Inclusive Design: A People-Centered Strategy for Innovation

Every design decision you make— deliberate or not— has the potential to exclude a group of people. Whether it’s on the basis of physical ability, cognitive ability, age, gender or culture. And we can all be excluded. Enter Inclusive Design. Defined in 2000 by the UK Government, Inclusive Design is “products, services and environments that include the needs of the widest number of …

Circular Fashion: Reducing Negative Impact, Maximizing Value

The fashion and textile industry has a major role to play when it comes to reevaluating our consumption cycles, reducing the use of toxic substances, and creating fair and healthy working environments. And many have embraced the Circular Economy concept as a framework for sustainable industry practice, bringing the concept even closer to home with the coining of the term circular fashion. What …

What Does Landscape Architecture Have to do with the SDGs?

Quite a lot, actually. More than the creator of beautiful outdoor spaces, a landscape architect employs systems-thinking on a daily basis— designing spaces that maintain balance and harmony between the built and natural environments while at the same time fulfilling the myriad of objectives stipulated by their design briefs. An engaging botanical garden which restores an abandoned city lot, while at the same time maximizing …

What is Human-Centered Design?

If you want to create successful solutions and real impact through your designs, keep the people you intend to serve at the heart of your process, every step of the way.  This is what Human-centered design tells us. As defined by IDEO.org, an international design and consulting firm working to improve people’s lives through design, Human-centered design is a three-phase process all about “building a deep empathy …

Biomimicry: Adopting Proven, Sustainable Solutions Inspired by Nature

What if the sustainable solutions we’ve been seeking have existed in front of us all this time? According to biomimicry, that’s exactly the case. All around us in our environment and its systems, in the plants and animals and insects, we see evidence of perfectly executed, and perfectly sustainable, design, architecture, planning, and engineering. The Biomimicry Institute is a superb resource for learning …

Handbook: The Basics of Using Natural Dyes

The synthetic dyes widely used in the fashion industry are hazardous for the environment, consumers, and the people who work with them. According to the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, making the switch to natural dyes is a unique opportunity. “Natural dyes open up possibilities for a more diverse and locally derived colour palette for design practice and one which is not dependent …

Designing for the Circular Economy

What single design practice can help close the gap on the the harmful “take, make, and dispose” economic model? Designing products for remanufacturing, refurbishing, and recycling. This is one of the key principles behind the circular economy model. “A circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design, and aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times.” (Ellen …