design for life toolkit

Welcome to the Design for Life toolkit

Here you'll find resources to design in ways that enable people and planet to thrive in balance.

These includes readings, methods frameworks and practical examples for designers and non designer to think more holistically about the long term impact of our work, and to shift towards regenerating our earth.

The toolkit is based on 6 key principles, which highlight the values and mindsets we need to adopt in order to tackle and overcome the important social and environmental challenges we face today.

resilient and regenerative

Beyond reducing harm on the environment, we should seek to repair and regenerate natural and human systems. Regenerative design, nature-based solutions and restorative methods are different ways to consider how to do this when implementing or improving services, products, or solutions.

The climate emergency and ecological crisis we are facing demand rapid, large-scale action to ensure the survival of human lives and keep global temperature rise below 1,5° C above preindustrial levels. In this section you'll find resources to better understand the issues, and possible solutions to take action at various levels.

Most things are designed with a "take-make-waste" linear model, which mean we're exhausting natural resources and contributing to global warming. The circular economy and circular design principles propose more sustainable and regenerative models aimed at designing out waste and pollution, and encourage remanufacturing, repurposing, and even dematerialisation.

redefining value

Redefining value beyond GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is essential to ensure the sustainability of our society and life on earth. There are different key frameworks which I find useful to map this, including the UN Development Goals, Doughnut Economics.

responsible businesses

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Businesses must take action to reduce harm, and transform towards creating shared value for people and planet, beyond profit. This section outlines frameworks and resources for businesses to change towards this.

systems and future-oriented

We need to broaden our perspective, understand the wider context of our decisions, identify the root of problems. Systems thinking methods enables organisations and stakeholders to zoom out more, break silos and work together to solve complex, wicked problems.

Futures thinking and foresight provide us with tools to proactively reflect on and contemplate multiple possibilities, potential circumstances, and to consider the many outcomes that different courses of action might have. Think about how think will or should be, now just how they are today.

inclusive, responsible and fair

Designing in an inclusive way ensures that as many people can take part and benefit from the product, service or solution created, regardless of age, cultural background, disability, gender, impairments, or socioeconomic background. Designing in an inclusive way should also consider affordability, giving people a chance to participate regardless of the resources or income they have.

Technology has brought great advancement and progress to humanity, but needs to be used and developed responsibly to ensure that it works in the best interests of people, communities and the planet, and avoid harm.

collaborative problem-solving

Connecting people with shared goals, designing the platform and movements that bring them together from which further innovations can emerge is crucial to tackle the complex social and environmental challenges we're facing. Facilitating collaboration, cooperation, and connection is a competency requiring intentional practices, rituals and tools, with some of my favourites outlined here.

Use different creative and collaborative problem-solving methods and tools, to create alignment among various stakeholders, develop viable, innovative, and inclusive solutions for sustainability challenges.

changing behaviours and norms

Understand the context, capabilities, and motivations behind people's current behaviours and social norms, and identify interventions or design solutions that support sustainable ones.