A large portion of design activity involves applying previous design knowledge in order to solve new problems. Therefore, facilitating eco-conscious exploration of archived designs is needed for advancing sustainable product design. It is thus necessary to create integrated exploration tools that share common data representations for design and sustainability-related product metadata. This can allow designers to observe covariations in design data and develop engineering intuition with regards to environmental sustainability performance. In this work, we present a framework for relating sustainability and product metadata using taxonomy-based representations of lifecycle data. This facilitates simultaneous visualization of environmental indicators along with part similarities. To demonstrate this framework, we implement shapeSIFT, an interactive multidimensional visualization tool for eco-conscious design exploration. shapeSIFT uses a visual analytics-based approach to represent part metadata and environmental indicators. This facilitates query-based dynamic exploration of part repositories.
Accepted for publication in Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering.