Ok, I really love smart people, and especially smart people who can encapsulate a complex thought into clear quotation. I just came across the following quote: "Environmental degradation is an Iantrogenic (physician induced) disease induced by economic physicians who treat the basic malady of unlimited wants by prescribing unlimited growth... Yet one certainly does not cure a treatment-induced disease by increasing the treatment dosage." Herman Daly
Doesn't that totally capture the concept?
This resonates with me particularly because I have always felt the tension between what I do for a living: help people purchase things to make their home more beautiful and functional, and what I feel is one of the root causes of environmental problems: consumption.
I have had to do some deep reflection on whether I can feel good about my interior design work, given my core beliefs, and have come to a good place with it. It is clear to me that desire for beautiful things is an essential part of human nature and is not going to go away. It is also clear that a badly arranged home, filled with objects that do not function, or give pleasure, makes people want to do some thing or buy some thing to make a change. My role is to help that change, (whether it is rearranging the existing furniture, or undertaking a major remodel), actually meet the needs of the owner when it is complete. If I succeed in doing so, the person will be happier in their home, and not have as much desire for continued change or purchases.
Now I very well might be taking interior design a little too seriously with the above analysis, it is basically about making your house pretty, but it is a decent goal to make a person feel happy when they open their door and see their living space.