The Aristotelian causalities in localised distributed manufacturing

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nadège Troussier
Author: Skouboe, Esben Bala; Barros, Mário
Series: ICED
Institution: Aalborg University
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 3335-3344
DOI number:


Half of the total greenhouse gas emissions and 90% of biodiversity loss come from resource extraction and processing. (EC 2020). To counter this, we must switch to sustainable, long-lasting products and slow down the use of resources. It is clear that these systems will not be fixed by incremental changes but by a series of disruptions. This article uses the Aristotelian causalities as a vehicle to break down the concept of "why" industrial design and discuss the underlying value propositions of distributed manufacturing. This critical perspective allows designers and engineers to bridge the knowledge-siloes and rewire the way a product is designed, sourced, built and consumed in relation to the four Aristotelian causalities. The paper discusses the limitations and potentialities for each causality in relation to a distributed manufacturing paradigm and argues for a new sustainable design concept: The Local Limited Edition. A site-specific product design, realised by brands to enrich brand value on local markets, improve market fit and increase attachment, ultimately improving the products' longevity and value of the products.

Keywords: Sustainability, Industrial design, distributed manufacturing, philosophy, Design theory

Please sign in to your account

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties. Privacy Policy.