Managing Sustainability Value in Design: A Systems Approach

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Virginia Tech

The aim of the research is to identify core conditions that support increased delivery of sustainability in the built environment. The selected methodology is constructive research, which is distinguished by the dual focus on practical industry perspectives and theoretical knowledge. The first research question examines how Target Value Design (TVD), an integrated design management process, can elicit better delivery of sustainability values. This is developed through case study research of an exemplary design team and project. The findings identify a gap in the capability of the team to adopt a whole systems approach in order to make explicit the values of sustainable prosperity and develop a unified vision. This provides the basis for the second research question - how can design teams gain an understanding of the systemic nature of sustainability, and how can this understanding impact the design process? �The research proposes an intervention method that aligns learning models from the disciplines of experiential learning cycles, design thinking, behavior modeling, systems thinking and unified vision. This integrated approach leverages creative design activities to capture the learning potential for individual skills and team building. �While the research acknowledges the limitations from the testing of a single workshop experiment, post-workshop data suggests the intervention framework is sufficiently robust and versatile enough to adapt to individual workshop circumstances. �The key research outcome is the importance of the people in the process of collaborative design, in their ability to envision a future state of sustainable prosperity and articulate explicit actionable values.

Sustainability values, design management, whole systems thinking