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Sustainability: Design Strategy and Future-Proofing (Vol29 No1)

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Sustainability: Design Strategy and Future-Proofing


Last June in Oslo, at DMI’s Oslo design management conference, I had the opportunity to hear Alan AtKisson speak. Alan is one of the shining stars in the sustainability cosmos, having worked in this field since the late 1980s, when “sustainability” was a word unknown to most of us. To say he looks at the Big Picture would be an understatement; Alan has been working with international organizations for decades. At the DMI conference, he spoke about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.


What does this have to do with design? Have you heard of the Oslo Manifesto? Alan worked in conjunction with DOGA, the Norwegian Center for Design and Architecture, to develop this guide to helping design and designers support the 17 SDGs.


Read Alan’s interview inside this issue; it’s followed by a list of the SDGs and the ways in which design can play a part.


At DMI, we recognize that designers care very much about sustainability, and that many of them would like to carry that interest further—but are unsure of how to do so, and especially on how to bring that mission into a client’s office. Velvette De Laney, a graphic designer who has made a point of conducting Design for Sustainability workshops in the Midwest, offers some thoughts on how to talk to clients about their part in the sustainability movement.


You’ll also read about biomimicry, building a school in Lesotho, and bringing design as well as business savvy into the nonprofit world.


As Rob Girling and Emilia Palaveeva suggest, “Don’t just ask: ‘How might we?’ Ask: ‘At what cost?’ “

We hope you’ll find some food for thought in this issue of the DMI Review.



Issue Information – TOC

President's Letter

Carole Bilson, President, DMI

Alan AtKisson President, AtKisson Group

Design and the SDGs
DMI Review Staff

Landfill Waste Is a Design Choice: Or, There Is No “Away”
Velvette De Laney

Toward humanity‐focused design
Rob Girling Emilia Palaveeva

Making a Difference with Design Thinking
Nigel Munro‐Smith

Biomimicry for Sustainable Innovation: The Answers Are All Around Us
Seth GaleWyrick

Environment, Meet Design
Andrea Wogsland


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Kevin BethuneKevin Bethune is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of dreams • design + life

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