Exploring the Need For Different Dialogues In Design

Dewberry, Emma and De Barros, M. Monteiro (2006). Exploring the Need For Different Dialogues In Design. In: WonderGround - 2006 Design Research Society 3rd International Conference, 1-4 Nov 2006, Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.

URL: http://www.iade.pt/drs2006/wonderground/proceeding...


This paper describes ongoing research which explores a need to foster different dialogues in design. It sets out the challenge for design in responding to increasing evidence of limits to growth: that is the boundaries of access to, and use of, Natural Capital (the Earth’s resources). Current design activities respond to resource limits through the concept of efficiency: waste / product minimisation, light-weighting, ease of assembly and disassembly; material labelling, resource cycling, reuse and reduction. However, designing more efficient products doesn’t prevent a net increase in environmental impact when products are bought, used and disposed of globally, at increasing rates. Recent projections suggest resource limits
(oil for example) could be upon us in as little as ten years. Uniquely situated between the discourses of production and consumption, design may offer a creative response to limits to growth. This paper begins to explore how practically, design may inform different perspectives (broader than ecodesign) on resource use. It utilises a methodology focused on a flexible, questioning approach, engaging with experts in ecodesign and sustainable development through dialogue, to elicit their views on the key attributes of a sustainability narrative that can inform different design inputs and outputs.

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