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Achieving Responsible Design Within the Commercial Remit

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Drawing on findings from research conducted in the UK and Ireland, this paper

discusses what is required for responsible design goals; such as sustainable

design, inclusive design and socially responsible design; to be addressed more

widely within industrial design consulting. It posits that achieving an impact

ultimately centres on commercial success, and to effect a positive change on

society’s greater needs, therefore, design consultants must create persuasive

and appealing solutions which meet the demands of the commercial context,

and which fall within the expectations of the client and market. The paper

explores the individual designer’s motivation and sense of responsibility to

address society’s needs; along with the set of challenges facing the

management and pursuit of design practice towards those goals. From this, a

series of areas with potential to improve the spread of responsible design are

highlighted; including: empowering designers to argue cases more effectively;

increasing the design consultant’s sense of responsibility and intention to act;

and improving the demand, recognition, and value these goals receive. The

paper concludes that the success of commercial responsible design requires

more sophisticated understanding, metrics and examples, which have greater

relevance to business goals and the full set of participant parties.


PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2014


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