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Designers as sustainability champions: a discursive analysis of product designers claiming a role of ‘pushing’ for sustainability

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Show simple item record Cooper, Liz 2021-06-15T08:19:04Z 2021-06-15T08:19:04Z 2021
dc.description non-peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract A tension is apparent in the literature on the role of designers in making products more sustainable. On the one hand, there is a discourse of individual designer responsibility and many methods and tools are prescribed to encourage and help designers make more sustainable design decisions. Advocacy organisations focusing on sustainable and circular design have in recent years focused on inspiring designers to make more sustainable products. On the other hand, science and technology studies literature highlights the multi-stakeholder network character of design, where designers lack the power to make design decisions. This study examines how designers’ roles are portrayed in reflective verbal accounts collected using two methods – sixteen semi-structured video call interviews with sustainability-focused designers, and video recordings of seven sustainable design conference panel discussions. Selected extracts are analysed using discursive psychology, to identify how actions are accomplished through talk. We see many designers working to overcome the ambiguity of seeking to be a responsible designer while not being able to make final design decisions, by claiming an extension of their role as ‘pushing’ and persuading for sustainability, to influence key design decisions. Talk of ‘pushing’ for sustainability is common across interviews and in talk at public design conferences, and in both general talk and talk of specific projects, suggesting the framing is significant to the designers’ roles. The sustainable design community could consider how to support designers who report their roles as already ‘pushing’ to achieve more sustainable products, reflecting a sustainability champions concept that is established in other fields. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries 4th PLATE 2021 Virtual Conference, 26-28 May 2021;
dc.subject sustainable design en_US
dc.subject decision-making en_US
dc.subject design role en_US
dc.subject pushing en_US
dc.subject discursive psychology en_US
dc.title Designers as sustainability champions: a discursive analysis of product designers claiming a role of ‘pushing’ for sustainability en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/conferenceObject en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.31880/10344/10174
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US

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