In recent years, a multitude of innovative concepts have emerged, paving the way for a sustainable society. Initially, the focus was on communicating and accepting these ideas. Now, the emphasis has shifted to integrating sustainability into industrial design and production processes.
Ecological Knowledge: Understanding the environmental impact of industrial production is crucial for sustainable product planning. However, consumers often struggle to grasp these complex ramifications. Effective communication of ecological knowledge is vital to raise environmental awareness and drive sustainable consumer choices.
Technological Knowledge: Technological advancements have led to the development of new eco-friendly production methods and energy generation technologies. The GreenTech sector, benefiting from years of research, has made technologies like photovoltaics the most economical form of energy generation worldwide.
Scientific Knowledge: Scientific insights provide the foundation for alternative business models and sustainable practices. Clear, easily understandable models and concepts are essential for convincing investors and customers. Examples include sharing businesses, rental systems, post-growth, and cradle-to-cradle models.
The shift towards holistic sustainability has been influenced by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) introduced in the 2015 Climate Accord in Paris. These goals encompass ecological, economic, and social sustainability, serving as a framework for internationally active corporations’ sustainability strategies.
In the realm of industrial design, new approaches are emerging, often inspired by the mutual influence of various sectors. Art and entertainment formats have adopted a solution-oriented approach, making complex sustainability concepts accessible to a wide audience. “Serious games” designed for educational purposes play a significant role in this endeavor.
Sustainable materials and design aesthetics are gaining prominence. Natural and eco-friendly materials, like vegan leather and plant-based polymers, are increasingly used. Aesthetic choices reflect sustainability principles, such as matte surfaces, plain colors, earth tones, and greens.
Small changes in everyday items can lead to sustainable living.
Everyday products, like toothbrushes, offer numerous variations, allowing for the introduction of sustainability concepts and practices. Even the smallest details of daily life can contribute to global sustainability.
While sustainable products have often been associated with high prices, companies like IKEA are making sustainability affordable. Furniture items are designed to be part of a cycle, allowing resale. Digital product passports may trace the history of products, providing a unique biography.
The development of sustainable infrastructures, like sector coupling, enhances renewable energy efficiency by connecting sectors and utilizing waste heat. Microgrids and battery-sharing networks contribute to decentralized energy systems, making sustainability integral to product design.
In this evolving landscape, products are no longer seen as isolated entities but as integral parts of a complex system. They are increasingly offered in conjunction with services and designed to enhance user experience.
Sustainability is no longer a separate value but an integral part of everyday life, with technological innovations becoming status symbols.
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