Design + Environment: A Global Guide to Designing Greener Goods

Front Cover
Greenleaf, Jan 1, 2001 - Science - 200 pages
2 Reviews
There is a huge scarcity of good, practical resources for designers and students interested in minimising the environmental impacts of products. Design + Environment has been specifically written to address this paucity.

The book first provides background information to help the reader understand how and why design for environment (DfE) has become so critical to design, with reference to some of the most influential writers, designers and companies in the field. Next, Design + Environment provides a step-by-step approach on how to approach DfE: to design a product that meets requirements for quality, cost, manufacturability and consumer appeal, while at the same time minimising environmental impacts. The first step in the process is to undertake an assessment of environmental impacts, using life-cycle assessment (LCA) or one of the many simpler tools available to help the designer. From then on, DfE becomes an integral part of the normal design process, including the development of concepts, design of prototypes, final design and development of marketing strategies.

Environmental assessment tools and strategies to reduce environmental impacts, such as the selection of appropriate materials, are then discussed. Next, some of the links between environmental problems, such as global warming, ozone depletion, water and air pollution and the everyday products we consume are considered. In order to design products with minimal environmental impact, we need to have a basic understanding of these impacts and the interactions between them.

The four subsequent chapters provide more detailed strategies and case studies for particular product groups: packaging, textiles, furniture, and electrical and electronic products. Guidelines are provided for each of the critical stages of a product's life, from the selection of raw materials through to strategies for recovery and recycling.

Finally, Design + Environment takes a look at some of the emerging trends in DfE that are offering us the opportunity to make a more significant reduction in environmental impacts. Both the development of more sustainable materials and technologies and the growing interest in leasing rather than selling products are examined.

Design + Environment is organised as a workbook rather than an academic text. It should be read once, and then used as a key reference source. This clear and informative book will prove to be invaluable to practising designers, to course directors and their students in need of a core teaching and reference text and to all those interested in learning about the tools and trends influencing green product design.

The authors have all been involved in an innovative demonstration programme called "EcoReDesign", which was developed by the Centre for Design at RMIT University with funding from the Australian government. The Centre successfully collaborated with Australian companies to improve the environmental performance of their products by following DfE principles.

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Review: Design + Environment: A Global Guide to Designing Greener Goods

User Review  - J-Rod - Goodreads

A lot of good information, but reads like a textbook. Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Helen Lewis is Programme Manager, Sustainable Products and Product Systems, for the Centre for Design at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia. She has worked as a Programme Manager on the EcoReDesign(tm) programme at RMIT, and is a co-author of Good Design, Better Business, Cleaner World: A Guide to EcoReDesign(tm) (Centre for Design at RMIT University, 1997). Prior to this she was Manager Industry Programmes at EcoRecycle Victoria, a state government agency with responsibility for waste minimisation and resource recovery. At EcoRecycle, she managed grant programmes to assist manufacturers with new product development and marketing, and co-ordinated strategies to increase recovery of recyclable materials.

John Gertsakis is the Managing Director of Product Ecology Pty Ltd, a sustainability consulting group experienced in the development and delivery of tools, strategies and advice on EcoDesign and Product Stewardship. John has written widely on a range of issues related to the design, production and consumption of environmentally preferable products, including the Centre for Design's EcoReDesign(tm) Guide. He sits on the editorial board of the International Journal for Sustainable Product Design, and has authored, co-authored and edited several handbooks, reports and websites including: "Connecting Innovation, Design and Sustainability: Real World Case Studies from the EcoReDesign(tm) Program" (2001); "Appliance Reuse and Recycling: A Product Stewardship Guide" (1999); "EcoSpecifier: A Guide to Sourcing Environmentally Preferable Materials" (1999); and "Good Design, Better Business, Cleaner World: A Guide to EcoReDesign(tm)" (1997). Prior to Product Ecology, John was Head of the Centre for Design at RMIT University (1997-2001), where he continues to be involved as a Senior Research Associate.
http://productecology.com.au

Tim Grant is the project manager for life-cycle assessment at the Centre for Design at RMIT University. He has experience applying LCA and other environmental tools with a wide range of companies and organisations. He has developed and refined a number of LCA tools specifically for use in ecodesign, as well as being involved in the development and application of LCA data and methodology in Australia. Tim also runs a professional development short course in LCA at the Centre for Design.

Nicola Morelli is a graduate in architecture from Italy and has a PhD in industrial design at Politecnico di Milano. Currently, Nicola Morelli is a post-doctoral researcher at RMIT University in Melbourne. His research work is focused on sustainable design strategies, based on systemic changes in production and consumption patterns.

Andrew Sweatman is an environmental consultant and Director of Customer Applications with ESHconnect in California, USA. Andrew has formal qualifications in product design and has been involved as a researcher and project manager with RMIT's EcoReDesign(tm) programme as well as Manchester Metropolitan University's Design for Environment research project. At ESHconnect, Andrew is managing the development of innovative online regulatory tracking tools related to electronics and the environment and works closely with leading product manufacturers in the USA.

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