Abstract

In this paper we explore the evolution of response from design discipline to sustainability issues. Following a quasi-chronological pattern, our exploration provides an overview of the Design for Sustainability (DfS) field, categorising the approaches developed in the past two decades under four innovation levels: Product, Product-Service System, Spatio-Social and Socio-Technical System. As a result of this overview, we propose an evolutionary framework and map the reviewed DfS approaches onto this framework. The proposed framework synthesizes the evolution of DfS field, showing how it has progressively expanded from a technical and product-centric focus towards large scale system level changes in which sustainability is understood as a socio-technical challenge. The framework also shows how the various DfS approaches contribute to particular sustainability aspects and visualise linkages, overlaps and complementarities between these approaches.

Keywords:

design for sustainability, evolution, design research

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 17th, 12:00 AM

Design for Sustainability: An Evolutionary Review

In this paper we explore the evolution of response from design discipline to sustainability issues. Following a quasi-chronological pattern, our exploration provides an overview of the Design for Sustainability (DfS) field, categorising the approaches developed in the past two decades under four innovation levels: Product, Product-Service System, Spatio-Social and Socio-Technical System. As a result of this overview, we propose an evolutionary framework and map the reviewed DfS approaches onto this framework. The proposed framework synthesizes the evolution of DfS field, showing how it has progressively expanded from a technical and product-centric focus towards large scale system level changes in which sustainability is understood as a socio-technical challenge. The framework also shows how the various DfS approaches contribute to particular sustainability aspects and visualise linkages, overlaps and complementarities between these approaches.

 

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