Wednesday, 7 November 2012

DD3000 DESIGN FUTURES #10: Sustainability and its Effect on Design

Another day, another design futures lecture. This one's about sustainability.

What is Sustainability?
Sustainability is the capability to endure through renewal, maintenance and sustenance or nourishment, in contrast to durability, the capability to endure through unyielding resistance to change.

Why is Sustainability necessary?

Remember the Triple Bottom Line - The point when social, environmental and economic needs are met

The benefits of sustainable design are:-
  • Lower cost in the long run (i.e. relying on renewable resources instead of more costly finite resources)
  • Good Publicity
  • Better for the environment
  • Encourages Innovation

Notes from this video:
Sustainable design must be fit for purpose:-

  • Style
  • Performance
  • Ease of Use
  • Practicality
  • Acceptability

Sustainable Design: The design of flexible systems that can be sustained indefinitely
Sustainable Product Design: The design of products that aid or permit the sustainability of the system in which they operate

Problems working against Sustainable Product Design:-

  • Industrial 'product' design approach
  • Poor Design Briefs
  • Lack of knowledge on sustainability issues
  • Lack of systems thinking
  • Lack of business skills
Case Study: The Hybrid Car
  • A hybrid vehicle is one that combines two or more sources of power
  • Most hybrid cars are gasoline-electric hybrids
  • Hybrids are supposedly more fuel-efficient, meaning they require less fuel for more power
  • Hybrids came about due to the efforts of two people: Jacob Lohner, who foresaw the need for a new electric vehicle in contrast to the noisy gas-powered cars in Europe, and Ferdinand Porsche, who Lohner commissioned to build his new vehicle
  • Porsche's first design used two electric batteries, allowing it to travel 38 miles. To increase the range, Porsche added a gasoline engine that could recharge the electric battery. Thus, the first hybrid, the Lohner-Porsche Elektromobil, was born. It was, however considered something of a novelty at the time (the 1900s)
  • Hybrid cars have become part of the mass market because they are environmentally friendly, more fuel-efficient, offer good publicity and provide manufacturers with tax breaks.
  • They are sustainable because they are fuel-efficient, inspire innovation and are environmentally friendly (though, ironically, the materials required to build them are more environmentally unfriendly than gasoline cars)
How can sustainable design be achieved in video game design?
Ways that they are sustainable:-
  • Community
  • Charity Events
  • DLC (Downloadable content)
  • Digital/ Online Games
  • Trading-In Games
  • Micro-Transactions
  • Game Adverts
Existing Examples include:-
  • LittleBIGPlanet
  • EVE Online
  • Spore
  • FIFA 13

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