Design for longevity and trust. Durability, easy maintenance and reparability. There are many aspects that need to be considered: modularity for upgradeability, standardisation and compatibility.

Design for lifetime sustainability means designing to get the most use out of the materials and energy that go into a product by extending its useful life. Understanding the material flow of a product can help you make sustainable decisions that will affect the product lifecycle. Learn the basic strategies for optimising a product’s useful life, how to decide on the right strategy, and how to get stakeholder buy-in.

Different lifetimes for different parts

Image source: Autodesk

Sustainable product design

  1. Design for product attachment and trust
    Create products that will be loved, liked or trusted for longer. Timeless classic design: be practical – fit the design to the purpose and what people need. Think about enhanced personalisation and optimisation of initial lifetime.
  2. Design for longevity
    Design for easy maintenance, reparability and with a strong consumer-manufacturer relationship. Developing products that can take “wear and tear” without breaking down. Design for durability – products that last longer.
  3. Modular design
    The modular design of the product, facilitated by an open source approach, means that products are not only modular and reusable, they are also modifiable. Embrace open source modularity and drive the transition to a circular economy.
  4. Design for standardisation and compatibility
    Create products with parts or interfaces that fit other products as well to bring longevity into the product but also flexibility. Think about future upgradability and compatibility with the past.
  5. Design for dismantling
    Design for disassembly, deconstruction and reparability. Consider reversible interconnection technologies (for example, screws are better than glue) and labelling the parts.

The Product Wheel infographic

Learning Factory. Copyrights © 2017. Tapani Jokinen. Max Marwede.

Related content