Andre Nogueira (PhD 2019) was selected to present part of his research in the PhD Seminar section at the Design Management Academy (DMA) 2017 in Hong Kong. DMA invited an international community of scholars to formulate areas of explorations and academic contribution that outlined seven meta themes (new models of innovation, product service systems, policy making, intersecting perspectives, methods, capabilities, and foundations) within twenty tracks. The conference content was divided into papers, workshops, and a PhD Seminar. Andre presented part of his work-in-progress, discussing the diverse aspects of what it means to be PhD study of design in the landscape of sustainability. The PhD Seminar was one-day event where PhD students presented their research, and collect feedback from other PhD students and supervisors.

The work presented was the on-going ERIF grant-awarded research project: Designing Sustainable Systems Solutions. The aim of this project to create a bridge between existing frameworks, tools, and methods for the analysis of sustainability in production and consumption systems, and the design of sustainable solutions in complex spaces of innovation. The short-term goal of the project is to establish a framework to (1) incorporate considerations of human behavior in environmental analyses of food production-consumption systems, and (2) support decision-making processes towards sustainability in the design process and strategy definition for sustainable systems solutions.

Through action research, Andre is collaborating with the NGO Plant Chicago, a non-profit organization located inside The Plant whose mission is to incubate circular economies. The Plant is an industrial building located on the southside of Chicago that serves as an incubator for local food and beverage businesses. Plant Chicago also provides educational programming, runs a year around farmer’s market, and conducts research around closing waste loops—particularly among tenants in the building. The project aims to scale up the findings from this case study to larger and more complex systems, such as a region or the food system in the future. Andre Nogueira is being supervised by Dr. Carlos Teixeira and Prof. Patrick Whitney, from the Institute of Design, and Dr. Weslynne Ashton, from Stuart School of Business.