Sustainability Made Possible

Yesterday, AIGA launched, a new resource and community aimed at helping designers take meaningful steps toward creating work that’s culturally, socially and environmentally sustainable. We all talk about capital-S Sustainability when it comes to design, and yet, when we’re in the trenches and dealing clients and deadlines, it’s easy to lose sight of that aim. The Living Principles hopes to guide designers in their work, offer resources and provide a forum for designers to share their work and their learning. From the website:

Every day, our world gets a little bit smaller and a lot more complex. So much so that even minor decisions can have major consequences. And not just for trees or frogs or polar bears, but for human lives. And livelihoods.

At its core, sustainability is about people. It’s the Golden Rule applied to the global marketplace. Empathy writ large—in hundreds of languages. Prosperity redefined.

As designers, we can do a lot. But first, we need to understand what and who is at stake. The Living Principles distill the collective wisdom found in decades of sustainability theories and bring them to life in an integrated framework that helps us think our way through the issues so we can start designing a brighter future.

The site itself is brilliantly conceived by Gaby Brink and her team at Tomorrow Partners. Start with a Roadmap that poses questions intended to direct your thinking. Check out an extensive Resources section that gathers information from across design disciplines and offers helpful items like a glossary. Join the Forum to ask questions and share answers.