The need for a holistic approach to sustainability in new product development from the designers perspective

Ford, P. ORCID: 0000-0002-9607-3292, Meadwell, J. ORCID: 0000-0001-7793-4395 and Terris, D., 2016. The need for a holistic approach to sustainability in new product development from the designers perspective. In: E. Bohemia, A. Kovacevic, L. Buck, C. Tollestrup, K. Eriksen and N. Ovesen, eds., Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education: Design Education: Collaboration and Cross-Disciplinarity (E&PDE 2016), Aalborg, Denmark, 8-9 September 2016. [Glasgow]: Design Society, pp. 71-76. ISBN 9781904670780

12979_Meadwell.pdf - Published version

Download (504kB) | Preview


There are a growing number of tools available to the Product Designer to assist them in making informed decisions on the implications of the choices they make in specifying materials and manufacturing processes for their designs in terms of carbon impact. Unfortunately some can be misleading, indicating for example that a particular material has a low potential environmental impact, but failing to inform on the reality of the economic viability in its use or how readily available it might be for that use. These tools also have their limits, for example few can cater for the huge variety of company type and address the varied environmental interests of their owners (or lack of it).

There is a need for designers to be fully aware of the broader issues relating to the environmental impact of their work beyond those that can be evaluated by a tool; highlighting the need for the complex range of issues associated with reducing environmental impact to be addressed along with and as creatively as all other design parameters.

This paper takes as a case study, the design of a digital cordless phone undertaken by the author for a major UK telecoms service provider, where a holistic approach to sustainability from the designer’s perspective was a fundamental project requirement and uses this as an example of how designers can set their own holistic approach to sustainability in New Product Development (NPD), placing ecotools in perspective and hopefully providing an inspirational example for student designers.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Creators: Ford, P., Meadwell, J. and Terris, D.
Publisher: Design Society
Place of Publication: [Glasgow]
Date: 2016
ISBN: 9781904670780
Divisions: Schools > School of Art and Design
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 15 Jan 2019 10:29
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2019 10:29

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year