The Shape of Green by Lance Hosey
Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design

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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.


About Lance Hosey

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Lance Hosey, a nationally recognized architect, designer, and author, is Chief Sustainability Officer with the global design leader RTKL. He is a former Director with William McDonough + Partners and co-author, with Kira Gould, of Women in Green: Voices of Sustainable Design (2007).
Published June 11, 2012 by Island Press. 216 pages
Genres: Arts & Photography, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Shape of Green

Publishers Weekly

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In 2010, Vanity Fair asked nearly 100 architects to pick the best buildings of the past three decades. Architect Hosey was shocked to notice a glaring lack of exemplary green projects. Evidently, s

Jun 25 2012 | Read Full Review of The Shape of Green: Aesthetic...

Huffington Post

In the book, Yudelson recounts that he didn't hear the term "green building" until 1997, and while he seems confused about the past, he is utterly clear about the future: "Future green building rating systems should focus ONLY on five Key Performance Indicators"--energy use, carbon emissions, wat...

May 16 2016 | Read Full Review of The Shape of Green: Aesthetic...

ForeWord Reviews

To the extent that design is the giving of shape to things like cars, chairs, and buildings, Hosey’s principles of design are: “shape for efficiency, shape for pleasure and shape for place.” But Hosey’s ultimate objective is to correlate these principles to values that have specific roots in the ...

Jun 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Shape of Green: Aesthetic...


TreeHugger was founded by Graham Hill on the principle that sustainable design has to also be good design, so with a few exceptions from TreeHugger Sami, we have been pretty consistent in avoiding the hemp and mud, and have tried to always make the case that green design still has to be good design.

Aug 07 2012 | Read Full Review of The Shape of Green: Aesthetic...

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