Design Can Change: Encouraging Sustainability in the Design Field


About three years ago, Canadian design firm smashLab decided they wanted to be more sustainable and cut back on energy use. After doing some research and learning more -- not just about energy efficiency for the firm, but about global warming -- they decided that other designers could benefit from their research and knowledge. A few twists and turns aside, the result is Design Can Change, an online portal for graphics and other paper-based designers to learn more about global warming: the issue, potential for change, actions to take, the community building around it, and resources for further learning. The premise for the entire project is that designers play a large role at the beginning of lots of different projects and businesses; by educating them on how to design with more sustainable practices, they can make more positive proactive change rather than waiting to band-aid the problem later.

::Design Can Change and ::smashLab via ::PingMagDesign Can Change is focused on graphics and similar design fields, so most of the information was created with them in mind. As such, it's a very visually-compelling look at the issue, in a way that will appeal to the design set more effectively than something like An Inconvenient Truth. The Design Can Change Pledge, while, again, intended for designers, is much more widely applicable and can be workable for just about anybody, not just at work, but at home, too:
In my professional practice, I will endeavor to:
Learn: Engage in the topic and seek to understand the issue
Think: Make a sustainable mindset second nature
Act: Put my knowledge to work in my daily work
Inform: Share information and build awareness for sustainability
Unite: Spark change through collective strength

If you are a designer, there's lots to glean from a few minutes on the site; if you know a designer, tell them about it now (and they'll thank you later); if you want to learn more, click on over and get started. The 21st century will be better for it. ::Design Can Change via ::PingMag