Preliminary results testing what different design solutions arise from different sustainable design methods

Jeremy Faludi*, Omar Ali, Ola Srour, Selim Mecanna, Rami Kamareddine, Tejaswini Chatty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Do different sustainable design methods generate different sustainable design ideas? Do they also drive different product innovation ideas? This project empirically tested three design methods: The Natural Step, Whole System Mapping, and Biomimicry. Testing involved qualitatively categorizing 1,115 design ideas from 23 workshops for over 30 companies, including consultancies and manufacturers in consumer electronics, furniture, and apparel. The categorized ideas were then counted to determine if the different design methods caused different kinds of ideas. They did. For example, The Natural Step drove more ideas on green material choice, circular end of life, and social impacts, while Biomimicry drove more durability ideas and Whole System Mapping drove more cost reduction ideas, among other differences. Overall, The Natural Step generated the highest percentage of sustainability ideas, Biomimicry generated the most innovation ideas, and Whole System Mapping generated a balance of both. These preliminary results should help designers and engineers choose design methods suited to the types of design solutions they desire.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3351-3360
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event22nd International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 2019 - Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 5 Aug 20198 Aug 2019


  • Circular economy
  • Design methods
  • Innovation
  • Sustainability


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