Sustainable Design?

As future (or already active) creatives in various fields of design, we students are to create thoughtful products, no matter our media of action. We also should to be aware of the constant creative and technical innovations and keep up with them. This is how we can better ourselves and allow our work to be relevant in our time, and luckily enough, even in the future.

Currently, sustainable design is a hot topic of discussion. It has and will bring countless changes in the whole creative process, whether you work with digital or print media. Sustainability will be an integrated component of our work process and a criteria for producing good design, like the more traditional aesthetical and functional concerns. Certain areas of design are more advanced than others in the matter, like architecture. It is all a matter of education though. Architecture students learn extensively about such practices and have the means to execute them through projects. But it is still a rare thing for media students for instance.

In any case, if we do not develop our skills in sustainable design now, we will be forced to do it the hard way later on.

If sustainable design is just a vague idea in your mind, please get over the kind of bad reputation it might still hold. Sustainability is not just/anymore the redundant "green" slogans or the stereotyped leaf-earth-sunset-flower-kids rolling in the grass- visuals that some short-sighted someones have come up with. It is much more fascinating than that. It is a search for new materials and engeneering, reinventing the way we create and use products, and adding value and durability to our work,... all with the main idea to better our quality of life and minimize our impact on nature.
Why should we care? Because we are the ones more or less indirectly, creating all this crap. And we can use our (more or less limited) influence to (I won´t say it! the make a difference cliché! make the world a better place? worse!) make design thoughtful and valuable again!

Most importantly, sustainability is not a rigid set of annoying guidelines. It is rather a flexible concept that anyone can adapt to his/her lifestyle, ideals, interests and will to get involved. (You won´t have to make leaf logos!)

I am writing this post because I did not know much myself either on the subject. This was before I decided to write my final thesis on sustainability and the future of print design. I read a lot (!) and I got to really know what it meant. Now that I am brainwashed, I selected few major links for the ones who got it too but don´t know where to look:

AIGA, American Institute of Graphic Arts, If you call yourself a creative, a must check. Good resources about sustainable design too.
Green Graphic Design by Brian Dougherty and Celeri Design Collaborative. The book that got me started. Easy read, very complete and not cheesy.
Green Marketing Manifesto by  John Grant More complex and business oriented but good as well.

Thanks for reading!