"A successful product of design addresses the needs of all those who are affected through out the entire life cycle of the product: users, designers, and service providers (Morelli 2002). As the range of products expand from mere physical artifacts to such ethereal matters as sustainability, lifestyle, status, systems, services, and experiences, the more difficult it becomes to identify the end-user and the needs that ought to have been addressed in the design process. "Ultimately, design is about values. Designer values, user values, societal values and so on (Giard 2000)." It is the consensus of society that ascribes the cultural meaning of sustainability, significance of sustainability and value of sustainability upon a product, and not the designer, client or manufacturer. “In addition to the classical tenants of structure, function, and aesthetics, a more socially responsible design must acknowledge and engage the complex relationships between individuals, society and their artifacts. ...The challenge lies not in dictating meaning but perhaps in developing an object's capacity for meaning (Tharp 1999).” The intent here is to explore the relationship between the design process and design research and the social and cultural context for which a designed artifact is intended with regard to “framing” (Lakoff, 2004) sustainability in meaningful terms. Further, to see if a successful, sustainable product creates its own social circle and cultural adoption, or if the society and culture acts as a rigid dictating force. In this paper, I consider the design process in the light of a wicked problem environment -- problems that cannot be defined without simultaneously solving them (Rittel and Webber 1969). Then, I proceed to a review of research methods intended to identify end-user needs and aspirations relative to the sustainable artifact produced by the design plan. Finally, I conclude with an examination of cultural meaning of artifacts as a product of design, whether meaning is directed by designers or dictated by society and culture and whether research supports or inhibits the success of the artifact in the market place. Metaphorically, what variable is the chicken and what variable is the egg, and which comes first."