Design Victoria has been doing a lot of work in the sustainable design area. What is Design Victoria trying to achieve with sustainability and design?
Sustainable design is integral to design and is the responsibility of all designers to integrate sustainable principles into design solutions, developments and innovation to help address the ever present issues of sustainability and climate change and to help build a more sustainable future for the planet.
Our eco-design and sustainability programs allow for designers, as creative-thinkers across all disciplines, to reconsider, review and remake the products, services and systems that can effect environmental, cultural and social change and work towards a sustainable future and for businesses to embrace, drive and lead this positive change.
Where do you think the Australian design industry is at the moment with Sustainability?
Findings from Design Victoria’s recent industry survey (Five Years On. Victoria’s Design Sector 2003-2008) indicated that 45% of design consultancies across a range of disciplines had undertaken at least one project with a sustainable outcome in the past year. Some of the sustainability outcomes recorded included reduced water consumption and lower levels of waste and emissions.
The research also highlighted skill shortages, particularly in industrial design, around environmental and waste management and alternative energy products and services.
Through professional development and building awareness the design community can effectively position itself to meet the demands of achieving sustainable outcomes for industry.
Who do you think are the leading Australian and Victorian companies integrating sustainable design?
Victorian design consultancies are assisting industry to meet the growing challenges that sustainability presents. Consultancies across architecture, graphic design, industrial design and fashion and textiles are undertaking fantastic projects and achieving great outcomes.
We have been fortunate to have DesignInc, Schiavello, Woods Bagot, Buro North, Buzz Design, Viola Design, UP&UP Creative and Sustainable Living Fabrics make fantastic contributions to the Design Victoria program, sharing their knowledge and experiences with the broader design comsmunity.
Design Victoria has just released "Sustainable by Design". Can you discuss the project and its aims?
Sustainable by Design was developed by Design Victoria in collaboration with WSP Environmental, Swinburne University, Sustainability Victoria, RMIT’s Centre for Desig, Buzz Design, Viola Design and VECCI’s Grow Me The Money program.
The aim of this online How to Kit is to highlight to small and medium sized businesses how design can assist businesses to implement sustainability principles. It contains a high-level overview of energy and climate change, water, waste, transport, supply chain and communications, and the design-related opportunities in these areas.
We have also just released What is Eco-design?, a practical, online resource for graphic, textile, fashion and industrial designers. It aims to provide designers with a grounding in eco-design principles and practice with valuable advice and tips on how to integrate positive environmental factors into the design process and ways to maximise the value of eco-design.
Design Victoria has been arranging talks and workshops around issues to do with sustainability. Have they been successful?
Design Victoria’s Business Ready and Design Ready programs have delivered a range of sustainability seminars and workshops to address key issues, develop designers’ skills and highlight tools available in the area and furthermore promote the positive business outcomes of integrating sustainable principles into small business. These events have been very popular, with events booking out in advance!
Do you have any plans to publish the content from lectures and workshops to open it up to a wider audience?
We currently feature some reviews and speaker notes from events on our website. Many of the eco-design seminars and workshops that have taken place have been filmed and we intend to include ‘highlights’ from these in an eco-design How To Kit for designers, to be launched in 2009. The kit will be available online and will contain targeted information for several design disciplines.
What advice do you have for people wishing to learn and start practising sustainable design?
Sustainability is such an important issue and there is a lot happening in the industry to support designers in the area around research, education and resources.
We will continue to work in the area in 2009 so keep an eye out for Design Victoria sustainability events and How To Kits. We partner with leading professional associations, business experts, industry peak bodies, tertiary education institutions and government to achieve the highest standard of outcomes in the delivery of our programs.
Do you have any advice or awards (to enter) that would be appropriate for people wishing to strive to be the best at integrating sustainability and design?
Victoria’s design strategy includes the Premier’s Design Awards. It presents an excellent opportunity for leading designers and design consultancies to be recognised for their ability to deliver exceptional design outcomes for their clients. Recipients of The Premier’s Design Mark are recognised and celebrated by the profession, clients and the community as having made a contribution to a sustainable future
The Premier's Sustainability Awards are hosted by Sustainability Victoria. These awards recognise and reward Victorian businesses, communities and individuals that demonstrate innovation and efficiency in contributing to a more sustainable future – www.sustainabilityawards.vic.gov.au/
What do you see is in the future for sustainable design and Design Victoria?
Design Victoria will continue to anticipate, identify and respond to research and trends in sustainable design to collaboratively develop and offer to both businesses and the design industry professional development opportunities and provide resources through the Design Victoria program, with leading sustainability experts and associations. Sustainable design is becoming ‘second nature’ for Design Victoria.