Ecodesign integration in education: the utility of an existing multidisciplinary design methodology

Year: 2009
Editor: Clarke, A, Ion, W, McMahon, C and Hogarth, P
Author: Bergen, Jan Peter; Verhulst, Elli
Page(s): 396-401


Over the last decades, sustainable development increases to be a major global issue. Within this scope, new product innovations might lead to a more sustainable future. The role of the industrial designer is of great significance, as (s)he is responsible for the -sustainable- design decisions that are made throughout the new product development (NPD) process. However, in order to reach a state in which knowledge on ecodesign is mastered and applied in practice, knowledge on ecological design should be integrated in design education. In previous research, several factors have been identified as beneficial for the integration of ecodesign in design and engineering education. In this study, these factors have been gathered within a literature review. Out of this overview, the integration of ecodesign criteria in a generic NPD methodology has been determined as a major influencing factor that has almost not been touched in literature. Out of previous research [1], a proposed methodology which combines the abovementioned aspects, has been evaluated. Subsequently, a translation of this multidisciplinary approach is made into an easy-to-read methodological roadmap for the students at the Higher Institute of Integrated Product Development in Antwerp, Belgium. In order to raise the readability of this roadmap, theory on Information Mapping was gathered and put into practice. After a peer review, the tool was validated, and further enhanced for layout and navigation. Also, a number of hypotheses are formulated on the effects of the application of the proposed roadmap in design education.

Keywords: Ecodesign, design education, integration, design methodology

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