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Research Papers: Design Education

Do Student Trials Predict What Professionals Value in Sustainable Design Practices?

[+] Author and Article Information
Jeremy Faludi

Thayer School of Engineering,
Dartmouth College,
14 Engineering Drive,
Hanover, NH 03755
e-mail: faludi@dartmouth.edu

Felix Yiu

Department of Architecture,
University of California Berkeley,
230 Wurster Hall #1820,
Berkeley, CA 94720
e-mail: felix.yiu@berkeley.edu

Ola Srour

Department of Chemical Engineering,
American University of Beirut,
Box 11-0236 Riad El-Solh,
Beirut 1107 2020,
Lebanon
e-mail: ohs04@mail.aub.edu

Rami Kamareddine

Department of Chemical Engineering,
University of Balamand,
Balamand Al Kurah,
Balamand 06-930250,
Lebanon

Omar Ali

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
American University of Beirut,
Box 11-0236 Riad El-Solh,
Beirut 1107 2020,
Lebanon
e-mail: ota04@mail.aub.edu

Selim Mecanna

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
American University of Beirut,
Box 11-0236 Riad El-Solh,
Beirut 1107 2020,
Lebanon
e-mail: smm55@mail.aub.edu

Contributed by the Design Education Committee of ASME for publication in the Journal of Mechanical Design. Manuscript received July 18, 2018; final manuscript received February 27, 2019; published online May 13, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Scarlett Miller.

J. Mech. Des 141(10), 102001 (May 13, 2019) (12 pages) Paper No: MD-18-1576; doi: 10.1115/1.4043200 History: Received July 18, 2018; Accepted March 03, 2019

When teaching sustainable design in industry or academia, we should teach design methods, activities, and mindsets that are most effective at driving real change in a industry. However, most studies of design practices are performed on students, not on professionals. How strongly do student perceptions of value predict those of industry teams designing real products? This study provided workshops on three sustainable design methods (The Natural Step, Whole System Mapping, and Biomimicry) for 172 professionals and 204 students, applying the methods to their actual products being developed. It surveyed both populations about which activities or mindsets within each design method provided sustainability value, innovation value, and overall value. Quantitatively, student results did not strongly predict professional opinions; professionals chose clearer favorites and valued more things. However, qualitatively, student results did predict the reasons why professionals would value the design activities and mindsets. Therefore, care should be taken to choose appropriate participants for the questions being asked in sustainable design research.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Activities and mindsets comprising the studied design methods, with categorizations

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Fig. 2

Percentage of students (n = 89) and professionals (n = 48) mentioning what they generally valued (positive %) or criticized (negative %) in The Natural Step

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Percentage of students (n = 89) and professionals (n = 48) mentioning anything driving sustainability in The Natural Step

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Percentage of students (n = 89) and professionals (n = 48) mentioning anything driving innovation in The Natural Step

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Percentage of students (n = 134) and professionals (n = 96) mentioning what they generally valued (positive %) or criticized (negative %) in Whole System Mapping

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Percentage of students (n = 134) and professionals (n = 96) mentioning anything driving sustainability in Whole System Mapping

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Percentage of students (n = 134) and professionals (n = 96) mentioning anything driving innovation in Whole System Mapping

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Percentage of students (n = 104) and professionals (n = 57) mentioning what they generally valued (positive %) or criticized (negative %) in Biomimicry

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Percentage of students (n = 104) and professionals (n = 57) mentioning anything driving sustainability in Biomimicry

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Percentage of students (n = 104) and professionals (n = 57) mentioning anything driving innovation in Biomimicry

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Percentage of student (n = 327) and professional (n = 201) responses mentioning the different categories of activities or mindsets from all three design methods that they generally valued or did not value. Note none of the three design methods contained Build activities.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Percentage of student (n = 327) and professional (n = 201) responses mentioning any category of the activities or mindsets driving sustainability

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Percentage of student (n = 327) and professional (n = 201) responses mentioning any category of the activities or mindsets driving innovation

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