Design for sustainability transitions: Origins, attitudes and future directions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • NODUS Sustainable Design Research Group


Sustainability transitions have formed a vast body of literature on theory and practice of transforming socio-technical systems to achieve sustainability over the past few decades. Lately, a new area has been emerging in the design for the sustainability field, where sustainability transitions theories are integrated with design theory, education and practice. This emerging area is referred to as design for sustainability transitions or transition design. In order to build an understanding of the emergence and growth of this area, this article presents an overview of origins, development and current status of design for sustainability transitions drawing on key contributions. We also provide a comparative analysis of these key contributions in regards to their theoretical underpinnings, definitions of sustainability, conceptual framings for the roles of design(ers) and premises of methods and applications.


Original languageEnglish
Article number3601
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Design for sustainability transitions, Design practice, Design research, Design theory, Sustainability transitions, Sustainable design, Transition design

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