Skip to main content

Designing Sustainability for All

The Design of Sustainable Product-Service Systems Applied to Distributed Economies

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2021

You have full access to this open access Book


  • Introduces the concepts of Sustainable Product-Service Systems (S.PSS) and Sustainable Distributed Economies (S.DE)
  • Provides a comprehensive framework and also practical tools to support the S.PSS applied to DE design process
  • Demonstrates the book’s approach with case studies from Brazil, China, India, Mexico, South Africa, and Europe

Part of the book series: Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering (LNME)

Buy print copy

Softcover Book USD 16.99 USD 59.99
Discount applied Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

About this book

This open access book introduces design for Sustainable Product-Service Systems (S.PSS) and for Sustainable Distributed Economies (S.DE). These are introduced as technical and operative tools for the development of a new generation of designers, responsible and capable of designing environmentally, socially and economically sustainable solutions, accessible to all.

The book provides a comprehensive framework and also practical tools to support the system design for sustainability process. It overviews methodologies, tools and strategies for Sustainable PSS design applied to Distributed Economies (DE) and provides strategies and design guidelines. All of these are highlighted and expanded upon with international case studies.

Similar content being viewed by others


Table of contents (5 chapters)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

    Carlo Vezzoli

  • Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico City, Mexico

    Brenda Garcia Parra

  • Department of Design, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Espoo, Finland

    Cindy Kohtala

About the editors

​Carlo Vezzoli is Full Professor of Design at the Politecnico di Milano University and within this Institution for 20 years he has been researching and teaching on design for sustainability. Nowadays he holds the courses of product Design for environmental Sustainability and System Design for Sustainability, he is the head of both the research group Design and system Innovation for Sustainability (DIS) and the research lab LeNS_Lab Polimi. He has delivered worldwide (outside Italy) courses and lectures in universities in Africa (Botswana, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda), Asia (China, India, Japan and Thailand); The Americas (Brazil; Colombia and Mexico), and Europe(Estonia, Finland, France, Norway, The Netherlands and United Kingdom).

He presented in international congresses (22 as keynote speeches), in Europe (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and United Kingdom), the Americas (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and United States), Africa (South Africa, Uganda), and Asia (India and China).

Since 2007 he is founder of the Learning Network on Sustainability which is a worldwide multipolar network of more than 100 design Universities covering all continents, with the aim of diffusing design for sustainability with an open ethos. Nowadays he is coordinating the LeNSin EU funded (Erasmus+ program) 3 years project involving 36 Universities as partners from Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, India, China, United Kingdom, The Netherland, Finland and Italy. 

He has written several books published in English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese.

Brenda García Parra is currently Professor and Researcher at UAM University, Cuajimalpa Campus, in Mexico city.  She has taught since 2006, in different Design programs at the undergraduate and postgraduate level, among which are thePostgraduate in Industrial Design (UNAM); Bachelor Industrial Design program at Iberoamericana Univerty (UIA). She is currently part of the Tutoral Committee at the Master's program in Design, Information and Communication (MADIC) at UAM Cuajimalpa.

Her research includes the lines of Ecodesign, Sustainable Design and sustainable Product-Service System design, reflected in different published publications and delivery of conferences and workshops at national and international level.

She currently co-coordinates LeNS México network ( and coordinates the LeNS Laboratory at UAM Cuajimalpa.

Dr Cindy Kohtala is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Design, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Finland. She teaches and writes about sustainable Product-Service System design, design-for-sustainability, open design, co-design, distributed economies and urban activism. Her research focus is on DIY makers who design, make, invent and innovate in shared community technology workshops (fab labs, makerspaces, hacklabs and other niche spaces). Her research is positioned in science & technology studies (STS) foregrounding design and socio-environmental sustainability. She particularly examines makers’ techno-utopian imaginaries in enacting a ‘new industrial revolution’, how makers self-organize and try to localize production, and how activists materially collaborate on sustainability issues at the grassroots. She emphasizes feminist, postcolonial, postcapitalist, socialist and justice-oriented perspectives that re-politicize peer production, maker culture and the sharing economy to reveal how power is held and distributed. She has also been involved in several urban activism initiatives in Helsinki.

Bibliographic Information

Publish with us