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Design for Sustainability (DfS): Interface of Sustainable Production and Consumption

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Handbook of Sustainable Engineering

Abstract

Sustainable development cannot be reached by incremental improvements; it requires a trajectory change. This implies the need to redesign not only consumer products and production infrastructures but also our daily behavioral routines and consumption patterns.

Design for sustainability (DfS) goes beyond the established approach of Design for the environment (DfE) by integrating issues of social context and human quality of life into the design brief, in addition to environmental and – of course – functional and economic aspects. Such a redesign of consumption patterns need not imply a diminished quality of life, if the efficiency potentials beyond production are systematically exploited: provision, use, and satisfaction efficiency safeguard well-being while changing the consumption trajectories.

As guidance in this process, it is useful to distinguish human needs, almost an anthropogenic constant, from the culture dependent satisfiers chosen to meet those needs: a sustainable choice is one which is socially as well as environmentally benign while equally satisfying needs.

These considerations have been used to develop SCALES, an integrative set of design principles. It embodies existing design criteria, a wide range of previously published criteria from the design for the environment, and design for sustainability literature. Applying such integrative sets of design criteria is a creativity-provoking strategy which will help designers meet the challenge of working at the interface between sustainable production and consumption.

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Spangenberg, J.H. (2013). Design for Sustainability (DfS): Interface of Sustainable Production and Consumption. In: Kauffman, J., Lee, KM. (eds) Handbook of Sustainable Engineering. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8939-8_63

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