SoG cover.jpg


Does going green change the face of design or only its content? The Shape of Green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design (Island Press, 2012), the first book to study the relationships between sustainability and beauty, outlines a clear set of principles to bridge the gap between standards of "good design" and "green design." There is a relationship between form and performance, image and impact, at every scale of design, from products to buildings to cities. Aesthetic attraction isn’t a superficial concern — it’s an environmental imperative. 

Three principles for an aesthetics of ecology: 

  • Conservation: shape for efficiency

  • Attraction: shape for pleasure

  • Connection: shape for place

Widely cited in other publications

Subsequent writing on the topic: 

AWARDS: New York Book Show Award, Urban Design Awards Book of the Year (finalist), Amazon’s #1 bestseller for sustainable design, listed among the three dozen books "all designers should read" (BuildingGreen)

PRESS: Fast Company, Publishers Weekly, Courier-Journal, Architectural Record, Metropolis, Interior Design, Green Building & Design, Environmental Building News, Builder, Planning, AIArchitect, TreeHugger, Conservation, Choice, Believer, Foreword, Archidose, ecofabulous, others.


"Lance Hosey explores the critically important but too rarely discussed dimensions of [sustainable design]—elegance, joy, and beauty." —William McDonough

"It's time someone revealed that the opposition of sustainability vs. style, ethics vs. aesthetics, is a false start." —Susan Szenasy

"A refreshing take on an old debate that fans of Malcolm Gladwell and other big thinkers will find informative and illuminating." —Publishers Weekly

"Inspirational." —Metropolis

"Important. Significant." —TreeHugger

"Essential." —Environmental Building News

"An inspiring, forward-thinking guide." —Yale

"A beautiful book that designers will turn to time and again." —ecofabulous