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DesignCurrency InspirationApril

Design Currency – Sustainable Practice Panel and David Lancashire


Design Currency – Sustainable Practice Panel

Here are some of my notes and my thinking in italics…

Valerie ElliotiD2 Communications

  • Study done 6 years ago on new born babies – born with 287 chemicals in their system (212 of them had been banned for over 30 years).
  • When we’re good as designers we can persuade people to buy responsibly and we can change behaviours.
  • To change our behaviours, have to change our thinking.
  • Might adapt your business environment: staff hours change, change audience, change working partners; your vision of sustainability is what you make it.
  • Write down one value of your design practice – when you get home, consider how integrated into your design practice it is.
  • Designers are naturally change makers: change your mind, change the brief, innovate and help us change the world.


Nathan Shedroff – Experience Design Pioneer and chair of MBA in Design Strategy in San Francisco

  • Design transforming to include more than a visual appearance.
  • Design has been focused on creating solutions (have a thing orientation) This is much like learning: classroom course versus community of practice.
  • Have the attention of business world and government and need to rise to the challenge.
  • Design can change systems and policy; can’t do this alone – need to involve others.
  • Can’t lose our focus and go back to rewarding things that are pretty.
  • We are one of the culture makers, in particularly consumerism.
  • We have the models and process: we have this role to play, we have these skills, we can be leading this change. This is exactly how I feel about the broader design community – from graphics to learning to organizational – we can fill a greater need in society.

David Berman – Author of Do Good Design

  • ¾ of the world not online – this is the digital divide.
  • The mobile screen is where most of the world will access the internet.
  • Will we try to sell them stuff? Or use technology to truly innovate?
  • Don’t just do design – do good.
  • I highly recommend reading David’s book – it’s a needed wake-up call (not just for designers but for all of us).

Panel highlights:

  • Green is the new beige (no one cares).
  • Design competitions must include sustainability; shouldn’t win if has a bad impact on people and the environment.
  • All design degrees should include sustainability (not a separate degree).

David Lancashire

  • We’re not in control with this planet or this country.
  • Aboriginals live so close to this country (Australia) they’re part of it.
  • Think they have sustainability figured out.
  • No one culture is more advanced than the other; all unique and all can learn from one another. This connected back to Cameron Sinclair’s piece at the opening keynote when he described how we in the ‘overdeveloped world’ can learn from the ‘developing world’.

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