The Importance of aesthetics in sustainable interior design for retail spaces
Brown Walker Presss
Place of Publication
Crouch, C., Kaye, N., & Crouch, J.
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Arts and Humanities
In my work as an Interior Designer I have been involved in regular discussions and debates about the importance of sustainability in design. A growing worldwide concern for the environment is evidenced by designers, architects, engineers and theorising about and creating designs that, as outlined in the Brundtland report, "meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (United Nations General Assembly, 1987). However, despite the identification of sustainability in the 1980s as an issue requiring immediate action, sustainability is often neglected when decisions are made about final design outcomes in an industry driven by budgets, deadlines and client briefs. In addition, sustainable environmental design has developed a rustic, raw visual trend, which limits the exploration of aesthetics in the broader application of design. The tendency for designers to conform to fashionable aesthetics limits the durability and economic and social impact of sustainable design. My upcoming PhD project will investigate ways to approach renovations of retail fit-outs from a triple bottom line approach to sustainability that affords the economic concerns of retailers the same importance as the positive environmental and social aspects of the design. In this chapter I will explore and contest the aesthetics of sustainable design in retail environments in terms of its importance in the success of sustainable interior design practice.