SMART DESIGN = SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
CONNECTING LIFECYCLE INSIGHTS WITH DESIGN DECISION MAKING
Heidrun Mumper-Drumm, Christian Saclier, Marshall Hamachi
Art Center College of Design, Nestlé SA, Art Center College of Design
All good design aspires to be respectful of the environment, socially just, and economically beneficial. In a word, sustainable. When striving for decreased environmental impact, the current design process often lacks the kind of information, scope, and comprehensive thinking to make this possible. Lifecycle assessment [LCA] can provide relevant material, energy and process data to make designers smarter and their designs environmentally responsible.
In a creative design-science partnership, Art Center College of Design together with Nestlé Research Center conducted research to investigate how LCA could be used more effectively in the product design process. Key learnings and outcomes of the research resulted in a breakthrough methodology and tools for making LCA data accessible throughout the design development process. The Lifecycle-to-Design [L2D] method described may be used to bridge the current gap between scientific lifecycle understanding and design. A lifecycle strategy tool for concept development, an iconography for communication, and a streamlined LCA format for reporting and sharing of lifecycle information are proposed as components of a system of sustainable design. Together, they represent a critical step in bringing LCA insights into design decision-making.