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 for sustainable design 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 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.
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 site credits
We have created a useful sustainability design dictionary with all things sustainability. Feel free to browse the information from A-Z
Paper pulp sources not derived from trees. Sources include: agricultural waste (wheat, flax, rice) as well as crops grown specifically for fiber, such as hemp, kanaf, and cotton.
Paper and purchasing policies that help safeguard ancient and endangered forests. AFF paper must be manufactured with a high percentage of post-consumer recycled fiber or agricultural residue. Any virgin fiber used in the paper must be both FSC certified and assessed to ensure that it did not originate from endangered forests. Bleaching must be chlorine-free. canopyplanet.org
This we know: the planet will go on without us. But we cannot go on without it. At its core, sustainability is about people. In order to promote a healthy planet, we must start with a healthy society. Not just sharing the wealth, but redefining the word.
A movement to ignite, accelerate and amplify design-driven social change
Design for Good is a platform to build and sustain the implementation
of design thinking for social change.
Section: Tools and Resources -
pro bono, social issues
COMMON Hoops empowers young kids in Hale County, Alabama, to take leadership roles and give back to the community through design and basketball.
Section: Why Design -
social responsibility, Design for Good, students
The problem was to design an exhibition program that tells a sustainability story through the Sustainability Treehouse at The Summit—an adventure center for the millions of youth and adults involved in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).
Section: Why Design -
Competition, exhibition design, sustainability, Justified
A panel of design leaders discuss diversity challenges, insights for influencing corporate programs, and solutions for a more inclusive design profession.
Section: Inspiration -
culture, diversity, Diversity and Inclusion
Mohawk Solutions Promotion
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