BHAMRA, T.A. and LOFTHOUSE, V.A., 2003. Information/inspiration: a web based sustainable design tool. IN: Proceedings of International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 2003), Stockholm, 19-21 August 2003.
This paper presents the results of research ongoing at Cranfield University to establish useful tools for designers to aid them in the process of sustainable design. Research completed as long ago as 1999 at Cranfield University  identified that to be successful, sustainable design should be considered at the earliest stages of PDP, where the design brief is most flexible. Despite this, research has shown that many companies do not have the appropriate mechanisms to integrate sustainable design early in the product development process and that there is a lack of appropriate tools. Many tools are available under the general heading of sustainable design but recent analysis  of these tools shows that the majority either focus on setting the strategic direction or are reflective tools such as life cycle analysis. Both of these types of tools do not aid designers in the early stages of product development. Research at Cranfield University has developed a greater understanding of the type of criteria required of a sustainable design tool in order to make it more appropriate to industrial designers. One of the deliverables of this project has been a sustainable design web based tool that combines sustainable design information with a selection of inspirational ideas. This paper presents the results to date of the research, outlines the tool and gives examples of its use.