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Where the Social and Sustainable is the Territory

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The contributions that industrial designers can make in achieving greater

degrees of sustainability in the sectors that design serves are sizable.

However the greening of product manufacturing has been largely transferred

away from the remit of design and into technical and managerial areas

within the manufacturing construct. This paper reflects on a decade of

privileging the “social and sustainable” as core to the professional and

pedagogic construction of industrial design in an undergraduate degree

program in Australia, and the two decades of theory for sustainability in

design that has informed it. The paper charts the modes and intensities of

theory in this domain and describes the issues of design for sustainability as a

technical, managerial or moral discourse for design within undergraduate

industrial design education. In discussing the transitions of theory in design

for sustainability the paper points the way toward new forms of social

and sustainable design management and leadership as a possible future

trajectory for industrial designers that look to direct their work towards

environmental and social concerns.


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


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