by Lance Hosey

The Shape of Green · aesthetics, ecology, and design

The Shape of Green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design

Does going green change the face of design or only its content? In The Shape of Green, the first book to outline a clear set of principles for the aesthetics of sustainable design, Lance Hosey argues that beauty is inherent to sustainability, for how things look and feel is as important as how they’re made.

Form and image can enhance conservation, comfort, and community at every scale of design, from products to buildings to cities. Aesthetic attraction isn’t a superficial concern—it’s an environmental imperative. Beauty could save the planet.

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Sound Bites

It's time someone revealed that the opposition of sustainability vs. style, ethics vs. aesthetics, is a false start. In this book, Lance Hosey helps retire that opposition and shows us what makes beauty and sustainability one and the same.

Susan Szenasy, Editor-in-Chief,
Metropolis Magazine

Design has the power to create a world that can be economically, equitably, ecologically and elegantly enjoyed. In The Shape of Green, Lance Hosey explores the critically important but too rarely discussed dimensions of this goal—elegance, joy, and beauty.

William McDonough, co-author of
Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

It's tomorrow's great design challenge: how to make sustainability not just likeable but loveable; and not just efficient but beautiful, sensual, sexy. Lance Hosey is an inspirational guide to a future we can't wait to embrace.

John Elkington, founder, SustainAbility

Lance Hosey is on a crusade to revolutionize what it means to be sustainable.

Builder Magazine

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

Publishers Weekly

The Shape of Green is a beautiful book that designers (and design lovers) will turn to time and again.


The Shape of Green…might even inspire hope in the most pessimistic readers.


Important. Significant.


Countless lessons.

Public Interest Design

A pleasure for both the mind and the eyes.

Foreword magazine


Review Foreword magazine (8/30/12)

How Design is Shaped by Purpose TreeHugger (8/30/12)

Review Archidose (8/14/12)

The Shape of Green: An Argument for Beauty Lloyd Alter, TreeHugger (8/7/12)

Not Pretty? Then It’s Not Green Claire Easley, Builder (8/7/12)

Tracing the Deep Roots of Design John Hill, Houzz (8/6/12)

Designing Sustainability That Sells Marc Stroiber, Fast Company (6/26/12)

Review Publishers Weekly (6/25/12)

Green Design Needs Style, Not Just Substance Andrea Newell, Triple Pundit (6/22/12)

The Shape of Green: Q&A with Lance Hosey Building (6/21/12)

Review ecofabulous (6/14/12)

Review Public Interest Design (6/6/12)

If We Love It, Will It Last? Kira Gould, Metropolis (5/23/12)

About the Author

Nationally recognized architect and author Lance Hosey leads the Design Excellence program
with the national architecture firm Harley Ellis Devereaux (HED).. Read more about Lance→