What is the International Conference of Design for Sustainability?
Hosting Details and the Story So Far
With the rapid increase in the scale of the world’s production and consumption, we are being warned that that a major change in the natural environment is taking place on a global scale. While economic expansion raises the material wealth and convenience of our lifestyles, it is also being pointed out that this is further aggravating the conditions of the symbiotic relationship between the environment and living things, including people. Since the 1990’s, countries around the world have established measures to combat this. In the past 10 years, as Japan sought to raise the environmental effectiveness of its manufacturing, engineers worked with manufacturers, the government, and academics, proactively taking up the flag of eco-design and creating numerous products incorporating fabulous environmental functionality.
However, despite the outstanding performance of these various products, the global environment has failed to improve and in fact has been growing steadily worse.
In order to co-exist with the environment and achieve a sustainable society that we can pass down to future generations, it is not enough to just deal with the technical problems of manufacturing.
Production and consumption are like two sides of the same coin, so at the same time as establishing a reasonable balance of quality and scale of production, it is necessary to raise the quality of products while correcting the scale of consumption to make it more reasonable as well. In addition to being a personal action, consumption is also a socio-economic and cultural activity. Therefore, we have no choice but to empower a social-consciousness revolution. This will lead to the accomplishment of our first sustainable society.
Design, the work we do every day, is not a matter of combining function and form in a beautiful way. Our work is to create a service that accounts for how people relate to each other and to other things; it is an act that represents a new value system. Following our ambition to connect our own specialties as well as those of others to this issue, we held the first International Conference of Design for Sustainability in 2006. At that conference, we set our goals for 20 years in the future. However, since we need to pick up the pace and rapidly pursue these goals, at every conference we are setting our goals one year sooner. So for the 2006 conference our goals were set for 2026, then in 2007 they were set for 2025, and so on. If we continue at this pace, then our progress will match our goals in 2016, the year which is said to be the tipping point for global warming.
So exactly how is our living style developing in terms of creating the sustainable society that we need? In order to report and confirm our progress toward our goals, we are holding this conference.