With the increasing international emphasis on standard evaluation tools or methods for addressing concerns related to sustainability, there are serious concerns that these may present increasing tensions between design exploration and critique. The objective of this workshop is to contextualize these varying forms of sustainability evaluation tools within design thinking in order to articulate and highlight their opportunities and limitations. This workshop explores and discusses the differences in output and applicability between design approaches that focus on: (1) the product level, by redesigning the given product; (2) the function level, by reorganizing the functionality of the given product, and; (3) the need(s) level, by rediscovering a way to deal with the needs addressed by the given product, and conceptualize alternatives that are more sustainable. Some of the questions that will be brought up during this exploration are:
· Beyond eco-efficiency, what concerns are unavoidable when designing for sustainability?
· What principles, strategies or methods were used to conceptualize the alternatives?
· What are the main difficulties or opportunities faced when designing for sustainability?
· How does a more global perspective benefit or hinder the process of design for sustainability?
This workshop is intended to introduce the designer to and help develop a critical and reflective approach towards designing for sustainability by engaging in a more global perspective of the given design situations, and to move beyond the status quo of the solution sets.
Guestspeaker: Carmela Cucuzzella
Carmela Cucuzzella is an Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Design and Computation Arts Department at Concordia University. She received her doctorate in Environmental Design from the Université de Montréal in 2011, and her masters in Design and Complexity also from the Université de Montréal in 2007. She has a Bachelors of Computer Science (1990) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (2005). She is scientific director of the Concordia branch of the Laboratoire d’étude d’architecture potentielle, which is based at the Université de Montréal. Her research interests lie predominantly in responsible design practices with a particular interest in understanding the challenges of accommodating sustainability diagnostic or rating tools such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) alongside the creative conceptual exploration that takes place during the design process. She addresses the limits of current sustainability assessment tools as a means to gain a complex understanding of social, cultural and environmental repercussions of design practice. She has presented communications all over the world and published in books and international journals on environmental, social and cultural issues related to assessment and judgment for design projects, in the context of sustainability. She has taught at Université de Québec a Montréal (UQAM) at the graduate level and at Université de Montréal. Prior to joining Concordia University, she was employed by Bell Northern Research (later Nortel Networks) for eleven years where she designed and developed software for the telecommunications industry.