The industrial design online magazine Core 77 featured the Sustainability in 7 video series last year which garnered a conversation about the things designers should consider when integrating sustainability into the design process. In each video, leading sustainability experts share the seven things they think every designer should consider in the sustainable design.
Andrew Dent PhD is the Vice President, Library & Research, of Material ConneXion -a global material solutions, innovations, and sustainable materials consultancy firm. In one of his seven, he talks about integrating sustainability into your entire design process. He mentions that if you start to integrate sustainable materials once you have already come up with your designs, you will most likely come up with a lower quality product at a higher price. But if you start integrating sustainable materials during the concept phase of design, you will probably end up with a better product without extra costs.
Good sustainable design is basically good design. Period.
For my class, we were asked to redesign our objects with sustainability in mind. For many of us, it meant completing starting over and thinking more critically about sustainability and shifting from well-having to well-being.
What resonated with me was incorporating sustainability in the initial design phase. Rather than having, say a piece of furniture made out of cardboard just because it is ‘sustainable,’ it is about finding the best materials for the best solutions. I believe this kind of thinking would lead to more meaningful aspects of design and material usages.