Sustainability in Design

Chair:       Katriina Siivonen, Finland Futures Research Centre
Time:        Friday 10th June, at 14:30-15:30                                         
Venue:     Lecture room B3118


Designing Sustainable Innovationnn
K. Christoph Keller
Future Business Initiation, Germany
In the years to come, businesses will have to face two key-challenges: Sustainability and Innovation. This case study will answer the question of how to making sustainable innovations actually happen in a global enterprise. The Author gives exemplars of sustainable innovations recently developed and presents the process and theoretical foundations of the framework in use.
Given the tremendous costs involved in modifying existing products as well as with flops, business demands an ex-ante approach towards sustainable innovations, as opposed to ex-post approaches like technology assessment or diffusion research, reconciling the business and environmental / futures perspectives on sustainability. The systemic multi-perspective framework for business opportunity scanning (BOS) developed at KSB AG is a novel and evolving practical approach to the front-end of innovation. Characteristic is the dominance of the stakeholder perspective; appraising the socio-technical system in action and how this system is embedded in its contexts. Unlike conventional wisdom in innovation management i.e. creating many ideas, sorting them out by predicting the ideas futures, and doing risk management, BOS aims at making the future by designing innovations.
BOS has proven to help KSB shaping the future and creating sustainable innovations.


Sustainability Awareness in Design – Bridging the Gap between Design Research and Practice
Outi Ugas1 & Cindy Kohtala2
1 Kausaali Oy, Finland & 2Aalto University School of Art and Design, Finland
This paper will report on the findings of a study on how design practitioners in Finland understand sustainability and implement sustainability principles. Our hypothesis is that there is a crucial gap between academic research and professional practice in implementing design-for-sustainability. Moreover in our previous research we have detected a significant gap between how human-centred designers (HCD) (implicating social sustainability principles) and eco-designers (implicating environmental sustainability principles) perceive their scope of responsibility. Our ultimate aim is to bridge these gaps in order to promote more sustainable innovation-oriented practice in Finnish industry.
We intend to test our hypotheses and measure these perceived gaps by gathering statistically reliable quantitative data in a survey, qualitative data in interviews and a literature review. The aim of the survey is to gain robust understanding of (1) how Finnish design practitioners currently define sustainability and success in their work, (2) if or how they apply sustainability principles, and (3) what barriers hinder them from a sense of broader responsibility. Our paper will therefore map designers’ existing mindsets and values; tools, methods, and guidelines employed; and definitions of success and responsibility scope. Our guiding framework is the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development FSSD.


Sustainability and Industrial Design in Finland: Barriers and Future Prospects
Pekka Murto
Aalto University, School of Art and Design, Finland
Considerations of environmental and social responsibility have been present within the field of industrial design in Finland ever since the 1960’s. However, despite an early encounter with sustainability issues the learning curve towards sustainable design seems to have been longer than could have been expected. Based on literature and semi-structured interviews with design professionals, this paper highlights the barriers sustainability has faced within the field of industrial design in Finland. It is shown, that contextual factors have had a strong influence in the development and institutionalization of new practices and ideas. Due to this sensitivity to context, future prospects for sustainable design are discussed based on three scenarios that explore the future of sustainability. As a result, the article identifies key issues that shape the development and future of sustainable design.