Determining the effectiveness of design guidelines and a product evaluation tool in facilitating eco-design
Schmidt, Jenna Meyer
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Industrial design is a profession almost entirely dedicated to the design and development of physical goods and material culture. It is a practice that has thrived since industrialization, when the mass production of goods allowed average people the chance to afford products that improved their life style. Industrialization has chosen the path of least resistance and focused on the sheer volume of growth and high net profits without regard to efficiency or conservation on a macro level; especially in regards to energy use including fossil fuels. Companies are likely to choose to focus efficiencies in production and supply chain management on a micro-level within the company itself in order to help improve their bottom line profits. Nature has mastered the philosophy of doing more with less in order to survive, and soon designers will be encouraged to follow suit. With population increasing, energy prices rising and non-renewable resources being consumed at higher rates designers will have to adapt their industry to fit a more conservative, responsible model. The power of designers is catalytic and the impacts of our decisions multiply exponentially with every manufactured product. Unfortunately the decisions we make are not always focused on the welfare of the environment, in fact they rarely ever are. This research project aimed to determine the effectiveness of design guidelines and a product evaluation tool in helping to facilitate environmental design principles for practicing industrial designers.
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