Sustainable Design

December 7, 2016 in uncategorised

Sustainable Design

“Virtually every ecological system on the planet is now in decline. Acid rain, climate change, Co2 build-up, declining biodiversity, extinctions of species, declining fish stocks, deforestation, desertification, global warming, invasive species, toxic waste, over-fertilization of land, ozone layer depletion ,pollution of air, water, and land, resource overuse and scarcity and water degradation and scarcity…” (Waddock, 2006)

We are living in a carbon economy. Everything from living organisms to machines involved carbon energy consumption and we have no choice but to continuously consume more resources to maintain our status quo.

I do not need to address the significance of serious environmental concerns around us since the whole world knows and talks about it. As a global citizen and a future design manager, being aware of environmental concerns and understanding the importance of sustainable design for the future is unquestionably imperative. So what is sustainability and why sustainable design matters?

According to the World Commission on Environment and Development Report, sustainability is the ability of future generations to achieve the same level of natural resources enjoyed by the current generation while sustainable development is meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainable design is important because we have scarce resources. ‘Unless we learn to preserve and conserve the Earth’s resources and change our most basic patterns of consumption, manufacture and recycling, we have no future.’ (Papanek, 1995) Unfortunately, our generations have chosen to irresponsibly consumed excessive amount natural resources in exchange for greater financial, technological, and economical benefits.

It is now our duty to be more responsible and balance the long-term wellbeing of the natural environment. Sustainable design should become a core values of organisations and be considered as source of innovation and competitive advantages. Also, green marketing (the development, pricing, promotion, and distribution of products that do not harm the environment) should be implied as obligatory policies not just ethical practices.

As a future design manager, we all should care more about design with low energy-material intensity and high regenerative potential. (Manzini, 2006) It is the future design manager’s job to design products for longevity rather than planned obsolesce. It is our duty to create more innovative and sustainable design strategy. Following Lifecycle Design Strategy Wheel (LiDS Wheel) introduced in this week’s lecture summarised valuable process all responsible future design managers must understand:



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