Audio Slide Show: Lexicon of Sustainability

Photographer Douglas Gayeton explains the genesis of his giant-sized, mural-like photos designed to protect from corporate marketing the meaning behind the words we use to describe sustainability. The project began as a language experiment in Tuscany, Italy. Watch the audio slide show to find out how and why.


  1. Wonderful sense of being there too in your photographs. They draw me in and leave me thinking about the people’s lives.

  2. I love this. Its am amazing way to tell a story. Making good photos into so much more and for a wonderful cause. More power to him. And thanks!

  3. Will these photos be available for purchase as prints? Maybe not the same large size, but 1/2 or 1/4 the size?
    Really like the work! Very creative.

  4. What I love about this is the way it offers input to diverse aspects of the brain/mind: it sinks deeper into the psyche, organically, into our roots, and it flowers there.

  5. Maybe, just maybe, if this wonderful treatment were to be seen by many, many more eyes, more and more people would begin to come to terms with the reality that the lifestyle we have become accustomed to cannot continue.The denial about this is truly remarkable.

  6. Douglas’s photos are exciting and informative. Hope to see more of his work in Orion. Thank you!

  7. This is certainly interesting and thought-provoking work.

    That said, few words drive me crazy these days like “sustainability.” A noble and romantic sentiment, for sure, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    But it has evolved into such an abused misnomer, and is now being applied to so many things that are in no way truly ‘sustainable,’ that it’s time to rethink the use of this word. I’m sorry, but driving a Prius, wearing recycled clothing and shopping at a co-op might lessen your impact somewhat, doesn’t make your lifestyle “sustainable.” Finding true sustainability will mean confronting some really uncomfortable realities and making sacrifices that very few (if any) people I know are willing to make…

  8. @Smithhammer ~

    You might enjoy Paul Kingsnorth’s critique of ‘sustainability’ in this article,

    …from our Jan/Feb 2012 issue. Quoting Paul:

    “We are environmentalists now in order to promote something called “sustainability.” What does this curious, plastic word mean? It does not mean defending the nonhuman world from the ever-expanding empire of Homo sapiens sapiens, though some of its adherents like to pretend it does, even to themselves. It means sustaining human civilization at the comfort level that the world’s rich people—us—feel is their right, without destroying the “natural capital” or the “resource base” that is needed to do so.”


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