Watch: Introduction to Life Cycle Thinking

This video, by Autodesk Sustainability Workshop, provides a six minute introduction to Life Cycle Thinking as it relates to whole systems design. It explores how opportunities for saving resources, like materials and energy, can often be uncovered early in the design process, by identifying the right problems to solve before engineering begins. Learn more: https://sustainabilityworkshop.autodesk.com/products/whole-systems-and-lifecycle-thinking      

Watch: Using Nature’s Genius in Architecture

In this Ted talk, architect Michael Pawlyn describes and gives examples of three habits of nature that can transform architecture and society: radical resource efficiency, closed loops, and drawing energy from the sun. “If we could learn to make things and do things the way nature does, we could achieve factor 10, factor 100, maybe even factor 1,000 savings in resource …

The Ultimate Ted Talk Playlist for Sustainable Design

Looking for inspiration, or maybe even a pep talk? Why not spend an hour or two with this playlist of twelve Ted Talks, all on the theme of Sustainability by Design. From “Are mushrooms the new plastic?” with product designer Eben Bayer, to “We’re covered in germs. Let’s design for that.” with engineer and ecologist Jessica Green—these pioneering talks by designers set on making …

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 …

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 …