A taxonomy for product shape analysis to integrate in early environmental impact estimations



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Springer-Verlag France


Eco design and sustainable design are words with increasing relevance in the development of new products. One of the main reasons is the growing worry about the environmental issues that the planet is having nowadays, hence the demand for products with this aspect included. Now designers have the opportunity to adapt useful tools to estimate the environmental impact of a design concept in order to develop environmentally friendly products. However, it is only in the last stages of design process where design teams have enough information to calculate the impact of a proposal. This calculation is a tedious, expensive and demanding activity and involving a high level of knowledge about materials, manufacturing processes and eco-design strategies. For this reason, environmental impact estimations gain relevance in the early stages of the design process, where more risks can be taken with a lower cost. This article suggests a taxonomy to analyze product’s shape; in order to offer a structured and systematic way of performing a morphology classification, being able to integrate this subjective aspect to other necessary variables needed to estimate the environmental impact. It offers a way to understand how shape, material and Manufacturing process are key aspects to make environmental impact estimations of preliminary concepts during the Conceptual Design. © 2016, The Author(s).


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