Sustainability at the showcase – design

Posted on November 24, 2008


Composting literature review Design at Otago Polytechnic has gone a long way to incorporate sustainable thinking into its programmes.   There’s lots to chose from at the Excite student showcase this week. 

Talking to the students and lecturers, it is pleasing to hear the extent  to which sustainability has become a part of the student ethos.  This can be seen in design solutions even when the assignment brief didn’t explicitly mention sustainability.  

Some things are obvious like minimising waste on product packaging and appropriate labelling.  

Juliet Symes' Chrysalis In other areas, sustainability forms the essence of the design opportunity itself. The image here is of Juliet Syme’s project for second year furniture design elective: Chrysalis.  The brief was to develop a light that must not create any offcuts or waste in its making.

In other areas sustainability is one of the parameters.  For example in human computer interaction:

whether the interaction involves a computer interface, an environment or a piece of clothing, students are encouraged to consider issues of usability, comfort and sustainability within their design process.

Natural metaphor

Biological metaphors are common, and there are some unusual twists such as grass image above, where Lucy Walsh composted her literature review for sustainable architecture.