One of the significant challenges faced by architecture and design industries is incorporating sustainable practices.
In The Philosophy of Sustainable Design, Jason F. McLennan said designers should “eliminate negative environmental impact through skillful, sensitive design.” The task requires an immense amount of understanding and awareness infused with a sense of accountability that aligns with a specific purpose and speaks to critical competency gaps.
Research shows that sustainability is good for business, and by implementing sustainable designs, owners can achieve financial benefits and other perks like low operating costs and improved satisfaction.
Here are some strategies for incorporating sustainability into design practice-
Visualizing an Elevated Impact on Human Life
Sustainability matters because it bears a direct impact on the quality of human life and experience. Design practices should share the vision of wellness health and aim for a good quality of life with team members and strive towards attaining those goals.
Implementing Eco-Friendly Methodologies
Firms need to implement eco-friendly designs that achieve the circular economy of resources. This means using economic design models that use repurposed and reused materials so that there is maximum usage of resources and they do not end up in the ocean or a landfill.
By taking these steps, design firms can challenge the norms and partake in the needed change. This enables the materialization of newer creative ways and advanced techniques that enrich and value the economy.
Product stewardship is when a company takes complete responsibility for the products from the beginning stages until the very end of life. To obtain maximum sustainability, design companies can be fully involved in all the creation stages.
In a circular economy, producers can take full responsibility and choose to manage the end of life of their products by various methods.
Partnerships between organizations and pushing to implement sustainable government policies can enable a product’s whole life-cycle process, making it faster and much more effective.
Creating Timeless Designs
One of the most vital strategies to incorporate sustainability in the design practice is to create models that are durable, timeless and will maintain their value for posterity.
Design practices should carefully create products that are long-lasting and do not have to be substituted repeatedly. They can be updated with repairs and touch-ups in the long run as long as they function well.
The Four R’s in Sustainability
Recyclability, Repairability, Reusability, and Re-manufacture are the four R’s that prove to be the holy grail in sustainability. A successful design practice should incorporate them to achieve optimum results.
Products should be designed so that…
- The probability of it being recycled after use is very high. For this to be possible, the design should be easy to disassemble.
- There should be a possibility to repair the wear and tear. For this to be possible, the design should allow for upgrades.
- They can be reused in different ways. For this to be possible, the design should allow versatility.
- They encouragere-manufacturing into newer goods. The design should permit parts to be reused and others to be recycled for this to be possible.
There is no one-fits-all module in the design practice, as each project is unique and needs to be curated according to its specific needs. With the right tools, positive mindset, creative ideas, and knowledge, design firms can incorporate strategies to try and achieve optimum sustainability.
Using resources responsibly and progressively, design firms can gain financially and help build stronger communities and empower individuals.
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