Inderscience Publishers

Key concepts of radical innovation for sustainability, with complementary roles for industrial design and engineering

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This paper presents a synoptic review of sustainability literature currently available. Distillation and synthesis of this research enabled the development of Key Concepts of Radical Innovation for Sustainability. They are presented here as diverse strategies of sustainable development/sustainable product design (SD/SPD) needed for truly radical innovation. The key concepts are of major significance, as they are projected into the research outcomes of this thesis: a Conceptual Educational Framework and Guidelines for industrial design and engineering sustainability in undergraduate tertiary education, published separately. This paper highlights the interdisciplinary and holistic nature of sustainable design, as 'wicked' problems requiring radical innovation in their design development. The key recommendations are embodied within four concepts: 1) emphasis on the social element of SD/SPD through context and creativity; 2) systems thinking via product–service systems (PSS); 3) complementary sustainable design strategies - eco–effectiveness first through cradle–to–cradle (C2C) design principles, eco–efficiency follows for optimisation; 4) strategic design.

Keywords: radical innovation, social sustainability, strategic sustainable design, industrial design, industrial engineering, product–service systems, PSS, eco–effectiveness, cradle–to–cradle, C2C, eco–efficiency, tertiary education, sustainability literature, sustainable development, sustainable product design, higher education

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