Note: this section is currently undergoing an update. The entries below are from the 2015 Transition Design Monograph. Over the course of the next several months we will be regularly adding more current resources to this section.

Systems, Systems Problems and Contextual Thinking

Coming Soon

Visions & Futuring

Aberley, Doug. 2008. “Building a Bioregional, Sustainable Alternative”. In Judith Plant, Christopher Plant and Van Andruss (eds.) Home! A Bioregional Reader, pp.159–160. Gabriola Island, BC: New Catalyst Books.

Berg, Peter and Raymond Dasmann.  2008. “Reinhabiting California”. In Judith Plant, Christopher Plant and Van Andruss (eds.) Home! A Bioregional Reader, pp. 35–38. Gabriola Island, BC: New Catalyst Books.

Bloch, Ernst. 1995. The Principle of Hope. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Borjeson, Lena et al. 2006. “Scenario Types and Techniques: Towards a User’s Guide”. Futures, 38: 723–739.

Brand, Stewart. 1999. The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility. New York: Basic Books.

Candy, Stuart. 2015. Whose Future is This? TEDxChristchurch. Available online:

Casey, Edward. 2013. The Fate of Place: A Philosophical History. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. 

Charles, Leonard et al. 2008. “Where You At? A Bioregional Quiz”. In Judith Plant, Christopher Plant and Van Andruss (eds.) Home! A Bioregional Reader, p. 29. Gabriola Island, BC: New Catalyst Books.

Dunne, Anthony and Fiona Raby. 2013. Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming, pp. 1–9. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Escobar, Arturo. 2013 (unpublished). “Transiciones: A Space for Research and Design for Transitions to the Pluriverse” Forthcoming in Design Philosophy Papers, 2015.

Fry, Tony. 2009. Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice. Oxford: Berg. 

Greer, John Michael. 2008. The Long Descent: A User’s Guide to the End of the Industrial Age. Gabriola Island: New Society Publishers.

Hopkins, Rob. 2008. The Transition Town Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience. White River Junction, VT:Chelsea Green Publishing Company.

Hopkins, Rob. 2011. The Transition Companion: Making Your Community More Resilient in Uncertain Times. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Company.

Knapp, Alex. 2011. “Brian David Johnson: Intel’s Guide to the Future.” Forbes Magazine, October. Available online:

Kossoff, Gideon. 2011. “Holism and the Reconstitution of Everyday Life: A Framework for Transition to a Sustainable Society.” In Stephan Harding (ed) Grow Small, Think Beautiful: Ideas for a Sustainable World from Schumacher College. Edinburgh: Floris.

Jacoby, Russell. 2005. Picture Imperfect: Utopian Thought for an Ant-Utopian Age. New York: Columbia University Press. Manzini, Ezio. 2009. “A Cosmopolitan Localism: Prospects for a Sustainable Local Development and the Possible Role of Design”. In Hazel Clark and David Brody (eds), Design Studies: A Reader, p. 448. New York: Berg.

Manzini, Ezio. 2012. “Resilient Systems and Cosmopolitan Localism – The Emerging Scenarios of the Small, Local, Open and Connected Space.” CNS Ecologia Politica. Available online: tent/uploads/2014/03/Resilient-systems-and-cosmopolitan-localism.pdf.

Manzini, Ezio. 2013. “Small, Local, Open and Connected: Resilient Systems and Sustainable Qualities”. Design Observer. New York: Design Observer Group. Available online: nected-resilient-systems-and-sustainable-qualities/37670.

Manzini, Ezio and François Jégou. 2003. Sustainable Everyday: Scenarios of Urban Life. Milan: Edizioni Ambiente srl.

Margolin, Victor. 2007. “Design, the Future and the Human Spirit”. Design Issues. 23 (3): 4–15. Available online:

Orr, David. 2005. “Place and Pedagogy”. In Zenobia Barlow and Michael K. Stone (eds) Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World, pp. 85-95. San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club Books.

Porritt, Jonathon. 2013. The World We Made: Alex McKay’s Story from 2050. New York: Phaidon Press Limited.

Raskin, Paul et al. 2002. The Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead. Stockholm: Stockholm Environmental Institute and Boston: Tellus Institute. Available online:

Rockefeller Foundation and Global Business Network. 2010. Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development. Available online: 007cc719.pdf.

Sachs, Wolfgang. 1999. Planet Dialectics: Exploration in Environment and Development. pp. 105-107. London: Zed Books Ltd.

Sale, Kirkpatrick. 1980. Human Scale. London: Secker and Warburg

Shuman, Michael. 2000. Going Local: Creating Self-reliant Communities in a Global Age. New York: Routledge.

Snyder, Gary. 1995. “Reinhabitation”. In Alan Drengson and Yuichi Inoue The Deep Ecology Movement: An Introductory Anthology, pp. 67-73. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.

Speth, James Gustave. 1992. “The Transition to a Sustainable Society”. Proceedings, National Academy of Science, USA, 89: 870–872. Available online:

Tonkinwise, Cameron. 2014. Design for Transition – From and to What? Available online:

Wilkinson, Angela et al. 2013. “How Plausibility-Based Scenario Practices are Grappling with Complexity to Appreciate and Address 21st Century Challenges”. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 80: 699-710. 

Damian, White. 2015. Future by Design. Forthcoming July 2015. London: Bristol Classical Press.

World Business Council for Sustainable Development. 2010. “Vision 2050: The New Agenda for Business.” Available online:

Worldwatch Institute. 2013. State of the World: Is Sustainability Still Possible? Washington DC: Island Press.

Theories of Change

Augros, Robert and George Stanciu. 198. The New Biology. Boston: Shambhala. 

Benjamin, Barber. 2013. If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Benkler, Yochai. 2007. The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Berkhout, Frans, Adrian Smith, and Andy Stirling . 2003. “Socio-technological Regimes and Transition Contexts.” Science and Technology Policy Research Working Paper Series. Brighton: University of Sussex. Available online:

Berry, Wendell. 2010. What Matters? Economics for a Renewed Community, pp. 186-188. San Francisco: Counterpoint.

Biehl, Janet and Murray Bookchin,. 1998. The Politics of Social Ecology. Montreal: Black Rose.

Boff, Leonardo and Hathaway, Mark. 2009. The Tao of Liberation: Exploring the Ecology of Transformation. New York: Orbis Books. 

Bookchin, Murray. 1999. The Murray Bookchin Reader. Janet Biehl (ed). Montreal: Black Rose.

Bookchin, Murray. 2005. The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy. Edinburgh: AK.

Briggs, John and David Peat. 1990. Turbulent Mirror: An Illustrated Guide to Chaos Theory and the Science of Wholeness. New York: Harper and Row.

Briggs, John and David Peat. 1999. Seven Life Lessons of Chaos. New York: Harper Perennial.

Brown, Richard Harvey. 1989. A Poetic for Sociology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Callenbach, Ernest. 2008. Ecology: A Pocket Guide. Berkeley: University of California.

Capra, Fritjof. 1997. The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems. New York: Anchor Books.

Capra, Fritjof. 2005. “Speaking Nature’s Language: Principles for Sustainability”. In Michael K. Stone and Zenobia Barlow (eds) Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World, pp. 19-29. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books.

Capra, Fritjof and Pier Luigi Luisi,. 2014. The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision.  Padstow, Cornwall: Cambridge University Press.

Carson, Kevin A. 2010. The Homebrew Industrial Revolution: A Low Overhead Manifesto. Booksurge.

de Sousa Santos, Bonaventura. 2006. The Sociology of Emergences, The Rise of the Global Left: The World Social Forum and Beyond. London: Zed Books.

Delanty, Gerard. 2003. Community, pp. 1–21. London: Routledge.

Doordan, Dennis P. 2013. “Developing Theories for Sustainable Design”. In Stuart Walker and Jaques Giard (eds), The Handbook of Design for Sustainability. London: Bloomsbury.

Douthwaite, Richard. 1996. Short Circuit: Strengthening Local Economies for Security in an Unstable World. Totnes: Green Books.

Ecologist Magazine. 1993. Whose Common Future? Reclaiming the Commons. Gabriola Island: New Society. 

Eguren, Inigo Retolaza. 2011. Theory of Change: A Thinking and Action Approach to Navigate in the Complexity of Social Change Processes. pp. 1-33. Panama City: UNDP and The Hague: Hivos.

Ehrenfeld, John R. 2009. Sustainability by Design: A Subversive Strategy for Transforming Our Consumer Culture. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Elden, Stuart et al. 2003. Henri Lefebvre, Key Writings, Continuum, New York.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation. 2013. Toward the Circular Economy: Opportunities for the Consumer Goods Sector. Cowes: Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Available online:

Elzen, Boelie, Frank W. Geels and Kenneth Green, eds. 2005. System Innovation and the Transition to Sustainability. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishers.

Escobar, Arturo. 2009. “Other Worlds are (Already) Possible: Self-Organization, Complexity and Post Capitalist Cultures”. In Jai Sen and Peter Waterman (eds) World Social Forum, Challenging Empires. Available online:

Escobar, Arturo. 2011. Encountering Development:The Making and Unmaking of the Third World. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Flemming, David. 2011. Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. England: Calverts.

Fry, Tony. 2012. Becoming Human by Design. Oxford: Berg.

Fry, Tony, Clive Dilnot,and Susan Stewart. 2015. Design and the Question of History. London: Bloomsbury.

Funtowicz, S. and J. Ravetz 2003. “Post Normal Science.” International Society for Ecological Economics, Internet Encyclopaedia. Available online:

Gardiner, Michael E. 2000. Critiques of Everyday Life. London: Routledge.

Geels, Frank W. 2010. “Ontologies, socio-technical transitions (to sustainability), and the multi-level perspective.” Research Policy, 39: 495–510. Available online:,%202010,%20RP,%20 ontologies.pdf.

Goodwin, Brian. 1998. “The Edge of Chaos.” In The Spirit of Science: From Experiment to Experience. Edinburgh: Floris.

Grin, John, Jan Rotmans and Johan Schot. 2010. Transitions to Sustainable Development: New Directions in the Study of Long Term Transformative Change. London. Routledge.

Hargreaves, Tom et al. 2012. Understanding Sustainability Innovations: Points of Intersection Between the Multi-Level Perspective and Social Practice Theory. Norwich: UEA Science, Society and Sustainability (3S) Research Group. Available online:

Harman, Willis. 1999. “The Issue Before Us”. In David Lorimer et al (eds) Wider Horizons: Explorations in Science and Human Experience, pp. 246-257. Collingsburgh: Scientific and Medical Network.

Hawken, Paul,  Amory Lovins and Hunter L. Lovins. 1999. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution. New York: Hachette Book Group.

Highmore, Ben. 2002. The Everyday Life Reader. Routledge, London.

Ho, Mae-Wan. 1998. The Rainbow and the Worm: The Physics of Organisms. New Jersey: World Scientific.

Ho, Mae-Wan. 1999. “The Physics of Organisms.” In David Lorimer et al (eds) Wider Horizons: Explorations in Science and Human Experience, pp. 246-257. Collingsburgh: Scientific and Medical Network.

Illich, Ivan. 1987. Toward a History of Needs. Berkeley, CA: Heyday Books.

Jones, Alwyn. 1997. “A Gaian Social Critique”. In Peter Bunyard, Gaia in Action: Science of the Living Earth, pp. 266-285. Floris: Edinburgh.

Jones, Van. 2008. The Green Collar Economy. New York: Harper One

Jullien, Francois. 2011. The Silent Transformation. London: Seagull.

Kamenetsky, Mario. 1992. “Human Needs and Aspirations” in Paul Ekins and Manfred Max-Neef (eds) Real-Life Economics: Understanding Wealth Creation. London: Routledge.

Kasser, Tim. 2011. “Ecological Challenges, Materialistic Value and Social Change.” In Robert Biswas-Diener (ed) Positive Psychology as Social Change. New York: Springer.

Koestler, Arthur. 1975. The Ghost in the Machine, Pan Books, London

Korten, David C. 1999. The Post Corporate World: Life after Capitalism. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Korten, David. 2010. Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth. San Francisco: Berrett Koehler

Kossoff, Gideon. 2011. Holism and the Reconstitution of Everyday Life: A Framework for Transition to a Sustainable Society. Ph.D. diss., University of Dundee, Scotland.

Laszlo, Ervin. 1996. The Systems View of the World: A Holistic Vision for Our Time. Cresskill: Hampton Press

Lefebvre, Henri. 1984. Everyday Life in the Modern World. Trans. S. Rabinovitch. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.

Lefebvre, Henri. 1991. Critique of Everyday Life. Trans. John Moore, (1) 228–52. London: Verso.

Mander, Jerry. 2012. The Capitalism Papers: Fatal Flaws of an Obsolete System. Berkeley: Counterpoint.

Max-Neef, Manfred A. 1992. Human Scale Development: Conception, Application and Further Reflections. New York: Apex. Available online:

Max-Neef, Manfred and Phillip B. Smith. 2011. Economics Unmasked: From Power and Greed to Compassion and the Common Good. Cambridge: UIT Cambridge.

Meadows, Donella. 2008. Thinking in Systems: A Primer. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Company.

Meadows, Donella. 2009. Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System.” Solutions Journal. Available online:

Mumford, Lewis.1968. The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and its Prospects, Boston: Mariner Books

Phillips, D.C. 1976. Holistic Thought in Social Science. Stanford: Stanford University Press

Porteous, J. Douglas and Sandra E. Smith. 2001. Domicide: The Global Destruction of Home. Montreal: Mc-Gill-Queens

Power, Kate and Oksana Mont. 2010. “Dispelling the Myths About Consumption Behaviour”. Knowledge, Collaboration and Learning for Sustainable Innovation ERSCP-EMSU Conference. Delft. Available online:

Prigogine, Ilya and Isabelle Stengers. 1994. Order out of Chaos: Man’s New Dialogue with Nature. New York: Random House.

Ravetz, Jerome R. 2007. “Post-Normal Science and the Complexity of Transitions Towards Sustainability.” Ecological Complexity 3: 275-284. Available online:

Ricoveri, Giovanna. 2013. Nature for Sale: The Commons Versus Commodities. London: Pluto Press.

Rifkin, Jeremy. 2011. The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Schumacher, E.F. 1973. Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered. London: Harper & Row Publishers, Inc.

Scott, James C. 1999. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Scott, James C. 2014. Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play. Princeton: Princeton University Press

Shirky, Clay. 2008. Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. New York: Penguin.

Shove, Elizabeth et al. 2007. The Design of Everyday Life. London: Berg

Shove, Elizabeth and G. Walker. 2007. “Caution! Transitions ahead: politics, practice and sustainable transition management”. Environment and Planning 39 (4): 763–770.

Shove, Elizabeth et al. 2009. Time, Consumption and Everyday Life: Practice, Materiality and Culture. London: Bloomsbury. Shove, Elizabeth. 2010. “Beyond the ABC: Climate Change Policy and Theories of Social Change.” Environment and Planning, 42 (6): 1273-1285. Available online:

Snowden, Dave. 2003. “Complex Acts of Knowing: Paradox and Descriptive Self-Awareness.” Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. Available online:

Snowden, Dave. 2005. “Strategy in the Context of Uncertainty”. Handbook of Business Strategy 6 (1): 47-54.

Stark, Werner. 1962. The Fundamental Forms of Social Thought. London. Routledge and Kegan Paul

Strengers, Yolande. 2010. Conceptualizing Everyday Practices: Composition, Reproduction and Change. Melbourne: Centre for Design, RMIT University and University of South Australia. Available online:

Sustainable Human. 2104. How Wolves Change Rivers, video available online:

Tapscott, Don and Anthony D. Williams. 2010. Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. London: Atlantic Books

Thorgersen, John and Tom Crompton. 2009. “Simple and Painless? The Limitations of Spillover in Environmental Campaigning.” World Wildlife Foundation UK. London: WWF. Available online:

Walker, Brian and David Salt. 2006. Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World. Washington D.C: Island Press.

Ward, Colin. 1982. Anarchy in Action. pp. 31-39. London: Freedom Press.

Wheatley, Margaret. 2006. Leadership and The New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World. San Francisco:Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

White, Damian et al. 2015. Environments, Natures and Social Theory. London: Palgrave.

Mindset & Posture

Abram, David. 1996. “The Mechanical and the Organic.” In Peter Bunyard (ed) Gaia in Action: Science of the Living Earth, pp. 234-242.  Floris: Edinburgh.

Abram, David. 2012. The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World. New York: Vintage.

Abram, David. 2010. Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology. New York: Random House.

Alexander, Christopher. 1974. Notes on the Synthesis of Form. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Amrine, Frederick, Francis Zucker and Harvey Wheeler. 1987. Goethe and the Sciences: A Reappraisal. Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Company.

Anderson, M. Kat. 2005. Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources. Berkeley: University of California Press. 

Bateson, Gregory. 1979. Mind and Nature. London: Wildwood House.

Bannon, Bryan E. 2014. From Mastery to Mystery: A Phenomenological Foundation for an Environmental Ethic. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press.

Benkler, Yochai. 2011. The Penguin and the Leviathan: How Cooperation Triumphs Over Self-Interest. New York: Crown.

Berman, Morris. 1981. The Reenchantment of the World. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Berry, Thomas. 2011. The Great Work: Our Way into the Future. New York: Crown.

Bohm, David. 1996. On Dialogue. London: Routledge.

Bortoft, Henri. 1996. The Wholeness of Nature: Goethe’s Way Toward a Science of Conscious Participation in Nature. Aurora, CO: Lindisfarne Books.

Bortoft, Henri. 1999. “Goethe’s Organic Vision” in David Lorimer et al (eds) Wider Horizons: Explorations in Science and Human Experience.  Leven: Scientific and Medical Network.

Bortoft, Henri. 2012. Taking Appearance Seriously: The Dynamic Way of Seeing in Goethe and European Thought. Edinburgh: Floris Books.

Capra, Fritjof. 1983. The Turning Point: Science, Society and the Rising Culture. pp. 362-366, New York: Bantam Books.

Clarke, Mary E. 2002. In Search of Human Nature. London: Routledge.

de Quincey, Christian. 2002. Radical Nature: Rediscovering the Soul of Nature. Montpelier: Invisible Cities Press.

Drengson, Alan. 1995. “Shifting Paradigms: From Technocrat to Planetary Person.” In Alan Drengson and Yuichi Inoue (eds) The Deep Ecology Movement: An Introductory Anthology. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.

du Plessis, Hannah. 2014. “The Importance of Personal Transformation in Design Education.” Presented at the Cumulus Johannesburg Conference, September 22–14 [du Plessis].

Ehrenfeld, John R. 2013. “The Roots of Unsustainability.” In Stuart Walker and Jaques Giard (eds) The Handbook of Design for Sustainability, pp. 15-26. London: Bloomsbury.

Evernden, Neil. 1992. The Social Creation of Nature. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.

Fleming, David. 2013. Design Education for a Sustainable Future. London: Routledge.

Freire, Paulo. 2013. Education for Critical Consciousness. London: Bloomsbury.

Goerner, S. .J. 1999. After the Clockwork Universe: The Emerging Science and Culture of Integral Society, pp. 13-25. Floris: Edinburgh.

Greenleaf, Robert K. 1991. Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature and Power of Greatness. New York: Paulist Press.

Griffiths, Jay. 2006. Wild: An Elemental Journey. London: Tarcher.

Grudin, Robert. 1982. Time and the Art of Living, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Harding, Stephan. 2009. Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia. Totnes: Green Books.

Hayward, Jeremy W. 1997. Letters to Vanessa: On Love, Science and Awareness in an Enchanted World. Boston: Shambala. Hillman, James. 1992. The Thought of the Heart and the Soul of the World. Dallas: Spring Publications.

Hoffman, Nigel. 2007. Goethe’s Science of Living Form: The Artistic Stages. Hillsdale: Adonis Books.

Holdrege, Craig. 1998. “Seeing the Animal Whole.” In David Seamon and Arthur Zajonc (ed) Goethe’s Way of Science: A Phenomenology of Nature, pp. 1-6. Albany: SUNY.

Holdrege, Craig. 2005. “Doing Goethean Science.” Janus Head, 8: 1. Available online:

Ingold, Tim. 2011. Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description. Abingdon: Routledge.

Ingold, Tim. 2011. The Perception of the Environment: Essays on Livelihood, Dwelling and Skill. Abingdon: Routledge.

Ingold, Tim. 2013. Making: Anthropology, Archaeology, Art and Architecture. Abingdon: Routledge.

Irwin, Terry and Baxter, Seaton. 2008. “The Dynamical View of Natural Form.” In C.A Brebbia (ed) Design and Nature IV, pp. 129-138. Southampton: Wessex Institute of Technology.

Isaacs, William. 1999. Dialogue: The Art of Thinking Together. New York: Doubleday. 

Jenkins, Jon and Maureen R. Jenkins. 2006. The 9 Disciplines of a Facilitator: Leading Groups by Transforming Yourself.San-Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Kawagley, Angauyuqaq Oscar. 2006. Yupiaq Worldview. Long Grove: Waveland Press.

Kearney, Michael. 1984. Worldview. Novato: Chandler and Sharp, Novato.

Kuhn, Thomas S. 2012. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, pp. 111–135. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Lane, John. 2003. Timeless Beauty in the Arts and Everyday Life. Cambridge: UIT Cambridge.

Leopold, Aldo. 1970. A Sand County Almanac. New York: Ballentine Books.

Levin, David Michael. 1999. The Philosopher’s Gaze: Modernity in the Shadow of Enlightenment. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press.

Linderman, Albert. 2012. Why the World Around You Isn’t as it Appears, pp. 1-61. Aurora, CO: Lindisfarne.

Madson, Patricia Ryan. 2005. Improv Wisdom: Don’t Prepare, Just Show Up. New York: Bell Tower.

Marshall, Peter. 1992. Nature’s Web: Rethinking Our Place on Earth. London: Simon and Schuster.

Mathews, Freya. 2001. “Deep Ecology.” In Dale Jamieson (ed) A Companion to Environmental Philosophy, pp. 218-234. Oxford: Blackwell.

Mathews, Freya. 2013. “Post-Materialism.” In Stuart Walker and Jaques Giard (eds) The Handbook of Design for Sustainability, pp. 27-42. London: Bloomsbury.

Maturana, Humberto and Francisco Varela. 1992. The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding. Boston: Shambala Publications, Inc.

McGilchrist, Iain. 2011. “Recapturing the Whole: Brain Hemispheres and the Renewal of Culture”. In David Lorimer (ed.), A New Renaissance: Transforming Science, Spirit and Society, pp. 67-71. Edinburgh: Floris.

McGilchrist, Iain. 2012. The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Merchant, Carolyn. 1983. The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology and the Scientific Revolution. San Francisco, Harper and Row.

Morin, Edgar and Kern, Anne Brigitte. 1999. Homeland Earth: A Manifest for the New Millennium, pp. 123-132. New York: Hampton Press.

Mumford, Lewis. 1974. The Pentagon of Power: The Myth of the Machine vol. 2. San Diego: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.

Norberg-Hodge, Helena. 2000. Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh. London: Rider.

Orr, David W. 1994. Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment and the Human Prospect. Washington DC: Island Press. Polyani, Michael. 1962. Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Polyani, Michael. 2009. The Tacit Dimension. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Quinn, Daniel. 2002. Beyond Civilization. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Rettig, Marc, and Hannah du Plessis. 2013. “Fundamentals of Design for Social Innovation.” From coursework on the MFA in Design for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts, New York. Available online:

Ritzer, George. 2011. The McDonaldization of Society 6. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

Rothenberg, David. 1995. “A Platform of Deep Ecology”. In Alan Drengson and Yuichi Inoue The Deep Ecology Movement: An Introductory Anthology, pp. 157-165. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.

Roszak, Theodore. 1995. Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books.

Schad, Wolfgang. 1997. Man and Mammals: Toward a Biology of Form. New York: Waldorf.

Seamon, David. 1998. Goethe’s Way of Science: A Phenomenology of Nature. New York: State University of New York Press.

Sennett, Richard. 2009. The Craftsman. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Shiva, Vandana. 1993. Monocultures of the Mind: Perspectives on Biotechnology and Biodiversity, pp. 9-12. London: Zed Books. 

Shiva, Vandana. 1999. Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge. pp. 101-106. Gabriola Island: South End Press.

Somerville, Margaret A. and David J. Rapport. 2000. Transdisciplinarity: Recreating Integrated Knowledge. Oxford: EOLSS. Spinosa, Charles, Fernando Flores and Hubert Dreyfus. 1997. Disclosing New World: Entrepreneurship, Democratic Action and the Cultivation of Solidarity. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Spretnak, Charlene. 2011. Relational Reality: New Discoveries of Interrelatedness that are Transforming the Modern World. Topsham: Green Horizon Books.

Tarnas, Richard. 2010. “The Greater Copernican Revolution and the Crisis of the Modern World View.” In David Lorimer and Oliver Robinson (eds) A New Renaissance: Transforming Science, Spirt and Society, pp. 48-60. Edinburgh: Floris.

Thompson, D’Arcy. 1961. On Growth and Form. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Toulmin, Stephen. 1990. Cosmopolis: The Hidden Agenda of Modernity. New York: Free Press.

Tuan, Yi-Fu. 1974. Topophilia, pp. 79-91. New York: Columbia University Press.

Turnbull, Colin M. 1983. The Mbuti Pygmies: Change and Adaptation. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Wadddington, C.H. 1968. “The Character of Biological Form.”  In Lancelot Law Whyte (ed) Aspects of Form, pp. 43-56. London: Lund Humphries.

Watkins, Mary and Helen Shulman. 2010. Toward Psychologies of Liberation. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Wheatley, Margaret, and Myron Kellner-Rogers. 1996. A Simpler Way. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Whitt, Anne-Laurie. 2001. “Indigenous Perspectives.” In Dale Jamieson (ed) A Companion to  Environmental Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell.

Williams, Christopher. 1974. Craftsmen of Necessity. New York: Random House.

Williams, Christopher. 1995. Origins of Form: The Shape of Natural and Man Made Things — why they came to be the way they are and how they change. Stamford: Architectural Book Publishing Co.

Wymer, Norman. 1946. English Country Crafts, London: Western Printing Services.

Yanagi, Soetsu. 1989. The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty. Tokyo: Kodansha Wymer, Norman. 1951.

New Ways of Designing

Amatullo, Mariana. 2014. “Codifying Practices in an Emergent Space: Insights from the LEAP Symposium on the New Professional Frontier in Design for Social Innovation.” Design Principles and Practices Journal Annual Review, 7: 55–67. Available online:

Benyus, Janine. 1997. Biomimicry. New York: William Morrow.

Berry, Wendell. 2005. “Solving for Pattern.” In Michael K. Stone and Zenobia Barlow (eds) Ecological Literacy: Educating our Children for a Sustainable World. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books.

Brown, Azby. 2013. Just Enough: Lessons in Living Green From Traditional Japan. North Clarendon, VT: Tuttle.

Buchanan, Richard. 1995. “Wicked Problems in Design Thinking.” In Victor Margolin and Richard Buchanan (eds) The Idea of Design: A Design Issues Reader. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Crowe, Norman. 1999. Nature and the Idea of a Man-Made World. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Day, Christopher. 2002. Spirit and Place. Oxford: Architectural Press.

Day, Christopher. 2003. Consensus Design: Socially Inclusive Process. Oxford: Architectural Press.

Drenttel, William and Michael Mossoba. 2013. “Winterhouse Fourth Symposium on Design Education and Social Change: Final Report.” Change Observer, November 8. Available online:

Forlizzi, Jodi and John Zimmerman. 2013. “Promoting Service Design as a Core Practice in Interaction Design.” Paper presented at the IASDR Conference, Tokyo, Japan, August 26–30. Available online:

Fry, Tony. 2011. Design as Politics. Oxford: Berg.

Fuad-Luke, Alastair. 2007. “Re-defining the Purpose of (Sustainable) Design: Enter the Design Enablers, Catalysts in Co-design”. In Jonathan Chapman and Nick Gant (eds) Designers, Visionaries, and Other Stories: A Collection of Sustainable Design Essays. London: Earthscan.

Hester, Randolph T. 2010. Design for Ecological Democracy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Hodder, Ian. 2012. Entangled: An Archeology of the Relationships Between Humans and Things. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Holmgren, David. 2011. Permaculture: Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability. East Moen: Permanent Publications.

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Useful Links

This page contains links to resources that are relevant to/scaffold many of the concepts in Transition Design. This page is also in the process of being updated. We welcome recommendations:

Transition-Related Resources

Transition Design

Transition Management (governance)

Transition Town

Transition Network

Great Transition Initiative

Transition United States

Transition Academy

Sustainability Transitions Research Network (STRN)

Center for Ecoliteracy


Post-Carbon Institute

Tellus Institute

Commons Transition

Systems & Systems Change

Donella Meadows Institute

School of System Change

Buckminster Fuller Institute

Social & Stakeholder Relations

Thought Partnerships

Common Cause Foundation

Jonathan Haidt

Visioning & Futuring

Deutsche Post, Logistics 2050 — a Scenario Study

Sustainable Everyday Project

The Long Now Foundation

The Next Systems Project

Forum for the Future

Alternative Economies

New Economics Foundation

The Ellen Macarthur Foundation


Sharing, Mutual Aid & Commoning

Energy, Climate, Technology & Research

Rocky Mountain Institute

Wuppertal Institute

Center for Alternative Technology

Santa Fe Institute


Politics & Social Movements

Ecology, Food & Soil


This page contains video lectures and interviews about Transition Design by its originators, colleagues and others.

Terry Irwin discusses designing for systems-level change at the SRD 8 Conference in Chicago, 2019.

Gideon Kossoff discusses Cosmopolitan Localism and its relevance to Transition Design as part of a lecture series for Ecodemia.

Jonathan Chapman, Director of the doctoral program in Transition Design at the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University discusses the program’s format and objectives.

Cameron Tonkinwise discusses Transition Design and his lab at the University of Technology, Sydney, working on a project in the energy sector.

Terry Irwin discusses Transition Design and systems-change with author, physicist and environmentalist Fritjof Capra as part of his Capra Course series. September, 2018.

Terry Irwin gives an overview of the Transition Design approach and discusses a project to map COVID-19 in the U.S., through the lens of Transition Design. Ecodemia, 2020.

Terry Irwin chats with Mickey McManus, the host of the Quarantime! Series and Boston Consulting Group design lead Dutch McDonald and interconnections and the Transition Design approach. Summer, 2020.

Terry Irwin discusses the concept of worldview and how it affects the way we see and solved problems. AIGA national conference, 2014.

This podcast is created by students in the PhD program in Transition Design at Carnegie Mellon University and is broadcast in both English and Spanish.

Workshops & Short Courses

The Transition Design Seminar is only available to students enrolled at Carnegie Mellon University, however we do from time to time offer online executive education in the approach (which closely resembles this seminar). We also offer customized executive education and also use the approach in conducting research with a range of external partners. If you are interested in obtaining more information about this, or would like your name added to our database in order to receive notification of upcoming events contact: Terry Irwin: or Gideon Kossoff:

The Transition Design Institute

This page is under construction. It will contain information about the Transition Design Institute that will launch at Carnegie Mellon University in fall of 2023.