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The e-commerce is a fast-growing sector, which has substantial impacts due to delocalisation, cost-effectiveness,
rapidity and availability anywhere at any time. It implies not only a different logistic organisation but requires a radically
different interaction between sellers and customers. This research aims at applying the concepts of local and
sustainable development to the world of e-commerce, with particular attention to the role of packaging. The topic
has been explored at two design levels: first, the methodology of Systemic Design was used to define innovative future
scenarios for the logistic management of the e-commerce system; secondly, different eco-design methodologies
have been used to focus on the development of packaging for different scenarios. The analysis allowed to establish
the main guidelines for the definition of futuristic sustainable scenarios of logistics. Starting from these, six main
trends for designing sustainable packaging have been identified and tested through real concepts.

Authors: Amina Pereno, Silvia Barbero

This paper investigates the possibility that the instrumentally rational nature of late-modernity restricts product design from contributing substantively to sustainability as this form of rationality views technological artefacts in neutral terms and discourages reflection upon the “ends” that technologies serve. The philosophical approach of postphenomenology is proposed as a lens for supporting product design students to address sustainability more substantively as postphenomenology emphasises the “ends” that technologies serve by understanding technologies as being active mediators of the relations people have with their world. A practice-based design research method is introduced, which aims to support design students to engage with postphenomenology through the activity of designing. This method involves the creation of conceptual objects that critique technologies and embody alternate values to those that typically drive technological development in late-modernity. Finally, distinctive aspects of the designing process associated with this method are identified that support students to address sustainability in a more substantive manner than late-modernity encourages.

Authors: Lisa Thomas, Stuart Walker, Lynne Blair