Evaluative Report

I’ll be honest, Sustainable Design was not my first choice for the Expanded Practice unit, but I could never have imagined that I would learn so much over the course of these seven sessions. It introduced me to several strategies that I was not familiar with, and made me realise the importance of key topics that apply to Interior and Spatial Design.

Sustainability is a concept that has spread over every field of design. Before learning about sustainable design, my aim for the future was to design the most aesthetically appealing buildings. I had never taken the environmental impacts into consideration. However, as I was introduced to the TED’s Ten strategies I began to realise the influence that a designer has on the society; they play a key role in shaping it for better or worse. The strategies have changed my approach to design by making me more conscious of the social and environmental factors. For the world to become an environmentally friendly pace, it is essential that we, as designers, keep sustainability in mind and incorporate it in all aspects of our work, whether we are designing buildings, products or clothes.

 

Lessons of Sustainability

 

Instead of keeping myself limited to researching topics that only related to Interior and Spatial Design, I tried to expand my knowledge over most areas of design (e.g. Textiles and product design). You never know which piece of information or technique can come in handy in our area of work. Doing so helped me develop a better understanding of which TED’s Ten strategies are the most relevant to my practice/projects, as well as making me understand the areas I feel strongly about.

 

The Ten strategies with information about each.

 

The two strategies that are most significant to me are Design Activism and Design to Minimise Waste. Design Activism is one of my personal favourite strategies as it allows the designer to step away from creating products and connect to the consumer face-to-face to transform the society in a positive way. They have the complete freedom to choose the medium through which they contribute to the world: from giving inspirational talks to creating a revolutionary product that ends an epidemic. Design to Minimise Waste is another strategy that I enjoyed studying as waste is a global problem and the possibilities to reduce it are endless. I discovered many creative and effective solutions that haven’t been implemented. Waste – whether it is plastic in the ocean or disposed items in landfills – is a serious issue which needs to be resolved to save the future generations and the wildlife. A major aspect of minimising waste is to recycle or upcycle it. Both give the product a new life and character, reducing what is disposed of.

I was pleased that, because of the Sustainable Design sessions, I was able to discover different forms of and several approaches to design. For my work, Design that Takes Models from Nature and History is the most important strategy. This is because design constantly must be modified, and if that is done by learning from the past and taking inspiration from nature, I believe we can deliver more efficient outcomes to the consumer. There are countless examples of spaces that are inspired by ancient architecture. A prominent one in London is the “Egyptian Hall” in Harrods. The hall houses Egyptian style clothing which you can buy and is decorated with Egyptian statues, the sphynx, the pyramids, hieroglyphs and columns.

 

Egyptian Hall – Harrods, London

 

To improve my blog and research, I would like to continue exploring the rest of the TED’s Ten strategies. Doing so will introduce me to more concepts and techniques which will expand my practice and broaden the spectrum of creative choices I have as a designer. Continuing my study of the ten strategies will help me produce efficient and unique outcomes.

Sustainable Design has affected my approach to design in a positive way. It has trained my mind to take the environment, the employees, as well as the social issues into consideration before setting a decision into stone.

 

References

Places To See In Your Lifetime. (2018). Top 10 Structures Inspired by Ancient Architecture | Places To See In Your Lifetime. [online] Available at: https://www.pandotrip.com/top-10-structures-inspired-by-ancient-architecture-20819/

 

Seminar 17/11 – My Presentation

 

References

Tedresearch.net. (2018). 6 – Design that Looks at Models from Nature & History « Textiles Environment Design. [online] Available at: http://www.tedresearch.net/6-look-back-look-forward/

Tedresearch.net. (2018). 7 – Design for Ethical Production « Textiles Environment Design. [online] Available at: http://www.tedresearch.net/7-consider-ethical-and-fair-trade-production/

Abchome.com. (2018). About Us – ABC Home. [online] Available at: https://www.abchome.com/about/ 

Hennighausen, M. and Roston, M. (2018). 14 Smart Inventions Inspired by Nature: Biomimicry. [online] Bloomberg.com. Available at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/photo-essays/2015-02-23/14-smart-inventions-inspired-by-nature-biomimicry 

En.wikipedia.org. (2018). Beijing National Aquatics Center. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beijing_National_Aquatics_Center 

Rolling Across the Landmines

As designers I feel that it is our duty to raise awareness of social issues around the world. We also have the power to eliminate these issues and influence minds by creating products, spaces, etc which take the consumer through a physical experience.

Design Activism is about working creatively with the society at large by taking design beyond product design and organising events which educate the consumer. Moreover, it is also the first on the list of most important strategies to me, and as I have not explored it in my previous posts, I have decided to dig deeper into it for my personal research.

 

 

Mine Kafon

Mine Kafon, the brainchild of Afghan product designer Massoud Hassani, is a cost-efficient wind-powered land mine detector. Hassani, who was born and grew up in Afghanistan, had first-hand experience with land mines. The designer moved around 40 times before settling in the Netherlands with his family, where he went on to study Industrial Design at Design Academy Eindhoven.

What was created as an art object for his graduation project has now become an important tool in raising awareness about a subject that is widely neglected: Landmines. As children, Massoud and his brother made home-made wind-powered toys which became the inspiration for Mine Kafon. The machine looks like a giant dandelion puff ball that rolls across the land, detonating the landmines that are detected underneath. Made of bamboo, iron and plastic the design was a finalist in London’s Design Museums 2012 Design of the Year Award.

Mine Kafon

The Mine Kafon is approximately the height and weight of an average man, which expends enough pressure to detonate the landmines. The iron casing core is surrounded by dozens of bamboo stems which each have a plastic “foot” at the end. The feet act as a suspension mechanism which allow the Mine Kafon to roll smoothly over bumps, obstacles and holes. A GPS unit is also installed which maps the route that the detonator has taken.

Mine Kafon exploding over a landmine.

Estimates from the UN tell us that the price of removing a landmine is 50 times the amount of its production and installation, and the removal is not without human cost. Although the Mine Kafon loses some legs with each detonation, it can blow up 3 to 4 landmines on each journey, without risking human lives. The Mine Kafon is faster, safer and up to 120 times cheaper than traditional landmine removal techniques.

Here is an informative video that shows the Mine Kafon in action:

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Mine Kafon: Drone

The Mine Kafon drone is very different to the original Mine Kafon. Rather than operating on land, the unmanned drone hovers above potentially dangerous areas, generating a 3D map using its 3D camera, GPS and a computer. It then uses a metal detector which is kept close to the ground, using sensors and a retractable arm to pinpoint and geotag landmine sites. The drone then places a detonator on the landmine with its arm before floating to safety and detonating the mine.

Mine Kafon Drone

The company, Hassani Design BV, claims that the drone is 20 times faster and up to 200 times cheaper than current technologies. Additionally, they have estimated that the mines may be cleared up globally by the drone in the next 10 years. A drawback is that it is especially difficult to identify mines that have been buried underground for a long time and the locations obtained by GPS are not entirely reliable.

Future ideas for improvements include optimising the drone and creating base stations, using external antennas to triangulate locations, to train pilots to use the drone and carry out tests in different countries.

The Mine Kafon is a revolutionary invention as it highlights and tackles the deadly issue of landmines. For years people had been terrorised by the idea of losing a loved one at the hands of an underground explosion, but Hassani has given them a new hope. The results already show a positive change as operating the Mine Kafon is cheaper and safer, and can be done without putting human lives at risk. Personally, I believe that the Mine Kafon is an invention that the world didn’t even know they desperately needed.

 

References

Tedresearch.net. (2018). 10 – Design Activism « Textiles Environment Design. [online] Available at: http://www.tedresearch.net/10-design-activism/

Co.Design. (2018). 24 Clever Examples of Design Activism. [online] Available at: https://www.fastcodesign.com/3039816/24-clever-examples-of-design-activism

Mine kafon. (2018). Mine Kafon – Home. [online] Available at: http://minekafon.org/

En.wikipedia.org. (2018). Mine Kafon Drone. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mine_Kafon_Drone

Mine kafon. (2018). Mine Kafon Prototypes – Mine kafon. [online] Available at: http://minekafon.org/minekafonprototypes/

 

Reuse to Reduce

In my first blog post “Circular Economy” I looked at ways in which Silk can be recycled and upcycled. Since then, I have developed quite a keen interest in ways which we can reuse materials for other purposes and contribute to a cleaner tomorrow. After all, waste won’t be reduced until we learn to reuse.

FilaBot

During the last ten years we have produced more plastic than we had in the last century.

50% of the plastic that is produced is used only once and thrown away.

It takes 500-1000 years for plastic to degrade.

By looking at these statistics we gather that the ongoing production of plastic is evidently damaging to the world that we live in and contributes to global warming. To prevent plastic from ending up in the oceans or landfills, Tyler McNaney has created a fascinating solution. His brainchild, the FilaBot, is an upcycling robot that turns scrap plastic into filament for 3D printers. The current rate at which plastic is produced, used and disposed suggests that the FilaBot may be producing an endless supply of material for prototyping and manufacturing.

The FilaBot uses a pressurised heating process to melt plastics into a fine diameter filament, ready for spooling. Waste plastics such as pellets, prints, etc, have to be added to the hopper and when the machine is heated and ready, begin extruding the filament with the speed and diameter controls located at the top of the machine.

Here is a video showing how a FilaBot works:

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As with any other small, heavy-duty recycling system there may be some problems such as impurities and bubbles in plastics, however, that can be overlooked when you’re creating your own 3D printing filament at home at a significantly reduced cost.

 

PUMA InCycle

Puma is one of the leading sportswear brands in the world, which places it at a significant position to raise awareness and set an example for all, whether it is a good one or a bad one. The brand chose the former by taking a step towards preserving our environment and tackling the fact that most of our clothing, when thrown out, ends up in landfills and incineration plants.

The Puma InCycle collection launched in spring 2013, consisting of products that are recyclable or biodegradable. It was the brands first closed-loop, 100% Cradle-to-Cradle Basic certified collection. Only carefully selected materials were used in production, such as bio-degradable polymers, recycled polyester and organic cotton. This was done to eliminate hazardous chemicals, pesticides and chemical fertilisers.

This particular collection has special labels attached to the apparel, footwear and accessories to educate the consumer. The products belong to one of the following categories: Biological or Technical. The biological cycle collection is compostable and can be turned into biological nutrients. The technical cycle range has products that can be turned into raw materials or technical nutrients, to be recycled into new products.

The manufacturers are especially wary that materials within a product are not blended with other materials. This is done to ensure recyclability and that pure recycled materials can be obtained at the end of a products life.

The recyclable Puma Track Jacket is made of 98% recycled polyester which is obtained from used PET bottles, as opposed to the conventional Puma Track Jacket which contains additional materials such as elastane. Uniformity of materials is essential which is why even the zipper is made from recycled polyester. The jacket can be turned back into polyester granules, which then serves as a secondary raw material for other products made of recycled polyester. Consequently, reducing the need for crude oil, energy and the amount of waste created.

Although the venture was not as promising as it had seemed, I believe Puma took a brave leap towards helping the environment. Their ideas were intelligent but smarter advertising could have boosted their sales. A positive impact that their InCycle collection had was that the environmental impacts were reduced by a third compared to their conventional products. According to a website “The environmental costs for the conventional PUMA cotton shirt (€ 3.42) are 31% higher than those for the biodegradable PUMA InCycle shirt (€ 2.36).”

Read more here.

 

References

sustainablebrands.com. (2018). 13 Hot Sustainable Products To Follow in 2013. [online] Available at: http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/blog/13-hot-sustainable-products-follow-2013

Biggs, J. (2018). The Upcycling Filabot Turns Regular Plastic Scrap Into 3D Printer Filament. [online] TechCrunch. Available at: https://techcrunch.com/2013/01/13/the-upcycling-filabot-turns-regular-plastic-scrap-into-3d-printer-filament/

EcoWatch. (2018). 22 Facts About Plastic Pollution (And 10 Things We Can Do About It). [online] Available at: https://www.ecowatch.com/22-facts-about-plastic-pollution-and-10-things-we-can-do-about-it-1881885971.html

Filabot. (2018). Our Hardware. [online] Available at: https://www.filabot.com/pages/our-hardware

sustainablebrands.com. (2018). PUMA Introduces C2C-Certified, Recyclable Track Jacket, Backpack as Part of InCycle Collection. [online] Available at: http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/waste_not/puma-introduces-c2c-certified-recyclable-track-jacket-backpack-part-incycle

Trucost.com. (2018). New PUMA shoe and t-shirt impact the environment by a third less than conventional products | Trucost. [online] Available at:

https://www.trucost.com/trucost-news/new-puma-shoe-t-shirt-impact-environment-third-less-conventional-products/

Workshop 24/11

In the workshop session that took place today, we were asked to research a product/project/material of our choice.

The product that I chose to study was Sugru, the mouldable glue. It allows the user to shape it, mould it, and reposition it as required in the time-span of 30 minutes. When dried, it goes from a play dough like consistency to a flexible silicone rubber, allowing it to bend with the artefact, such as charging cables. Moreover, Sugru is waterproof and durable, making it safe to use outdoors under prolonged exposure to the sun, rain and even the sea.

Here is a video depicting Sugru’s full potential:

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I chose this product because ever since I was introduced to Sugru, I have been fascinated by the technology used to produce it. The concept of fixing something without making a mess, while it stays as aesthetically pleasing (if not more) was somewhat alien to us all. Before Sugru, once the charging cables, headphones or other wired equipment had come apart, it had to be thrown away. However, Sugru provides a quick fix to extend the objects life.

Using the mouldable glue is also good for the environment as less waste ends up in landfills, further relating its concept to “Design to Minimise Waste” from TEDS Ten. When I came across Sugru, I was reminded of Dispatchwork by Jan Vormann. The artist uses Lego bricks to fill the gaps created between bricks in the walls and to eliminate signs of wear and tear. The Lego blocks add colour and character to an otherwise boring brick wall, like Sugru which comes in a range of colours.

Dispatchwork – Jan Vormann
Dispatchwork – Jan Vormann

 

Next, we were asked to discuss the product of our choice in a small group and the ways in which it relates to TED’s Ten. A common theme was that all of us in the group had chosen projects/products that fell under the vast umbrella of “Design to Minimise Waste”. We looked at our products in context of Textile Design and Spatial Design.

Here are some images of our work:

 

The next task was to put the ten strategies of TED’s Ten into the order of relevance to our work. Prioritising the strategies was not an easy task as they were all significant to my practice to an extent.

This is my order:

1.(6) Design that takes models from Nature and History.

As an Interior and Spatial designer its important to acknowledge the work done in our practice in the past so we can improve our approach and learn from mistakes while working with structures and buildings for the future.

Taking nature into consideration is also crucial as we need to build our societies to accommodate the processes of nature rather than eliminating it from our path.

2. (10) Design Activism

3. (9) Design to De-Materialise and Develop Systems and Services

4. (1) Design to Minimise Waste

5. (7) Design for Ethical Production

6. (2) Design for Cyclability

7. (8) Design to Reduce the Need to Consume

8. (3) Design to Reduce Chemical Impacts

9. (4) Design to Reduce Energy and Water Use

10. (5) Design that Explores Clean/Better Technologies

 

References

sugru.com. (2018). Home. [online] Available at: https://sugru.com/

Jan Vormann. (2018). Dispatchwork. [online] Available at: https://www.janvormann.com/testbild/dispatchwork/