Localisation and the design and production of sustainable products
1. Localisation and the design and production of
Çağla Doğan, Stuart Walker
ID 501 Advanced Project Development In Industrial
2. Framework of the current understandings of sustainable product design
3. Generating „tacit knowledge‟ through the making process
4. Integrated scales of design, production, use and post-use for sustainability
5. Conclusions: embodying knowledge: social and environmantal integrity in product
3. A fundamental rethinking and restructing of product design, production and post-
use must be taken into account to contribute to the three main principles of
sustainability which are:
4. Restoring „the local‟ has important implications for product design
– product diversity for different user needs
– effective user feedback
– developing more creative, ethically responsible and appropriate ways for product end-
5. There are limited studies and efforts that address local aspects of design and
production. Therefore investigating the implications of “Integrated Scales of Design
and Production for Sustainability” (ISDPS) (Dogan and Walker, 2004) is substantial.
In this concept, the term „localisation‟ refers to:
• design knowledge and solutions tailored to diverse user needs at the batch
• post-use services of product parts at the local and regional levels (e.g., repair, reuse,
recovery and reproduction etc.).
6. According to Cooper current global advancement in digital technologies does not
overcome the reality of our contemporary, highly consumptive society. It points out
the importance of „the local‟.
7. Sustainability has been limited to the reduction of the environmental effects of the
products which is named „eco-efficient framework‟ which is relied on Life Cycle
• Economic feasibility is considered important rather than focus on design.
Product-to-service approaches and solutions generally stay at the level of concepts.
The focus here is on such things as dematerialisation, strategic and service
design, and product sharing.
8. There are number of tools and and system approaches for sustainability
which are :
• Environmental and business management tool ISO 14001
• Life Cycle Assesment (LCA)
• Ecological footprinting
• Factor 10
• Natural step framework
9. For instance in Factor 10 industrialized countries have to reduce their material intensity
by at least a factor of 10 and ecological footprinting proposes an estimate calculation of
the outcomes of various activities of societies, and aggregates them into units of ecological
Ecological impoverishment occurs because:
• intensity of human activity is increasing
• regulations are not put into action effectively
• environmental concerns are usually subsumed to commercial needs
• decision making is based on political and social factors rather than longer term ecological
• it is generally difficult and long term to challenge and change human values.
10. Within in the scenario of sustainability, future
companies could operate simultaneously locally and globally.
According to Manzini, this proposes combining semi-finished product parts with
11. With the help of the improvements in modular engineering design it is feasible to
replace or upgrade individual product components rather than replace the entire
On the other hand current design and production system that is based on mass-
production, standardisation and automation at the global scale allow minimum
and limited adjustments (such as changes in product colours, materials, graphic
codes and design), mostly for marketing purposes
12. As it is mentioned before there are some systemic problems associated with global
scale production which are :
• The activity of design is largely separate from the making and the means of production
and post-use processing.
• Areas of expertise are narrowed among various professions, those involved do not have
an holistic view of the process and its implications.
• New technologies are adopted rapidly without considering the cultural, environmental
and social context.
13. Tacit knowledge is practical know-how, and it exists in people. It can only be
learned through practice, it can be said learning by doing.
Arts and Crafts movement, for which the vernacular was the model. The three
elements of craft: vernacular, politics of work and decorative arts have a strong
relationship to practical know-how knowledge and design.
14. In contrast to studio crafts mass production dominate the main market but it is far
from satisfying the requirements of sustainability. The three paths of sustainability are
1.Adapt the existing system to integrate sustainability.
2. Return to a craft.
3.Re-conceive material goods and their design and production.
15. Increased localisation has the potential to better address sustainability:
• social: creating skilled employment at the batch production level
• environmental: effective use of resources, internalising the environmental impacts
enabling repair, reuse, product maintenance and upgrading
• economic: prices better reflect true costs, which include social and environmental
16. Integrated Scales of Design and Production for Sustainability
The ISDPS concept attempts to integrate the various scales of production in order to
introduce „localisation‟ in the design, manufacture and post-use of products.
The ISDPS concept:
reduces negative environmental effects
addresses locally focused socio-economic needs through product production
encourages product caring, maintenance and recovery at the local and regional levels
enable re-use and recycling
17. With the help of a more integrated approach, design can create culturally rich
products. To this end the ISDPS concept can:
• help recover and bring new insights and propositions to product aesthetics and meaning
• incorporate technology in a more transparent and appropriate way for both the user and
the employee or maker
• lead to new engagement possibilities between the user and the object in product
maintenance, repair, recycling
• make environmental and technological relationships more visible and a more significant
part of our understandings
18. (ISDPS) concept suggested here has the potential to create new opportunities for
designers to serve a variety of small-scale enterprises. This short run projects would
reflect the richness of diverse and cultural taste.