Discovery Guides Areas


Hidden Histories:
the Story of Sustainable Design

(Released June 2009)

  by Alison Knight  


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Biomimicry Life Cycle Assessment
  Cradle to Cradle Dematerialization
  1. La casa che ricicla.

    Fabrizio Gallanti and Silvia Orazi.

    Abitare, Vol. , No. 489, February 2009, pp. 100-105.

    Reports on Zabaleen Village in the working-class neighbourhood of Mansheya in Cairo, where complex and collectively-run waste-recycling facilities are located within the housing and domestic spaces of the local inhabitants. Also describes the work of Liveinslums, a small film production company which specialises in social cooperation projects and which has developed a series of documentation and support projects in this and various other slum areas.

  2. Kan man spise en plastikpose?

    Birgitte Raben.

    Designmatters, Vol. , No. 9, January 2009, pp. 58-60.

    Discusses the growing trend towards the use of biodegradable and organic materials for the manufacture of shopping bags and packaging. The author includes comments by Karl Simonsen, the owner of the Osted Mejeri dairy near Roskilde, Denmark, Jens Bornstein of the Danish firm Fćrch Plast which specializes in bio-plastics, and Ole Hassager, a professor of chemical technology at Denmark's Tekniske Universitet, on the processes used to create such plastics, based on the development of natural polymers, the comparative times needed to recycle natural and conventional plastics, and research into producing bio-plastics from the stems and leaves of maize plants.

  3. New design knowledge

    Ezio Manzini.

    Design Studies, Vol. 30, No. 1, January 2009, pp. 4-12.

    This paper was presented to introduce Changing the Change, an international conference on the role and potential of design research in the transition towards sustainability, held in Turin, Italy, 10-12 July 2008. At the end of the paper is an Appendix which presents the first draft of a 'Design Research Agenda for Sustainability', which was co-generated by participants during the conference. (Author abstract)

  4. An analysis of a product service system in Bolivia: coffee in Yungas

    Tahia Devisscher and Oksana Mont.

    International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, Vol. 3, No. 3-4, 24 Dec 2008, pp. 262-284.

    The concept of Product-Service Systems (PSS) was suggested as one of the solutions to address the increasing levels of production and consumption. It advocates the view that sustainability can be reached if all elements of the system are optimised from economic, environmental and social perspectives. Lately, we have seen the proliferation of examples of PSS in Western countries, driven by market and legislative pressures. On the other hand, there are still very few cases from developing countries that are described and analysed. It is therefore useful to investigate whether the PSS concept is of value for non-Western countries and how the existing cases are shaped in a different context. This article analyses the case of coffee production in Bolivia from the PSS perspective. It is demonstrated that the shift to the shared ownership of equipment had not only economic but also environmental and social implications and led to an improved quality of life in the community.

  5. Closing the loop

    Melanie Cooper.

    Prodesign, Vol. , No. 97, November 2008, pp. 32-34.

    A feature on the 'Better By Design CEO Summit New Zealand 2008', a summit titled 'Sustainable Design for the bottom Line', held on 1st September, 2008 at the Hilton Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand. The article reports on comments by keynote speakers on the importance of sustainability in global business and design. Illustrations include portrait photographs of Janine Benyus (Founder of Biomimicry Guild), Ray Anderson (CEO of Interface Inc), Michael Braungart (author, scientist and business consultant) and Brian Richards (Brand Strategist with BRR).

  6. Ecodesign Centre Wales reports on sustainability drive

    Emily Pacey.

    Design Week, Vol. 23, No. 38, 18 Sep 2008, pp. 4.

    A news report discussing the first year of the Ecodesign Centre Wales, (EDCW), a publicly funded scheme aimed at encouraging sustainable design in Welsh businesses. IT comments on a number of design projects supported by EDCW.

  7. Growth is good

    Giovanna Dunmall.

    (Inside), Vol. , No. 52, 2008, pp. 58-59.

    Interview with architect and designer William McDonough of McDonough + Partners, who argues the case that good design can eliminate waste completely, and that humans should live within the laws of nature. He also discusses the 'Cradle to Cradle' Certification system.

  8. Product innovation through ecodesign

    W. Wimmer*, H. Ostad-Ahmad-Ghorabi, R. Pamminger and M. Huber.

    International Journal of Sustainable Design, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2008, pp. 75-92.

    This paper shows how to develop eco-products using the Ecodesign approach. Three different product case studies show how to proceed in developing environmentally improved products. These case studies have been carried out in collaboration with industry and the identified product improvements have been realised in commercial products, which are now available on the market. The first case study is an alpine ski, the second is office equipment (Digital Pocket Memo (DPM)) and the third is a new Golf Swing Analyser. Obtaining green product concepts using the ECODESIGN Toolbox with and without having a reference product to start with are presented. (Author abstract)

  9. Switch! Energy Ecologies in Everyday Life

    Ramia Mazé* and Johan Redström.

    International Journal of Design, Vol. 2, No. 3, Dec 2008, pp. 55-70.

    There is no single answer to the question of how people should live, nor any silver bullet for solving current ecological problems-and yet, contemporary design must seek ways to think and act in light of emerging environmental challenges. We present here an overview of the Switch! design research program, a continuation of our previous work on how interaction and product design can promote awareness of energy use in everyday life. Extending this approach to a larger architectural and urban scale, Switch! was set up to explore the possibilities of design as an intervention into multiple and interpenetrating technical, material and social systems-or ecologies. In addition to designing materials, objects, and interfaces, Switch! also examines how design can be engaged in staging potential scenarios, narratives and debates. The design of interventions into energy ecologies and the use of design methods become a platform for exposing existing habits and hidden norms as well as for proposing alternative actions and views. These propositions have been developed through practical experimentation and the materialization of design examples. Central to our investigation is how critical practice enables us to examine and discuss the concepts, strategies and ideologies underlying sustainable design. (Author abstract)

  10. The transition to sustainable towns

    Peter Jones*, Colin Clarke-Hall, Daphne Comfort and David Hillier.

    Town and Country Planning, Vol. 77, No. 7-8, August 2008, pp. 334-338.

    Looks at the 'Transition' initiative, developed in response to climate change and the end of a cheap and plentiful oil supply. Examines some of the attempts being made to put its aims into practice in a number of UK towns and cities. (Author abstract - amended)

  11. Designing product

    Nicola Morelli.

    Design Issues, Vol. 18, No. 3, Summer 2002, pp. 3-17.

    Nicola Morelli discusses the extension of design methods to treat product and service systems. Morelli notes that such systems have already been widely discussed in the disciplines of management and marketing but that designers are increasingly invited to share their own innovative insights into the problems that such systems are intended to address. The new tools introduced by the analysis of services from a design perspective would focus on aspects related to the quality of the environment in which the service takes place, the quality of interaction between actors and technologies and the interaction between different cultural, social, and technological backgrounds derived from the actors' socio-technical frames and from the socio-technical frames embedded in technological infrastructures used in the product/service systems. The exploration proposed in this paper is still fragmentary because of the lack of a complete technological framework for the design of product/service systems. Such a framework should be developed on the basis of the existing contributions from the management and marketing disciplines, and in the light of a debate within the design community itself.

  12. Ecodesign: present attitudes and future directions - studies of United Kingdom company and design consultancy practice

    Emma Dewberry.

    Thesis, Open University (United Kingdom), 1996.

    Examines attitudes towards the environment evidenced in the strategies adopted by British design companies, with reference to green design, ecodesign, and sustainable design. The author describes her research into the environmental policies of 20 companies, considers the methods by which ecological issues are addressed within the companies, and observes that the primary motivators for the most environmentally `friendly' firms are market or legal concerns, based on maintaining or increasing levels of consumption. She identifies the need for an improvement in the levels of information on environmentally responsible design, for improved communications with companies and the market, and for a change in attitudes of senior management towards the role of design. She concludes by stating that the development of ecodesign must be accompanied by changes in international political and economic strategies.