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Design Abacus

The Design Abacus, developed from the work carried out by Shot in The Dark, can be used to rate a product on social, economic and environmental areas, in both the analysis and planning of a design. It helps you identify design goals, compare many design variables and compare different product designs across the product life-cycle.

The 'Design Abacus' activity:

  • download and photocopy a blank abacus sheet (from the link below)
  • identify a number of issues surrounding social, economic or environmental areas and decide on which issue you would like to address
  • write each issue down, the ideal condition is listed at the top and the worst condition at the bottom
  • estimate how good or bad the current product in each area, and how confident you are
  • draw a line to connect all the scores in the issues area and confidence levels.
Example of completed Abacus

Adapted Design Abacus Worksheet

For More Information

If you feel you need more support in coming to grips with any of the eco-design tools featured on this website, 1/2 day workshops are offered at very reasonable rates through the Sustainable Design Network (SDN).

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