towards sustainable product design

martin charter 101336.3560 at CompuServe.COM
Fri Jun 13 16:36:37 EST 1997

Press release 10/06/97

Major international conference brings together key thinkers
on the role of products and services in a more sustainable

'Towards Sustainable Product Design' will address the complex and
inter-related issues of designing and developing products and
services for a more sustainable society. An impressive range of
international speakers have been drawn together to present a
series of papers about the practical and theoretical aspects of
the integration of environmental, economic, ethical and social
issues in product development. 'Towards Sustainable Product
Design' will be organised on July 17th 1997, in London.

In order to move towards sustainability, some have predicted that
we will need to achieve at least 'factor 4' levels of resource
and energy reduction. This will require the development of
significant breakthroughs in thinking and technology. A key
requirement will be for companies and other stakeholders to 'Re-
think' the way they operate and the function  of their products
and services. In addition businesses and consumers will need to
re-evaluate the way they consume by to consuming less and
differently. This will require a new emphasis on creativity,
innovation and education to raise awareness, understanding and
to generate new solutions. To achieve this new forms of
cooperation and partnership will be required.
The key aspect of Sustainable Product Design (SPD) will be the
addition and balancing of social and ethical issues, alongside
environmental and economic issues into the product design
process- to achieve 'the quadruple bottom-line'. Many of these
issues have not been translated into an agenda for those involved
in product design and development. For example, if suppliers of
electronic components use child labour in South-East Asia what
is the companies' and the designer's position? 

'Towards sustainable product design' will address these
complicated and evolving issues. Jonathan Smales, CEO, The Earth
Centre will set the scene with discussion on the design and
development of products and services in a more sustainable
society. This will be followed by a paper on designing for eco-
efficiency will be presented by Ir C.N. van Nes and Professor Dr.
Ir. A.L.N. Stevels Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering,
Section of Environmental Product Development, Delft University
of Technology, The Netherlands. There will also be papers on
breakthroughs in sustainable product development in the
automotive sector by Guenter Hubmann, Climate campaigner,
Greenpeace e.V, Germany and a case study on the development of
the clockwork radio - The Freestyle Radio- by the inventor and
entrepreneur, Trevor Baylis. Peter James, Director, Sustainable
Business Centre, co-author of 'Eco-innovation', will present a
paper on  the strategic perspective of Sustainable Product
Design, and this will be followed by a perspective on the
electronics sector from Dr Matthew Simon, Head of Design for
Environment Unit, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. There
will also be a papers on changing customer needs and the
implications of shifting  products to services by Rens Meijkamp,
and Robert van den Hoed from the Faculty of Industrial Design
Engineering Section of Environmental Product Development, Delft
University of Technology, The Netherlands. Finally, there will
be a paper on creating an economic infrastructure for Sustainable
Product Design by Dr Tim Cooper, Sheffield Hallam University, UK.

'Towards sustainable product design' has been developed by The
Centre for Sustainable Design (see http://www.cfsd.org.uk) and
will be organised on the 17th July 1997 at the Royal College of
Pathologists in London. The event is being supported by the
Design Council, International Network for Environmental
Management, Institute of Environmental Management, The
Environment Council and the Chartered Society of Designers.

For information:

Martin Charter
Joint Coordinator
The Centre for Sustainable Design
Faculty of Design
Surrey Institute
Falkner Road
Surrey GU9 7DS

t: +44 1252-732229
f: +44 1252-732274
email: cfsd at surrart.ac.uk

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