Long Life Design Systems Mapping Process

  • Posted on: January 8, 2020
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Next week we will visit Kettl tea and ceramics atelier, founded by Zach Mangan in 2016. In preparation for this trip, visit the  store website and instagram feed and learn about their work.

1) How does Kettl tea seem related to Long Life Design (which of the ten Long Life Design criteria does Kettl seem to fulfill)?

2) Despite being a relatively new business, which of the Long Life Design criteria do you think it might be able to fulfill over the next 10 years, and why?

3) What are two questions you have for the owner (Zach) related to long-life design and/or sustainability?

Reflect on trip to Kettl

– What was the most inspiring/interesting part of the visit for you?

– After visiting the shop, do you think Kettl will become a Long Life Design business? Why/why not?

– Name eight specific systems of air, water, energy and materials involved in Zach’s work at Kettl. Think about what kind of geography, tea, history, people in Japan & New York are essential to his work.

– Do you think of Zach as an artist or a business person?  Is his work aesthetic?

– Do you feel his work is “sustainable”?  In what ways?

Reflect on trip to Kettl:  Dorinda Luo

“The most inspiring/interesting part of the visit for me is definitely the process of how to make matcha tea. I have learned some tips of how to use tools to mix mocha powder with water in order to make matcha tea.

I do think it can become a long-life business since its concept of tea has already become a crucial part of culture in different backgrounds. All items it sells are environmental friendly, durable, aesthetic, and also healthy. It fits many criteria of “Long-life”, such as “environment”, “design”, “safety”, “function” etc.

Eight specific systems of air, water, energy and materials involved in Zach’s work at Kettl:

All items in his store are imported directly from Japan growers, which needs lots of energy for transportation, such as fuel.

When Zach boil water, he is using an electoric heater. The electricity energy transfers to heat energy.

After putting leaves into the boiling water, he wants us to smell the smell from tea, and compare it with the smell before. Air has become a media to indicate the change of leaves.

When we taste tea, he asks about the flavor of it. Water and air both have become mediums of bring energy inside leaves to our bodies.

Later, he asks for volunteers to make mocha tea through its powder. He uses a brush-like that is made with bamboo to mix the powder with water in a ceramic bowl.

While mixing the powder with warm water, the volunteers need to use their hand wrists very hard. Energy from our bodies has been transferred to mocha tea in order to mix well.

He keeps all food in refrigerator. Electronic energy is transferred to keep temp low.

The systems of growing tea leaves in Japan require air, right amount of water, and sun ( solar energy).

His work is all about introducing his tea related products so he is definitely a business man. However, since he is also so interested in exploring the concept of Japanese tea with more people and all of products are aesthetic and intriguing, I would say he is an artist from his heart but somehow also needs to make business through this hobby. I really like the packages of items and also the style of bowls/cups.

I do think his work is sustainable because as I mention above, most of his products are environmental friendly and quite durable, which last for long time and can be recycled eventually. I can really feel his idea about healthy life style through this tea culture.”



Jamie Kruse is an artist, designer and part-time faculty at Parsons School for Design. In 2005 she co-founded smudge, (smudgestudio.org) with Elizabeth Ellsworth, based in Brooklyn, NY. She is the author of Friends of the Pleistocene: fopnews.wordpress.com.

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