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Design + Environment
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Design + Environment

A Global Guide to Designing Greener Goods 

Helen Lewis and John Gertsakis, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia; with Tim Grant and Nicola Morelli, RMIT University, Australia; and Andrew Sweatman, Environmental and Occupational Risk Management, USA
October 2001   200 pp   234 x 156 mm  
paperback   ISBN 978-1-874719-43-4   £19.95  


Bestseller

Review copies   Inspection copies

"Aimed at designers and those who teach them, this thorough, clearly laid out and practical guidebook will become an essential reference text for those interested in design and manufacturing."
Corporate Environmental Strategy

 

Buy this title together with Sustainable Solutions: Developing Products and Services for the Future and save £14.95/€22.45/$31.

Buy now   More info

 

 

There is a huge scarcity of good, practical resources for designers and students interested in minimising the environmental impacts of products. Design + Environment has been specifically written to address this paucity.

The book first provides background information to help the reader understand how and why design for environment (DfE) has become so critical to design, with reference to some of the most influential writers, designers and companies in the field. Next, Design + Environment provides a step-by-step approach on how to approach DfE: to design a product that meets requirements for quality, cost, manufacturability and consumer appeal, while at the same time minimising environmental impacts. The first step in the process is to undertake an assessment of environmental impacts, using life-cycle assessment (LCA) or one of the many simpler tools available to help the designer. From then on, DfE becomes an integral part of the normal design process, including the development of concepts, design of prototypes, final design and development of marketing strategies.

Environmental assessment tools and strategies to reduce environmental impacts, such as the selection of appropriate materials, are then discussed. Next, some of the links between environmental problems, such as global warming, ozone depletion, water and air pollution and the everyday products we consume are considered. In order to design products with minimal environmental impact, we need to have a basic understanding of these impacts and the interactions between them.

The four subsequent chapters provide more detailed strategies and case studies for particular product groups: packaging, textiles, furniture, and electrical and electronic products. Guidelines are provided for each of the critical stages of a product's life, from the selection of raw materials through to strategies for recovery and recycling.

Finally, Design + Environment takes a look at some of the emerging trends in DfE that are offering us the opportunity to make a more significant reduction in environmental impacts. Both the development of more sustainable materials and technologies and the growing interest in leasing rather than selling products are examined.

Design + Environment is organised as a workbook rather than an academic text. It should be read once, and then used as a key reference source. This clear and informative book will prove to be invaluable to practising designers, to course directors and their students in need of a core teaching and reference text and to all those interested in learning about the tools and trends influencing green product design.

The authors have all been involved in an innovative demonstration programme called 'EcoReDesign', which was developed by the Centre for Design at RMIT University with funding from the Australian government. The Centre successfully collaborated with Australian companies to improve the environmental performance of their products by following DfE principles.

  
REVIEWS

Designers and product developers looking for a primer on creating sustainable products will be grateful to Helen Lewis and John Gertsakis.
Tomorrow

If you’ve ever wondered what goes into your laptop, your fridge or your fleece but didn’t dare to ask, here’s a book to kick start your research. Aimed at designers and those who teach them, this thorough, clearly laid out and practical guidebook will become an essential reference text for those interested in design and manufacturing  ... for just as designers fashion a product’s function and looks, so too are they in a crucial position to affect the pollution it will emit during manufacturing, use and disposal.
Corporate Environmental Strategy

Design + Environment was specifically written to address the scarcity of good, practical resources for designers and students interested in minimising the environmental impacts of products. This clear and informative book will be invaluable to all those interested in learning about the tools and trends influencing green product design.
Sustain

With lots of references, further reading ideas to follow up on, extremely well laid out and very easy to read. Highly interesting and encouraging.
Social and Environmental Accounting

Design + Environment should appeal beyond the design specialist to anyone interested in sustainable development. And that should be the entire product team, from designers and engineers to marketers and executives.
Waste Management and Environment

The authors discuss strategies relating to each critical stage of product life, from raw materials selection to recovery and recycling. Energy and water efficiency are considered, as are the trade-offs implicit in the choice of eco-design strategies. The final chapter addresses emerging trends in DfE. The book is studded with illustrated case studies, most of them specific to particular product groups.
Industry and Environment

This book offers a comprehensive survey of the work of the Centre for Design (CfD) at RMIT, which throughout the mid-to-late nineties ran a government funded industry partnered program called EcoRedesign ... Since RMIT’s CfD is now recognised as one of the world’s leading exponents of ecodesign, this book is a very welcome summation of their important work ... The authors have a strong faith in the power of Life Cycle Assessments to form the basis of more sustainable design processes ... Design + Environment manages to turn the breadth of complex and often contradictory research in this area into ‘basic checklists and general rules of thumb’ ... Most of the questions evoked by Design + Environment ask ‘why’? Why is there so much packaging even if manufacturers could save money by reducing the amount? ... In short, why are designers, consumers, corporations and societies to date so unsustainable? ... This then is an excellent ecodesign teaching resource.
EcoDesign Foundation

In all it is an excellent book for designers and students in the design/engineering field that are looking for a technically proficient yet not overly scientific reference book. For those companies who are ISO 14001 certified this book will help if your design teams have, to date, been left out or unclear as the their role and importance in the process.
SiEna News

As a textbook ... this product by the team behind the RMIT center for Design EcoRedesign program is much welcomed for its accessible applied nature.
Curve

As part of the global movement toward sustainable consumption and design, Design + Environment offers a carefully researched and practical outlook in helping designers and manufacturers lift the bar ...
Inside Interior Review

One of the joys of D+E is four chapters dedicated to the ecological problems of and technical details of particular product categories ... Likewise, the knowledge-packed chapters on packaging, furniture, and electronic products are valuable resources.
Journal of Industrial Ecology Vol. 7 No.1

Foreword

Graham Cavanagh-Downs, Director, Manufacturing and Supply, Fuji Xerox Australia


1. Introduction

    
This item available in PDF format for free download     Download


2. Managing ecodesign



3. Environmental assessment tools



4. Ecodesign strategies



5. The ecology of products



6. Packaging



7. Textiles and clothing



8. Furniture



9. Electronic and electrical products



10. Designing tomorrow today



References



Helen Lewis is Programme Manager, Sustainable Products and Product Systems, for the Centre for Design at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia. She has worked as a Programme Manager on the EcoReDesign™ programme at RMIT, and is a co-author of Good Design, Better Business, Cleaner World: A Guide to EcoReDesign™ (Centre for Design at RMIT University, 1997). Prior to this she was Manager Industry Programmes at EcoRecycle Victoria, a state government agency with responsibility for waste minimisation and resource recovery. At EcoRecycle, she managed grant programmes to assist manufacturers with new product development and marketing, and co-ordinated strategies to increase recovery of recyclable materials.

John Gertsakis is the Managing Director of Product Ecology Pty Ltd, a sustainability consulting group experienced in the development and delivery of tools, strategies and advice on EcoDesign and Product Stewardship. John has written widely on a range of issues related to the design, production and consumption of environmentally preferable products, including the Centre for Design's EcoReDesign™ Guide. He sits on the editorial board of The International Journal for Sustainable Product Design, and has authored, co-authored and edited several handbooks, reports and websites including: 'Connecting Innovation, Design and Sustainability: Real World Case Studies from the EcoReDesign™ Program' (2001); 'Appliance Reuse and Recycling: A Product Stewardship Guide' (1999); 'EcoSpecifier: A Guide to Sourcing Environmentally Preferable Materials' (1999); and 'Good Design, Better Business, Cleaner World: A Guide to EcoReDesign™' (1997). Prior to Product Ecology, John was Head of the Centre for Design at RMIT University (1997–2001), where he continues to be involved as a Senior Research Associate.
http://productecology.com.au

Tim Grant is the project manager for life-cycle assessment at the Centre for Design at RMIT University. He has experience applying LCA and other environmental tools with a wide range of companies and organisations. He has developed and refined a number of LCA tools specifically for use in ecodesign, as well as being involved in the development and application of LCA data and methodology in Australia. Tim also runs a professional development short course in LCA at the Centre for Design.

Nicola Morelli is a graduate in architecture from Italy and has a PhD in industrial design at Politecnico di Milano. Currently, Nicola Morelli is a post-doctoral researcher at RMIT University in Melbourne. His research work is focused on sustainable design strategies, based on systemic changes in production and consumption patterns.



Andrew Sweatman is an environmental consultant and Director of Customer Applications with ESHconnect in California, USA. Andrew has formal qualifications in product design and has been involved as a researcher and project manager with RMIT's EcoReDesign™ programme as well as Manchester Metropolitan University's Design for Environment research project. At ESHconnect, Andrew is managing the development of innovative online regulatory tracking tools related to electronics and the environment and works closely with leading product manufacturers in the USA.