Design Ecologies Exercise: The Innovation Landscape Matrix

Dewberry, Emma; Boehnert, Joanna and Sinclair, Matt (2024). Design Ecologies Exercise: The Innovation Landscape Matrix. In: Egenhoefer, Rachel Beth ed. Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Design, 2nd ed. London: Routledge, pp. 618–623.



This chapter on sustainable design pedagogy shares the Innovation Landscape Matrix (ILM) as a tool for understanding design ecologies and making visible the systemic interactions that connect across multiple scales. Students use contextualizing questions in their design process before engaging with the Innovation Landscape Matrix. The ILM maps product, service, and system against materials, people, and structures. Each box of the matrix poses different questions to consider, helping students to see current dominant areas of design focus – often in the area of products and materials. This work helps reveal gaps in the landscape when thinking about relationships between products, services, and systems and the contexts in which they operate. This exercise positions an ecosystem perspective as central to design learning

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