The Design Society (TDS)

The Design Society is an international non-governmental, non-profit organisation with a focus on engineering design. The Design Society is a charitable body, registered in Scotland under the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, number SC 031694. The Design Society’s flagship event is the biennial International Conference in Engineering Design (ICED).

The Design Society was founded in 2000 building on the previous activities of the Workshop Design Konstruktion (WDK) group, especially the organisation of the ICED series of conferences held since 1981. The WDK group was an informally constituted international association based on a common interest in engineering design and founded in the early 1980s on the inspiration of Professors Vladimir Hubka, Mogens Myrup Andreasen, and Umberto Pighini.

The Design Society took over activities and responsibilities of WDK in 2001. The Design Society was constituted as a Charity under Scottish law and was incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee and Not Having a Share Capital under UK law (Companies Act, 2006).

Membership in The Design Society is open to persons with recognised design qualifications and experience in the fields of design research, design practice, design management, and design education. The Society is governed by a Board of Management. The Board of Management comprises five members of the Society elected democratically by the Society’s members at General Meetings, and officers include including the President, Vice President and Secretary.

The Design Society also has an Advisory Board that advises, guides and supports the Board of Management (BM) in developing and furthering the objectives of the Society. The Advisory Boards’ members are elected democratically by the Society’s Members at General Meetings, which take place every two years during the ICED conferences.

The current serving officers (2017-2019) are Tim C. McAloone (President), Georges Fadel (Vice-President & Treasurer), Kristin Paetzold (Secretary), Gaetano Cascini (BM Member), Claudia Eckert, Panos Y. Papalambros (ex-officio BM member), and Alex Duffy (Advisory Board Chair).

The Design Society host, co-own and endorse a number of events:

ICED is the Biennial Flagship event owned and organised by The Design Society. Papers are published by the Design Society and indexed in Web of Science and Scopus. The conference attracts a wide background of attendees across academia, industry and governance with an interest in engineering design.

The Design Education Special Interest Group (DESIG) of the Design Society and the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) and a host University collaborate on the organisation of the conference (University host listed in table below by year) co-owned by The Design Society. The conference is a forum to discuss current design educational issues and the nature of design education.

Promoted by the Design Creativity Special Interest group of the Design Society to discuss latest findings in the nature and potential of design creativity. The event is co-owned by The Design Society. Selected papers of the ICDC Conference are published after extension and further review in the International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation.

Origanised by the University of Zagreb, with a Programme Committee from the Design Society, the DESIGN conference is a biennial conference that is endorsed by the Design Society. The objective of the DESIGN Conference series is to be integrative across the various design science disciplines, covering current state-of-the-art regarding the multidisciplinary aspects of design.

Is an endorsed event targeted at younger members with an interest in product development.

Is an endorsed event which attracts those with an interest in DSM and tools to support.

A biennial event in India this conference attracts a wide range of engineering design interests. This event is endorsed by The Design Society.

A bi-annual Nordic conference on engineering design endorsed by The Design Society.

Product Development Symposium is an endorsed event of The Design Society aimed at an industry audience.

The Design Society, in collaboration with Cambridge University Press, publishes the journal Design Science. The journal welcomes possible collaboration. The published articles are on the topics listed below and open access (published under a Creative Commons licence).

The topics addressed by the Design Society community are discussed in the following journals:

The Design Society’s members are actively engaged in a wide range of design topics, as reflected in its Special Interests Groups (SIGs) and its conference publications. These include the topics below (highlighted for ICED 2019 in Delft, Netherlands):

Systemic Design

Systemic design integrates systems thinking and human-centered design, with the intention of helping designers cope with complex design projects.
The recent challenges to design coming from the increased complexity caused by globalization, migration, sustainability render traditional design methods insufficient. Designers need better ways to design responsibly and to avoid unintended side-effects.
Systemic design intends to develop methodologies and approaches that help to integrate systems thinking with design towards sustainability at environmental, social and economic level. It is a pluralistic initiative where many different approaches are encouraged to thrive and where dialogue and organic development of new practices is central.

The systemic design dialogue is driven by the Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD) symposium series resulting in published proceedings and several special issues on systemic design in the scientific design research journal FORMakademisk.

Systemic design is being developed within the design practice and through the Systemic Design Research Network, focusing on different aspects of the issue. Different academic groups have been facing Systemic Design both in their teaching and researching activities:

The theories about complexity help the management of an entire system and the suggested design approaches help the planning of different divergent elements. The complexity theories evolved on the basis that living systems continually draw upon external sources of energy and maintain a stable state of low entropy, on the basis of the General Systems Theory by Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1968). Some of the next rationales applied those theories also on artificial systems: complexity models of living systems address also productive models with their organizations and management, where the relationships between parts are more important than the parts themselves. Treating productive organizations as complex adaptive systems allows a new management model to emerge in economical, social and environmental benefits (Pisek and Wilson, 2001 ). In that field, Cluster Theory (Porter, 1990 ) evolved in more environmentally sensitive theories, like Industrial Ecology (Frosh and Gallopoulos, 1989 ) and Industrial Symbiosis (Chertow, 2000 ).
In 1994, Gunter Pauli and Heitor Gurgulino de Souza founded the research institute Zero Emission Research and Initiatives (ZERI), starting from the idea that progress should embed respect for the environment and natural techniques that will allow production processes to be part of the ecosystem.
The design thinking, as Buchanan (1992) said, means the way to creatively and strategically reconfigure a design concept on a situation with systemic integration. This needs a strong inter- and trans-disciplinarity during the design phase (Fuller, 1981 ), with the increasing involvement of different disciplines including urban planning, public policy, business management and environmental sciences (Chertow et al., 2004 ). Systems and complexity theories and design thinking redesign a pretty new discipline: the Systemic Design, which is located as a human-centred systems-oriented design practice (Bistagnino, 2011; Sevaldson, 2011; Nelson and Stolterman, 2012; Jones, 2014; Toso at al., 2012 ).

The contemporary debate on Systemic design started with the Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposia series (RSD) on the initiative of Birger Sevaldson at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design in 2012. Amongst the invited participants were Harold Nelson, Peter H. Jones and Alex Ryan. An initial meeting was held in Oslo to consolidate the possibility of building a future network. Other participants were Michael Hensel, Colleen Ponto and others. The RSD seminars started in the context of Systems Oriented Design (SOD). In 2013-14 a discussion was initiated by Birger Sevaldson questioning the framework of the new emerging network. The network changed its name to Systemic Design allowing it to grow more pluralistically while SOD could develop more specially. The Systemic Design Research Network was founded shortly after on the initiative of Peter H. Jones and with Harold Nelson, Alex Ryan and Birger Sevaldson as co-founders.

Systems thinking in design has a long history with people like Christpher Alexander, Horst Rittel, Russl Ackoff, Bela Banathy, Ranulph Glanville, M.P.Ranjan, Harold Nelson and others. Also the main systems theories and models were known and applied in design since their beginning. Despite this Systems Thinking has never become mainstream in design. The reasons for this might be that the prescribed techniques and approaches were too technical and did not fit well to an organic design process.

The systemic design initiative is addressing this problem by seeking new connections and relations between systems thinking and designerly ways of working.

Sustainable Design

Environmentally Sustainable design (also called environmentally conscious design, eco design etc.) is the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of ecological sustainability.

The intention of sustainable design is to “eliminate negative environmental impact completely through skillful, sensitive design”. Manifestations of sustainable design require renewable resources, impact the environment minimally, and connect people with the natural environment.

“Human beings don’t have a pollution problem; they have a design problem. If humans were to devise products, tools, furniture, homes, factories, and cities more intelligently from the start, they wouldn’t even need to think in terms of waste, or contamination, or scarcity. Good design would allow for abundance, endless reuse, and pleasure.” – The Upcycle by authors Michael Braungart and William McDonough, 2013.

Design-related decisions are happening everywhere on a daily basis, impacting “sustainable development” or provisioning for the needs of future generations of life on earth. Sustainability and design are intimately linked. Quite simply, our future is designed. The term “design” is here used to refer to practices applied to the making of products, services, as well as business and innovation strategy — all of which inform sustainability. Sustainability can be thought of as the property of continuance; that is, what is sustainable can be continued into the future.

The principle that all directions of progress run out, ending with diminishing returns, is evident in the typical ‘S’ curve of the technology life cycle and in the useful life of any system as discussed in industrial ecology and life cycle assessment. Diminishing returns are the result of reaching natural limits. Common business management practice is to read diminishing returns in any direction of effort as an indication of diminishing opportunity, the potential for accelerating decline and a signal to seek new opportunities elsewhere. (see also: law of diminishing returns, marginal utility and Jevons paradox.)

A problem arises when the limits of a resource are hard to see, so increasing investment in response to diminishing returns may seem profitable as in the Tragedy of the Commons, but may lead to a collapse. This problem of increasing investment in diminishing resources has also been studied in relation to the causes of civilization collapse by Joseph Tainter among others. This natural error in investment policy contributed to the collapse of both the Roman and Mayan, among others. Relieving over-stressed resources requires reducing pressure on them, not continually increasing it whether more efficiently or not.

Negative Effects of Waste

About 80 million tonnes of waste in total are generated in the U.K. alone, for example, each year. And with reference to only household waste, between 1991/92 and 2007/08, each person in England generated an average of 1.35 pounds of waste per day.

Experience has now shown that there is no completely safe method of waste disposal. All forms of disposal have negative effects on the environment, public innovation, and local economies. Landfills have contaminated drinking water. Garbage burned in incinerators has poisoned air, soil, and water. The majority of water treatment systems change the local ecology. Attempts to control or manage wastes after they are produced fail to eliminate environmental impacts.

The toxics components of household products pose serious health risks and aggravate the trash problem. In the U.S., about seven pounds in every ton of household garbage contains toxic materials, such as heavy metals like nickel, lead, cadmium, and mercury from batteries, and organic compounds found in pesticides and consumer products, such as air freshener sprays, nail polish, cleaners, and other products. When burned or buried, toxic materials also pose a serious threat to public health and the environment.

The only way to avoid environmental harm from waste is to prevent its generation. Pollution prevention means changing the way activities are conducted and eliminating the source of the problem. It does not mean doing without, but doing differently. For example, preventing waste pollution from litter caused by disposable beverage containers does not mean doing without beverages; it just means using refillable bottles.

Waste prevention strategies
In planning for facilities, a comprehensive design strategy is needed for preventing generation of solid waste. A good garbage prevention strategy would require that everything brought into a facility be recycled for reuse or recycled back into the environment through biodegradation. This would mean a greater reliance on natural materials or products that are compatible with the environment.

Any resource-related development is going to have two basic sources of solid waste — materials purchased and used by the facility and those brought into the facility by visitors. The following waste prevention strategies apply to both, although different approaches will be needed for implementation:

Perhaps the most obvious and overshadowing driver of environmentally conscious sustainable design can be attributed to global warming and climate change. The sense of urgency that now prevails for humanity to take actions against climate change has increased manifold in the past thirty years. Climate change can be attributed to several faults; and improper design that doesn’t take into consideration the environment is one of them. While several steps in the field of sustainability have begun, most products, industries and buildings still consume a lot of energy and create a lot of pollution.

Unsustainable environment design, or simply design, also affects the biodiversity of a region. Improper design of transport highways force thousands of animals to move further into forest boundaries. Poorly designed hydrothermal dams affect the mating cycle and indirectly, the numbers of local fish.

While the practical application varies among disciplines, some common principles are as follows:

A model of the new design principles necessary for sustainability is exemplified by the “Bill of Rights for the Planet” or “Hannover Principles” – developed by William McDonough Architects for EXPO 2000 that was held in Hannover, Germany.

These principles were adopted by the World Congress of the International Union of Architects (UIA) in June 1993 at the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Expo 93 in Chicago. Further, the AIA and UIA signed a “Declaration of Interdependence for a Sustainable Future.” In summary, the declaration states that today’s society is degrading its environment and that the AIA, UIA, and their members are committed to:

In addition, the Interprofessional Council on Environmental Design (ICED), a coalition of architectural, landscape architectural, and engineering organizations, developed a vision statement in an attempt to foster a team approach to sustainable design. ICED states: The ethics, education and practices of our professions will be directed to shape a sustainable future. . . . To achieve this vision we will join . . . as a multidisciplinary partnership.”

These activities are an indication that the concept of sustainable design is being supported on a global and interprofessional scale and that the ultimate goal is to become more environmentally responsive. The world needs facilities that are more energy efficient and that promote conservation and recycling of natural and economic resources.

Environmentally sustainable design is most beneficial when it works hand in hand with the other two counterparts of sustainable design – the economic and socially sustainable designs. These three terms are often coined under the title ‘triple bottom line.’
It is imperative that we think about value in not solely economic or financial terms, but also in relation to natural capital (the biosphere and earth’s resources), social capital (the norms and networks that enable collective action), and human capital (the sum total of knowledge, experience, intellectual property, and labor available to society). The purely economic capital so many people and organizations strive for, and make decisions by, are often not conducive to these alternative forms of capital. For sustainable design, there is a need to reset how we, as inhabitants of the earth, think about value.
In some countries the term sustainable design is known as ecodesign, green design or environmental design. Victor Papanek, embraced social design and social quality and ecological quality, but did not explicitly combine these areas of design concern in one term. Sustainable design and design for sustainability are more common terms, including the triple bottom line (people, planet and profit).

In the EU, the concept of sustainable design is referred to as ecodesign. Little discussions have taken place over the importance of this concept in the run-up to the circular economy package, that the European Commission will be tabling by the end of 2015. To this effect, an Ecothis.EU campaign was launched to raise awareness about the economic and environmental consequences of not including eco-design as part of the circular economy package.

According to Jonathan Chapman of Carnegie Mellon University, USA, emotionally durable design reduces the consumption and waste of natural resources by increasing the resilience of relationships established between consumers and products.” Essentially, product replacement is delayed by strong emotional ties. In his book, Emotionally Durable Design: Objects, Experiences & Empathy, Chapman describes how “the process of consumption is, and has always been, motivated by complex emotional drivers, and is about far more than just the mindless purchasing of newer and shinier things; it is a journey towards the ideal or desired self, that through cyclical loops of desire and disappointment, becomes a seemingly endless process of serial destruction”. Therefore, a product requires an attribute, or number of attributes, which extend beyond utilitarianism.

According to Chapman, ’emotional durability’ can be achieved through consideration of the following five elements:

As a strategic approach, “emotionally durable design provides a useful language to describe the contemporary relevance of designing responsible, well made, tactile products which the user can get to know and assign value to in the long-term.” According to Hazel Clark and David Brody of Parsons The New School for Design in New York, “emotionally durable design is a call for professionals and students alike to prioritise the relationships between design and its users, as a way of developing more sustainable attitudes to, and in, design things.”

Because standards of sustainable design appear to emphasize ethics over aesthetics, some designers and critics have complained that it lacks inspiration. Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Frank Gehry has called green building “bogus,” and National Design Awards winner Peter Eisenman has dismissed it as “having nothing to do with architecture.” In 2009, The American Prospect asked whether “well-designed green architecture” is an “oxymoron.”

Others claim that such criticism of sustainable design is misguided. A leading advocate for this alternative view is architect Lance Hosey, whose book The Shape of Green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design (2012) was the first dedicated to the relationships between sustainability and beauty. Hosey argues not just that sustainable design needs to be aesthetically appealing in order to be successful, but also that following the principles of sustainability to their logical conclusion requires reimagining the shape of everything designed, creating things of even greater beauty. Reviewers have suggested that the ideas in The Shape of Green could “revolutionize what it means to be sustainable.” Small and large buildings are beginning to successfully incorporate principles of sustainability into award-winning designs. Examples include One Central Park and the Science Faculty building, UTS. The popular Living Building Challenge has incorporated beauty as one of its petals in building design. Sustainable products and processes are required to be beautiful because it allows for emotional durability.
Many people also argue that biophilia is innately beautiful. Which is why building architecture is designed such that people feel close to nature and is often surrounded by well-kept lawns – a design that is both ‘beautiful’ and encourages the inculcation of nature in our daily lives. Or utilizes daylight design into the system – reducing lighting loads while also fulfilling our need for being close to that which is outdoors.

Discussed above, economics is another aspect of it environmental design that is crucial to most design decisions. It is obvious that most people consider the cost of any design before they consider the environmental impacts of it. Therefore, there is a growing nuance of pitching ideas and suggestions for environmentally sustainable design by highlighting the economical profits that they bring to us.
“As the green design field matures, it becomes ever more clear that integration is the key to achieving energy and environmental goals especially if cost is a major driver.” Building Green Inc. (1999)
To achieve the more ambitious goals of the green design movement, architects, engineers and designers need to further embrace and communicate the profit and economic potential of sustainable design measures. Focus should be on honing skills in communicating the economic and profit potential of smart design, with the same rigor that have been applied to advancing technical building solutions.

There are several standards and rating systems developed as sustainability gains popularity. The list is endless, with most rating systems revolving around buildings and energy, and some covering products as well. Most rating systems certify on the basis of design as well as post construction or manufacturing.

While designing for environmental sustainability, it is imperative that the appropriate units are paid attention to. Often, different standards weigh things in different units, and that can make a huge impact on the outcome of the project.
Another important aspect of using standards and looking at data involves understanding the baseline. A poor design baseline with huge improvements often show a higher efficiency percentage, while an intelligent baseline from the start might only have a little improvement needed and show lesser change. Therefore, all data should ideally be compared on similar levels, and also be looked at from multiple unit values.

Life cycle assessment is the complete assessment of materials from their extraction, transport, processing, refining, manufacturing, maintenance, use, disposal, reuse and recycle stages. It helps put into perspective whether a design is actually environmentally sustainable in the long run. Products such as aluminum which can be reused multiple number of times but have a very energy intensive mining and refining which makes it unfavorable. Information such as this is done using LCA and then taken into consideration when designing.

Applications of this philosophy range from the microcosm — small objects for everyday use, through to the macrocosm — buildings, cities, and the Earth’s physical surface. It is a philosophy that can be applied in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, urban planning, engineering, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, fashion design and human-computer interaction.

Sustainable design is mostly a general reaction to global environmental crises, the rapid growth of economic activity and human population, depletion of natural resources, damage to ecosystems, and loss of biodiversity. In 2013, eco architecture writer Bridgette Meinhold surveyed emergency and long-term sustainable housing projects that were developed in response to these crises in her book, “Urgent Architecture: 40 Sustainable Housing Solutions for a Changing World.” Featured projects focus on green building, sustainable design, eco-friendly materials, affordability, material reuse, and humanitarian relief. Construction methods and materials include repurposed shipping containers, straw bale construction, sandbag homes, and floating homes.

The limits of sustainable design are reducing. Whole earth impacts are beginning to be considered because growth in goods and services is consistently outpacing gains in efficiency. As a result, the net effect of sustainable design to date has been to simply improve the efficiency of rapidly increasing impacts. The present approach, which focuses on the efficiency of delivering individual goods and services, does not solve this problem. The basic dilemmas include: the increasing complexity of efficiency improvements; the difficulty of implementing new technologies in societies built around old ones; that physical impacts of delivering goods and services are not localized, but are distributed throughout the economies; and that the scale of resource use is growing and not stabilizing.

Sustainable architecture is the design of sustainable buildings. Sustainable architecture attempts to reduce the collective environmental impacts during the production of building components, during the construction process, as well as during the lifecycle of the building (heating, electricity use, carpet cleaning etc.) This design practice emphasizes efficiency of heating and cooling systems; alternative energy sources such as solar hot water, appropriate building siting, reused or recycled building materials; on-site power generation – solar technology, ground source heat pumps, wind power; rainwater harvesting for gardening, washing and aquifer recharge; and on-site waste management such as green roofs that filter and control stormwater runoff. This requires close cooperation of the design team, the architects, the engineers, and the client at all project stages, from site selection, scheme formation, material selection and procurement, to project implementation. This is also called a charrette.
Appropriate building siting and smaller building footprints are vital to an environmentally sustainable design. Oftentimes, a building may be very well designed, and energy efficient but its location requires people to travel far back and forth – increasing pollution that may not be building produced but is directly as a result of the building anyway.
Sustainable architecture must also cover the building beyond its useful life. Its disposal or recycling aspects also come under the wing of sustainability. Often, modular buildings are better to take apart and less energy intensive to put together too. The waste from the demolition site must be disposed of correctly and everything that can be harvested and used again should be designed to be extricated from the structure with ease, preventing unnecessary wastage when decommissioning the building.
Another important aspect of sustainable architecture stems from the question of whether a structure is needed. Sometimes the best that can be done to make a structure sustainable is retrofitting or upgrading the building services and supplies instead of tearing it down. Abu Dhabi, for example has undergone and is undergoing major retrofitting to slash its energy and water consumption rather than demolishing and rebuilding new structures.

Sustainable architects design with sustainable living in mind. Sustainable vs green design is the challenge that designs not only reflect healthy processes and uses but are powered by renewable energies and site specific resources. A test for sustainable design is — can the design function for its intended use without fossil fuel — unplugged. This challenge suggests architects and planners design solutions that can function without pollution rather than just reducing pollution. As technology progresses in architecture and design theories and as examples are built and tested, architects will soon be able to create not only passive, null-emission buildings, but rather be able to integrate the entire power system into the building design. In 2004 the 59 home housing community, the Solar Settlement, and a 60,000 sq ft (5,600 m2) integrated retail, commercial and residential building, the Sun Ship, were completed by architect Rolf Disch in Freiburg, Germany. The Solar Settlement is the first housing community worldwide in which every home, all 59, produce a positive energy balance.

An essential element of Sustainable Building Design is indoor environmental quality including air quality, illumination, thermal conditions, and acoustics. The integrated design of the indoor environment is essential and must be part of the integrated design of the entire structure. ASHRAE Guideline 10-2011 addresses the interactions among indoor environmental factors and goes beyond traditional standards.

Concurrently, the recent movements of New Urbanism and New Classical Architecture promote a sustainable approach towards construction, that appreciates and develops smart growth, architectural tradition and classical design. This in contrast to modernist and globally uniform architecture, as well as leaning against solitary housing estates and suburban sprawl. Both trends started in the 1980s. The Driehaus Architecture Prize is an award that recognizes efforts in New Urbanism and New Classical Architecture, and is endowed with a prize money twice as high as that of the modernist Pritzker Prize.

Green design has often been used interchangeably with environmentally sustainable design. There is a popular debate about this with several arguing that green design is in effect narrower than sustainable design, which takes into account a larger system. Green design focuses on the short term goals and while it is a worthy goal, a larger impact is possible using sustainable design. Another factor to be considered is that green design has been stigmatized by popular personalities such as Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Frank Gehry, but this branding hasn’t reached sustainable design. A large part of that is because of how environmentally sustainable design is generally used hand in hand with economically sustainable design and socially sustainable design. Finally, green design is although unintentionally, often associated only with architecture while sustainable design has been considered under a much larger scope.

Sustainable engineering is the process of designing or operating systems such that they use energy and resources sustainably, in other words, at a rate that does not compromise the natural environment, or the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Common engineering focuses revolve around water supply, production, sanitation, cleaning up of pollution and waste sites, restoring natural habitats etc.

Achieving a healthy and aesthetic environment for the occupants of a space is one of the basic rules in the art of Interior design. When applying focus onto the sustainable aspects of the art, Interior Design can incorporate the study and involvement of functionality, accessibility, and aesthetics to environmentally friendly materials. The integrated design of the indoor environment is essential and must be part of the integrated design of the entire structure.

Improving the overall building performance through the reduction of negative impacts on the environment is the primary goal. Reducing consumption of non-renewable resources, minimizing waste and creating healthy, productive environments are the primary objectives of sustainability. Optimizing site potential, minimizing non-renewable energy consumption, using environmentally preferable products, protecting and conserving water, enhancing indoor environmental quality, and optimizing operational and maintenance practices are some of the primary principles. An essential element of Sustainable Building Design is indoor environmental quality including air quality, illumination, thermal conditions, and acoustic. Interior design, when done correctly, can harness the true power of sustainable architecture.

Sustainable Interior Design can be incorporated through various techniques: water efficiency, energy efficiency, using non-toxic, sustainable or recycled materials, using manufactured processes and producing products with more energy efficiency, building longer lasting and better functioning products, designing reusable and recyclable products, following the sustainable design standards and guidelines, and more. For example, a room with large windows to allow for maximum sunlight should have neutral colored interiors to help bounce the light around and increase comfort levels while reducing light energy requirement.

Interior Designers must take types of paints, adhesives, and more into consideration during their designing and manufacturing phase so they do not contribute to harmful environmental factors. Choosing whether to use a wood floor to marble tiled floor or carpeted floor can reduce energy consumption by the level of insulation that they provide. Utilizing materials that can withhold 24-hour health care facilities, such as linoleum, scrubbable cotton wall coverings, recycled carpeting, low toxic adhesive, and more.

Furthermore, incorporating sustainability can begin before the construction process begins. Purchasing items from sustainable local businesses, analyzing the longevity of a product, taking part in recycling by purchasing recycled materials, and more should be taken into consideration. Supporting local, sustainable businesses is the first step, as this not only increases the demand for sustainable products, but also reduces unsustainable methods. Traveling all over to find specific products or purchasing products from over seas contributes to carbon emissions in the atmosphere, pulling further away from the sustainable aspect. Once the products are found, it is important to check if the selection follows the Cradle-to-cradle design (C2C) method and they are also able to be reclaimed, recycled, and reused. Also paying close attention to energy-efficient products during this entire process contributes to the sustainability factors. The aesthetic of a space does not have to be sacrificed in order to achieve sustainable interior design. Every environment and space can incorporate materials and choices to reducing environmental impact, while still providing durability and functionality.

The mission to incorporate sustainable interior design into every aspect of life is slowly becoming a reality. The commercial Interior Design Association (IIDA) created the sustainability forum to encourage, support, and educate the design community and the public about sustainability. The Athena Sustainable Materials Institute ensures enabling smaller footprints by working with sustainability leaders in various ways in producing and consuming materials. Building Green considers themselves the most trusted voice for sustainable and healthy design, as they offer a variety of resources to dive deep into sustainability. Various acts, such as the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 have been revised and passed to achieve better efforts towards sustainable design. Federal efforts, such as the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to the commitment of sustainable design and the Executive Order 13693 have also worked to achieve these concepts. Various guideline and standard documents have been published for the sake of sustainable interior design and companies like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) are guiding and certifying efforts put into motion to contribute to the mission. When the thought of incorporating sustainable design into an interior’s design is kept as a top goal for a designer, creating an overall healthy and environmentally friendly space can be achieved.

Sustainable design of cities is the task of designing and planning the outline of cities such that they have a low carbon footprint, have better air quality, rely on more sustainable sources of energy, and have a healthy relationship with the environment. Sustainable urban planning involves many disciplines, including architecture, engineering, biology, environmental science, materials science, law, transportation, technology, economic development, accounting and finance, and government, among others. This kind of planning also develops innovative and practical approaches to land use and its impact on natural resources.
New sustainable solutions for urban planning problems can include green buildings and housing, mixed-use developments, walkability, greenways and open spaces, alternative energy sources such as solar and wind, and transportation options. Good sustainable land use planning helps improve the welfare of people and their communities, shaping their urban areas and neighborhoods into healthier, more efficient spaces. Design and planning of neighbourhoods are a major challenge when creating a favourable urban environment. The challenge is based on the principles of integrated approach to different demands: social, architectural, artistic, economic, sanitary and hygienic. Social demands are aimed at constructing network and placing buildings in order to create favourable conditions for their convenient use. Architectural-artistic solutions are aimed at single spatial composition of an area with the surrounding landscape. Economic demands include rational utilization of area territories. Sanitary and hygienic demands are of more interest in terms of creating sustainable urban areas.

Sustainable landscape architecture is a category of sustainable design and energy-efficient landscaping concerned with the planning and design of outdoor space. Plants and materials may be bought from local growers to reduce energy used in transportation.
Design techniques include planting trees to shade buildings from the sun or protect them from wind, using local materials, and on-site composting and chipping not only to reduce green waste hauling but to increase organic matter and therefore carbon in the soil.

Some designers and gardeners such as Beth Chatto also use drought-resistant plants in arid areas (xeriscaping) and elsewhere so that water is not taken from local landscapes and habitats for irrigation. Water from building roofs may be collected in rain gardens so that the groundwater is recharged, instead of rainfall becoming surface runoff and increasing the risk of flooding.

Areas of the garden and landscape can also be allowed to grow wild to encourage bio-diversity. Native animals may also be encouraged in many other ways: by plants which provide food such as nectar and pollen for insects, or roosting or nesting habitats such as trees, or habitats such as ponds for amphibians and aquatic insects. Pesticides, especially persistent pesticides, must be avoided to avoid killing wildlife.

Soil fertility can be managed sustainably by the use of many layers of vegetation from trees to ground-cover plants and mulches to increase organic matter and therefore earthworms and mycorrhiza; nitrogen-fixing plants instead of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers; and sustainably harvested seaweed extract to replace micronutrients.

Sustainable landscapes and gardens can be productive as well as ornamental, growing food, firewood and craft materials from beautiful places.

Sustainable landscape approaches and labels include organic farming and growing, permaculture, agroforestry, forest gardens, agroecology, vegan organic gardening, ecological gardening and climate-friendly gardening.

Sustainable agriculture adheres to three main goals:

A variety of philosophies, policies and practices have contributed to these goals. People in many different capacities, from farmers to consumers, have shared this vision and contributed to it. Despite the diversity of people and perspectives, the following themes commonly weave through definitions of sustainable agriculture.

There are strenuous discussions — among others by the agricultural sector and authorities — if existing pesticide protocols and methods of soil conservation adequately protect topsoil and wildlife. Doubt has risen if these are sustainable, and if agrarian reforms would permit an efficient agriculture with fewer pesticides, therefore reducing the damage to the ecosystem.

For more information on the subject of sustainable agriculture: “UC Davis: Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program”.

Automobiles, home appliances and furnitures can be designed for repair and disassembly (for recycling), and constructed from recyclable materials such as steel, aluminum and glass, and renewable materials, such as Zelfo, wood and plastics from natural feedstocks. Careful selection of materials and manufacturing processes can often create products comparable in price and performance to non-sustainable products. Even mild design efforts can greatly increase the sustainable content of manufactured items.

Sustainable technology in the energy sector is based on utilizing renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind, hydro, bioenergy, geothermal, and hydrogen. Wind energy is the world’s fastest growing energy source; it has been in use for centuries in Europe and more recently in the United States and other nations. Wind energy is captured through the use of wind turbines that generate and transfer electricity for utilities, homeowners and remote villages. Solar power can be harnessed through photovoltaics, concentrating solar, or solar hot water and is also a rapidly growing energy source. Advancements in the technology and modifications to photovoltaics cells provide a more in depth untouched method for creating and producing solar power. Researchers have found a potential way to use the photogalvanic effect to transform sunlight into electric energy.

The availability, potential, and feasibility of primary renewable energy resources must be analyzed early in the planning process as part of a comprehensive energy plan. The plan must justify energy demand and supply and assess the actual costs and benefits to the local, regional, and global environments. Responsible energy use is fundamental to sustainable development and a sustainable future. Energy management must balance justifiable energy demand with appropriate energy supply. The process couples energy awareness, energy conservation, and energy efficiency with the use of primary renewable energy resources.

Sustainable manufacturing can be defined as the creation of a manufactured product through a concurrent improvement in the resulting effect on factory and product sustainability. The concept of sustainable manufacturing demands a renewed design of production systems in order to condition the related sustainability on product life cycle and Factory operations.

Advantageous reasons for why companies might chose to sustainably manufacture either their products or use a sustainable manufacturing process are:

Sustainable water technologies have become an important industry segment with several companies now providing important and scalable solutions to supply water in a sustainable manner.

Beyond the use of certain technologies, Sustainable Design in Water Management also consists very importantly in correct implementation of concepts. Among one of these principal concepts is the fact normally in developed countries 100% of water destined for consumption, that is not necessarily for drinking purposes, is of potable water quality. This concept of differentiating qualities of water for different purposes has been called “fit-for-purpose”. This more rational use of water achieves several economies, that are not only related to water itself, but also the consumption of energy, as to achieve water of drinking quality can be extremely energy intensive for several reasons.

Sustainable technologies use less energy, fewer limited resources, do not deplete natural resources, do not directly or indirectly pollute the environment, and can be reused or recycled at the end of their useful life. They may also be technology that help identify areas of growth by giving feedback in terms of data or alerts allowed to be analyzed to improve environmental footprints. There is significant overlap with appropriate technology, which emphasizes the suitability of technology to the context, in particular considering the needs of people in developing countries. The most appropriate technology may not be the most sustainable one; and a sustainable technology may have high cost or maintenance requirements that make it unsuitable as an “appropriate technology,” as that term is commonly used.

“Technology is deeply entrenched in our society; without it, society would immediately collapse. Moreover, technological changes can be perceived as easier to accomplish than lifestyle changes that might be required to solve the problems that we face.”
The design of sustainable technology relies heavily on the flow of new information. Sustainable technology such as smart metering systems and intelligent sensors reduce energy consumption and help conserve water. These systems are ones that have more fundamental changes, rather than just switching to simple sustainable designs. Such designing requires constant updates and evolutions, to ensure true environmental sustainability, because the concept of sustainability is ever changing – with regards to our relationship with the environment. A large part of designing sustainable technology involves giving control to the users for their comfort and operation. For example, dimming controls help people adjust the light levels to their comfort. Sectioned lighting and lighting controls let people manipulate their lighting needs without worrying about affecting others – therefore reducing lighting loads.

The precursor step to environmentally sustainable development must be a sustainable design. By definition, design is defined as purpose, planning, or intention that exists or is thought to exist behind an action, fact, or material object. Development utilizes design and executes it, helping areas, cities, or places to advance. Sustainable development is that development which adheres to the values of sustainability and provide for the society without endangering the ecosystem and its services.
“Without development, design is useless. Without design, development is unusable.” – Florian Popescu, How to bridge the gap between design and development.

Design Flow (EDA)

Design flows are the explicit combination of electronic design automation tools to accomplish the design of an integrated circuit. Moore’s law has driven the entire IC implementation RTL to GDSII design flows[clarification needed] from one which uses primarily stand-alone synthesis, placement, and routing algorithms to an integrated construction and analysis flows for design closure. The challenges of rising interconnect delay led to a new way of thinking about and integrating design closure tools.

The RTL to GDSII flow underwent significant changes from 1980 through 2005. The continued scaling of CMOS technologies significantly changed the objectives of the various design steps. The lack of good predictors for delay has led to significant changes in recent design flows. New scaling challenges such as leakage power,
variability, and reliability will continue to require significant changes to the design closure process in the future. Many factors describe what drove the design flow from a set of separate design steps to a fully integrated approach, and what further changes are coming to address the latest challenges. In his keynote at the 40th Design Automation Conference entitled The Tides of EDA, Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli distinguished three periods of EDA:

There are differences between the steps and methods of the design flow for analog and digital integrated circuits. Nonetheless, a typical VLSI design flow consists of various steps like design conceptualization, chip optimization, logical/physical implementation, and design validation and verification.

Systems Design

Systems design is the process of defining the architecture, modules, interfaces, and data for a system to satisfy specified requirements. Systems design could be seen as the application of systems theory to product development. There is some overlap with the disciplines of systems analysis, systems architecture and systems engineering.

If the broader topic of product development “blends the perspective of marketing, design, and manufacturing into a single approach to product development,” then design is the act of taking the marketing information and creating the design of the product to be manufactured. Systems design is therefore the process of defining and developing systems to satisfy specified requirements of the user.

Until the 1990s, systems design had a crucial and respected role in the data processing industry. In the 1990s, standardization of hardware and software resulted in the ability to build modular systems. The increasing importance of software running on generic platforms has enhanced the discipline of software engineering.

The architectural design of a system emphasizes the design of the system architecture that describes the structure, behavior and more views of that system and analysis.

The logical design of a system pertains to an abstract representation of the data flows, inputs and outputs of the system. This is often conducted via modelling, using an over-abstract (and sometimes graphical) model of the actual system. In the context of systems, designs are included. Logical design includes entity-relationship diagrams (ER diagrams).

The physical design relates to the actual input and output processes of the system. This is explained in terms of how data is input into a system, how it is verified/authenticated, how it is processed, and how it is displayed.
In physical design, the following requirements about the system are decided.

Put another way, the physical portion of system design can generally be broken down into three sub-tasks:

User Interface Design is concerned with how users add information to the system and with how the system presents information back to them. Data Design is concerned with how the data is represented and stored within the system. Finally, Process Design is concerned with how data moves through the system, and with how and where it is validated, secured and/or transformed as it flows into, through and out of the system. At the end of the system design phase, documentation describing the three sub-tasks is produced and made available for use in the next phase.

Physical design, in this context, does not refer to the tangible physical design of an information system. To use an analogy, a personal computer’s physical design involves input via a keyboard, processing within the CPU, and output via a monitor, printer, etc. It would not concern the actual layout of the tangible hardware, which for a PC would be a monitor, CPU, motherboard, hard drive, modems, video/graphics cards, USB slots, etc.
It involves a detailed design of a user and a product database structure processor and a control processor. The H/S personal specification is developed for the proposed system.

Rapid application development (RAD) is a methodology in which a system designer produces prototypes for an end-user. The end-user reviews the prototype, and offers feedback on its suitability. This process is repeated until the end-user is satisfied with the final system.

Joint application design (JAD) is a methodology which evolved from RAD, in which a system designer consults with a group consisting of the following parties:

JAD involves a number of stages, in which the group collectively develops an agreed pattern for the design and implementation of the system.

Transgenerational Design

Transgenerational design is the practice of making products and environments compatible with those physical and sensory impairments associated with human aging and which limit major activities of daily living. The term transgenerational design was coined in 1986, by Syracuse University industrial design professor James J. Pirkl to describe and identify products and environments that accommodate, and appeal to, the widest spectrum of those who would use them—the young, the old, the able, the disabled—without penalty to any group.
The transgenerational design concept emerged from his federally funded design-for-aging research project, Industrial design Accommodations: A Transgenerational Perspective. The project’s two seminal 1988 publications provided detailed information about the aging process; informed and sensitized industrial design professionals and design students about the realities of human aging; and offered a useful set of guidelines and strategies for designing products that accommodate the changing needs of people of all ages and abilities.

The transgenerational design concept establishes a common ground for those who are committed to integrating age and ability within the consumer population. Its underlying principle is that people, including those who are aged or impaired, have an equal right to live in a unified society.

Transgenerational design practice recognizes that human aging is a continuous, dynamic process that starts at birth and ends with death, and that throughout the aging process, people normally experience occurrences of illness, accidents and declines in physical and sensory abilities that impair one’s independence and lifestyle. But most injuries, impairments and disabilities typically occur more frequently as one grows older and experiences the effects of senescence (biological aging). Four facts clarify the interrelationship of age with physical and sensory vulnerability:

Within each situation, consumers expect products and services to fulfill and enhance their lifestyle, both physically and symbolically. Transgenerational design focuses on serving their needs through what Cagan and Vogel call “a value oriented product development process”. They note that a product is “deemed of value to a customer if it offers a strong effect on lifestyle, enabling features, and meaningful ergonomics” resulting in products that are “useful, usable, and desirable” during both short and long term use by people of all ages and abilities.:p.34

Transgenerational design is “framed as a market-aware response to population aging that fulfills the need for products and environments that can be used by both young and old people living and working in the same environment”.:p.16

Transgenerational design benefits all ages and abilities by creating a harmonious bond between products and the people that use them. It satisfies the psychological, physiological, and sociological factors desired—and anticipated—by users of all ages and abilities::p.32

Transgenerational design addresses each element and accommodates the user—regardless of age or ability—by providing a sympathetic fit and unencumbered ease of use. Such designs provide greater accessibility by offering wider options and more choices, thereby preserving and extending one’s independence, and enhancing the quality of life for all ages and abilities—at no group’s expense.

Transgenerational designs accommodate rather than discriminate and sympathize rather than stigmatize. They do this by:

Transgenerational design emerged during the mid-1980s coincident with the conception of universal design, an outgrowth of the disability rights movement and earlier barrier-free concepts. In contrast, transgenerational design grew out of the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (ADA), which prohibited “discrimination on the basis of age in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance”, or excluding, denying or providing different or lesser services on the basis of age. The ensuing political interest and debate over the Act’s 1978 amendments, which abolished mandatory retirement at age 65, made the issues of aging a major public policy concern by injecting it into the mainstream of societal awareness.

At the start of the 1980s, the oldest members of the population, having matured during the great depression, were being replaced by a generation of Baby Boomers, steadily reaching middle age and approaching the threshold of retirement. Their swelling numbers signaled profound demographic changes ahead that would steadily expand the aging population throughout the world.

Advancements in medical research were also changing the image of old age—from a social problem of the sick, poor, and senile, whose solutions depend on public policy—to the emerging reality of an active aging population having vigor, resources, and time to apply both.

Responding to the public’s growing awareness, the media, public policy, and some institutions began to recognize the impending implications. Time and Newsweek devoted cover stories to the “Greying of America”. Local radio stations began replacing their rock-and-roll formats with music targeted to more mature tastes. The Collegiate Forum (Dow Jones & Co., Inc.) devoted its Fall 1982 issue entirely to articles on the aging work force. A National Research Conference on Technology and Aging, and the Office of Technological Assessment of the House of Representatives, initiated a major examination of the impact of science and technology on older Americans”.

In 1985, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Administration on Aging, the Farmer’s Home Administration, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development signed an agreement to improve building, landscape, product and graphic design for older Americans, which included new research applications for old age that recognized the potential for making products easier to use by the elderly, and therefore more appealing and profitable.

In 1987, recognizing the implications of population aging, Syracuse University’s Department of Design, All-University Gerontology Center, and Center for Instructional Development initiated and collaborated on an interdisciplinary project, Industrial Design Accommodations: A Transgenerational Perspective. The year-long project, supported by a Federal grant, joined the knowledge base of gerontology with the professional practice of industrial design.

The project defined “the three aspects of aging as physiological, sociological, and psychological; and divided the designer’s responsibility into aesthetic, technological, and humanistic concerns”.
The strong interrelationship between the physiological aspects of aging and industrial design’s humanistic aspects established the project’s instructional focus and categorized the physiological aspects of aging as the sensory and physical factors of vision, hearing, touch, and movement. This interrelationship was translated into a series of reference tables, which related specific physical and sensory factors of aging, and were included in the resulting set of design guidelines to:

The project produced and published two instructional manuals—one for instructors and one for design professionals—each containing a detailed set of “design guidelines and strategies for designing transgenerationalproducts”. Under terms of the grant, instructional manuals were distributed to all academic programs of industrial design recognized by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Continuing to emerge as a growing strategy for developing products, services and environments that accommodate people of all ages and abilities, “transgenerational design has been adopted by major corporations, like Intel, Microsoft and Kodak” who are “looking at product development the same way as designing products for people with visual, hearing and physical impairments,” so that people of any age can use them.

Discussions between designers and marketers are indicating that successful transgenerational design “requires the right balance of upfront research work, solid human factors analysis, extensive design exploration, testing and a lot of thought to get it right”, and that “transgenerational design is applicable to any consumer products company—from appliance manufacturers to electronics companies, furniture makers, kitchen and bath and mainstream consumer products companies”.

Design Research Society (DRS)

The Design Research Society (DRS), founded in the United Kingdom in 1966, is an international society for developing and supporting the interests of the design research community. The primary purpose of the DRS, as embodied in its first statement of rules, is to promote ‘the study of and research into the process of designing in all its many fields’. This established the intention of being an interdisciplinary learned society, taking a scholarly and domain independent view of the process of designing. Membership is open to anyone interested in design research, and members with established experience and a strong background in design research may apply to be elected as a DRS Fellow.

The origins of the Society lay in the first conference on design methods, (full title “The Conference on Systematic and Intuitive Methods in Engineering, Industrial Design, Architecture and Communications”) held at Imperial College in London in 1962, which enabled a core of people to be identified who shared interests in new approaches to the process of designing.

Initially, the DRS promoted its aims through a series of one-day conferences and the publication of a quarterly newsletter to members. However, within a few years, unsuccessful attempts to establish a published journal and fruitless internal debate about the Society’s goals led to inactivity. The Society was revived by its first major international conference, on design participation, held in Manchester in 1971. At that conference a meeting of DRS members led to a call for a special general meeting of the Society, and to changes of officers and council members. Subsequently, a series of conferences was held through the 1970s and 80s: in London (1973), Portsmouth (1976, 1980), Istanbul (1978), and Bath (1984).

In the mid-1970s DRS also collaborated with the Design Methods Group, based in the USA, including publishing a joint journal, Design Research and Methods.

By the late 1970s there was enough enthusiasm, and evidence of design research activity around the world, for the DRS to approach IPC Press (now Elsevier Science) with a successful proposal for its own journal. Design Studies, the international journal for design research, was launched in 1979. A monthly internet news bulletin DesignResearchNews was started in 1998 and has over 9000 subscribers. Between 2006 and 2009 the Society also published a quarterly newsletter, Design Research Quarterly.

A new biennial series of DRS conferences began in 2002 with the ‘Common Ground’ conference in London. Subsequent ones have been held at venues around the world, with a variety of themes. See the Table below. In 2005 DRS was one of the founding members of the International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR), which also holds biennial, international conferences.

Special Interest Groups provide a forum for specific areas of research which are of interest to the Design Research Community and its members. SIGs organise events and discussion in a number of ways to facilitate the exchange and development of best practice in the field. Each SIG is organised by a convenor who is supported by an organising group and the SIG members. DRS members are invited to join any Special Interest Group to contribute actively to research in the subject area of their chosen group.

EKSIG is concerned with the understanding and role of knowledge in research and professional practice in design in order to clarify fundamental principles and practices of using design practice within research both with regard to research regulations and requirements, and research methodology.

The main aims of EKSIG are:

EKSIG runs a biennial conference series, special strands at the DRS and IASDR conferences. It also runs a discussion list, which is used for announcements and debate about the core issues of knowledge and methodology in research and practice in the creative disciplines.

All papers selected for presentation at the conference are published in the conference proceedings: an abstract booklet with a CD or USB of the full papers and post-conference online publication, the preferred format of the DRS. Selected papers from each conference have been published in an appropriate journal as a special issue: Journal of Visual Arts Practice in 2007, Journal of Research Practice in 2010, Journal of Art and Design Education in Higher Education in 2012, Journal of Art and Design Education in Higher Education and in 2015, Journal of Research Practice .

The SIG focuses on bringing together designers, design researchers, landscape architects and others who aim to improve personal and societal wellbeing through design.

This SIG on design pedagogy aims to bring together design researchers, teachers and practitioners, and others responsible for the delivery of design education, to clarify and develop the role of design research in providing the theoretical underpinning for design education.
The DRS Design Pedagogy Special Interest Group is bringing together other research which is directed to similar ends. Design research is not an irrelevant activity living in its own little ghetto, but rather it provides the basis for the academic core of design teaching and pedagogic innovation. By that means through the provision of the next generation of designers it links into design practice.
The DRS PedSIG runs special streams at DRS biannual conferences. It also organised symposia which were hosted by the Coventry University on 27 March 2009 and 28 January 2011.

In 2010, the DRS PedSIG and CUMULUS Association have join forces to develop a bi-annual international research events. The 1st International Symposium for Design Education Researchers in collaboration with: CUMULUS Association; Design Research Society (DRS); five other international universities (which included: Aalto University, L’Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique, Coventry University, L’Ecole Parsons a Paris, and Politecnico di Milano); the Lieu de Design, Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris and AVA Publishing. The symposium was held in a prestigious location of fr:Bourse de commerce de Paris in May 2011. A special issue of Collection, a research journal, has been produced featuring a selection of contributions. The 2nd International Conference for Design Research Educators, DRS//CUMULUS 2013, was hosted by the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences.

The OPENSiG was originally launched in 2007 under the name ‘Emotion, Experience and Interaction’. A special strand at the DRS conference 2008 and two successful workshops at Sheffield Hallam University (2007) and Nottingham Trent University (2010) served to define the group’s interest in broad questions about human-object interactions – focusing on Objects and engaging with social Practices, which involve Experiences with/ of objects in Networks of relationship.

The Inclusive Design Research Special Interest Group (InclusiveSIG) aims to provide an international platform for researchers, design practitioners, design educators and students, and the general public to exchange knowledge about inclusive design and to empower wider participation in design.

Design Research Society’s Design Innovation Management Special Interest Group (DIMSIG) in collaboration with the Design Society’s Design Management Special Interest Group (DeMSIG) formed a cross-societal working party named the Design Management Academy (DMA). The Design School at Hong Kong Polytechnic hosted the first Design Management Academy international conference in June 2017.

Design

A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process, or the result of that plan or specification in the form of a prototype, product or process. The verb to design expresses the process of developing a design. In some cases, the direct construction of an object without an explicit prior plan (such as in craftwork, some engineering, coding, and graphic design) may also be considered to be a design activity. The design usually has to satisfy certain goals and constraints, may take into account aesthetic, functional, economic, or socio-political considerations, and is expected to interact with a certain environment. Major examples of designs include architectural blueprints, engineering drawings, business processes, circuit diagrams, and sewing patterns.

The person who produces a design is called a designer, which is a term generally used for people who work professionally in one of the various design areas—usually specifying which area is being dealt with (such as a textile designer, fashion designer, product designer, concept designer, web designer (website designer) or interior designer), but also others such as architects and engineers. A designer’s sequence of activities is called a design process, possibly using design methods. The process of creating a design can be brief (a quick sketch) or lengthy and complicated, involving considerable research, negotiation, reflection, modeling, interactive adjustment and re-design.

Substantial disagreement exists concerning how designers in many fields, whether amateur or professional, alone or in teams, produce designs. Kees Dorst and Judith Dijkhuis, both designers themselves, argued that “there are many ways of describing design processes” and discussed “two basic and fundamentally different ways”, both of which have several names. The prevailing view has been called “the rational model”, “technical problem solving” and “the reason-centric perspective”. The alternative view has been called “reflection-in-action”, “co-evolution”, and “the action-centric perspective”.

The rational model was independently developed by Herbert A. Simon, an American scientist, and Gerhard Pahl and Wolfgang Beitz, two German engineering design theorists. It posits that:

The rational model is based on a rationalist philosophy and underlies the waterfall model, systems development life cycle, and much of the engineering design literature. According to the rationalist philosophy, design is informed by research and knowledge in a predictable and controlled manner.

Typical stages consistent with the rational model include the following:

Each stage has many associated best practices.

The rational model has been widely criticized on two primary grounds:

The action-centric perspective is a label given to a collection of interrelated concepts, which are antithetical to the rational model. It posits that:

The action-centric perspective is based on an empiricist philosophy and broadly consistent with the agile approach and amethodical development. Substantial empirical evidence supports the veracity of this perspective in describing the actions of real designers. Like the rational model, the action-centric model sees design as informed by research and knowledge. However, research and knowledge are brought into the design process through the judgment and common sense of designers – by designers “thinking on their feet” – more than through the predictable and controlled process stipulated by the rational model.

At least two views of design activity are consistent with the action-centric perspective. Both involve three basic activities.

In the reflection-in-action paradigm, designers alternate between “framing”, “making moves”, and “evaluating moves”. “Framing” refers to conceptualizing the problem, i.e., defining goals and objectives. A “move” is a tentative design decision. The evaluation process may lead to further moves in the design.

In the sensemaking-coevolution-implementation framework, designers alternate between its three titular activities. Sensemaking includes both framing and evaluating moves. Implementation is the process of constructing the design object. Coevolution is “the process where the design agent simultaneously refines its mental picture of the design object based on its mental picture of the context, and vice versa”.

The concept of the design cycle is understood as a circular time structure, which may start with the thinking of an idea, then expressing it by the use of visual or verbal means of communication (design tools), the sharing and perceiving of the expressed idea, and finally starting a new cycle with the critical rethinking of the perceived idea. Anderson points out that this concept emphasizes the importance of the means of expression, which at the same time are means of perception of any design ideas.

Philosophy of design is the study of definitions of design, and the assumptions, foundations, and implications of design. There are also countless informal or personal philosophies for guiding design as design values and its accompanying aspects within modern design vary, both between different schools of thought[which?] and among practicing designers. Design philosophies are usually for determining design goals.

In this sense, design philosophies are fundamental guiding principles that dictate how a designer approaches his/her practice. Reflections on material culture and environmental concerns (sustainable design) can guide a design philosophy. An example is the First Things First manifesto which was launched within the graphic design community and states “We propose a reversal of priorities in favor of more useful, lasting and democratic forms of communication – a mindshift away from product marketing and toward the exploration and production of a new kind of meaning. The scope of debate is shrinking; it must expand. Consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part, through the visual languages and resources of design.”

A design approach is a general philosophy that may or may not include a guide for specific methods. Some are to guide the overall goal of the design. Other approaches are to guide the tendencies of the designer.

Some of these approaches include:

Design can broadly be applied to various fields such as art, engineering and production.

Today, the term design is generally used for what was formerly called the applied arts. The new term, for a very old thing, was perhaps initiated by Raymond Loewy and teachings at the Bauhaus and Ulm School of Design (HfG Ulm) in Germany during the 20th century.

The boundaries between art and design are blurred, largely due to a range of applications both for the term ‘art’ and the term ‘design’. Applied arts can include industrial design, graphic design, fashion design, and the decorative arts which traditionally includes craft objects. In graphic arts (2D image making that ranges from photography to illustration), the distinction is often made between fine art and commercial art, based on the context within which the work is produced and how it is traded.

To a degree, some methods for creating work, such as employing intuition, are shared across the disciplines within the applied arts and fine art. Mark Getlein, writer, suggests the principles of design are “almost instinctive”, “built-in”, “natural”, and part of “our sense of ‘rightness’.” However, the intended application and context of the resulting works will vary greatly.

In engineering, design is a component of the engineering process. Many overlapping methods and processes can be seen when comparing Product design, Industrial design and Engineering. The American Heritage Dictionary defines design as: “To conceive or fashion in the mind; invent,” and “To formulate a plan”, and defines engineering as: “The application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, machines, processes, and systems.”. Both are forms of problem-solving with a defined distinction being the application of “scientific and mathematical principles”. The increasingly scientific focus of engineering in practice, however, has raised the importance of more new “human-centered” fields of design. How much science is applied in a design is a question of what is considered “science”. Along with the question of what is considered science, there is social science versus natural science. Scientists at Xerox PARC made the distinction of design versus engineering at “moving minds” versus “moving atoms” (probably in contradiction to the origin of term “engineering – engineer” from Latin “in genio” in meaning of a “genius” what assumes existence of a “mind” not of an “atom”).

The relationship between design and production is one of planning and executing. In theory, the plan should anticipate and compensate for potential problems in the execution process. Design involves problem-solving and creativity. In contrast, production involves a routine or pre-planned process. A design may also be a mere plan that does not include a production or engineering processes although a working knowledge of such processes is usually expected of designers. In some cases, it may be unnecessary or impractical to expect a designer with a broad multidisciplinary knowledge required for such designs to also have a detailed specialized knowledge of how to produce the product.

Design and production are intertwined in many creative professional careers, meaning problem-solving is part of execution and the reverse. As the cost of rearrangement increases, the need for separating design from production increases as well. For example, a high-budget project, such as a skyscraper, requires separating (design) architecture from (production) construction. A Low-budget project, such as a locally printed office party invitation flyer, can be rearranged and printed dozens of times at the low cost of a few sheets of paper, a few drops of ink, and less than one hour’s pay of a desktop publisher.

This is not to say that production never involves problem-solving or creativity, nor that design always involves creativity. Designs are rarely perfect and are sometimes repetitive. The imperfection of a design may task a production position (e.g. production artist, construction worker) with utilizing creativity or problem-solving skills to compensate for what was overlooked in the design process. Likewise, a design may be a simple repetition (copy) of a known preexisting solution, requiring minimal, if any, creativity or problem-solving skills from the designer.

“Process design” (in contrast to “design process” mentioned above) is to the planning of routine steps of a process aside from the expected result. Processes (in general) are treated as a product of design, not the method of design. The term originated with the industrial designing of chemical processes. With the increasing complexities of the information age, consultants and executives have found the term useful to describe the design of business processes as well as manufacturing processes.

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