Good design requires a thought process, a philosophy, especially when developing a ‘green product’. For me a design philosophy creates a frame work to adhere to and a construct to implement sustainability principles.
My philosophy therefore requires a holistic approach, as there is more than just considering the objects function. A study needs to be made into the period before and after the function of the object comes into existence.
There needs to be a detailed understanding of the entire process leading up to the production of the product.
- what are the raw materials used….
- where they come from?
- what are the social implications of extracting the materials, its
- compatibility with other materials, and products
- can they be reused,
- recycled or
- quality, efficiency and socially responsible of the production process
- overall carbon balance and logistics
Timeless – a vital part of this holistic approach is creating a timeless product, one with a technical and aesthetic durability, that will last generations and not seasons.
Material & Craftsmanship – creating a product with high grade materials and craftsmanship greatly increases the value and therefore the willingness of the user to retain the product for a long period.
Up-cycle – once the product eventually reaches the end of its useful life, a truly green product can be up-cycled over and over again. An infinite loop of reuse where there is no loss in quality of the material, or the material has the ability to naturally biodegrading releasing its nutrients back in to the environment.
This philosophy requires honesty from the designer, where the products components and materials are easily accessible and identifiable so they can be disassembled and re-introduced back into the industrial loop as ‘food’ for more future products.
I strive to apply this core philosophy to each product. It is not always possible, and is not easy to achieve, but if a design philosophy factors these ideals in from the very start and not at the end as an after thought, then this is how we can work towards ‘true green’ design.
With these principles built into the design, each product will emerge with sustainability built in as standard …..