NOTICE: All content on the Autodesk Sustainability Workshop has been incorporated into the new Autodesk Design Academy website. Visit the Design Academy's Sustainable Design landing page to find the relocated content, and explore the new site. Note: The Autodesk Sustainability Workshop will be taken down on June 30, 2015.

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Product Design

Whole Systems and Lifecycle Thinking

The things we make create environmental impacts throughout their lifecycles, from manufacturing to disposal. The best opportunities for saving resources like materials and energy can often be uncovered early in the design process by identifying the most important problems to solve. 

Whole systems thinking allows you to see the big-picture of the social, environmental, and technical systems that a product is a part of. This can help you identify new possibilities for innovation.

Lifecycle thinking allows you to quantify environmental impacts so that you can prioritize, set metrics around, and most effectively reduce them. This process is not just about making things “less bad.” It can help unlock your creativity and lead to game-changing innovations. 

Throughout the design process, there are many sustainable design tools and strategies you can draw from.

Download the lesson plan, quick reference guide, and script that accompanies this video below!


Sustainable Design

Everything in the built environment is designed, from the smallest computer chip to the largest city. With Autodesk software, users can reduce the environmental impacts of their designs.  Visit the Autodesk Sustainable Design Center:

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