Recommending Sustainable Design Practices By Characterizing Activities And Mindsets

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How do designers, engineers, and managers choose the best sustainable design method for their work? How can different design practices combine to complement each other? This study makes recommendations by deconstructing 14 design methods, guides, certifications, and other practices into their constituent activities and mindsets, then characterising those activities and mindsets. For example, some of the seven activity categories are analysis, ideation, and goal-setting; some of the eight mindset categories are priorities, abstract versus concrete goals, and environmental versus social goals. Recommendations are given for matching sustainable design practices to different usage contexts by their constituent activities and mindsets. It also recommends combining design practices by showing which methods/guides/certifications contain complementary activities or mindsets vs. redundant ones. This work should enable designers and engineers to practice more effective and creative sustainable design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-136
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Design
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Sustainable design methods
  • green design tools
  • design methodology
  • design strategy
  • design activities
  • design mindsets

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