Design Futures Council report offers tips for successful sustainable design projects

Are there realistic steps that designers and innovation firms can take to create eco-friendly products and services? The editors of a recent study from the Design Futures Council suggest that small-scale, even personal actions might have huge impact.
Written by Reena Jana, Contributor

Are there specific steps that designers can take to create successful eco-friendly products and services?

A number of tips can be found in a recently published report from DesignIntelligence, the editorial arm of the Design Futures Council, a global network of executives and thought leaders in the design, manufacturing, and architecture industries.

The report draws conclusions from a survey of architects, interior designers, engineers, and landscape architects, on their opinions on the state of green and sustainable design today. According to the survey, 63 percent were satisfied with their own firm’s progress in this field, so the study suggests realistic actions.

In the publication, the editors of Design Intelligence's 2011 Green and Sustainability Design Survey point to the following tips:

  • Push your firm's leaders to be role models; make sure they practice sustainable design themselves
  • Offer in-house continuing education on eco-friendly design and materials to all employees
  • Think about regional environmental impact as a priority for projects
  • Push for green building codes and other regulations at your local level, where impact is possible
  • Make branding a focus for sustainable products, in addition to design itself

Analyzing these suggestions, it seems that a satisfying way to achieve success in green design is to focus on smaller, more immediate results, rather than large-scale achievements. Make sure lead designers and junior staff alike know and use the latest sustainable products and services. Look to local and regional problems to solve via design for tangible outcomes. Then carefully market the projects or products that result.

[via the American Society of Landscape Architects]

Photo: Fpintl67/Wikimedia Commons

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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