Beyond rationality in engineering design for sustainability

Leidy Klotz, Elke Weber, Eric Johnson, Tripp Shealy, Morela Hernandez, Bethany Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


If you try to ensure long-term human well-being within the limits of the natural world, then you design for sustainability. This Review organizes research describing how cognitive biases can hinder and help engineering design for sustainability. For example, designers might overlook climate change implications because of nearsighted thinking, a bias which can be overcome by vividly imagining the future. For researchers, this Review illuminates needs at the convergence of decision science and engineering design. For designers (that is, all of us), the Review promises new routes to sustainability, through changes to decision environments and through insights into our own design thinking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-233
Number of pages9
JournalNature Sustainability
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Urban Studies
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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