Human and ecological health: The case of a UK small business

Hall, NA and Velez-Colby, F 2010, Human and ecological health: The case of a UK small business , in: The 3rd International Conference for Universal Design, October 30th - Novemeber 3rd 2010, Hamamatsu, Japan.

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The principles of Universal Design consider many user needs within design development such as equitable and intuitive use (The Centre for Universal Design 1997). Whilst these principles are important to any design thinking, this paper considers the wider context of human ecology. Any user interacts with the environment in which they live and has an impact upon it; especially when it comes to the increasingly rapid consumption and disposal of products. This paper suggests that any agenda for Universal Design for a sustainable future must consider the ethics and social fairness of the globalised supply chain. Integrating sustainable approaches to design and development processes that are ecologically sound will be vital for our future. SMEs (Small and Medium-size Enterprises) constitute 98% of 2.15 million businesses in the UK (Office of National Statistics 2009). The adoption of sustainable practice is vital in the small business sector to affect positive ecological approaches to design and ultimately the end-user. This paper will discuss a case study of an environmentally-considerate UK SME. It will investigate its existing systems for product development and investigate to what extent it considers the impact on human and ecological health throughout the product lifecycle. Cradle to Cradle (C2C) (WIlliam McDonough & Michael Braungart 2002) principles will be used as an example of best practice to evaluate the businesses understanding of sustainability. In conclusion the paper will discuss key findings and implications of the research and how we might begin to define guidelines and principles that SMEs may adopt to develop sustainable practices that can become part Universal Design approaches and principles.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Themes: Subjects / Themes > N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Official Proceedings: The 3rd International Conference for Universal Design
Publisher: International Association for Universal Design
Refereed: No
Related URLs:
Depositing User: NA Hall
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2010 10:31
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 10:47

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