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What is Life-centred Design?

How is life-centred design different from human-centred design?

What is Life-centred Design?

How is life-centred design different from human-centred design?

About

Life-centred design is an emerging design approach that expands human-centred design to also include consideration of sustainable, environmental, and social implications. It connects micro-level design (UX, product engineering, etc.) to global goals by increasing the stakeholders from just ‘user and business’ to ‘user, non-user, local and global communities, ecosystems, and planetary boundaries’.

Some of its supporting practices have been practised for decades but are still ‘emerging’ into mainstream design, while others are new and just finding their legs—circular design ↗systems thinking ↗, and biomimicry ↗, to name a few.

Life-centred design’s wider stakeholder view connects product and experience designers working at the micro-level with global environmental and social goals at the macro-level, such as those of the Doughnut Economy and UN Sustainability Goals.

The Doughnut Economy ↗ is an alternative economic model to today’s dominant take, make, and throw away mentality. Introduced with the book Doughnut Economics by acclaimed economist Kate Raworth in 2017, the Doughnut represents a “safe operating zone” between an outer ring of planetary boundaries that we should not overreach, and an inner ring of safe, just, meaningful, and thriving existence that all peoples must remain above. The space in between these two thresholds is the Doughnut, the target area where all activities should be focused in terms of outcomes and impacts.

The United Nations Sustainability Development Goals ↗ (SDGs) are 17 interconnected global goals aiming to ‘end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity’.

Life-centred design also reconfigures today’s idea of a product’s lifespan from being purchase-use-discard to including the extraction of raw materials from the earth, the processing into parts and transportation and selling, to their first use. Discard leads into circular loops of reuse, repair, refurbishment, and recycling ↗, with all waste converted into a resource for some other part of the system.

This extended and looping product lifecycle is framed within the circular economy ↗ which aims to keep raw materials in use for as long as possible to extend their value, and to reduce the need and energy to extract anymore.

Viewing the product in its true lifecycle ↗ also helps view the product as a system of actors and relationships that spans years more than human-centred design has us consider and impacts multiple human and environmental systems over that longer lifespan.

A document called 'An introduction to Life-centred Design'

Subscribe to download

About

Life-centred design is an emerging design approach that expands human-centred design to also include consideration of sustainable, environmental, and social implications. It connects micro-level design (UX, product engineering, etc.) to global goals by increasing the stakeholders from just ‘user and business’ to ‘user, non-user, local and global communities, ecosystems, and planetary boundaries’.

Some of its supporting practices have been practised for decades but are still ‘emerging’ into mainstream design, while others are new and just finding their legs—circular design, systems thinking, and biomimicry, to name a few.

Life-centred design’s wider stakeholder view connects product and experience designers working at the micro-level with global environmental and social goals at the macro-level, such as those of the Doughnut Economy and UN Sustainability Goals.

The Doughnut Economy is an alternative economic model to today’s dominant take, make, and throw away mentality. Introduced with the book “Doughnut Economics” by acclaimed economist Kate Raworth in 2017, the Doughnut represents a “safe operating zone” between an outer ring of planetary boundaries that we should not overreach, and an inner ring of safe, just, meaningful, and thriving existence that all peoples must remain above. The space in between these two thresholds is the Doughnut, the target area where all activities should be focused in terms of outcomes and impacts.

The United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 interconnected global goals aiming to ‘end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity’.

Life-centred design also reconfigures today’s idea of a product’s lifespan from being purchase-use-discard to including the extraction of raw materials from the earth, the processing into parts and transportation and selling, to their first use. Discard leads into circular loops of reuse, repair, refurbishment, and recycling, with all waste converted into a resource for some other part of the system.

This extended and looping product lifecycle is framed within the circular economy which aims to keep raw materials in use for as long as possible to extend their value, and to reduce the need and energy to extract anymore.

Viewing the product in its true lifecycle also helps view the product as a system of actors and relationships that spans years more than human-centred design has us consider and impacts multiple human and environmental systems over that longer lifespan.

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A document called 'An introduction to Life-centred Design'

Subscribe to download

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Life-centred design aligns designers and businesses with global goals, and gives them the skills to respond to today’s wicked problems in practical and measurable ways.

#2 Amazon Best Seller in Engineering Design, Dec ’22

“The ideas really resonated with me as I’ve felt this growing unease with human centred design’s echo chamber”

“Super helpful tools for designers… I’ll be sharing them with the students.”

“An amazing book about the topic.”

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Damien Lutz, author of The Non-human Persona Guide, The Life-centred Design Guide, and Future Scouting

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Lifecentred.design aims to be low carbon, inclusive, and regenerative

This site's hosting is green

Energy used by the web hosting servers is offset by 3 times as much renewable energy returned to the grid

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To regenerate trees used to make my books, I donate a percentage of sales from lifecentred.design and futurescouting.com.au to onetreeplanted.org

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Lifecentred.design aims to be low carbon, inclusive, and regenerative

This site's hosting is green

Energy used by the web hosting servers is offset by 3 times as much renewable energy returned to the grid

100 trees planted!

To regenerate trees used to make my books, I donate a percentage of sales from lifecentred.design and futurescouting.com.au to onetreeplanted.org

Page CO2 emissions
Shown for high-traffic pages only

Sustainable web strategies are used to reduce page load emissions. Current industry standard is 0.5g/page view—all lifecentred.design pages are 0.26 or under

Page accessibility rating
Shown for high-traffic pages only

Pages are designed for accessible use and rated out of 100

More about my commitments | Suggest an improvement

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Lifecentred.design aims to be low carbon, inclusive, and regenerative

This site's hosting is green

Energy used by the web hosting servers is offset by 3 times as much renewable energy returned to the grid

100 trees planted!

To regenerate trees used to make my books, I donate a percentage of sales from lifecentred.design and futurescouting.com.au to onetreeplanted.org

Page CO2 emissions
Shown for high-traffic pages only

Sustainable web strategies are used to reduce page load emissions. Current industry standard is 0.5g/page view—all lifecentred.design pages are 0.26 or under

Page accessibility rating
Shown for high-traffic pages only

Pages are designed for accessible use and rated out of 100

More about my commitments | Suggest an improvement

This will close in 0 seconds

Lifecentred.design aims to be low carbon, inclusive, and regenerative

This site's hosting is green

Energy used by the web hosting servers is offset by 3 times as much renewable energy returned to the grid

100 trees planted!

To regenerate trees used to make my books, I donate a percentage of sales from lifecentred.design and futurescouting.com.au to onetreeplanted.org

Page CO2 emissions
Shown for high-traffic pages only

Sustainable web strategies are used to reduce page load emissions. Current industry standard is 0.5g/page view—all lifecentred.design pages are 0.26 or under

Page accessibility rating
Shown for high-traffic pages only

Pages are designed for accessible use and rated out of 100

More about my commitments | Suggest an improvement

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