Corporate Design Foundation's 2010
Sustainable Business & Design Partnership:

The Sustainable Transportation Center

Reinvent the Gas Station for Today's Economy and to Address Climate Change


The Sustainable Business & Design Partnership by Corporate Design Foundation (CDF) is an open educational partnership centered on promoting the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration to improve the quality of life and the effectiveness of organizations through sustainable design.

This year the Partnership will focus on designing a Sustainable Transportation Center.  We hope this will be an opportunity for design, business and other disciplines to come together and create solutions that will help reinvent the gas station for today's economy and climate change.


1.  Promote and establish multidisciplinary courses that bring together design, business, and other disciplines to address sustainability.

2.  Provide examples of sustainable business and design opportunities.

3.  Call attention to the schools, faculty and students involved in multidisciplinary sustainable teaching and programs.

Partnership Project

1.  Design and develop a prototype and viable business model for a sustainable transportation center that will provide information and encourage alternative means of transportation from bicycles and walking to electric vehicles and mass transit. 

2.  Develop and include a desirable service and fuel station (or chain) for alternative fuel vehicles including, but not limited to, hybrid, electric, and hydrogen.

3.  The center should also be a public demonstration project of sustainable design for a service business, with a sustainable business practice, and a public demonstration of energy conservation and the use of alternative energy sources (appropriate for the particular location).

In addition to the above requirements, groups can also consider the following additional possibilities for the station: 

  • An anchor for a green development zone (See Chapter 5, The Necessary Revolution by Peter Senge)
  • Reuse of the circa 200,000 unused or abandoned gas stations in the US (See Cornerstone Parks in New York)


Documentation This program has evolved form a competition to a partnership between the participating schools, as a result of discussions with some of the participating faculty and students.  At approximately mid term/semester the teams will pst their research, results and resources identified on a shared website.  CDF will set up this site to use by participating teams.


Pending adequate funding: partnership teams will present their proposals in San Francisco in June or July.  Following one day of presentations, the teams will join together in new groups for a one day charrette to take the sustainable transportation center idea even further.


Documentation of both the design and the business model for either a free standing sustainable transportation center (single or chain).

Deliverable Format

The following materials are mandatory elements in order to be eligible to participate in the presentation and charrette:


1.  A document in English that explains the design and proposed business model that complements the group's design.  The document should a maximum of 4 pages, using standard US Letter format and a minimum of 12 point type size.

2.  A maximum of 5 digital images that provide a clear visualization of the groups design in various perspectives, including an explanation of the selected concept and the reasoning behind the selection of the concept.

Presentation Format

To be defined

(Will include the "use scenario," and details of the station, its components and appropriate mechanisms)

Additional Elements for Submission

Additional materials will be accepted, in Phase 2 only, and may include but are not limited to photos only of prototypes or models, video and/or a visualization of any functioning mechanism that has been incorporated into a group's submission.  Additional materials not stated as required in the Phase 2 submission, may only be submitted if deemed necessary and must continue to support the information presented in a useful and meaningful manner.  These materials will not directly influence, for better or worse, the selection of a concept.  Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it with any questions regarding this matter.

Delivery of Submitted Materials


The deadline from all submission materials is between the 15th of May and the 5th of June 2010.  Submissions must be uploaded to the Partnership FTP site by 11: 59pm local time in Boston, Massachusetts on June 5th to be eligible.

Judging Criteria

Desirability Has the team investigated and understood possible users?  Is this a place people will want to be?

Viability: Is the solution usable, safe and possible to maintain? Is the solution viable for the user? Does represent a viable solution to the development of a sustainable service station?

Feasibility: Is there a feasible business case?  Does current or soon to be released technology allow for the concept to be realized? If not with current technology, is the possibility of realization foreseeable in 1 to 3 years? Can the components be manufactured within a reasonable cost considering the proposed market?

Impact: Does the design motivate the user to embrace sustainable behavior?  Will the solution increase the understanding and acceptance of alternative means of transportation?  Will this solution enhance the understanding of sustainable business practice?

Degree of innovation:
Is the solution presented truly innovative? Does it represent a solution that breaks new ground in this arena? Is it at the center of desirability, viability, and feasibility?


To enter the competition, student teams must be comprised of Graduate or Undergraduate students enrolled in the 2009-2010 academic year at schools that are located within the US and Canada. Teams must have a minimum of 3 members and a maximum of 5, all teams must have at least one faculty advisor.

Each team must include business, design and a third separate discipline that supports the objective of the competition (ex. engineering, biology, sustainability).

In order to participate, entrants are required to have a multidisciplinary team that fulfills the requirements of this competition, however we understand that schools my not have the means to do so.  To assist in the creation of groups CDF will offer, if available, help in establishing communication with a complementary institution(s).  Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.




Mission Zero Enlists the support and energy of millions of people to help correct the world's environmental course.

AskNature is where biology and design cross-pollinate, so bio-inspired breakthroughs can be born.

Better Place

Cornerstone Parks, New York:

BP's Helios House
in LA:



Suggested Reading:

1.  Benyus, Janine M. Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. William Morrow and Company, 1997.

2.  Bird, Mitchell and Burns. Reinventing the Automobile: Personal Urban Mobility for the 21st Century.  MIT Press, 2010.

3.  Doppelt, Bob.  The Power of Sutainable ThinkingHow to Create a Positive Future of the Climate, the Planet, Your Organization and Your Life.    Earthscan, 2008.

4.  Hawken, Paul, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution. Little, Brown and Co., 1999. 

5.  Jones, Van.  The Green-Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems.  Harper One, 2008.

6.  Kaufmann, Michelle and Catherine Remick.  Prefab green.  Gibbs Smith, 2009.

7.  McDonough, William and Michael Braughnart. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way we Make Things. North Point Press, 2002. 

8.  Senge, Peter, Bryan Smith, Nina Kruschwitz, Joe Laur and Sara Schley.  The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World.  Double Day, 2008.

9.  Shedroff, Nathan.  Design is The Problem: The Future of Design Must be Sustainable.  Rosenfeld Media, New York, 2009.

10.  @issue: The Journal of Business & Design.  Volume 13 Number 1, Corporate Design Foundation, Spring 2008. 


Please submit any useful resources to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it '; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text73414 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //-->\n This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it