With an idea, "Environmental problems in our planet should be tackled with basis of solving social issues", we have come to organize "The International Conference of Design for Sustainability" 3 years ago.
This conference is a part of challenge to commit on a project called sustainable design, which is to materialize an idea of sustainable society with multi-perspectives - eco design and social design.
The very 1st conference, Destination 2006-2026, created a framework of sustainable design, and the 2nd conference, Destination 2007-2025, visualized details and projections of a goal -- what a sustainable society would be like. The 3rd conference, Destination 2008-2024, put designers, who are to take initiatives on this project, to an initiating point.
The 4th conference, Destination 2009-2023, is to be held with a theme of "social innovation-ing" by reporting activities in the past and reconfirm the direction of sustainability.
When the first conference was held, we had our time limit to the goal to be 20 years later. Since we've set the limit to narrow down twice the speed, we must achieve a sustainable society in 14 years now. This time frame signifies that not much time is left for us. With a hope that innovations turn into revolutions, let's commit and act towards design of sustainable society.
Theme ; Social Innovation-ing
An idea of sustainability, which is to optimize volume of consumption and production activities by reducing their excesses, in the midst of modern civilization -- to name a few consequences, climate change and shortage of resources in our planet-- is one of the biggest challenges that a human being faces now.
But at this moment, its solution is excessively focused on to the reduction of a greenhouse gas emission. Though it is an activity for good, it is not smart to consider that such effort is regarded as a primary concern. This misleading goal draws a conflict on people's interest and will not be sustainable overall.
Alternatively, we need to show the society that a world and lifestyle with low concentration of CO2 is "a natural state for a human being to live" and at the same time, such environment is refreshing and soothing.
By inducing people that reduction of an excessive consumption will lead to an ultimate lifestyle, the society will take initiatives to change.
No matter how much technological innovation advances in the future, one can't reduce the CO2 emission while expanding consumption of resources and energy. It has been proved over a past decade of Japan's effort.
A tool, called design can be very effective and powerful to establish a relationship between improvement of social problems and the environmental issues. During the 20th century, design has been exploited, unintentionally, to worsen the environment and created new social problems. In another words, design was used to establish a totally opposite relationship. Now, after a decade of failure, we need to prove that design can be used to function as it is supposed to be - to create a better society in the upcoming future.