Title: Functional product enrichment and supply chain disorganisation: two barriers for sustainable design

Authors: Gwenola Bertoluci, Dominique Millet

Addresses: Institut ENSAM de Chambery, Laboratoire MAPIE Savoie Technolac – BP 295 – 4 rue du Lac Majeur, 73 375 Le Bourget du Lac Cedex, France. ' SUPMECA Toulon, Equipe de Recherche IISIM Quartier Mayol, Place Pompidou Maison des Technologies, 83000 Toulon, France

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to consider a new way of understanding the usefulness of products in the globalised society and to explain a new approach to designing in industrial organisations. To do this, we shall present two current trends in the field of design, namely, the continuous functional enhancement that products undergo and the inescapable segmentation that is at work in production procedures. We shall analyse the harm arising for the environment from these two trends using three concrete examples (the office chair, the Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) and the automated washing machine system) and will thus show the incompatibility of these trends with the concept of sustainable development. These three studies will lead us finally to suggest the need to commit to a change in the pattern of activity involving design based on the modification of four principles.

Keywords: environmental design; ecodesign; LCA; life cycle analysis; functional richness; resources; end-of-life products; sustainable design; product design; segmentation; functional product enrichment; office chair design; cathode ray tubes; CRT; automated washing machines; sustainable design; sustainability.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2009.022281

International Journal of Product Development, 2009 Vol.7 No.1/2, pp.149 - 169

Published online: 25 Dec 2008 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article