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The designer’s role, 3: The Limits to Growth

Image credits - Mahivuni.com

Image credits – Mahivuni.com

The increasing sensitivity to social and environmental themes, together with a strong critic of the production system as it was developed since the ’60s, brought many people to ask themselves about the possible future for the designer’s role. This was the beginning of the “Ethic” matter that following the environmentalist movement born with the book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.

Moreover, a group of MIT scientists led by Dennis and Donella Meadows were hired by the Club of Rome for a research on the Limits to Growth: it was the first research that wanted to simulate the consequences of a neverending growth on a limited planet as the Earth is. The simulation model developed by the team was called World3 and it analyzed five variables: world population, industrialization, pollution, food production and resource consumption. The system was asked to test three different scenario, two of which resulted in global collapse: only the third one brought to a stable equilibrium.

The researcher’s aim was not to provide precise absolute data on where the world was going, as they were more oriented to highlight provisional trends on world development: this is the main reason why the debate between supporters and detractors of the theory is still going on.

Anyway, it’s fundamental to point out that after thirty years of debate, there are many thesis confirming the trends of the research, and the book become one of the most influential works for the XXI century.

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