Thursday, 2 April 2009

Good Design-from a sustainable perspective

Everything that is man-made requires design. Judging whether something is good or bad design from a sustainable view involves thinking about everything involved in both the production and elimination of the product. Life Cycle Analysis. The materials an object is made of and for what purpose are also essential factors when considering its advantages and disadvantages in regard to sustainability. 

Below is a list of 5 designs i consider to be good and mostly sustainable. All objects have been chosen because they are efficient and innovative. They are alternatives to long-term damaging products. 


Wind up Radio by Trevor Baylis 1996. England.
  •  Powered by human muscle power.
  •  Built for people without cheap or any electricity to be able to listen to the  news.
  •  Body made of  plastic and  inside of metal electronic mechanisms
  •  Manufactured globally- involves high energy in transport.
  •  Life span of roughly 10 years+
  •  Disposal involves elimination of plastics and electronics.
 
Although its production and disposal are damaging,it requires no damaging energy to operate.

Sigg Bottle by Ferdinand Sigg. 1908. Switzerland.

  • Aluminum bottle made with plastic cap.
  • Aims to replace the plastic bottle.
  • Resistant to shock and deformations- unlikely to break or crack.
  • Aluminum can be 100% recycled although the cap can not. 
  • Simple design
  • No health risks (unlike plastic bottles)

 A durable design that teaches sustainability through common-sense and great material selection


Chain driven Bicycle by J.K Starley.1885.U.K.

  • Human powered vehicle with 2 wheels, a frame and a chain.
  • Made of varying metals and rubber.
  • Damaging elimination however often recycled for many diverse purposes.
  • Simple comprehendible design.
  • Made for all ages, sizes and tastes.
  • Potential life guaranteed life span (excluding some parts)


A Universal design that is used by millions that harms virtually no-one.


Tripp Trapp Chair by Peter Opsvik for Stokke. 1972. Norway.

  • Children's chair designed to fit child throughout growth
  • Adjustable Seat and Foot rest
  • Offers ergonomic support for child
  • Made of durable, robust materials; Beechwood- encompassing  good design
  • Life long life span.
  • Company transports in bulk thus reducing emissions

 A genius chair that can be used by everybody- through good design a life long product is designed.


LifeStraw by Torben Vestergaard Frandsen.2005.Switzerland

  • A personal mobile water purification tool for those who don't have access to clean water
  • Turns  any surface water into drinking water 
  • Proven to be effective against waterborne disease through removing micro particles 
  • made if high impact polystyrene (outer shell), halogen based resin, anion exchange resin and patented activated carbon (interior)
  • Small and practical  design that is light and simple to use


A simple and hugely beneficial product that ameliorates the lives of millions.

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