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Conceptualising Design Fixation and Design Limitation and Quantifying Their Impacts on Resource Use and Carbon Emissions

Division for Environmental Technology and Management, Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, 58183 Linköping, Sweden
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Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8104; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198104
Received: 17 August 2020 / Revised: 12 September 2020 / Accepted: 23 September 2020 / Published: 1 October 2020
Design for sustainability needs to apply a societal perspective. The purpose of this paper is to combine the concept of design fixation with higher levels of analysis. Design fixation is used to describe a blind adherence to known concepts during the design process. It is used mostly at the micro level of design with the focus on the activities of an individual designer or a group of designers. In this paper, design fixation gets conceptually lifted to the levels of the organisation and the institution. We ask how the understanding of design fixation helps to achieve higher resource efficiency. Examples of organisational and institutional design fixations are presented. A System Dynamics model is used to simulate the impacts of design fixation on resource use of a sociotechnical laundry systems. Applying this lens suggests that in order to solve societal design fixations, systemic parameters like infrastructure, business models, or policies need to be considered design parameters. The simulation results show that high-level design fixations can have significant impact on resource use. View Full-Text
Keywords: design fixation; design for sustainability; system dynamics; sociotechnical systems; systems perspective; environmental sustainability design fixation; design for sustainability; system dynamics; sociotechnical systems; systems perspective; environmental sustainability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wasserbaur, R.; Sakao, T. Conceptualising Design Fixation and Design Limitation and Quantifying Their Impacts on Resource Use and Carbon Emissions. Sustainability 2020, 12, 8104. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198104

AMA Style

Wasserbaur R, Sakao T. Conceptualising Design Fixation and Design Limitation and Quantifying Their Impacts on Resource Use and Carbon Emissions. Sustainability. 2020; 12(19):8104. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198104

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wasserbaur, Raphael; Sakao, Tomohiko. 2020. "Conceptualising Design Fixation and Design Limitation and Quantifying Their Impacts on Resource Use and Carbon Emissions" Sustainability 12, no. 19: 8104. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198104

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