Comparing Biomimicry and Cradle to Cradle with Ecodesign: a case study of student design projects. de Pauw, I. C.; Karana, E.; Kandachar, P.; and Poppelaars, F. Journal of Cleaner Production, 78:174–183, September, 2014.
Comparing Biomimicry and Cradle to Cradle with Ecodesign: a case study of student design projects [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
In the field of sustainable product development, a new type of design strategies is being implemented, based on ‘learning from nature’. Biomimicry and Cradle to Cradle, two Nature-Inspired Design Strategies, provide principles and tools specifically aimed at design practice. However, research into their application and how they influence the outcome of the design process is scarce. Consequently, there is a lack of knowledge as to how these design strategies differ from, and may add to, a validated and well-established approach such as Ecodesign. This paper describes and discusses an explorative case study, comparing how students designed a ‘sustainable product’ by applying either Biomimicry, Cradle to Cradle, or Ecodesign. The outcomes of 27 student groups across two years were analyzed through content analysis and statistical tests. Significant differences were found in the ‘design focus’ of the groups, depending on which design strategy they applied. Furthermore, groups that applied Biomimicry and Cradle to Cradle included functional alternatives and user needs more often than Ecodesign groups. Addressing ‘context-specific opportunities’ in the designers' solution space was found to be a key difference between nature-inspired design and Ecodesign. We argue that this focus on product context may have helped the students to integrate solutions at the level of functions and needs in their design process. All three strategies successfully guided the students in generating a design. However, only Ecodesign provided quantitative evaluation tools. Our study confirms the need for such tools in the design process, to prevent unforeseen environmental impacts of the designs in the product life cycle.
@article{de_pauw_comparing_2014,
	title = {Comparing {Biomimicry} and {Cradle} to {Cradle} with {Ecodesign}: a case study of student design projects},
	volume = {78},
	issn = {0959-6526},
	shorttitle = {Comparing {Biomimicry} and {Cradle} to {Cradle} with {Ecodesign}},
	url = {http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652614004405},
	doi = {10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.04.077},
	abstract = {In the field of sustainable product development, a new type of design strategies is being implemented, based on ‘learning from nature’. Biomimicry and Cradle to Cradle, two Nature-Inspired Design Strategies, provide principles and tools specifically aimed at design practice. However, research into their application and how they influence the outcome of the design process is scarce. Consequently, there is a lack of knowledge as to how these design strategies differ from, and may add to, a validated and well-established approach such as Ecodesign. This paper describes and discusses an explorative case study, comparing how students designed a ‘sustainable product’ by applying either Biomimicry, Cradle to Cradle, or Ecodesign. The outcomes of 27 student groups across two years were analyzed through content analysis and statistical tests. Significant differences were found in the ‘design focus’ of the groups, depending on which design strategy they applied. Furthermore, groups that applied Biomimicry and Cradle to Cradle included functional alternatives and user needs more often than Ecodesign groups. Addressing ‘context-specific opportunities’ in the designers' solution space was found to be a key difference between nature-inspired design and Ecodesign. We argue that this focus on product context may have helped the students to integrate solutions at the level of functions and needs in their design process. All three strategies successfully guided the students in generating a design. However, only Ecodesign provided quantitative evaluation tools. Our study confirms the need for such tools in the design process, to prevent unforeseen environmental impacts of the designs in the product life cycle.},
	urldate = {2018-02-26},
	journal = {Journal of Cleaner Production},
	author = {de Pauw, Ingrid C. and Karana, Elvin and Kandachar, Prabhu and Poppelaars, Flora},
	month = sep,
	year = {2014},
	pages = {174--183}
}
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