The IDSA provides a suite of readings on ecodesign, including this 2003 survey on the ecological performance of electronic products (pdf), in which a survey of product designers sought to reveal the mechanisms for indluencing sustainable design in consumer electronics. This bar chart struck my eye because it represents exactly what needs to change in the way designers think of themselves and the way their managers think of them too. Electronics design concerned itself entirely with appearance, and more recently with function (usability), but neither consumers nor designers nor manufacturers have made a big deal out of the toxics in electronics, their short lives or their vast environmental and social impact. Making things pretty is easy enough, but making products sustainable – and making managers and consumers care about sustainability – these are the real challenges for designers today. The graph is already five years old; let’s hope that in another five years it will be completely reversed.