Sustainable thinking

Authored by: Aaris Sherin

Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Product Design

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  May  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138910171
eBook ISBN: 9781315693309
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315693309.ch7

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Abstract

As an extension of design thinking, sustainable thinking offers practitioners an opportunity to focus on environmentally and socially conscious outputs while combining strategies traditionally used in business with the creative flexibility and problem-solving long associated with the creative process. Whether one is designing complex systems and experiences or discrete objects, sustainable outputs must meet the needs of consumers and be economically viable. This chapter explores the challenges faced by designers working sustainably and examines areas where specific interventions and strategies can improve the ethical and environmental performance of products. By acknowledging the difficulties designers face, it is possible to identify particular areas of strength and to acknowledge where further improvements are needed. The chapter concludes with a list of touch points for sustainable practice. These provide an overview of the constraints and opportunities designers often face as they navigate the realities of creating market-ready socially and environmentally sensitive design solutions.

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