Towards a framework to work within broader systems boundaries in the process of product design
2012 (English)Conference paper, Poster (Other academic)
Most of the environmental impacts of which a product will potentially have during its life cycle are determined during the design phase by choices such as type of materials and manufacturing processes. These definitions, in addition, strongly influence the rate of material or energy input per unit of the service offered by the product. Consequently, on the one hand, potential achievements in lowering energy or materials per-unit of service may be translated into lower consumer costs, encouraging increasing consumption. On the other hand, the way products are designed and offered can have large impact in resources use reduction and also influence user behaviour towards more sustainable practices. We believe that by working within broader systems boundaries, undesirable feedback loops arising in this large system could be addressed. This paper describes a novel conceptual framework named Sustainability Driven Systems-Oriented Design to identify the effects of which micro-level gains (e.g. increased material and energy efficiency) have on macro-level loss (e.g. over consumption). Moreover, a first version of an inference diagram of the industrial system is presented. The diagram graphically illustrates how chosen variables influence one another and interacts by means of feedback loops. The aim of using the conceptual framework and the inference diagram in the design process is to shift the traditional linear cause-effect thinking to feedback-loop thinking.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Les Diablerets, Switzerland, 2012.
Sustainability; Systems Thinking; Product Design
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-101804OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-101804DiVA: diva2:549556
Industrial Ecology Gordon Research Conference: The Role of Industrial Ecology in Addressing Sustainability Imperatives
QC 201209122012-09-122012-09-042012-09-12Bibliographically approved