Call for papers: Design Approaches to Sustainability

Design Approaches to Sustainability

Session chair: Professor Marie Harder, Fudan University & University of Brighton

Call for abstracts for presentations at the Global Cleaner Production and Sustainable Consumption Conference: Accelerating the Transition to Equitable, Sustainable Post-Fossil-Carbon Societies, workshop, “Design Approaches to Sustainability” to be held in Sitges, Barcelona, Spain, 1-4 November 2015 (

 There are a considerable number of researchers and practitioners publishing in the field of Design within the broad topic of sustainability.  Although they are characterized by their use of theories, approaches and/or methods which they self-identify as being design-based, they span a wide range of sub-disciplines, such as:

  • Sustainable design
  • Design for sustainability
  • Design for social innovation and sustainability (DESIS)
  • Design for reuse
  • Design futures
  • Emotionally durable design
  • User-centred design
  • Human-centred design
  • Inclusive design
  • Values-centred design
  • Co-design
  • Participatory design

This work encompasses the design of products, services, visual artefacts, systems, buildings, sustainable urban environments, and others.

‘SCP’ was previously used to imply industrial- or consumer-specialist areas, but is now used in very broad terms to cover vast areas of sustainability and sustainable development. Many researchers in mainstream SCP are not aware of the work being done in the fields of Design, and are seldom aware of the potential benefits of design approaches to cross paradigms. This strand of the conference will provide an exciting opportunity for two-way exchange.

We thus propose that Design researchers and practitioners:

  1. a) Identify ANOTHER Global conference workshops, from among the 35+ workshops,) that are relevant to their research interests, and to prepare and submit an abstract on their design-based work for it (but submit it to this, Design, workshop: we will pass it on to the appropriate workshop leader(s) Those that are invited to present in the mainstream SCP workshops will then have an opportunity to introduce the audience to design approaches to obtain feedback from them in the Q&A sessions. They will also be able to learn about related work using other approaches.
  1. b) Participate in THIS conference workshop, in addition and afterwards, in which they briefly present their design-based work BUT ALSO their reactions to the responses, which they received in the other workshop.

Thus, this Design workshop will become a place and space to explore the overlaps, synergies and conflicts found by the designers across the conference. Non-designers who are interested in design will have the opportunity to gain insights from the widely divergent points of view. We will facilitate participants to draw out practical and theoretical insights from the field of design, which can help to inform global transitions to sustainability in more systematic ways.

Format and Procedures for Submission

Abstracts are invited from design researchers and practitioners to present case studies in the mainstream SCP workshops. A separate paper for each may be developed from the lessons learned from the discussions at the Design workshop, which will be recorded and transcribed.

Abstracts are to be prepared in English.

We invite authors to:

  1. a) Prepare an abstract of 500 words in response to one of the other Calls for Papers listed on, but submitted to the DESIGN workshop, also specifying which other workshop it relates to, by 30 June 2015.
  2. b) Please also send a copy of the abstract directly to Prof. Marie Harder at Add a separate comment of 100-300 words (optional) about how your work contributes to a broader vision of design for sustainable production and consumption, and/or what you see as the key insights that may be generalizable to other design fields.

After the Global Conference, scientific teams of the Global Conference will select the articles to be developed for peer review and for potential publication within one of several Special Volumes of the JCLP (Journal of Cleaner Production) that will be developed based upon initial inputs to the Global Conference. The Chairs will also make approaches to mainstream Design journals for the possibility of a Special Issue.

For further information please consult:

Professor Marie Harder, University of Brighton (

Gemma Burford, University of Brighton (





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