IED Network

September 14, 2020

Design for a new everyday From Human to Planet-centered design

Changing perspectives From Human to Planet-centered design

By Marika Aakesson Product Design Coordinator at IED Rome and tutor in IED’s Global Goals Jam 2020.

For over a century designers have worked with companies to develop products responding to peoples’ needs. These needs are often created by status based consumption patterns driven by the desire to fit into a certain social environment or by the feeling that life is better, easier and more comfortable with more and new things. This form of consumerism has reinforced social divides while producing an enormous quantity of waste. Our planet’s resources have been exploited to the point of endangering our own existence and that of all life on earth.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to stop, think and form an opinion about the state of society and the world. Some of us are hoping that it could lead to a real change in behavior and pave way to a more equal world and environmentally friendly consumption. But as suggested by past social studies, peoples’ willingness to change their habits in extraordinary situations is usually driven by the expectation that eventually life will go back to normal.

Designers and companies are now faced with the challenge of creating a ‘new normal’ and encouraging people to adopt and adapt to it. By developing products and services through the principles of circular economy and the philosophy of One Health, in other words by applying a Planet- centered design approach, we can pave the way to a better future for us all.

This article is part of a series of perspectives on design and sustainable development connected to the Global Goals Jam 2020 – an international event where change-makers create innovative solutions to achieve the Global Goals. Creative professional Marika Aakesson share viewpoints to debate with, provoke and inspire new generations of learners.

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