Adopted by the United Nations Member States in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals identify 17 priorities that need to tackled by various sectors by 2030.

As designers collectively strive towards more sustainable, inclusive and equitable design processes, key consideration must be made for the global targets established by the SDGs.

What is the role of design?

In the end, every design action has an impact, but it is up to the designer to determine whether that impact swings the pendulum further away from the SDGs or pushes it forward. Although design can be an inherently extractive activity, it can also give back to both people and planet in meaningful ways.

Reframing the SDGs

Although the SDGs are fundamentally broad and application across various sectors may differ, designers need to empower themselves to think and work differently to understand the goals and their corresponding targets through a design lens.

The matrix

Here each of the 17 SDGs must confront the 4 areas of sustainability
(environment, economy, society and culture).


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