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Ecological Intelligence for Designers
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Ecological Intelligence for Designers


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100 slides on ideas about sustainable design

100 slides on ideas about sustainable design

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  • 1. Eco logical Intelligence for designers
  • 2. Based on ideas summarized by: and elsewhere…
  • 3. Based on lots of ideas and initiatives from academics, global companies, researchers, human right organisations, governments, NGOs, visionaries, entrepreneurs, citizens, news media, SMEs, bloggers… and lots of users that believe on and support creative freedom
  • 4. Our world of material abundance comes with a hidden price tag
  • 5. The impacts of things people use daily are for the most part the outcome of design decisions made long ago
  • 6. One billion people consume 32 times more than the other five billion
  • 7. Radical transparency: Make visible the hidden impacts of our choices
  • 8.
    • Radical design transparency:
    • Consider all the impacts of your design decisions
    • Make explicit the direct and indirect consequences
    • Consider all stakeholders and collaborate with others
  • 9. There is an enormous complexity in making even the simplest product
  • 10. Consumers have the illusion of choice
  • 11. Designers have the illusion of choice
  • 12. We are trapped in making choices among an arbitrary range determined by the decisions of others
  • 13. Common notions of 'green design' seem a binary judgement: green or not
  • 14. We need a far more sophisticated level of fine distinctions, relative impacts along myriad dimensions
  • 15. “ Paper or plastic?”
  • 16. Plastic bags are not the problem, just the way we use and dispose of them
  • 17. When the analysis shifts from the environment to health or social impacts, design gets yet more complex
  • 18. 100% organic cotton is good, right?
  • 19. It takes about 2,700 litres of water to grow the cotton for one t-shirt !
  • 20. “ Greenwashing”
  • 21. Our current awareness of sustainable design lacks precision, depth of understanding, clarity and complexity
  • 22. Green designs often are not designed to be green, but only fixed to tackle a single, prominent problem
  • 23. Eco-myopia
  • 24. We don't need “green design”, we need to focus on greening design (to green, as a verb)
  • 25. Buy less , and when you must, buy smart “ Extend the life of your existing stuff through proper care and maintenaince”
  • 26. We don't know the true impacts of what we buy and we don't realise that we don't know (double ignorance)
  • 27. Ski resorts in Switzerland have to manufacture snow because of global warming (and global warming is worsen by the enormous amounts of energy required to manufacture snow)
  • 28. Do we need new green technology to manufacture snow? Or do we need to start adjusting our blithe expectations about skiing?
  • 29. Evolution has taught our brains how to deal with present threats , but we suck at managing future risks
  • 30. Our perception has to extend beyond our current thresholds
  • 31. Recycling is good, right?
  • 32. Recycling contributes to the vital lie that we are actually doing what matters
  • 33. Recycling lulls us into the illusion that we are doing enough: a 'feel good' cover story
  • 34. “ There is more paper fiber per acre in NYC than you can get from an acre in the Amazon”
  • 35. Reforestation is good, right?
  • 36. Reforestation promotes monocrops , damages local eco-diversity, and requires fertilisers
  • 37. Natural “resources” is the wrong concept, “heritage” is more accurate
  • 38. Hybrid cars are good, right?
  • 39. The manufacturing of cars, including hybrids, has tremendous impacts
  • 40. We can't just blame others: we are all part of the problem, we all need to become active change agents
  • 41. New designers need to recognise the hidden connections between the built and the natural systems Pick some part of your life that seems somehow "unsustainable" and develop a plan to fix it Adam Werbach
  • 42. New designers need a new sensibility to see the interactions between our daily actions and their hidden impacts
  • 43. We need to evolve new ways of thinking
  • 44. We need to evolve new ways to collaborate
  • 45. The present challenges are too varied, too subtle, and too complicated to be understood by a single discipline
  • 46. It is not enough to raise our sense of urgency, we need to develop new tools, new metrics, new assessments
  • 47. Footprint
  • 48. Carbon footprint
  • 49.
    • Average distance from field to bin?
          • a) 650 kms
          • b) 1,600 kms
          • c) 2,400 kms
  • 50. Buying local is good, right?
  • 51. Emissions shipping by air vs. by sea: a) 20:1 b) 40:1 c) 60:1
  • 52. Emissions shipping by sea vs. by truck: a) 1:1 b) 1:5 c) 10:1
  • 53. In NYC, a bottle of Bordeaux shipped from France would have a smaller carbon footprint than a bottle of California Chardonnay brought by truck
  • 54. Lamb from New Zealand shipped to Britain has a 25% of the carbon footprint from British lamb (energy sources and fertilisers)
  • 55. Dutch roses grown in greenhouses have a carbon footprint 600% greater than roses from Kenya
  • 56. Deep analysis get us into a zone of high complexity that can turn counter-intuitive results and create dilemmas
  • 57. Any intervention in a complex system has unintended side effects
  • 58. New designers need systemic metrics 285058/
  • 59. Geo, bio and socio-metrics /3280270877/
  • 60. Geo : Much of the Gulf of Mexico presents damages due to the fertiliser runoff from the Mississippi River
  • 61. Bio : Most industrial chemicals remain untested for harmful effects
  • 62. Socio : “Ecotourism” often means water and energy efficiency where local people see no positive impacts on development
  • 63.  
  • 64. Why do everything has to be cheaper, faster and more?
  • 65. Manufacturing technologies became standard without full understanding or regard for their complete impacts
  • 66. We need to understand products’ backstories “ backstory”: every impact to get the object or service to us , all direct and indirect impacts while we use it , and every future consequences after it leaves our lives
  • 67.  
  • 68.  
  • 69.  
  • 70. EnergyStar is good, right? ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. Results are already adding up. Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved enough energy in 2008 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 29 million cars — all while saving $19 billion on their utility bills.
  • 71. 90% of the impacts come during manufacture, transport and disposal, not use
  • 72.
    • Radical transparency requires:
      • Authoritative knowledge
      • Impartiality and trust
      • Comprehensive: environmental, social and economic dimensions
  • 73. Adam Werbach used to call Wal-Mart toxic . Now the company is his biggest client http://www.fastcompany .com/magazine/118/working-with-the-enemy.html
  • 74.  
  • 75.  
  • 76. People are willing to pay more for products that are labelled “fair trade”
  • 77. “ A higher price tag lends more credibility”
  • 78. Young people are acutely aware of the need for environmental concern… but they often lack the systemic thinking abilities
  • 79.  
  • 80.
  • 81.
  • 82. thus revealing the hidden costs Information symmetry: “ all relevant information is known to all stakeholders”
  • 83. LEED Leadership in Energy and Environment Design
  • 84. “ Saying it doesn’t matter what I buy is like saying it doesn’t matter who I vote for”
  • 85. “ Most products marketed today are based on twentieth-century industrial chemistry”
  • 86. “ There are countless chemicals commonly used in American products that are banned in Europe”
  • 87. Coca Cola or Water?
  • 88. “ It takes more than 200 liters of water simply to grow the sugarcane that goes into one liter of Coke”
  • 89. “ devalue chain”
    • Bottled water can cost 10,000 times more than tap water
    • More than a 40% of bottled water is sourced from tap water
    • Distribution requires burning of massive amounts of fossil fuels, releasing CO2
    • Plastic bottles produced require millions of barrels of oil
    • PET generates 100 times more toxic emissions than the equivalent amount of glass
    • Nine out of ten bottles used for water fail to make it into the recycling bin
  • 90.  
  • 91. Social indicators vary by local reality
  • 92. Fertilizers contribute 16% of all global greenhouse gases
  • 93. Triple bottom line: Instead of cost and quality being the sole basis for decisions, doing the least harm becomes another key criterion
  • 94. “ All negative impacts of products are a discovery about unintended consequences ”
  • 95.  
  • 96. The biggest business challenge of the twenty-first century: rethinking our entire legacy from earlier days
  • 97.  
  • 98. The global textile marketplace is such that you go out of business if you don’t have sweatshops somewhere in your supply chain
  • 99.  
  • 100. … so what is a ‘sustainable’ product?
  • 101. “ We need to radically reduce the amount of stuff that humans all over the globe use to produce well-being”