Title: A design action intervention approach in the cork industry towards sustainable product innovation

Authors: Ana Mestre

Addresses: Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Section Design for Sustainability, Landbergstraat 15, NL-2628 CE Delft, The Netherlands

Abstract: This article presents the documentation of the methodology and implementation of the 'design cork action intervention approach' - a method developed by the author for sustainable product innovation as a strategic factor within the Portuguese cork industry. The key assumption was that cork is a potential material for sustainable product design, and possesses unexplored economic potential. To explore this assumption, a 'design cork project' based on design interventions was implemented within the Portuguese cork industry from 2006 to 2009, intended 1) to develop new sustainable added-value products and solutions; 2) to test said products in international markets; 3) to promote sustainable cork product innovation amongst stakeholders, i.e., industry, academia, designers, and consumers. The project resulted in 37 final cork design solution prototypes exemplifying how the functional and aesthetic properties of cork can be implemented in sustainable product design, in addition to discussing the market trends for those generated concepts.

Keywords: design action intervention; cork design; sustainable innovation; product innovation; sustainability; Portugal; cork industry; product design; functional properties; aesthetic properties.

DOI: 10.1504/JDR.2015.069767

Journal of Design Research, 2015 Vol.13 No.2, pp.185 - 235

Received: 17 Sep 2013
Accepted: 17 Sep 2014

Published online: 09 Jun 2015 *

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