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  • Subject Name : Sustainable development

Sustainable Design: Ecology, Culture & Human Built Worlds

According to UNDP (2019), the year 2019 was recorded as the second-warmest year. The year has recorded increased emission of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide. Currently, the UN secretary-general has proposed 6 climate positive actions to ensure a sustainable future for the citizens. These include decarbonization through green transition, green jobs & sustainable inclusive growth, a green economy that aims at building a society that is fair for all and leaves no one behind, encouraging sustainable solutions like ending fuel subsidies and initiation of polluters to pay principle, Overcome all climate risk and cooperation among countries to combat climate change. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are the global goals formed at the united nations conference on sustainable development held at Rio de Janerio in 2012. It serves as a universal call that aims to meet the environmental, political, and economic challenges faced by the world today(UNDP,n.d.).Goal 13 of the SDG deals with climate action. This goal aims to “take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts” (UNDP, 2019). This forward-thinking is more of a combative approach to climate action that is very much needed today. According to Sustainable development goals (2019), the aim of goal 13 focuses on integrating climate change measures into national policies, education programs, raising awareness about climate change, institutional support for climate change mitigation, adoption, reducing the impact, and early warnings.

Sustainable design is a system, process, or product that addresses the requirements of the present generation, while truly emphasizing the importance of this design serving future generations. It aims at eliminating the negative environmental effects of human activity through thoughtful designs(Ecolife,n.d.). Whilst the world is becoming more aware of the impact that humans are having on the environment, including global warming, the definition of sustainable design is changing. Previously, Sustainable design meant not to impact future generations negatively. Today, whilst this is still very relevant, the sustainable design emphasizes proactively in design, in an attempt to perpetually lower greenhouse gas emissions and our carbon footprint. This proactive attitude is depicted in SDG 13, Climate Action. Due to the increasing growth of sustainable culture, there is an emergence of green design and eco-design.

To define sustainable design the following principles are examined in the field

Development: According to Dewberry(2012), sustainable design has a role in perpetuating exponential growth. It operates with an equilibrium model of development and not on the expansion model. Sustainable designers should consider the process which maintains the balance of natural processes. This balancing process is identified in the Agenda 21 of Earth Summit. It shifts the emphasis from global economic drivers to biospheric limits(Dewberry,2012).

Needs: Sustainable analyses of conventional products, services, and systems.Assessment of needs and putting them into an environmental context. By measuring users quality of life these needs are assessed (Dewberry,2012)

Perspectives: Sustainability design must be multidisciplinary. It should regularly consult with the experts. This makes sustainability design a constant process of social learning.

Morals: Sustainable development aims to create global equality while conserving natural resources(Dewberry,2012). It operates under moral and ethical aspects. So sustainability designers should have moral values and should design work that contributes to humanity.

Thought: Sustainable designers should think outside the box of conventional ideas(Dewberry,2012). They should decide such a way to adjust for current realities. To overcome the influence of past decisions the sustainable designers use the three-step U process.

By the above principles, we can understand that sustainable design must satisfy social-economic and ecological needs through a total redesign of our modern world(Dewberry,2012). The sustainable designer should understand politics, ethics, and methodology (Dewberry,2012). Sustainable design sets the foundation for a completely new interdependent society.

If a sustainably-minded designer does not proactively aim to tackle these challenges in an attempt to reduce our carbon footprint on the earth, the sustainability aspect of the design should be challenged. That being said, these designs mustn’t merely look at the figures and projections of how a design may impact the earth. They must also be looked at from a social, cultural, and economic perspective. Whilst the importance of the condition of the future. Earth cannot be disregarded, designers must pay their respect to the past, and how society interacts with others, as well as their surroundings. This is, to not affect culture and historical traditions through innovative design in a negative manner. Ultimately, the groundbreaking ecological friendly design will disrupt culture, traditions, and the economy, but this most certainly does not need to be negative. Sustainable design that has these holistic considerations is undeniably the most ethical.

This Sustainable Development Goal; Climate Action, truly address my definition of sustainable design. For this reason, I was drawn to create a design that helps tackle Climate Action. As alluded to in my portfolio, every country experiences “drastic effects of climate change” (UNDP, 2019). Go Green aims to mitigate “long-lasting changes to our climate system” as a result of climate change. A quantitative goal for Goal 13 is “to limit the increase in global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, aiming at 1.5

degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels” (UNDP, 2019). United Nations mentioned that “strong political will… investment and existing technology” will help to achieve the goal. The technology aspect certainly sparked my intrigue for Gamification as a tool to help to achieve this goal. As mentioned in my portfolio, Gamification is “the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts”. The possibility of utilizing a technology to reach an array of people in aiding to tackle this goal was made clear to me, and the implementation of the game was the next step for me. Upon studying notes in the John Back seminar on the 13th of February 2019, I drew a few conclusions of how I would like to implement Gamification into goal 13. My main takeaways, as discussed in my portfolio provided the framework for my design. This includes:

  • Engagement is vital, although ‘fun’ is not a requirement.
  • Engagement can be enhanced through reward systems – i.e. reward systems and leaderboards.
  • Competition can also enhance engagement.
  • “Play is the free space of movement with a more rigid structure. Play exists because of and despite the more rigid structure of a system” (Wardrip& Harrigan, 2004). Therefore structure and rules will help to enhance the ‘play’ element.

According to Robinson (2004), Sustainable designers are criticized for being vague, hypocritical, or delusional. These reviews are made by considering all the below points.

Ethical: After researching gamification I decide on the importance of target people(Kumar &Herger,2013). So Gamified solution was employed(Chou,2015)

Ecological: The design I have chosen sufficiently considered the ecological aspects which

Social impact: The selected design is consistent with the social aspects of sustainable design.

Economic: The selected design has a positive consequence on economic development

Overall the adopted design is satisfied with all the angles of sustainability

Go Green, an application that I have designed aims to fulfill this need for sustainability ethically. I have critically assessed this application and the process of this application. This process took a linear approach to the idea, including background research, problem framing, idea generation, prototyping, and idea selection.

As mentioned in the portfolio, I have established a need for the application, by analyzing the Sustainable Development Goals and utilizing my curiosity for Gamification to create an application that addresses this need. My research into the need included extensive research into applications and games that already exist on the market. I reviewed data on these games, such as the number of users, popularity, and monetization. I recognize that making the game generate

revenues, will provide a base for the games to be developed and maintained in the future. From here, I looked out how these games addressed sustainability, including their results, and also the reaction of the consumer. This research can be seen in the portfolio section “is there a need/want for a game that addresses sustainability?” on page 5. My conclusion was that there is a need and want for these socially responsible games, reflected in the number of users – e.g.1.5 million users for Get Water! Idea generation looked at how I can tackle my sustainable development goal chosen: goal 13 – climate action. I used the ‘list matching’ technique, detailed on page 8 of my portfolio. This technique allowed me to move on to ‘Idea Selection’, which detailed how I can create the ‘green commute’ selected in the idea generation into my game. I referred back to my mark research and inspiration of ‘Closing the Rings’, depicted on page 7. This Apple application addresses the need for health and wellness, promoting engagement through leader boards and competition – i.e. closing the rings daily. The simplicity and interface of this game was the inspiration for my Go Green concept detailed further in the report. A positive aspect of my application is that it should appeal to a broad market, as it is simple, and doesn’t leave out any demographic aspects. However, a challenge that I was constantly tackling was how to make users feel engaged by the application, and use the application constantly. I understand that user engagement is ultimately what will help tackle climate action, so getting the user intrigued by the application is a challenge that I still question. As John Back talked about, user engagement can be prompted through competition, which is my main way of ensuring user engagement. After selecting my idea, I went on to creating draft concept ideas through brainstorming and analysis of different concepts. I picked out what is reliable and created a SWOT analysis for each concept. This final concept finally had enough information and detail.

See the finalized concept on page 14 of the portfolio:

  • Users can go head to head against other users, which can be tracked via a leader board.
  • Additionally, users will have a sense of competition against themselves, as a graph tracks their progress and promotes improvement.
  • Badges and stickers aim to encourage positive reinforcement when a user improves their sustainable activity such as diet and transport.

The result of the application took form as a result of prototyping the idea and getting feedback from peers (see prototype page 17). Ultimately, the application should inspire users to take action against climate action and should be used daily to get them thinking about the environment and their carbon footprint. The question of engagement still stands for me, and I think this is an area of the design that I think could still be improved on. Perhaps if I did more research into this area such as conducting a focus group with potential users and asking questions around engagement, I could have developed a more engaging design. Nevertheless, I feel the application serves a strong purpose and could spark more interest in the topic of Climate Action, especially as it is so user-friendly, and appeals to the mass market. The sustainability design which I have made can be used for mitigating greenhouse gas emission and carbon footprints which are the need of the hour to tackle the current climatic changes. In the era of digitalization, the gamification design that I have developed can be easily accessible by all the people through the commonly used device like mobile, tabs, etc. This will create awareness among people regarding climate change. Goal 13 of the sustainable development which focuses on sustainable methods of reducing greenhouse gases to combat climate change be addressed sustainably from the design with after some improvement process. My design satisfies all the requirements so I can say my design is sustainable.

References for Climate Action

Chou, Y.(2015).Octalysis-the complete gamification framework.Retrieved from https://yukaichou.com/gamification-examples/octalysis-complete-gamification- framework/

Dewberry, E.(2012).Eco-intelligence: Designing for the real world. Design and Designing, Chapter20, pp 307-319

Ecolife. (n.d.).Definition of Sustainable Design. Retrieved from http://www.ecolife.com/define/sustainable-design.html

Kumar,J., & Herger,M.(2013).Chapter 8:Legal and Ethical consideration. https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/book/gamification-at-work-designing- engaging-business-software/chapter-8-58-legal-and-ethical-considerations

Robinson, R.(2004). Squaring the circle? Some thoughts on the idea of sustainable development.Ecological Economics,48,pp 369-384

Sustainable Development Goals. (2019).Climate Change.Retrieved from https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/topics/climatechange

United Nations Development Programme. (2019). Sustainable development goals.Retrieved from https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development- goals/background/

Wardrip-Fruin, N &Harrigan, P.(2004). First-person: new media as story, performance, and game.England: The MIT Press

Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our Sustainable Development Assignment Help

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