Just found this forum , think it has some very interesting views on sustainability within design;
(excerpt from forum)
During discussion with staff and graduates about this course I made the point that I felt that there is no such thing as 'environmental design'. In fact environmental design is design. My argument, very simplistically, was that design was about resolving problems with 'seamless compromise' (thanks Graham). This involves meeting the most satisfactory outcome for all parties involved as well as for economy, politics, society and the environment. Therefore design cannot be categorised into environmental and non-environmental design.
I had opposition from those who felt that not all projects considered their environmental impact and position. I argued that this was 'bad' design.
You may like to consider this idea in terms of good design and bad design, where bad design is design that does not take due care and consideration for the environment.
What are your thoughts about the relationship of industrial design to environmental design?
Do you agree with the view presented here? Why do you disagree?
I disagree that there is no such thing as environmental design, somthing is either good for the planet or isn't. However I do feel that not at least factoring the environment into these desicions is bad design. I also agree with what is said lower down in the forum about how you can choose to make things enviromental but whether your client is going to take this on board is another matter. Many are on a tight budget and thats fair enough everyone is, but is it not the clients responsibilty as much as the designers responsibility to think about sustainability.
If it was a very large job which at the end means thousands of these things, what ever product it may be, being released into the commercal world, is it not the responsibility of the client to choose an environmental solution. At the end of the day you are chooseing to make these things you are chooseing to send these things into the world, a world that is at current a very disposeable world, we aquire we consume and we discard its just the way accelerated consumerism is, and although you yourself may not have created this product; you have not sat and vacumformed them or printed them etc it is because of a desicion that you have made that they are in this world. You have told someone to make them, you have paid for them to be made in this way. So what they do to this world once they have been consumed and disgarded is also because of your choice.
I believe it is the companies responsibility to strive for their products, advertisements, books whatever to have the lowest possible effect on the environment. And I believe it is the designers in the world who must keep pushing to give their clients sustainable solutions that are on budget. I also believe that if governments were to make companies pay tax on every unenvironmental product they produce, thus making the environmental option cheaper and a more appealing choice, it would force companies to take steps in reduceing their carbon foot print. Another alternateive would be to completely ban certain methods of production and rely only on recyclable or biogradeable materials. Things will never be this clear cut there just isn't a sustainable replacement for certain things yet, but in the, meantime I do believe it is down to designerrs and the clients were employ designers to consider the environment as an intregal part to any design.
What do you think?