Good design makes sense: Full stop.


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A keynote by Frank (Ecodesign Centre) on good design given at the "iSustain Symposium. ‘Does it pay to be green?" organised by the Institute of Sustainable Design (ISD)

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Good design makes sense: Full stop.

  1. 1. Good  design  makes  sense:  Full  stop.      @frank_oconnor  Director  @ecodesigncentre    iSustain  Symposium  2013    June  2013        
  2. 2. “… The times of thoughtless design,which can only flourish in times ofthoughtless production for thoughtlessconsumption, are over.We cannot afford any morethoughtlessness.”source:  Dieter  Rams  
  3. 3. “… The times of thoughtless design,which can only flourish in times ofthoughtless production for thoughtlessconsumption, are over.We cannot afford any morethoughtlessness.”source:  Dieter  Rams  
  4. 4. so what happenedbetween 1976 and 2013?
  5. 5. image  …we  conCnue  to  live  in  a  throwaway  society.      ..  yet  there  is  sCll  no  away!    
  6. 6.  image source: ads-ngo.comsource:    Edwin  Datschefski  &  United  NaCons  University  …  and  now  98%  of  products  are  thrown      away  within  6  months!  
  7. 7.        we  conCnue  to  over  consume.  
  8. 8. Image  source:  Banksy  we  see  even  more  of  a  disconnect  between  people  …..  and  between  planet  and  people.  ..  and  true  costs  are  not  being  accounted  for!  
  9. 9.  neodymium  image sources: Harman & wiki  car  speaker  
  10. 10.  image source:  polluCon    true  cost  
  11. 11.  image source:  toxicity,  health    true  cost  
  12. 12. source: / getty images source: Chris Jordan  polluCon    true  cost  
  13. 13. good do we know its good?
  14. 14. good design is:innovativeusefulaestheticunderstandableunobtrusiveDieter Rams (from the ’70s)honestlong-lastingthoroughenvironmentally friendlyas little design as possible
  15. 15. 606 Universal Shelving SystemDesigned by Dieter Rams in 1960 and made byVitsœ ever since
  16. 16. source: design21, Lifestrawlifestraw  
  17. 17. source: miscell. web sitesiPoSy  real need?banana  guard  
  18. 18. can design be good?if it does not consider the keyenvironmental and social impactsalong the life cycle?
  19. 19. can design be good?if it does not consider the keyenvironmental and social impactsalong the life cycle?bad designis a social crime
  20. 20. we  conCnue  to  experience  a  collecCve  unconscious  behaviour  …..  with  catastrophic  unintended  consequences.  good design is abehaviour.
  21. 21. every design choice hasa consequenceimage  source:    Chris  Jordan  80% of impactsare determinedat design stage
  22. 22. design businesseducationpolicydesign
  23. 23. image  source:  Fuse  /  Ge8y  good design requires lifecycle / systems thinking
  24. 24. designers interactbetween industry, usersand other actorsindustryconsumersdesign
  25. 25. designers can influencehow people consume,use, behave …industryconsumersdesign
  26. 26. population growthsource: engine group and UNFPAsource: engine group and UK statisticsageing populationa move to citiesinclusiveresource scarcityknowledgeemerging economies
  27. 27.  we  ALL  have  to  change  !
  28. 28. our mission is to make ecodesign happenthrough collaboration along the life cycle
  29. 29. snapshot of current collaborative work in Europe
  30. 30. the  single  biggest  problem  in  communicaCon  is  the  illusion  that  it  has  taken  place.    George  Bernard  Shaw        image source:
  31. 31. images:  Apple  products,  Harman,  miscell.  sites  1988199320132009
  32. 32. way  forward?  
  33. 33. image: Jesse Stewart /
  35. 35. Cradle to Cradle“remake the way wemake things” thinking about the materials we use, howour products are designed and assembled, and their cyclesof use with our customers.No matter how good your products are, there comes a timewhen their first useful life comes to an end. In consideringproduct life cycles Cradle to Cradle asks us to re-think thecommonplace approach of “take, make & waste” and thisprompted us to act.During the early stages of the design of Ara we established arelationship with one of Cradle to Cradle’s authors, renownedindustrial chemist Micheal Braungart. Throughout thedevelopment we have been working with EPEA, Micheal’s C2Corganisation based in Hamburg.We’ve always very carefully considered the materials that we usein our products but our aim in working with EPEA is to ensurethat what we’re using is truly safe, for humans and theenvironment alike, and successful in technical cycles of reuse.This means looking in much more detail at every chemicalingredient in the materials we use; to determine which inhibitthis aim and need to be substituted or remove as a result.Cradle to Cradle is an approach to design which looks to makeus truly environmentally effective, by developing products forclosed loop systems in which all the materials used are safe andbeneficial - either to biodegrade naturally or to be fully recycledinto high quality materials for subsequent product generations,again and again. In order for us to maximise the value of thematerials used in your chair we’d like to get them back onceyou’ve finished with them. It’s pretty simple, all you need to dois visit our website at your ARA at ‘End of Life’Armsupportthat’sthereonlywhenyouneedit.Ourgoalwastodesignanewarmpadthatwasmorecomfortathanever,usingmaterialsthatcouldbesegregatedeasilyandrecycmoreeffectively.ThetraditionalPUisreplacedbyaflexiblepolymwithaseparateinsertmadefromrecycledfoam.Theresultisarmrestthat’srobust,easytouseandprobablythemostcomfortawe’veevermade.Dosomethingreallysimple;makethechairbase100%recyclable.Notthemostcomplicatedpartonataskchair,granted,butweasourselvesthequestion-somelookmuchbetterthanothersbutplasticchairbasesareprettymuchthesame,aren’tthey?Wellinsensetheyare,andwithveryfewexceptionstheyallhaveamcollarmouldedintotheplastictostopthegasliftcreepingthrougthebase.Greatfornotdraggingyourchairacrossthecarpetbutnotsogreatwhenyoucometorecycleit,asthecollarcanbeverdifficulttoremove.Smartdesignandcarefulmaterialselectionhasenabledustocreabasewithoutacollarinsert.Asimplepointbutunlikealmostotherplasticbasesoursis100%recyclable.Andrestassuredwetesteditlikemad.Weknowthatpeoplecomeinallshapesandsizes.That’swhysmartengineeringinsidethemechanismmeanstheridecanbetunedandbalancedtoyourpreciseneeds,usingadjustmentcontrolsthatareeasytooperateandlabelledclearly.disassemblytakeback, reusecradle to cradleecodesign  is  good  design  
  36. 36. hire   lease  /  service  consumer  goods  cooperaCve  full  ownership  shared  (adapted from Cooper et al.)individual  no  ownership    responsible    business  models  
  37. 37. product  service    systems  
  38. 38. source: ser_is_snarkishproduct  service    systems  
  39. 39. productecodesignthe ‘environment’:•  true cost•  consumption•  business model•  infrastructure•  people•  LCA, etc.image source:
  40. 40. good  design  consideraCons    consideraCon  of  full  life  cycle  /  system  /  true  cost    consideraCon  of  all  key  issues  /  LCA    no  shiG  between  stages  of  life  cycle  /  LCA    design  for  transformaCve  use  cycles    design  for  new  models  of  business  &  un-­‐ownership  1  
  41. 41. ecodesign  criteria    long-­‐life    non-­‐toxic      localise    renewable  energy  2  
  42. 42. innovaCon  through  mindset  changes  –  think  …    ‘resource’  instead  of  ‘waste’    ‘need’,  ‘use’  instead  of  ‘consume’    how  to  transform  ‘stuff’  &  not  destroy      wider  life  cycle  /  ‘circular  economy’  team      3  
  43. 43. do  not  accept    ‘that’s  the  way  it  is’  
  44. 44. a  world  where  eco/good  design  is  the  norm  
  45. 45. designed,  made,  remade.  zero  waste.  only  resource  passport source: Habufa
  46. 46. to believe in something,and not to live it,is dishonest.Mahatma Gandhi
  47. 47. thanks:    @ISD_Wales  &  Waste  Strategy  Branch  @WelshGovernment  Ecodesign  Centre  colleagues  &  you.    good  luck!  @ecodesigncentre  @frank_oconnor