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Designing the Good Life

by David Doody

Tags: design, the good life, happiness, biophilic neighborhoods, Ray Gastil, community, mindful living, sustainability, sustainable future, environment, mind and body, ARCADE, David Doody,

beach hutsHappiness. Well being. Living fully. The good life. If you’re an Utne reader you might call it mindful living. But what does it all really mean? And how do we find it?

The summer issue of ARCADE tries to tackle those questions from a design perspective. Guest editor Ray Gastil introduces a section called “The Good Life Reconsidered” with a short essay pondering what role design can and will play on the road to a sustainable future and a good life. “Design is a way of thinking,” Gastil writes, “and it has an extraordinarily powerful ability to shape the way we live, and in particular, the way we choose to live.”

He continues:

Following that introduction we get opinions on the matter from a range of voices, like a reminder from Jessica Geenen, program manager for the Energy Efficient Communities program at Puget Sound Energy, that the “word ‘community’ comes from the Latin roots cum, meaning ‘with,’ and munus, meaning ‘responsibility.’”

There’s also a call for “biophilic neighborhoods” from Tim Beatley, a professor of sustainable communities:

Those and many more take on the issue of how where and how we live can lead to “the good life,” whatever that may be. What’s your definition of that tricky phrase? And how does your neighborhood, community, and work life lead you toward achieving that definition?

Source: ARCADE  

Image by blhphotography, licensed under Creative Commons.