Twenty Questions About Design Behavior for SustainabilityReport
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).
Twenty Questions About Design Behavior for Sustainability
Report of the International Expert Panel on Behavioral Science for Design, New York
December 16, 2019
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.