Constellation 5/8 – Sustainable Practice

Origins of sustainable development

Stockholm Agreement (1972)

  • addressed environment
  • economic and social development and outlined 26 principles of sustainable development.

Brundtland Report (1987)

Global Perspective – If developing countries begin to consume the way first world countries do, then our society will be entirely unsustainable.

UK Implementation

Uk government has published it’s guiding principles with regard to sustainability

  • economy and employment
  • social justice
  • communities

More detailed information available on moodle

UK Priorities

  • sustainable consumption
  • climate change and energy
  • natural resources
  • sustainable communities


Sustainability is the highest priority followed by society and economy.

Stahel (1999) 5 Pillars of sustainable society

Practical tools for creating sustainable cities and communities

  • economics
  • ecology
  • politics
  • culture

Difficulties defining sustainability

Priority must be given to defining sustainability so that it can be incorporated within legislation.

Weteringaand Opschoor (1994) – addressing these problems

Considerations in design

  • economics
  • aesthetics
  • cost

Life cycle thinking – environmental optimisation

population growth and affluence are key factors in reviewing consumption

Sustainable products and services

In essence, reduce our own consumption to compensate for developing countries going through the dirty parts of industrialisation. The idea being they have the same right as us to industrialise. However I feel we should led by example and show them how to industrialise in a more modern efficient way using new technologies without hampering their efforts to industrialise and develop.

Environmental Sustainability and Economic Sustainability are, generally speaking at odds. However in the 1980’s the eco-efficiency approach to sustainability began to take off and embraced the importance of both economic success and environmental efficiency.

Dematerialization – Other ways of delivering the functional outcome you’re after. One method would be to provide services instead of object.

The idea is to start thinking about your ultimate goal rather than focusing on the method you are currently using and improving it. So considering transport instead of cars or eating instead of cooking.

For example public transport is far more environmentally friendly that giving everyone their own cars and making them as efficient as possible.

Having a meeting over Skype instead of everyone going to a single place for it.

In some cases the physical product is the only existing option and so every effort must be made to make that product’s life as possible.

Some aspects of design require a total re-design rather than simply adapting an existing solution.





Author: David Rothwell

I am a Graphic Communication student at Cardiff Metropolitan School of Art and Design If you like any of my work, have feedback (good or bad) or would like to get in touch, please do

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