The designers, architects, and creative professionals of the world have been handed the ultimate design brief— by the United Nations and 193 heads of state.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals challenge us to reimagine the way we live and bring to life the design elements of a new, sustainable world.
These goals cover nearly every aspect of our future — for our planet, and for humankind. They concern all people, all countries, and all parts of society. There are 17 in total, and they amount to nothing less than a complete transformation of global civilization.
And the deadline? The year 2030.
But the ideas, solutions, buildings, and things created by designers, architects, and creative professionals like you will last far longer than any deadline. They will continue to impact and transform our world, its systems, and people for years and generations to come.
That’s why the role you play is so critically important. The design decisions you make have the power to not only help us achieve these goals, but lead us into the sustainable future far beyond them.
/The Oslo Manifesto:
Your Commitment to Sustainable Design, Architecture, and City Planning
On 25 September 2015, when the 193 Member States of the United Nations approved the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, (SDGs) they also created the world’s most demanding design brief.
/The SDGs are “universal”: this means they apply to every nation, every sector, every business, every profession, including design and architecture.
/The SDGs are about “integration”: this means they demand a new emphasis on a systemic approach that does not sacrifice environmental and social considerations to economic gain, but rather seeks for true synergies and solutions that benefit people, nature, and prosperity.
/Finally, the SDGs are about “transformation”: this means they challenge us to rethink the way we live, to rebuild all the systems that are degrading ecological and human health — and to make our world sustainable.
/In sum, the SDGs are the ultimate design and architecture challenge: how do we create, and recreate, a world that achieves all 17 of the visionary goals that have now been agreed to by all the world’s nations?
And how do we achieve this by the year 2030?
The designers, architects, and creative professionals of the world have been handed a special and enormous responsibility, given to them by the 193 heads of state. They must imagine and bring to life the design elements of a new, sustainable world — quickly.
Consider these 17 questions whenever you initiate a project, design a product, or accept a commission:
How can this design contribute to the goal of ending poverty in all its forms, everywhere?
How can this design contribute to ending hunger and encouraging the transition to sustainable agriculture?
How can this design help ensure healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages?
How can this design support quality education and lifelong learning?
How can this design advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls?
How can this design help ensure the sustainable management of water and universal access to sanitation?
How can this design contribute to a sustainable energy transition?
How can this design promote decent work for all?
How can this design advance sustainable industrialization and innovation, especially in those places that do not have access to modern industry?
How can this design help to reduce inequality within and among countries?
How can this design make our cities more inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable?
How can this design transform production and consumption patterns, to make them more sustainable?
How can this design be part of the urgent action that is needed to combat climate change and its impacts?
How can this design be part of caring for our oceans and seas?
How can this design help to protect and restore ecosystems and preserve biodiversity?
How can this design contribute to the development peaceful, inclusive, and just societies?
How can this design advance the global partnership needed to achieve all of these goals?