Twenty Questions About Design Behavior for Sustainability

Authors:Akerloff, KarenGeorge Mason University Attari, ShazeenIndiana University Aurisicchio, Marco Imperial College London Bansal, TimaUWO Barnett, Michaela University of Virginia Caroll, TomekaUniversity of Virginia Castilla-Rho, JuanChen, NinaCohen, NinaConstantino, SaraContestabile, MonicaDomanski, JeffEbers, AnnaFarr, DougFedirko, LinaFerraro, PaulJohns Hopkins University Fischer, Eleni Fischhoff, BaruchCarnegie Mellon University Fischhoff, Maya Geppner, JamesGero, JohnGonzalez, RichardUniversity of Michigan Gordon, BethanyUniversity of Virginia Hancock, PatrickUniversity of Virginia Henry, MarisaHernandez, MorelaUniversity of Virginia Jinhyung, CEric, JohnsonColumbia University Kantenbacher, JoeIndiana University Klotz, LeidyUniversity of Virginia MacDonald, ErinStanford University Madhavan, GuruMalak, RichardTexas A&M Mazar, NinaBoston University Meggers, Forrest Princeton University Miniard, DiedreIndiana University Owsik, CatherineUniversity of Virginia Pearson, AdamPomona College Pickering, JohnPreston, StephanieUniversity of Michigan Rench-McCauley, DaveSchmidt, RuthIllinois Institute of Technology Shealy, TrippVirginia Tech Sherman, ErinShyamsundar, PSteg, LindaUniversity of Groningen Stenger, KatelynUniversity of Virginia Strahilevitz, Michal Saint Mary's College Thomas, JTorre, JiannaTownsend, AllenUniversity of Virginia Tsoulou, IUlrich, EVoinov, AlexeyUTS Vuppuluri, Richa University of Virginia Weber, ElkePrinceton University Weber, ShanaWelch, SarahWilcoxen, StephanieWylie, CaitlinUniversity of Virginia Zeeuw van der Laan, AImperial College Zeiske, NadjaUniversity of Groningen Zong, Michelle

To advance understanding of design behavior for sustainability, our panel engaged more than three dozen experts from diverse fields—and spanning academia, practice, and policy. Panelists’ perspectives were synthesized over the course of a year, with two days of in-person discussion preceded and followed by virtual collaboration. As an entry point to study design behavior for sustainability, our panel focused on the design of the human built environment. Such design shapes the quality of human life, and it sets in place long-term patterns of climate changing emissions and other planetary impacts. Within this context, our panel identified ways to advance current understanding and practice of design for sustainability in the built environment. We also highlighted opportunities to learn about design behaviors common to many sustainability challenges, beyond the built environment. The panel’s findings are presented here as twenty high-priority questions, including challenges and opportunities embedded in each question. The questions are organized roughly according to the overlapping factors that influence behaviors:
- individual and interpersonal (i.e., designers’ knowledge, values, customs, and social
- organizational (i.e., designers’ institutions and processes),
- community (i.e., designers’ relationships with users and other stakeholders), and
- enabling environment and policy (i.e., designers’ ability to contribute to global
sustainability efforts, codes, and laws).

Source Citation:

Twenty Questions About Design Behavior for Sustainability

Report of the International Expert Panel on Behavioral Science for Design, New York
Published Date:
December 16, 2019
Sponsoring Agency:
National Science Foundation

The Panel benefitted from the support of the University of Virginia’s Convergent Behavioral
Science Initiative, the Andlinger Center for Energy and Environment at Princeton University, the
Center for Decision Sciences at Columbia University, the environmental initiatives at ideas42 and
at Evidn., and the National Science Foundation, through awards #1840560 and #1744246.