- 9:00 am - Mon, May 20, 2013
- 52 notes
Detritivores are creatures that consume decaying matter. Detritivore designs use abundant waste products to make scalable technology solutions. Unlike loftier concepts of zero-waste design such as Cradle to Cradle, Detritivore design accepts that the world is already loaded with discarded and broken technology. Detritivore designers need not create a recyclable or even non-toxic product, since the materials already exist — we merely try to squeeze out whatever functionality objects may have left.
The Public Lab Spectrometry Kit is a detritivore design. It consumes waste products and uses them to search for other, more dangerous wastes. Pipe cutoffs, obsolete webcams, and optical discs are sufficient to make a functioning spectrometer. The central component, the diffraction grating, is made from CDs and DVDs, disposable media with extremely precise grooves. Long after the media written onto these discs decays into illegibility, they will still function as diffraction gratings, splitting light into a rainbow that can be quantified and used for material identification.
(via ‘Detritivore’ Design: How to Use Trash to Create Scalable Tech Solutions- Mathew Lippincott | Discard Studies)
- 6:03 pm - Thu, May 9, 2013
- 68 notes
Students and staff at Newcastle University have created a pop-up cafe built entirely out of upcycled waste, including plastic drink bottles and cardboard boxes. The team spent three months designing and constructing the cross disciplinary project, which was contributed to by engineers, architects and social scientists.
The U-Cafe was designed to challenge our perception of waste and explore new ways of creating sustainable buildings. It features chairs made from plastic bottles, walls constructed using cardboard boxes, and staff aprons made out of recycled plastic bags.
Via: Pop-Up Cafe Built Entirely Out Of Garbage [Video] - PSFK
- 12:21 pm - Tue, Apr 23, 2013
- 121 notes
Today we’re excited to share a guest post from Alexandra Pappalardo, a graduate student at the Savannah College of Art Design who recently completed a very Unconsumption-y course there, addressing new ways to think about what often seems a disposable object: the pen.
The disposable pen is such an afterthought for so many of us that an estimated 1.5 billion pens are thrown away each year in the United States alone. That’s 48 pens per second. How many of these, do you think, were empty?
As a masters student in the Design for Sustainability program at the Savannah College of Art and Design, I was part of a class, taught by professor Scott Boylston, that researched behaviors surrounding pen usage and disposal. Our task: “radically altering people’s perceptions of the disposable pen.” We poked into our classmates’ pen cases, baited students with free candy, distributed surveys, observed and created conversations. Inspired by other cases of upcycling, we designed and prototyped new product solutions for dead pens.
Finally, we staged a one-day “pentervention.” We lined the walls of our design building with interactive posters, set up a station for abandoned pens to be adopted, and not even professors were safe from the enigmatic and compulsive pen bandit. Much of it was silly, to be sure, but it wasn’t ignored and it didn’t produce the glassy-eyed effect of a shaming environmental lecture. Using all of our foundational work and the results from Pentervention Day, we created a website — www.pentervention48.com.
On the site you can delve into our research findings, check out product prototypes, find out what students wrote on our art pieces, and watch original videos designed to both entertain and educate. You’ll never look at the disposable pen the same way again.
— Alexandra Pappalardo
Pictured, from top: Pentervention Day; Pen Play: A necklace from expired pens; a flier with tear-off tabs that include suggestions for pen reuse; an invitation to give your pen more meaning — and “pensonality.” See the Pensonality site for more.
If you’re a student or professor with a project dealing with creative use or mindful consumer behavior that you’d like to share with our audience, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- 9:02 am - Tue, Apr 16, 2013
- 78 notes
A robotic vacuum cleaner called ‘Limbo‘ was created by industrial designer Elliot Cohen as a concept project for the 25th anniversary of Casabella. Unveiled at the 2013 International Housewares Show in Chicago, it was designed “to inspire and push the limits of design and engineering for the future.”
Notably: “The robotic floor cleaner powers itself through the bacteria it consumes.”
(via Dirt-Powered Robotic Vacuum Recharges While It Cleans - PSFK)
- 12:04 pm - Sun, Apr 14, 2013
- 17 notes
This spring, Poltrona Frau is pleased to partner with Parsons The New School for Design on a Product Design Studio with a focus on responsible design. With the guidance of instructor Andrea Ruggiero, students will design and develop new objects using leather scraps at Poltrona Frau’s factory in Tolentino, Italy. For the first time, the brief is to design everyday leather goods for the home and office, elevating waste material into a premium product.
(via Parsons The New School for Design x Poltrona Frau: Designing for Wastelessness - Core77)
- 8:47 am - Thu, Apr 11, 2013
- 1,482 notes
19-year-old Boyan Slat has unveiled plans to create an Ocean Cleanup Array that could remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans. The device consists of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms that could be dispatched to garbage patches around the world. Instead of moving through the ocean, the array would span the radius of a garbage patch, acting as a giant funnel. The angle of the booms would force plastic in the direction of the platforms, where it would be separated from plankton, filtered and stored for recycling.
Also on the ocean-garbage front: We’ve covered various responses to the Pacific Garbage Patch, here, and here.
- 10:09 am - Mon, Apr 8, 2013
- 74 notes
An Australian design firm worked with a publisher to start redesigning book covers: now, the dust jacket of some new novels in Australia can be flipped around, bent around the book, and sealed to be sent to a nonprofit that gives books to the homeless. The design is flexible, so it can easily be adapted for different book sizes and edited to include a different nonprofit’s address in the region where the books are sold.
More, including a video, here: A Dust Jacket That Transforms into a Shipping Box to Donate Used Books | Australia on GOOD