We keep buying and buying. Why? Maybe for convenience or addiction. Or to fulfill a need or just for nothing reasonable? Time to make a paradigm shift. For consuming practices and also designing principals.
It is time to move from instant consuming to conscious and ‘wise’ consuming. And it is time to shift from human-centric design to planet-centric design.
Planet-centric design is a dramatic shift in perspective. We need to move from egoism to ecosystems. Its underlying principle acknowledges that we are not alone on our planet and that it has limits. Humans have pushed these boundaries for centuries.
From humans to planet
Many design methodologies are specifically geared towards humans. Think of personas, user journeys, and stakeholder maps. We need to move from human stakeholders to planetary stakeholders.
From quantity to quality
When we think of growth, we often only look at the quantitative perspective. It’s easy to measure, has been done this way for decades and seems more objective and scientific. However, planet-centric design also appreciates growth in quality. Durability, intensity, trust, freedom, and relationships are all dimensions that are hard to measure, but they matter no less.
From short to long-term
In a constantly accelerating world, it becomes increasingly challenging to aim for the long run. Why invest in the uncertain future when you could have quick results? Planet-centric design includes the consideration of externalities that unfold over time. While it still works in iterations, it emphasizes vision-driven design, keeping the long-term view in focus. Great ways to achieve this are vision cones, speculative design, and future back thinking.
From market-fit to planet-fit
Sustainability is not only good for the planet, but it is also good for long-term business. If organizations don’t care for the very environment that their business calls home, they are setting themselves up for failure. Maybe not in the next quarter, but definitely in the long run. Of course, great ideas also need to sustain themselves to have an impact. Therefore, make sure to achieve planet fit before you consider market fit. First things come first.
Illustration: Four movements of planet-centric design by Giulia Nina Gasser