Special Issue Information

Over the last decades, many methods have been developed to enable the development of more sustainable products, services, and solutions from an environmental, social, and economic point of view. More recently, the circular economy has emerged as a concept with the potential to decouple value creation from resource consumption, towards a more sustainable society. However, some major issues must still be taken into account when it comes to sustainable design:

In many cases, design changes have resulted in incremental improvements and, as such, are not enough in light of the severity of issues such as climate change, growing population, and energy demand. Solutions that are more sustainable have been developed and marketed, but, often, their limited success has not allowed the replacement of previous less sustainable products in the market. Although people are increasingly more conscious about sustainability, their consumption and purchase choices often do not mirror their preference for more sustainable products, highlighting the attitude–behavior gap. The potential of sustainable products is often jeopardized by people’s actual behavior (especially during the use and disposal phases), causing so-called “rebound effects”. 

In light of the above issues, it is expected that the next generation of sustainable design methods will allow the development of products and accompany business models that are able to i) showcase their actual superiority in sustainability terms; ii) encourage people’s sustainable behaviors; iii) improve sustainability performance radically and unarguably. Such outcomes are expected to start a virtuous circle, which will positively affect people’s quality of life and consciousness to contribute to the common goal of safeguarding our planet for the generations to come. To this end, a fundamental role is clearly played by education too.

In this context, the Special Issue welcomes contributions about the main issues summarized in (but not limited to) the following:

  • Sustainable design
  • Design of circular products
  • Eco-social design
  • Educational entertainment and the Fun Theory in sustainable design
  • Design of sustainable user behavior
  • Design for circular solutions
  • Consumer feedback on sustainable products and services
  • Collaborative sustainable design
  • Design for sustainable products and services
  • Technologies for a transition towards sustainability
  • Communication and understanding of sustainable product features
  • Success- and value-oriented design
  • Attractiveness and marketing of sustainable products
  • Closing the attitude–behavior gap
  • Battling greenwashing
  • User experience with sustainable products and prototypes
  • Affordances in sustainable product design
  • Industrial success and failure stories in promoting sustainable products and practices
  • Rebound effects and suboptimization
  • Integration of sustainable design into engineering and business education

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Sustainable design
  • Eco-design
  • Eco-social design
  • Design of circular products
  • Sustainable design
  • Sustainable product development
  • Behavior change
  • Fun theory
  • Green products
  • Green marketing
  • Greenwashing
  • Attitude–behavior gap
  • Customer satisfaction
  • User feedback
  • User reviews
  • Purchase decisions
  • Smart products
  • Affordances
  • User experience
  • Quality-of-life
  • Design for social sustainability
  • Industrial design practices
  • Circular economy

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.

More information and submission


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