In this article from Business Week, A New Model for Green Design, Valerie Casey of IDEO talks about her Designers Accord — the Kyoto Treaty for designers of all kinds. (There’s even a quote from Ric Grefe of AIGA! He’s my hero.)
It has all the usual and important green promises: measure your carbon footprint, pledge to reduce it annually, rewrite your company policies, etc. And already several of my design heroes have signed up: AIGA is one of the first “Endorsers” (or organizations), and on the list of “Adopters” (or firms) are Heller Design, Tricycle and Willoughby Design Group. (But where’s Pentagram?) It’s similar to the positive peer pressure one receives on refusing speculative work.
But my favorite part is the promise to educate clients on sustainability. The greater appreciation of design gives designers greater power. And not just power to demand the aesthetic we want or the billable rates we deserve. Power to change the minds of those who used to be our “bosses” and are now our partners. Power to improve the world in a real way, armed only with our pretty pictures and witty words. But only if we band together.
The first principal of the Designers Accord is to publicly declare one’s participation. To declare participation, one must fully understand what participation means. So for now, I publicly declare my intention to study and adpot the Designers Accord. Join me!