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Designing for sustainability

Roy, Robin (2009). Designing for sustainability. In: Wilson, Gordon; Furniss, Pamela and Kimbowa, Richard eds. Environment, Development, and Sustainability: Perspectives and cases from around the world. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, pp. 203–212.

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This chapter reviews different approaches to designing for sustainability (DfS), from single issue ‘green design’ (e.g. designing a pencil made from recycled plastic cups), through ‘eco-design’ which attempts to balance the environmental impacts of a product such as a low energy lamp across its 'cradle to grave' life cycle, to ‘sustainable design’ which considers social and economic as well as environmental issues in the design and manufacture of a product such as a radio intended for use in Africa, to ‘sustainable innovation’ (e.g. designing a zero emissions, zero waste community for thousands of people).

The chapter argues that all DfS levels are necessary, but to reach the 80–90 per cent reductions in energy and resource use and in emissions and waste necessary for ecological sustainability, this chapter has argued it is necessary to design at the sustainable innovations level and that designing individual greener products will not be enough.

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright Holders: 2010 The Open University
ISBN: 0-19-956064-1, 978-0-19-956064-6
Extra Information: Visit the repository entry for the whole book to find links to the other chapters by OU authors. Three of them have openly accessible versions of the full text availble.
Keywords: design for sustainability; green design; eco-design; sustainable design; sustainable innovation
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Engineering and Innovation
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Research Group: Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Design and Innovation
Related URLs:
Item ID: 19104
Depositing User: Colin Smith
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009 10:33
Last Modified: 02 May 2018 13:07
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