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A Biomimicry and sustainable product-service systems (S.PSS) approach to Design for Sustainability: a study in higher education in Industrial Design
Raymond, Corbin Edlin
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In this research study Biomimicry and sustainable product-service systems (S.PSS) are explored in order to examine the Design for Sustainability (DfS) paradigm through a set of eight guidelines. It is argued that Biomimicry holds the blueprint to a design strategy that is more environmentally sustainable. This research study demonstrates that sustainability’s triple bottom line can be achieved by combining Biomimicry’s potential for environmental sustainability with S.PSS’s potential to foster social and economic sustainability. The study describes a behavioural change towards sustainability and proposes design education as a strategy to nurture sustainable design praxis. It is shown that the sustainable design praxis of student groups leads to behavioural shifts towards sustainability through design education. Industrial design students at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in South Africa engaged in a short course on DfS and their design outcomes provided the data sets that have been analysed through inductive thematic analysis. The course was used as a case study from which theory was built. This specific research approach is called theory building from case studies. The appendices are included to supply additional evidence of where and how the data collection happened, and provides depth and insight into the projects. The richness and scope of the research study is supported by the appendices - it is for this reason that the rather sizable addition was included. It is through the thematic analysis that a set of eight guidelines were developed from the data and measured against a framework of critical citizenship in order to evaluate the societal behavioural shift to a more holistic approach to DfS. This thesis draws on existing fields of study within the DfS paradigm and integrates several fields of study in order to contribute to the discourse of a holistic approach to DfS.