As the title suggests, the ecological footprint analysis forms the core subject area of this book, and as so, the initial chapters focus on explaining exactly what this concept is, how it was formed, and why it is necessary. The ecological footprint itself is a quantitative tool which can be used to estimate the human races ecological impact on the planet in terms of land area required for each individual to be able to sustain themselves, and this is made quite clear very early on. There are also many examples used, which I won't go into too much specific detail about here, that justify the creation of the theory to the reader - clear incompatibility between continued material economic growth and ecological welfare.
The main audiences for a book such as this, I believe, are the designers and engineers of the future, trying to gain an introductory knowledge into the effects of human beings on the Earth. The reason I feel this way, stems largely from the style of writing within the book. It is filled with easy to understand examples, inoffensive cartoon illustrations, and simple wording. Though most likely too simplistic for a professor or scientist, it is perfect for a student or younger graduate, myself being one of them.
So, with the subject area explained and justified, focus shifts towards real-world applications for the theory. With the way that the various examples are written, and the way the information is relayed to the reader, it is hard not to begin to think of various other methods in which the ideas and topics described could be applied in a design context. With so much focus on the problems that our obsession with material consumption and economic growth has caused, the questions the book raises almost convince the reader to think how they could improve on their own ecological footprint, by asking the important questions at just the right moment. The various perspectives described to the reader help you to move away from the obvious, usually unsustainable answers towards a more ecologically friendly one, without ever forcing or pulling your hand.
Finally, the closing chapters focus on how these problems described throughout the rest of the book can begin to be resolved - The Search for Sustainability. The final chapters are a fitting way to end, talking of the questionable conventional strategies, the crucial balance between ecological stability and the quality of human life, and the cycle of how change can begin. This doesn't mean that every question has been answered though as many of the topics covered are only just now being acknowledged.
To conclude, the structure, wording, content, focus, and examples could not be more relevant, precise, or understandable. All areas are clear and logical without ever being condescending, and there is little left uncovered or incomplete. The mix between fact and information, and the currently quite inhumane or ignorant outlook many people have in this subject area, is balanced perfectly.
Review by a Postgraduate, Studying Design Innovation in Birmingham.