Socially Sustainable Design

This year I will be looking at socially sustainable design (SSD) and it’s applications. I define SSD as:

Socially sustainable design empowers individuals and groups to advocate, facilitate, catalyse and realise positive change in the present and future of their community. It provides long-term solutions to problems, not quick fixes, and does not sacrifice environmental or financial sustainability in order to do so.

Socially sustainable designers consider as many stakeholders as possible, and have an in depth understanding of the people most affected. Innovators work collaboratively and creatively across disciplines, with humility and lack of prejudice. They use this knowledge and understanding to find a solution that is relevant to the main stakeholders and one that will work for them over time. 

I will be investigating the idea that SSD and financial stability can go hand in hand. Or maybe I’m just trying to convince myself that it can!

I want to look at the relationship between social sustainability, industrial design and business (whether for profit or not).

You could say social enterprise currently sits between social sustainability and business. How could design jump on board? Likewise, how could social sustainability be applied to your average design consultancy or team? Is there anything existing that goes into all three spheres?

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