t be necessary a fight to capitalism, however would be a loan of his tools to create something different.

The streght of capitalism, insofar as unpopular, is undenialble, so why don’t to take advantage from it?

Our target must be considered objectively, it is the mass, a mass which nowadays is extremely influenced by media and by their language. Alternative movements, even if growing bigger, are still a niche, we need something big and we need it now. There is no time to think about the ethicity of an intervention. Even because the end surely justify the means.

Make clear that my position is not ethical, as it is dictated by a pessimsm. There is no way to discuss to people, they must be deceived. Algorhyrtim

My previous focus induce to frustration is the technology against humans, while this one is the reverse, it want to induce people to have fun but to have a sustainable behaviour.

Just using badges is not necessarily a well-implemented gameful design.

These accelerating man-made catatrophes make it vital for the survial of the world as we know it that industrial designers, graphic designers and architets, contributing from their particular areas of knowledge and influence, and joining with other disciplines, should involve themselves in environmental issues.

(pag. 142) The true needs of the consumer classes have been pushed aside to be replaced by artificially induced wants. The eventual consequences of what we invent, design, make, buy and use all centre on shrinking resources, pollution factors and global warming.

Unless we change the direction in which we are headed, we might end up where we are going. [chinese proverb]

(pag 235) Ethical Design must also be environmentally sound and ecologically benign. It needs to be human in scale, humane, and embedded in social responsibility.

– 1.1 Climate change should unify everyone

– 1.2 Not possible to change without changing the system

– 1.3 Capitalist that it is an ideology born to discard capiltalism.

– 1.4 Sustenaibility and its issues becoming an ideology, but it’s exploided by capiltalism, which wants to impose the future to control people and reinforce its power (Berardi)

– 1.5 The concept of sustainability not clearly defined (couple of references)

– 1.6 Reasons to change, report what is happening [find data]