I have finalized my paper topic to sustainability and design. Although I originally planned to focus on the effects of digital UX design and it’s relationship with environmental sustainability, I have decided to broaden the topic to environmental sustainability in general design practices within businesses due to an underwhelming lack of studies and scientific research to write an entire research essay on.
I will be covering these areas of design and how to implement sustainable practices:
- Digital UX Design
Although there are very few English articles on the subject of how digital design affects our physical environment, there is enough scientific data to be informative. Certain shapes and colors use more energy therefore increasing a company’s carbon footprint. Minimizing high energy-consuming design elements can reduce a companies carbon footprint. While I don’t think I’ll be able to find enough resources to focus the essay on this subject matter, I think it’s important to keep as one of the main topics because many people do not consider the internet as a source of pollution.
- Product Packaging
It is now a common practice for companies to consider and utilize sustainable packaging for their physical products. However, many designers are limited to what materials are recyclable or compostable — but there are many other things to consider:
- Can the packaging be designed to be functional as something else? (for example: packaging you can plant)
- How can designers reduce packaging without reducing the visual aesthetic integrity?
- Where are these materials sourced? Manufactured? Distributed?
I am thinking of adding one more subject to cover — overall I want this research paper to act as a general guide of things to consider for small startup companies which is why I’m covering digital (for apps and push emails) and product packaging. I chose to not cover products specifically because implementing sustainable practices in product design varies too much from industry to industry. If you have any suggestions please feel free to let me know!