Finding the Designer's Role(s) in Sustainability
Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet), 2014
Sustainability work should be incorporated into design, as the ways things are designed contribute to the negative impact on the environment. However, there are many different ways of working with sustainability and the product designer must choose their own approach to adopt, but how? Building upon an analysis of design literature theory, this paper first detects and describes six different roles of designers. These are the problem-solver, the reconciler, the problem-framer, the interpreter, the change-maker, and the facilitator. Secondly, if the designer can establish which role they identify with, this may guide their sustainability approach. The paper establishes suitable sustainability approaches for all six roles, noting that some are more suited to work with the reduction of the ecological footprint of products, e.g. the problem-solver and reconciler, while others should approach sustainability through designing for societal and cultural change, e.g. the interpreter and the change-maker.