Where do professionals find sustainability and innovation value? Empirical tests of three sustainable design methods

Jeremy Faludi, Felix Yiu, Alice Agogino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Recommendations of sustainable design methods are usually based on theory, not empirical industry tests. Furthermore, since professionals often mix components of different design methods, recommending whole methods may not be relevant. It may be better to recommend component activities or mindsets. To provide empirical grounding for recommendations, this study performed 23 workshops on three sustainable design methods involving over 172 professionals from 27 companies, including consultancies and manufacturers in three industries (consumer electronics, furniture and clothing). The design methods tested were The Natural Step, Whole System Mapping and Biomimicry. Participants were surveyed about what components in each design method drove perceived innovation, sustainability or other value, and why. The most valued components only partially supported theoretical predictions. Thus, recommendations should be more empirically based. Results also found unique and complementary value in components of each method, which suggests recommending mixed methods for sustainable design. This may help design professionals find more value in green design practices, and thus integrate sustainability more into their practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere22
Number of pages34
JournalDesign Science
Volume6
Issue numbere22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • design activities
  • design methodology
  • design mindsets
  • eco-design
  • green design methods
  • Sustainable design methods

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