Living Upgrade by Design: A Vision for the Future

By João Martins and Luis Mota.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

According to the official Declaration of the United Nations, on the occasion of the Earth Summit in 2002, one of the “main causes contributing to deterioration of the planet’s environment are unsustainable options of production and consumption, particularly in industrialized countries”. In this context, the United Nations, as well as non-governmental organizations connected to the environment, has been warning about the need to review these unsustainable models and turn to responsible models of consumption. By Responsible Consumption, we understand the choice of products and services not only based on their quality and price but also on their social and environmental impact and the conduct of the companies that offer them. Design and designers should take on the responsibility for leading alternative ways that can contribute in the short-term towards adoption of responsible behaviour and in the long-term towards the sustainable development of societies, proposing new products and services that regulate, educate and ease this change. Less consumption may not mean reducing activity or giving up certain products. Less consumption may involve sharing products that, thanks to their characteristics, allow for use by individuals in the same society, that is to say, by a group of individuals who inhabit the same circles or environment and inter-relate, in fact, similarly to other communities of living beings. This up-dating of our way of life will depend on individuals’ predisposition and also on the level of organization and planning attributed to the community. This paper aims to show a set of products, environments and services that, interacting with individuals, can point the way to an up-dated way of life for our times which is more sustainable and responsible.

Keywords: Product Design, Systemic Thinking

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 6, pp.143-150. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.154MB).

João Martins

Professor Assistant, Social Sciences and Humanities, Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, Viana do Castelo, Portugal

João Martins was born in Viseu (Portugal) in 1970. He graduated in Equipment Design at the School of Arts and Design of Matosinhos (Portugal) in 1995; Postgraduate in Industrial Design at Portuguese Design Center in collaboration with The Glasgow School of Art (Scotland,UK) in 1998 and received his MPhil degree in Industrial Design from the Engineering Faculty of Porto University (Portugal) and the School of Arts and Design of Matosinhos in 2003. Since 1995, he attends on industrial Design with Portuguese Industries. Since 2002, he is consultant/trainer of Portuguese Design Center. He teaches in Product Design and Environmental Design courses at Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo.

Luis Mota

Professor Assistant, Social Sciences and Humanities, Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, Viana do Castelo, Portugal

Luis Mota was born in Porto (Portugal) in 1973. He graduated in Equipment Design at the School of Arts and Design of Matosinhos (Portugal) in 1995 and received his MPhil degree in Industrial Design from the Engineering Faculty of Porto University (Portugal) and the School of Arts and Design of Matosinhos in 2004. Since 1995, he attends on Industrial and Interior Design with Portuguese Industries. He teaches in Product Design and Environmental Design courses at Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo.

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