Designers engage every client in sustainability while computing checks the light switch (maybe)

Posted on April 7, 2008


Our Design School has just been accepted into the Designers Accord. They (we, even as I teach Interaction for design) are early educational adopters – one of only 5 educational institutions worldwide.

The Designers Accord envisions a creative community where the principles of sustainable design are seamlessly integrated into all practice and production:

Our mission is to catalyze innovation throughout the creative community by collectively building our environmental intelligence. For this cause, we advocate inverting the traditional model of competition, and encourage pooling knowledge so that all may benefit and build on marketable and sustainable solutions. We believe this will lead to greater innovation.

What does this mean?

Our approach for accelerating adoption of sustainability principles in the creative community by:

* providing a productive public and private way for designers to take action
* asking all adopters to engage in the conversation about social and environmental impact with every client and customer, and integrate sustainable alternatives in their work

* creating a global community of peers who openly share passion and ideas around environmental and social innovation
* building a knowledge-sharing network to share best practices, design methods, resources, and tools through an online platform
* educating ourselves and the public about the environmental impact of consumption

They say that “the barrier to entry for adopting the Designers Accord is deliberately low” but several of these actions are way above anything happening in computing. Sure we have several green IT accords – mostly of particular IT industry sectors promising to reduce energy use (eg) – but I am unaware of anything that would require or even encourage computing businesses to engage with every client in this way.

See also previous look at the Design Manifesto and other overthefence disciplines.