ASSIGNMENT #15 – 3 Design Talks

 How can ‘disruptive design’ enrich sustainable packaging innovation? by Leyla Acaroglu

Leyla’s discussion of “sustainable materials” in her Ted Talk and what really goes in to the process of understanding a materials sustainability was incredibly interesting and informative. Often times, myself included, we make snap judgements about whether something is “good for the environment” based of simple things like it’s look or material. However, this doesn’t take into account a products full impact when it’s produced, thrown out etc. These snap judgements even affect people when they are designing the product. One great example Leyla gave of this is with the electric tea kettle. Most designers would ask how to make the kettle more energy efficient because they know that with the large amount of tea kettle use in Britain the kettles use a significant portion of energy. What they don’t think about is the fact that the design of the product and it’s packaging itself causes people to boil more water then needed and therefore use more energy. In the future, when we look at design I think it’s important to really back your designs with research to figure out the best way to improve a product or make it sustainable. Just like with plastic vs paper bags, with little research on might choose a paper bag over plastic because of the initial opinion that it’s superior in terms of environmental impact. However, when research is done thoroughly within a design process to fully understand a products lifespan, lifecycle and how it’s used we can better understand how to improve it.

Ergonomics and Design

The video Ergonomics and Design gave a straight forward and helpful description of how ergonomics affects design. As a designer it’s important that when designing products meant for human use we take into account human research and statistics to ensure that it is healthy for the human body to use and will function comfortably. I find that today it is quite common to find products that have very beautiful or modern designs, but when you try to use them or sit in them they are quite uncomfortable. This is because the ergonomics wasn’t considered when the design was made. When you look at this video you can see that it is often incredibly easy to find large numbers of statistics on the human body specifically tailored to design. This readily available information should therefore be used to improve our products. Other then just making something safer and more comfortable ergonomics can also give you a better understanding of how to improve a product to work more efficiently with the human body. For example, by understanding a person’s average height, the way that they walk or the length of an average stride could help you design a shoe that would both look beautiful but also be comfortable and practical for many wearers.

 By the People: Designing a Better America

By the People: Designing a Better America gave an insight into how designers and artists are working, often times within a community, to create positive, socially responsible change. By developing designs within specific communities and understanding the needs of the people in the area a designer is able to come up with solutions that could considerably help the community. Whether it’s through architecture, product design or even fine arts we can find ways to benefit others through research, social responsibility and empathy. As a designer I believe it’s important that we look at ways the world and people’s lives can be improved through our work. Rather then just creating something new and beautiful we can create something that changes the way things are done or used to benefit ourselves and others. Even the simple play put on in the community in Kentucky was specifically designed not just to entertain but to bring the community together and educate them on the impacts of the opiate crisis in the area. As we work as designers, working with communities and understanding them to find empathy and create practical and creative solutions can help us design a better world.


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