It's Not Easy Being Green

Two Designers Exploring Sustainability Worldwide


Photo: Paula Raché and Aart van Bezooijen (Ho Chi Minh City, 2011)

The book "It’s Not Easy Being Green: Two Designers Exploring Sustainability Worldwide" is a publication by Paula Raché and Aart van Bezooijen that brings together six months of making new friends, photographing local impressions and collecting materials. Together with almost 60 designers, entrepreneurs and change-makers from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan they are sharing personal experiences, project examples and local culture to inspire and enable a more sustainable future.

Video: 1-Minute Book Presentation

Contributions by Adélia Borges, Juliana Buso, Virginia Kistmann, Kleber Puchaski, Anabella Rondina, Gloria Ayerza, Eugenio Levis, Marcelo Eleta, Antonela Dada, Bruno Sala, Leandro Laurencena, Maximiliano Cifuni, Constanza Nuñez, Gabriel Pires Mateus, Rocío González, Lucila Peró, Augusto Cubillos, Natalia Núñez, Marcela Godoy, Mario Maldonado, David Trubridge, Malcolm Rands, Simon Lockrey, Dan Atkins, Aleta Lederwasch, Michael Mobbs, Kate Archdeacon, Singgih S. Kartono, Elora Hardy, Anna Sutanto, Fitorio Leksono, Arief ›Ayip‹ Budiman, Popo Danes, Veny Lydiawati, Nobuyuki Narabayashi, Chompoonuj Weerakitti, Pattarapol Chantkam, Tang Moonchinda, Ruttikorn Vuttikorn, Le Vo Hoang Lan, Diana Saw, Pelle Gätke, Brecht Van Der Laan, Liu Jie Hong, Mette Kristine Oustrup, Michelle Maisie Wong, Chris Chua, Su-Ann Wong, Steve Mccoy, Gregers Reimann, Loo Ly Mun, Firdaus Nisha Faizal, Fumikazu Masuda, Mie Suzuki, Benjamin Adrion, Dannie Quilitzsch, Christian Wiebe, Tobias Heimhalt and preface by Niels Peter Flint.

The authors believe that it is crucial to share experiences and learn from each other. In their own words: “Sustainability is all about you, me and everybody else, therefore this book is not only addressed to designers but encourages everyone to take action and learn by doing.”

“The book is a MUST for everybody who considers herself or himself a designer of the future.” says Zuzanna Skalska, a recognized trend researcher who is one of the first readers. With this book Aart and Paula are bringing together the people, places and things they discovered during their travels to share their experiences. Personal contributions from the designers, entrepreneurs and change-makers they met are combined with local impressions and inspiring items discovered along their way. With designers making skateboards out of bamboo, researchers improving packaging products, children doing green studies in the jungle and surprising ways of (re)using materials, this book is an encouraging sustainable snapshot of what is happening in the world today.

Design by: Paula Raché
Printed by: Lokay e.K. (1000 Copies)
Format: Softcover, 176 Pages, 250 Photos
ISBN: 978-3-00-039177-4
Awarded with: 2011 Ideas that Matter prize
Hosted by: Hamburg European Green Capital 2011
Supported by: PARK, TU Delft, Mutter
Media partner: Core77 Design Network

Articles and Reviews:
"Social & Green Design Guide" - Connecting the Dots (NL) / Magazine (pdf)
“La Ruta Verde” – Issue #3 Ecomania (AR) / Article (pdf)
“Duurzaamheid” – Issue 5/2011 Vormberichten by BNO (NL) / Article (pdf)
“A Globe-Trotting Tour of Sustainable Design” - Treehugger / Article (link)
“Travels in sustainability” - Issue 88 New Design (UK) / Article (pdf)
“La Ruta De Una Dupla Verde” – El Mercurio (CL) / Article (pdf)
“... en el Centro Metropolitano de Diseno” – CMD (AR) / Article (link)
“Three Ways to Almost Save the Planet...” – IDSA (USA) / Article (pdf)

Get the Book

Please send us a email to request your copy. With donations for the book we support Viva con Agua, a charity organization that supports people with clean drinking water worldwide. Aart and Paula believe that happy reading goes very well with helping others. With more than 250 colour photos of people, places and things for your inspiration.

order the book by email

Lectures and ✂ Workshops

Paula and Aart provide inspiring lectures, often in combination with hands-on ✂ workshops for students and professionals who are interested in learning more about the theory and practice of sustainable design. Workshops are often based on exploring new materials, developing innovative products or services, or rethinking old ideas. Please contact us for more information.

44HOURS – Beyond Routine event at ISLAND
(organized by Peter Schmidt Group), Hamburg, November 2016
Hamburg University of Applied Sciences,
Hamburg (Germany), June, November, December 2015
University of Vechta,
Hamburg (Germany), June, December 2015
Academie Minerva, Groningen (The Netherlands), April 2014
National Institute of Design, International Open Electives,
Ahmedabad (India), January 2014
Hamburg University of Applied Sciences,
Hamburg (Germany), December 2013
University of the Arts Bremen, Bremen (Germany), December 2013
University of Fine Arts of Hamburg, Hamburg (Germany), June 2013
Popular Culture, Sustainability and Innovation (Research Group),
Groningen (The Netherlands), May 2013
Green Cycles Symposium, Hamburg (Germany), May 2013
Posterheroes Conference, Turin (Italy), April 2013
Munich Creative Business Week, Munich (Germany), February 2013
Trier University of Applied Sciences, Trier (Germany), January 2013
Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle,
Halle-Saale (Germany), November 2012
TYPO Berlin 2012 (SUSTAIN), Berlin (Germany), May 2012
Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Kiel (Germany), May 2012
Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Bozen-Bolzano (Italy), April 2012
ZAMEK Cieszyn, Cieszyn (Poland), March 2012
Academie Minerva, Groningen (The Netherlands), February 2012
Delft University of Technology, Delft (The Netherlands), December 2012
iF Universal Design Germany, Hamburg (Germany), October 2011
Nanyang Polytechnic – School of Design, Singapore (Singapore), July 2011
Wonderground Exhibition by Nafka, Denpasar (Indonesia), June 2011
Duoc UC Institute, Valparaíso and Santiago (Chile), April 2011
University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires (Argentina), April 2011
Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná, Curitiba (Brazil), March 2011
University of the Arts Bremen, Bremen (Germany), December 2010


Photo: Aart and Paula interviewing studio Gruba (Buenos Aires, 2011)

For general inquiries, review copies, high-res images or interviews please write to info(at) For specific questions, please contact the authors Aart van Bezooijen and Paula Raché directly. Feel free to meet up at the local Green Drinks Ahoy! in Hamburg or join us on Facebook for future updates.

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