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  • 5 minutes

Design ecologies animation

Updated Wednesday, 24 January 2024

This animation explores why a whole systems approach to design is important. It uses the example of a smartphone to illustrate the need to shift from linear to regenerative resource flows.

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Renowned marine biologist Rachel Carson, in her influential book Silent Spring (1962), stressed the interconnectedness of nature, echoing the sentiment of polymath Leonardo da Vinci, who believed that ‘everything connects to everything else’.

Today, we build on their insights, recognising the crucial importance of understanding the connections, causes and effects between humans and nature.

While conventional product development focuses on material choices, technology, and market demands, there’s more to the story. A holistic design approach involves considering the social and ecological impacts, including the legacy of waste generated by consumer products. 

Design ecologies explore the entire system, mapping resources, flows, and interactions at various scales and geographies. This animation uses a smartphone as an example to introduce the concept of design ecology through addressing ways to reduce the phone’s environmental impact.

PDF document Transcript 77.6 KB


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