The Abundance of Less – Consumption as Central Design Issue?

  • 14 June 2018
  • 16:00 - 18:00
  • Tongji University College of Design and Innovation, Shanghai

While most of the Western world is in the grip of fear of losing its material wealth, the industrial revolution and globalization have spread Western models of growthlike an epidemic: breakneck urbanization, heavy capital investments, mass production, centralized development planning and advanced technology are elements of economic policy which all developing nations apply; in recent years camouflaged as a global rat race amongst knowledge economies.

It is above all India and China, the globe’s most populous nations, each of them inhabited by about three times more people than the EU and five times more than `the US, which bring new urgency to a need for economic transformation. But it is exactly these two continent-like and relatively young nation states which are driven by the humiliation through the European scientific revolution to design their economic systems despite their avert dissatisfaction with Western hegemony in the same model.

In particular China has embarked on an unprecedented modernization trajectory. Urbanization rates have surpassed 50% in 2013 and all social structures including the labor markets are on a fast-forward reorganization which is only comparable to what started in Europe during the second industrial revolution at the beginning of the 20thcentury, i.e. when electricity swept over businesses like a thunderstorm leaving no brick on another.

Can Japanese counterculture and a renaissance of ancient Chinese values solve the crises of natural resources? 

Join us for a dialogue about the future of China and humankind with author Andy Couturier who has been invited to Shanghai to share his insights with us. 

About the Speaker: 

Andy Couturier is the American author of two books, Writing Open the Mind: Tapping the Subconscious to Free the Writingand The Abundance of Less. He is the director of The Opening, a school for creative writing. His essays and articles on ecology, sustainable living, nuclear power have appeared in The Japan Times, The North American Review, Kyoto Journal, The Oakland Tribune, etc. He is also the winner of the prestigious 2018 Nautilus Book Awardthat recognizes barriers of culture, gender, race and promote green values, vitality and most of all – positive social change.

Event Itinerary:

  • 15:00-15:30 Registration and gathering
  • 15:30 – 16:00 Andy Couturier talking on The Abundance of Less
  • 16:0-16:30 Q&A session with the author
  • 16:30 – 17:00 Meeting with author, signing books

Find out more here:


  • Students FOC, others 70rmb
  • Preference will be given to prepaid attendees.
  • Money goes towards supporting the entire TAOL campaign including travel, stay, speaker honorarium, and other resources.
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Event Details

14 Jun 2018 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Tongji University College of Design and Innovation, No.281 Fuxin Road, , Shanghai
Line 10, Tongji University Station