Social and environmental perspectives in the design of engineering and service systems
Center for Human-Machine Systems Research, School of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0205, USA
The globalization of most industrial operations has led to a high degree of disconnect between the consumers and the goods and services they consume. The connections between the manufactured products and the culture and place from which they originate and their place of consumption are often lost. This leads to accelerating environmental degradation and decreased quality of life for many people. The engineering community is partly responsible for this situation, due to their lack of consideration of the ecological and social consequences of design in a comprehensive manner by taking into account the rich contexts in which goods and services are produced and consumed. Adaptation and incorporation of ideas from ecological design and the development of appropriate curricula have the potential to change this situation significantly. In this paper, I describe an approach to accomplish these objectives.