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Ten golden rules of design for sustainability

Bakker, Conny

FG Transdisziplinäre Nachhaltigkeitsforschung in der Elektronik

This paper presents a generic set of guidelines of Design for Sustainability (DfS), targeted at product and service design students. A literature review showed that almost all generic guidelines of DfS are over a decade old and relatively outdated. Recent DfS literature tends to focus on sector, life cycle stage or industry-specific guidelines. However, for students of design, having a number of state-of-the-art DfS guidelines that give an overview of the field, was considered useful as the field is currently experiencing a period of rapid development and renewal. For design researchers the guidelines can serve as a springboard for a debate on recent developments in design for sustainability. The paper presents the ‘ten golden rules of design for sustainability’ based on literature and the general discourse in the field. The ten golden rules are ordered according to the product lifecycle and include a system-level perspective. The rules are: (1) design adaptive systems, (2) design for net-positive impact, (3) go bio and renewable, (4) go clean, (5) do with less, (6) ensure equity and well-being, (7) support and shape sustainable lifestyles, (8) design for long use and reuse, (9) design for endings and (10) design for recovery.