Communication designers develop printed ephemera and artifacts, impact people, and shape environments. All of these forms result in an unsustainable cycle of production and consumption that affects the delicate system of economics, sociology, culture, and ecology (commonly called the Quadruple Bottom Line).
Sustainable systems thinking looks at an entire project from a holistic perspective and encourages unconventional problem solving. This technique would help designers, clients, and consumers to consider who or what is connected to the design outcome, where the project will have positive and negative impacts, and make the entire supply chain and impacts visible. Systems thinking in design mandates exploration of new materials and processes to confront issues of economic growth, pollution, and climate change and to better understand the interconnectedness of all parts of a system.