New directions in design are exploring a variety of contemporary issues that are challenging conventional assumptions in the design and production industries. The artefacts emerging from these new, essentially design-centred, directions are often conceptual in nature and, judged against current industrial design norms, sometimes appear to be rough-and-ready and imprecise. However, they are also highly creative, inspiring and, in their process of production, frequently more sustainable. This paper provides an overview of these new directions and discusses their relevance and contribution in broadening our understandings of the potential of product design. The work of various designers is discussed and illustrated, and this is supplemented with a series of design explorations, conducted by the author, that address various criteria related to design for sustainability (DfS).