The Sustainable Products and Packaging and Life Cycle Assessment teams at CfD collaborated on a project in rethinking aged care facilities 2010.
Uniting Aged Care
The Sustainable Products and Packaging and Life Cycle Assessment teams at CfD collaborated on a project in rethinking aged care facilities 2010. The scale of sustainability is so great, and the timeframe for action so short, that for designers to seriously engage in the concept of sustainability, it would be worthwhile for the discipline to strategically engage in a process that enables designers to address areas that have the potential to offer the most significant savings. This project attempted to address the mismatch between the areas that designers have significantly engaged with in regards to Design for Sustainability, and the areas that are the largest source of impacts. For example, if every car was taken off the road and all homes were powered by renewable energy, we would only reduce carbon emissions by 20% - How can design identify and engage in the remaining 80% of emissions? The methodology developed at the CfD for the project enabled designers to A. identify the largest source of environmental impact, and B. creatively apply design thinking to significantly reduce the impact of the practice.
The project was completed in three phases:
- Phase One - Holistic streamlined LCA to identify where the source of greatest impact is
- Phase Two - Participatory design ideation workshops to identify and develop potential solutions
- Phase Three - Sustainability action plan, to identify immediate solutions for implementation and a longer term strategy to significantly reduce resource and emissions.
The methodology is seen to be innovative for several reasons. The process makes connection between scientific research (streamlined LCA) and applied participatory design. The initial process is holistic, focused first at an operational level, prior to identifying thematic areas for further design investigation. Finally, the process is participatory - in that the designer is facilitating ground up solutions.
For a description of the study, see core77