The Living Principles for Design aim to guide purposeful action, celebrating and popularizing the efforts of those who use design thinking to create positive cultural change.
Drawing from decades of collective wisdom, theory and results, the Living Principles framework weaves environmental, social, economic, and cultural sustainability into an actionable, integrated approach that can be consistently communicated to designers, business leaders, educators and the public.
These principles are truly living: our collective success is dependent on the active involvement of partners, ambassadors, educators, studios and curious individuals who come together to move the conversation—and the industry—forward.
The Living Principles website is the place where we co-create, share and showcase best practices, tools, stories and ideas for enabling sustainable action across all design disciplines.
It’s creative action for collective good.
Every day, our world gets a little bit smaller and a lot more complex. So much so that even minor decisions can have major consequences. And not just for trees or frogs or polar bears, but for human lives. And livelihoods. This we know: the planet will go on without us. But we cannot go on without it. At its core, sustainability is about people. In order to promote a healthy planet, we must start with a healthy society. Not just sharing the wealth, but redefining the word.
The Living Principles for Design framework is a catalyst for driving positive cultural change. It distills the four streams of sustainability – environment, people, economy, and culture – into a roadmap that is understandable, integrated, and most importantly, actionable. Designers, business leaders, and educators can use The Living Principles to guide every decision, every day.
Four Streams of Integrated Sustainability1
Actions and issues that affect natural systems, including climate change, preservation, carbon footprint and restoration of natural resources.
Actions and issues that affect all aspects of society, including poverty, violence, injustice, education, healthcare, safe housing, labor and human rights.
Actions and issues that affect how people and organizations meet their basic needs, evolve and define economic success and growth.
Actions and issues that affect how communities manifest identity, preserve and cultivate traditions, and develop belief systems and commonly accepted values.
1Adapted from Adam Werbach,Strategy for Sustainability