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 …

Book: Do Good Design—How design can change the world

“Some of us choose to pursue design purely as an exercise in the aesthetic. I know that simply creating beautiful objects or surrounding yourself with beautifully designed things can help create a fulfilling and comfortable life. However, that is only the surface of the potential good and sense of accomplishment you can achieve with your creative skills… Go further: recognize the …

What is the Circular Economy? This infographic explains the big picture.

As a designer, you have a critical role to play in helping the world close the gap on the unsustainable make-use-dispose cycle. If you’d like to learn the basics of the Circular Economy, here’s a great visual resource to get you started. Created by the New Jersey Institute of Technology, this infographic not only explains what Circular Economy means, it breaks down the key benefits and challenges, including examples of what …

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 …

The Interactive Tool for Designing Resilient Cities

As an urban planner, there’s a lot you can do to introduce sustainability into cities and communities. From gray water recycling to bicycle paths, and footfall harvesting. But how do you assess the resiliency of the solutions you come up with? Thankfully, the University of Birmingham and a band of researchers have thought this through. Their free, web-based interactive tool helps urban designers analyze the resiliency …

ArchDaily’s Archive on Sustainable Architecture

Looking for a strategic guide to urban tree placement? Or an example of how micro algae can be integrated into a building to generate shade and power? Head over to ArchDaily and immerse yourself in their growing collection of sustainable architecture projects, resources, and interviews. The collection is inspirational proof of architecture’s immense scope of impact on inhabitants, ecosystems, health, and more. Visit the archive here: http://www.archdaily.com/category/sustainability  ArchDaily was founded in …

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 …