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The Living Principles for
Design were borne out of the design profession’s need for an
aspirational and actionable framework for integrated
sustainability—a common point of reference to which all designers
can refer. Originally conceived at the encouragement of AIGA, their ongoing development is dependent upon the
contributions of the design community at large.
The Living Principles for Design framework is a catalyst for driving positive cultural change. It distills the four streams
of sustainability—environment, people, economy and culture—into a roadmap that is understandable, integrated, and
most importantly, actionable. Designers, business leaders and educators can use The Living Principles to guide every
decision, every day.
The Living Principles for Design website is a place for the global design community to co-create, share and showcase
best practices, tools, stories and ideas for sustainable design across all disciplines.
Help us move the conversation, the industry and the world.
Want to contribute, but don’t have time to create a longer post? Here are quick and easy actions you can take:
AIGA members interested in becoming more involved can also connect and share through their local chapters.
The Living Principles for Design
framework is a catalyst for driving positive cultural change. It
distills the four streams of sustainability—environment, people,
economy, and culture—into a roadmap that is understandable, integrated,
and most importantly, actionable. Designers, business leaders, and
educators can use The Living Principles to guide every decision, every
Design for Good
is an inclusive AIGA initiative that helps designers find projects with
social impact and creates opportunities for designers to solve complex
community problems. Designers working on projects that improve the human
experience may also be working within the learning embodied in the
The Living Principles relate to how we design, while Design for Good relates to what kinds of projects we apply our creative talents.
The Living Principles framework is a lens that brings clarity to
integrated sustainability and makes it accessible, relevant and
ready to put into action. Developed under the guidance of the AIGA
Center for Sustainable Design by co-authors Gaby Brink, Nathalie Destandau and Phil Hamlett, The Living Principles were
officially unveiled at the AIGA Design Conference
in Memphis in October 2009. That same month, the Icograda General
a resolution on the responsibility of designers to promote
sustainable practices and offered The Living Principles for Design
as a model framework. Delegates of communication design
associations and educators worldwide adopted the resolution
unanimously, representing a global validation of the opportunities
for the framework developed by AIGA members.
In June 2010, a new online community was launched at www.livingprinciples.org to
provide members of the global creative community with a place to
co-create, share and showcase best practices, tools, stories and
ideas for enabling sustainable action across all design
The Living Principles for Design framework was drawn from a sampling of influential sustainability manifestos, principles, visions, frameworks and tools from the last 50 years. More information is available on the Living Principles site:
BRUTE Design Thinking for Kids is an innovative
social enterprise which aims to give students in grades four to eight, from low income
neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay Area, greater access to
self-directed activities, hands-on learning and collaborative play. BRUTE Design Thinking for Kids was a finalists for the 2013 Design Ignites Change | AIGA Professional Fellowship.
Section: Tools and Resources -
Design for Good, K-12, education, social responsibility
If you don’t believe Edward Snowden’s actions have cast a shadow over
the practice of design, you’re mistaken. For designers and programmers
apps and other mobile media, the privacy issues he’s raised should
be a top concern, particularly when it comes to how we gather user
Section: Tools and Resources -
information design, experience design, interface design, user experience, digital media
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