Featured selection: Doing More

From their essay “Doing More: Issue-Based Design and the Triple Bottom Line” in the Public Interest Design Practice Guidebook

Today, both the public and design professionals are realizing that design must be more than a luxury service that only a few can afford. Design, instead, should be an essential tool in directing positive change in the environment and beyond. Employment, disease prevention, and access to clean drinking water are examples of issues that are part of a larger network of human productivity, the solutions to which are essential to the preservation of our world. True sustainable design, lasting design solutions that impact lives, is an extremely rich and complex practice that requires an imperative focus. This is a worthy challenge for design to realize its true potential, evident in projects from the next two chapters.

Savda Ghevra in New Delhi, India, is the site of the sanitation infrastructure Potty Project (case study pages 302–5), which considers social challenges related to the safety of women in relation to open defecation, to family health and productivity, and to the environmental issue of public sewage infrastructure. The SAGE Affordable Green Modular Classrooms (case study pages 270–3) in Oregon and Washington examines the environmental issue of sustainable manufactured classrooms, social challenges surrounding student performance, and the economic issue of affordability to the school districts. These two projects serve as models, demonstrating how a singular problem is linked to a tapestry of related issues.


To read the entire essay, see Chapter 16: Doing More: Issue-Based Design and the Triple Bottom Line, in Public Interest Design Practice Guidebook: SEED Methodology, Case Studies, and Critical Issues, edited by Lisa M. Abendroth and Bryan Bell, 133-5. New York: Routledge. 2015.


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