We have reached a moment in human history where we must design for sustainability and the impact on society. How do we go beyond the design of a beautiful object to encompass the broader picture of sustainability? How do we engage with product life management, with the holistic experience from sourcing to use, all the way to destruction?
This cannot be done with today’s design practices and current processes. The convergence in design methodologies is not for doing business as usual, but to use it in a search for progress. Before, design was about seducing people into buying; now it’s about motivating people to feel good about what they do. The challenge is to get people to change their behavior. If we want to change behavior about sustainability, we need to attract people with beautiful, aesthetic, emotional experiences.
An example is Kengo Kuma’s much praised installation at Dassault Systèmes’ Design in the Age of Experience event in 2018, which captures carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air. It doesn’t look like a filtration tower. It’s a beautiful piece of art, but with a function—it does the job.