Design Response to a Wash of Green: Whole Systems and Life Cycle Thinking

Here are great examples of life cycle thinking in design to avoid “green washing”.
The article makes distinction between green wash designs with no changes across the life cycle and true green products, which result from life cycle thinking and use of tools such as SLCA in the design process to come up with the most cost effective, sustainable and remarkable designs.

As explained in the lecture,S/ LCA addresses the whole life cycle system and provides information to focus on “hot spots” to be tackled in the design solution. The key of the life cycle thinking is to think ahead of time problems that will come at any life cycle stage of our design and be able to shape new configurations that reduce as much the impacts.


-Ana Maria


One thought on “Design Response to a Wash of Green: Whole Systems and Life Cycle Thinking

  1. Courtney

    This is so interesting. Everyone is so interested in designing for sustainability and green design, that they do not really think about the other issues that can occur with their newly designed products. Sometimes, in order to avoid an issue with a material, other materials are used that can have other downsides. Also, a lot of products are being designed for disassembly, but they parts are either not being recycled or there is no where for the parts to go/ no real system that can take all of the parts in to be reused or remanufactured. However, I think even though these steps towards green design are small and sometimes not that effective, they are steps in the right direction. Time might be the only thing that can really fix these problems. More people need to get on board and in order for that to happen, education is key.


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