Application of sustainable design is growing rapidly as companies face increasing pressure to address the environmental impacts of their products. In response, a great deal of research has been directed at the development of sustainable design methods, as early design intervention has the potential to generate radical improvements. At present however, sustainability is often considered as an afterthought, only yielding incremental improvements. As such there is a clear need to redesign our design processes, and promote embedded consideration of sustainability throughout from the earliest stages.
This thesis reports on research investigating how sustainability considerations could be systematically incorporated into product design processes through the definition of a framework and the development of a methodology for evaluating established design processes and identifying and prioritising stages for sustainability considerations to be embedded into design activity. The primary objective of this research is to develop an understanding of the challenges and opportunities for the implementation of sustainable design approaches in order to move towards a situation in the future where sustainability considerations are an inherent and embedded part of product design processes or Ubiquitous Sustainability in design.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.