Product Design for the Environment: The Life Cycle Perspective and a Methodological Framework for the Design Process *
The aim of innovation is to reduce time taken and resources used in design, production, distribution, and disposal of products with elevated and diverse performance requirements. Methodological approaches have evolved to enable designers harmonize the various specifications of functionality, safety, quality, reliability, and cost, aimed at achieving a broader spectrum of performances. Environmental awareness is another wave that has simultaneously swept the production process. The new design challenges require a systematic, integrated, and simultaneous intervention into a product and its correlated processes. Analysis of factors influencing the environmental efficiency of industrial systems enables the identification of contexts most appropriate for a design intervention directed at environmental protection. The central theme unifying the various studies on design for environment is reduction of the environmental impact of a product across its entire life cycle, from design to disposal.