The research explores the field of sustainability assessment in its environmental and social aspects, by considering the possibilities of the design discipline to guide society towards widespread sustainable empowerment. The growth of the Circular Economy as a sustainable business model to contrast the climate and pandemic crisis, within the European regulations, challenges designers to face this model and take on a new role. The complexity of production systems leads to a systemic vision in which relations between different actors can take on new conformations and foster the transition from a linear supply chain to a networked one based on information sharing. Moreover, achieving sustainable innovation does not seem to be very effective without the active involvement of individuals. The increasing attention to consumer behaviour and attempts at sustainability education indicate a trend for companies to not only act on the production and disposal phases, but also on the use phase. At the same time, the spread of participative systems highlights an increasing willingness on the part of consumers to play an active role in the production chain and become ‘prosumer’. The field of self-production, or Do-it-Yourself, emerged as a fertile ground for triggering sustainable practices, in which the designer plays the role of intermediary between expert and non-expert. The research studied the strategies of the Circular Economy in relation to the responses pursued by Design for Sustainability, as well as the emerging practices linked to peer-to-peer and commons systems, in order to channel them into the Design Driven Innovation process. Focus of the research is the Life Cycle Assessment methodologies with its softwares and database adapted to informal contexts. The complexity of the process and the difficulty of interpretation of the results obtained make this methodology accessible only to those who have a strong chemical-environmental background. Furthermore, the Life Cycle Assessment is not is not yet a complete tool for assessing sustainability as it relates environmental impacts only, whereas it has now become essential to assess the social social aspects related both to workers' conditions and to the consequences on communities and territories. The study of Life Cycle Assessment was carried out through participation in specific training courses for learning the LCA calculation software and GaBi thinkstep, within university research projects in collaboration with the Design for Sustainability Laboratory of the University of Florence, and through the collaboration with Idemat database and mobile-app tool for Light LCA. Beyond the difficulties of applying Life Cycle Assessment, it can be used as an introductory tool for learning about sustainability. The first output of the research was the set-up of a workshop for design students to learn Life Cycle Assessment, and introduce them to the comprehension of product-service systems and supply chains, facilitating the learning and management of complex systems. Final output is MAKE!T DIFFERENT a collaborative and circular service platform, designed for Do-It-Yourself target group, it uses a simplification of the Life Cycle Assessment methodology to provide its users with a tool they can use to calculate their own environmental impact, namely by offering them an empowerment tool that enables them to approach environmental issues. A gaming system was created to guide the user in the acquisition of green skills through the completion of the actions proposed in the different sections of the platform, with the aim to spread knowledge about the impacts of production processes and to strengthen a circular territorial network. In conclusion, the research brings the discussion on the opportunities for the dissemination of Life Cycle Assessment in new contexts. The platform is intended to be a model that can be adapted and replicated in other contexts, so as to encourage practices of circularity of knowledge and materials, in order to come closer to the requirements of transparency and traceability of processes required by European regulations.

MAKE!T DIFFERENT Design for sustainable empowerment. Impact assessment in DIY context through the Life Cycle Thinking approach / Claudia Morea. - (2022).

MAKE!T DIFFERENT Design for sustainable empowerment. Impact assessment in DIY context through the Life Cycle Thinking approach

Claudia Morea
2022

Abstract

The research explores the field of sustainability assessment in its environmental and social aspects, by considering the possibilities of the design discipline to guide society towards widespread sustainable empowerment. The growth of the Circular Economy as a sustainable business model to contrast the climate and pandemic crisis, within the European regulations, challenges designers to face this model and take on a new role. The complexity of production systems leads to a systemic vision in which relations between different actors can take on new conformations and foster the transition from a linear supply chain to a networked one based on information sharing. Moreover, achieving sustainable innovation does not seem to be very effective without the active involvement of individuals. The increasing attention to consumer behaviour and attempts at sustainability education indicate a trend for companies to not only act on the production and disposal phases, but also on the use phase. At the same time, the spread of participative systems highlights an increasing willingness on the part of consumers to play an active role in the production chain and become ‘prosumer’. The field of self-production, or Do-it-Yourself, emerged as a fertile ground for triggering sustainable practices, in which the designer plays the role of intermediary between expert and non-expert. The research studied the strategies of the Circular Economy in relation to the responses pursued by Design for Sustainability, as well as the emerging practices linked to peer-to-peer and commons systems, in order to channel them into the Design Driven Innovation process. Focus of the research is the Life Cycle Assessment methodologies with its softwares and database adapted to informal contexts. The complexity of the process and the difficulty of interpretation of the results obtained make this methodology accessible only to those who have a strong chemical-environmental background. Furthermore, the Life Cycle Assessment is not is not yet a complete tool for assessing sustainability as it relates environmental impacts only, whereas it has now become essential to assess the social social aspects related both to workers' conditions and to the consequences on communities and territories. The study of Life Cycle Assessment was carried out through participation in specific training courses for learning the LCA calculation software and GaBi thinkstep, within university research projects in collaboration with the Design for Sustainability Laboratory of the University of Florence, and through the collaboration with Idemat database and mobile-app tool for Light LCA. Beyond the difficulties of applying Life Cycle Assessment, it can be used as an introductory tool for learning about sustainability. The first output of the research was the set-up of a workshop for design students to learn Life Cycle Assessment, and introduce them to the comprehension of product-service systems and supply chains, facilitating the learning and management of complex systems. Final output is MAKE!T DIFFERENT a collaborative and circular service platform, designed for Do-It-Yourself target group, it uses a simplification of the Life Cycle Assessment methodology to provide its users with a tool they can use to calculate their own environmental impact, namely by offering them an empowerment tool that enables them to approach environmental issues. A gaming system was created to guide the user in the acquisition of green skills through the completion of the actions proposed in the different sections of the platform, with the aim to spread knowledge about the impacts of production processes and to strengthen a circular territorial network. In conclusion, the research brings the discussion on the opportunities for the dissemination of Life Cycle Assessment in new contexts. The platform is intended to be a model that can be adapted and replicated in other contexts, so as to encourage practices of circularity of knowledge and materials, in order to come closer to the requirements of transparency and traceability of processes required by European regulations.
Giuseppe Lotti, Debora Giorgi, Joost G. Vogtländer, Marco Mossinkoff, Marco Capellini
Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
Claudia Morea
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2158/1280216
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