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Preliminary Results Testing What Different Design Solutions Arise from Different Sustainable Design Methods

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 July 2019

Jeremy Faludi*
Affiliation:
Dartmouth College;
Omar Ali
Affiliation:
American University of Beirut;
Ola Srour
Affiliation:
American University of Beirut;
Selim Mecanna
Affiliation:
American University of Beirut;
Rami Kamareddine
Affiliation:
University of Balamand
Tejaswini Chatty
Affiliation:
Dartmouth College;

Abstract

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Do different sustainable design methods generate different sustainable design ideas? Do they also drive different product innovation ideas? This project empirically tested three design methods: The Natural Step, Whole System Mapping, and Biomimicry. Testing involved qualitatively categorizing 1,115 design ideas from 23 workshops for over 30 companies, including consultancies and manufacturers in consumer electronics, furniture, and apparel. The categorized ideas were then counted to determine if the different design methods caused different kinds of ideas. They did. For example, The Natural Step drove more ideas on green material choice, circular end of life, and social impacts, while Biomimicry drove more durability ideas and Whole System Mapping drove more cost reduction ideas, among other differences. Overall, The Natural Step generated the highest percentage of sustainability ideas, Biomimicry generated the most innovation ideas, and Whole System Mapping generated a balance of both. These preliminary results should help designers and engineers choose design methods suited to the types of design solutions they desire.

Type
Article
Creative Commons
Creative Common License - CCCreative Common License - BYCreative Common License - NCCreative Common License - ND
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2019

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