Monday, November 29, 2010

Design is Dangerous


Design in the twenty-first century has drastically changed.  Ever since the industrial revolution, mass production and factories have become the normal means for manufacturing almost everything.  Society has become accustomed to using a product and then throwing it away.  Everything from plastic utensils to clothing, designed objects these days are meant to be used and discarded.

Sustainability has become a whole new branch of design.  It is a thought process that is not entirely based on consumption.  Sustainable design is a way of preserving resources for future generations.  Take our auto industry for example. Auto makers worldwide are making vehicles that run off of gasoline, a diminishing resource, and the gasoline being burned is in turn poisoning the environment.  Many auto makers are moving to manufacture cars that run on bio-fuels or hybrid electric cars.  This is a move towards sustainability.  If all of the auto manufactures incorporated sustainable design into their business models, it would do the world good.

Recycling is another way of incorporating sustainability into a product.  If the designer uses materials that are easily recyclable, then down the line when the product breaks/gets old/is no longer wanted it can be easily broken down and recycled. This would help to lessen our impact on the environment and conserve resources for future generations.

The dangers from being a throw away society are obvious.  We need to take it upon ourselves as designers to incorporate sustainability into our work.

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