An Evaluation and Innovation Framework for Responsible Design based on Prudence

Article de conférence et magazine

Cucuzzella, Carmela, (2009), The current dominant mode of design for addressing the environmental and social crisis rests on an approach of prevention, which is predominantly based on the logic of efficiency for the conceptualization of products and services. This mode of innovation aspires to technical improvements of products and services so that the impacts are minimized throughout their entire life cycle; from the extraction of raw materials to their disposal. However, evidence suggests that environmental gains from technical improvements in product efficiency have historically been outweighed by an overall increase in consumption. So a sustainable future requires a broader perspective of evaluation and innovation, one founded not only on an approach of efficiency, but also one of sufficiency. Efficiency largely depends on technical innovations; get the same goods and services out of less. Sufficiency relies on individual behavioural changes as well as on social innovation; improved well being out of fewer goods and services. An approach to design that entails the logic of sufficiency, elicits the values of precaution in the solutions proposed. According to Ewald (1996), prudence encapsulates the dimensions of prevention and precaution. Therefore a prudent approach towards the evaluation and innovation of solutions to existing unsatisfactory situations can constitute a promising framework for responsible design. This method for seeking to transform unsustainable modes of living towards sustainable modes will not be coercive, but cooperative. They will help stakeholders assume their responsibilities

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