Sometimes when it comes to my thinking I just need to get it all out, write it all down and not loose the thought. This is when I end up with pages like these:
Then I have a talk, have a think and condense my thoughts further. I decided I want to make some sort of an impact with this design agenda because I think the key to creating a change in the world is changing people's mindset towards how they view everyday products and how they, often unknowingly, disassociate themselves with the impact that those products are having on our world. I have two ways I can approach this. The first being an educational one; can I demonstrate to consumers the impact of their consumerism? If people were faced with the truth behind the product could the demand to 'sustainable solutions' increase? It reminds me a lot of the Paul McCartney quote that a lot of vegetarians reference 'if slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian'. Are people genuinely unaware of the impact they have by the choices they make? Could they be made aware would there be change? Or do people just not want to address the issue as it leaves them feeling uncomfortable. One of my favourite documentaries has a title that perfectly addresses this issue: An Inconvenient Truth.
Consumers need a re-think as much as designers do. The sad truth is that I could create an incredible solution to the waste probably but if no one care's about the waste problem or if my product's is at a higher cost than a cheaper, irresponsibly designed alternative, I haven't made the impact I wanted. Educating the consumer is key.
The second direction is to encourage users to act differently. By that I mean make conscious decisions and not be so impulsive with purchasing products we don't need. This could be a solution that would to a multitude of jobs so you only need one system or an environmentally considered alternative that is superior to it's not-so-earth-friendly alternative. Maybe it has something unique that the alternative can't do, maybe it uses a more suitable material, maybe it ways less, maybe it costs less (highly unlikely), maybe it's of a higher quality but it has to have something more than 'it's better for the planet'. That pro may be a big pro to you or me but the majority who buy without a second thought of the origins honestly do not know or care. We need to create minimal waste, cradle-to-cradle inspired concepts who's green design is just another bonus on top of innovative product design.
I think I want to head more down the education route because one of the three C's of CHESYGN is compassion and we can not always assume people understand everything and are as educated on the topic of energy consumption, CO2 levels, waste, population or planet Earth's rapid detrition and so we must spread this message through our design. People need to see through the smog and realise that buying that recycled pen doesn't make our situation any "less bad".
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