The topic of the research paper is sustainable design. The importance of the assignment is predetermined by the fact that sustainable design is a region of the complex design activity, which tends to implement convergence requirements of the natural environment and culture. It causes the need to integrate the values achieved by previous generations of people in order to improve the relationship between man and nature. In this research paper, five academic sources were used. Many writers and designers support sustainable design as a new form of ecological and environmentally friendly design. The image of modern life is influenced by greening. There is an aspiration to define the optimal ratio between the environment and the living world. As a result, there is a convergence of culture and environment. The role of sustainable design in creating and maintaining a certain cultural community is complex and diverse. It should be taken into account when assessing the change in the ratio of general and special subject-spatial environment organized through the use of sustainable design.
In recent decades, the problem of ecological culture and human ecology has become extremely important. Restrictive measures have started to be complemented by other forms of organization of human interaction with the environment. A priority direction to solve the environmental problem was the idea of the organic inclusion of man-made products in the environment – ecological approach to design culture. Design engineering virtually covers the entire subject-dimensional human environment, combines scientific and technical approaches and artistically shaped philosophical components. Designers open the new shapes, designs and technologies to the public. They also adorn and organize the living space, enhancing socio-cultural communication. They often provoke a new round of consumption. Nowadays, sustainable design is one of the most popular directions in design and architecture. It is a region of the complex design activity aimed at implementation of convergence requirements, amalgamating the natural environment and culture in the designed objects. It causes the need to integrate the values achieved by previous generations in the process of relationship formation between people and nature. The purpose of the research paper is to reveal specifics and indicate the direction of sustainable design development.
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In the research paper, five sources were used. The first source is the book Environmentally Responsible Design: Green and Sustainable Design for Interior Designers. It was written by Louise Jones. It appears to be an influential guide that acquaints the readers with the notions and principles of green and sustainable design. It helps realize environmentally responsible approach. The second book used in the paper is The Philosophy of Sustainable Design: The Future of Architecture written by Jason F. McLennan. In the book, the author introduces the principal ideas of sustainable design. McLennan provides opinions and views of architects on the issue of environment and sustainable design. The next book, which appeared to be helpful during the investigation, is Sustainable Design: The Science of Sustainability and Green Engineering. It was written by Daniel A. Vallero and Chris Brasier. The book offers various practical features regarding sustainable design. The authors provide advantages of this design and its role in the environment. In the book Sustainable by Design: Explorations in Theory and Practice, the author Stuart Walker elucidates a new approach regarding practice and meaning of sustainable design. His investigation inspires architects and designers to use sustainable design due to description of its numerous benefits. The author Daniel E. Williams in the book Sustainable Design: Ecology, Architecture, and Planning provides essential views on the issue of sustainable design. According to the author, sustainability is the most significant change in the future of design and architecture.
Description of the Project
The main topic of the research paper is sustainable design. The paper is divided into several sections. Each section provides information regarding sustainable design, its advantages, and impact on the environment and people. Nowadays, the term sustainable design is widely used in the everyday design practice and scientific literature. However, sustainable design entered into the structure of modern design with quite blurry conceptual frameworks and undeveloped theoretical basis. To clarify the meaning and implementation of sustainable design, five sources were used in the research paper. The authors of the sources give their opinion on this issue.
The Notion of Sustainable Design
For many years, changes in nature associated with people’s productive activity were not included in the scope of interests of designers and architects. They did not find response even in organizations that deal with production activities. However, in the course of time, an increasing negative impact of human activity on the environment raised public awareness on the causal relationship between human activities and environmental degradation. “In many countries, legislation now controls air emissions, water pollution and the dumping of toxic substances” (Walker, 2006, p. 24). In recent decades, problems of human ecology and ecological culture came to the fore. “All over the country, indeed around the world, architects, engineers, developers, and builders are all clamoring to understand how to market their services to reflect a new way of building and a new approach to design” (McLennan, 2004, p. 2). The direction of sustainable design that originated in the 1970s is an attempt to harmonize relations in the system “a person – nature” and amend responsibility of people. An ecological approach to design was a reaction to the scientific and technological revolution. “Many books and articles suggest that nature will inspire design to provoke for a sustainable future” (Williams, 2007, p. 1). Sustainable design is one of the areas of the world environmental movement, which aims at protecting and restoring the environment. The meaning of the ecological approach in design is the creation of products that are compatible with the environment. It implies reduction and, if possible, completes elimination of the negative impact on the environment through the use of alternative resources and energy. It encourages to utilize materials, which are non-toxic, recycled or destined for recycling, as well as renewable production processes. “Conceptually, sustainable design expands the role of the design program, moving the design goal from object to community, and then designs the connections, illustrating the relationship between available energy and the natural place” (Williams, 2007, p. 1). The purpose of sustainable design is the maximum saving of resources and materials. Thus, it considers durability and lifetime of the product in relation to the costs of materials, as well as the possibility of its recycling.
The term “sustainable design” is now widely used in everyday design practice and meticulously described in specific literature. The issue of sustainable design encompasses various spheres of production and scientific knowledge – from applied ecology, industrial design, and architecture to modern researches in such diverse fields as medicine, philosophy, pedagogy, psychology, and sociology. “Philosophy, historical and contemporary issues, current affairs and discussions that stimulate critical thinking can all be brought to bear on how we reconfigure our notions of products, product design, and the creation and meanings of material culture in today’s world” (Walker, 2006, p. 12). This area of design combines art-project basis, as well as scientific and philosophical understanding of the extent of influence of creative activity on the environment. It also pays attention to the effects, which occur from the interaction between humans and the environment. There is a scientific and methodological toolkit of this new direction in design. Philosophers imply that sustainable design involves any design project aimed not at the reflection of harmony, but at the very harmony of human relations with the surrounding world.
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Sustainable design is defined as a participation of tools and methods of design in solving the actual problems of social protection of the environment, from the effects of waste pollution of technological civilization and ecological imbalance to the standpoint of natural and cultural values. “Sustainable design is not just about sustaining but also enhancing green ideas” (Vallero & Brasier, 2008, p. 24). The task of sustainable design is to ensure environmental cleanliness of construction and finishing materials used for the manufacture of design objects, as well as ecological compatibility of production processes and consumption. It takes into account the problem of waste disposal and the state of the object-spatial environment. It is a complex activity, which focuses on the requirements of the natural environment and culture.
Sustainable design embodies a kind of project activities existing as a conscious or intuitive response to environmental changes manifested in the objective and spatial creativity. “Sustainable design is the philosophical basis of a growing movement of individuals and organizations that literally seeks to redefine how buildings are designed, built, and operated to be more responsible to the environments and responsive to people” (McLennan, 2004, p. 4). The aim of this design is to stabilize the relationship between a person and the environment. The objects of the application of methods of sustainable design can be both nature indirectly affecting a person, as well as individual social, cultural, and psychological needs as they relate to environmental issues. At the moment, there are no distinct borders that determine the type of project activities. There are also no criteria by which the product can be referred to as a creation of sustainable design. Ecology of space is directly related to human ecology. It impacts the quality of the living environment, health, skills development, and psychophysical comfort. The living space to the greatest extent demonstrates the unity of a person and the environment and corresponds to the notion of ecology as the interaction between a subject and surroundings.
In most cases, it is difficult to attribute the products of sustainable design to the category of beauty as an aesthetic concept. Nevertheless, the new life of used things can be beautiful to preserve the environment. Sustainable design attracts attention. The knowledge about the functionality of the object gives a feeling of satisfaction and harmony. This design symbolizes the harmony between a person and nature. However, it is not enough to reflect eco-friendly concepts, creating thematic interiors. This unique equilibrium between people and nature should be a permanent state of consciousness.
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Therefore, the objectives of sustainable design are:
- Improvement of the current environmental situation by creating products that meet the requirements of nature, people, and culture.
- The search for a balance between the development of the form, function of objects of design and the principles of sustainable approach.
- The revision of materials and technologies in terms of environmental standards.
- The formation of a new culture of consumption and structure of needs based on the reduction of excessive number of products.
- The purposeful change of attitudes of society through artistic images of objects of design.
Based on the principles of sustainable consumption, the qualities of products of sustainable design must be multifunctionality, modularity, convertibility, durability, and reasonable economy. To make comfortable and environmentally friendly environment, it is necessary to fulfill ergonomic requirements. A harmonious image is relevant to the subject of sustainable design since it will create psychological comfort for the consumer.
Implementation of Sustainable Design
Considering the impact of production and consumption systems on the natural environment and the fact that all these processes are directly related to project activities, designers significantly influence the quality of the product, its aesthetic and functional properties, and most importantly – its value for humans and the environment. In the light of environmental issues, there is the increasing importance of the scientific theoretical base actualization. This base should be capable to direct design and production energy through the channel of adequate design and manufacturing process. It requires the introduction of an extensive new material, its systematization and generalization. The best example of sustainable design is green, organic architecture, which fulfills the purpose of creation of ecologically viable human habitat. “Sustainable design is a macro perspective that addresses the health and well-being of the global ecosystems that support life for both current and future generations” (Jones, 2012, p. 4). As a rule, this design is aimed at organization of a particular space, which can be described as a plot. The goal of the design is to create an area of a system that can function with minimal input of energy from the outside. In this case, examples are natural patterns that use renewable energy sources, mainly the sun. They may exist for a long time without contaminating the environment.
Natural forms of sustainable design, besides being close to a person, are organic, effective, and attractive. Products of this design draw a person’s attention to environmental sensitivity, efficiency, and ethics. They sometimes embody magnificent copies of nature. Buildings of this kind look like a part of nature. “A lot of buildings and building products get designed green or sustainable because they contain a few features that lower their environmental impact to some degree” (McLennan, 2004, p. 2). The designers plan to create interpretation that improves understanding of the interaction between the building and nature, the environment and the user. For example, after the calculation of climate and geography, the designer must “fit” the building into the terrain, taking into account the tastes and wishes of the client. This method reduces the environmental footprint of the building. It does not violate the integrity of the design. Such buildings demonstrate a big energy and resource efficiency through installation of high-tech materials or other products that do not violate an appeal to the real world or the user experience. The last approach is imitation based on the modeling and understanding of natural processes. This design provides the maximum efficiency of resources and improves the performance of buildings.
Benefits of Sustainable Design
Environmental design has many advantages. “Sustainable design has far-reaching benefits for planet Earth and its inhabitants” (Jones, 2012, p. 3). The economy, as a special functional significance of sustainable design, should also be considered. Whether these are portable solar panels for hiking, lights that do not use light bulbs or batteries, buildings or entire business parks, products of environmentally friendly design are more economical to use than similar products created excluding environmental factors. Portable solar panels produce free electricity. Maintenance of lanterns also costs nothing. “Green” buildings usually use less electricity, heating, and other utilities. Cleaner air circulates due to environmentally friendly building materials and improved ventilation systems, making these buildings more affordable in maintenance, and residents – healthier.
Principles of Sustainable Design
Principles of sustainable design are formulated on the basis of approaches of diverse disciplines, such as ecology, energy saving, landscape architecture, and science. The first principle is the relative positioning. Each element is positioned aboveother elements in such a way that they interact with each other. Each element performs several functions. Each function is implemented by many elements. Efficient energy planning is a very important principle of sustainable design. The use of biological resources instead of fossil fuel is an integral principle of this design. The use of natural patterns is the next component. Another principle is the diversity of kinds of the system, which makes the interaction of components more productive.
Objects of Sustainable Design
Sustainable design aims to create the best possible conditions to meet the primary human needs without violating environmental equilibrium. “Sustainable design is a paradigm shift, where the solutions plug into natural resources, renewable energies, and place-based knowledge” (Williams, 2007, p. 8-9). In such a way, the basic components of the design are residential and farm buildings, and agricultural systems. However, sustainable design involves a holistic approach. In principle, the design objects can be any objects that are associated with human activities. There are also certain restrictions. If the presence of an object in the system contradicts ethical principles, it is recommended to remove it. Examples include the use of pesticides during cultivation of food or building materials harmful to the environment.
The extent of the negative impact of human activity on the environment became an incentive, which helped people to understand the causal relationship between human activities and environmental degradation. In recent decades, other forms of organization of human interaction with the environment started to appear in order to enhance restrictive measures. The severity of the environmental situation has led to the general understanding of the necessity to form a new environmental consciousness. The direction of sustainable design originated in the second half of the XX century. It embodies a progressive attempt to harmonize relations between people and nature and amend human responsibilities to preserve the unique eco-system.
The direction of sustainable design pays particular attention to harmonization of the relationship between a person and the environment, as well as preservation of the natural environment. It is a comprehensive and integrated design activity, which creates eco-friendly objects – from household items to buildings, cities, and landscapes. It establishes convergence of the natural environment with consumer and aesthetic requirements of a person. The main goal of sustainable design is the creation of areas, products, and services with the minimal use of non-renewable resources, as well as construction of the environmentally conscious dwelling-places. Sustainable design is often seen as a necessary tool to achieve sustainability of the environment. It is the art of designing objects without violating the equilibrium in the environment, economy, and society. Reasonable implementation of sustainable design plans can have a positive impact on the man-nature relationship, creating more effective and harmonious communication. Sustainable design contributes to the creation of ecologically viable human habitat.