Materials Masterclass

Sustainability – Where will we be by 2030?

Sustainability – Where will we be by 2030?

2a) What’s the design criteria?

Choose two of the same products, where one is marketed as more sustainable than the other. For example, bamboo toothbrush vs plastic, plastic drinks bottle vs reusable, socks made with organic cotton vs no organic.

Put yourself in the position of the designer and company who developed the two products. Then decide, what was the likely design criteria they used for the two products? Make a list for both products.

Don’t forget to consider whether the designer had to consider criteria about:

  • Environmental issues – choice of materials, where and how the materials were processed and transported, what happens to the product at its end of life (recycled? Landfill?)
  • Social issues – did the designer have to consider who would be a winner or loser throughout the lifecycle?
  • Economic – who gets a fair deal? How much profit does the product make?

2b) What role can designers and engineers have to meet these SDGs?

Have a look at the SDG’s sheet with the 17 goals on and use make notes of any ideas you have of the opportunities for designers and engineers to help meet some of the SDG targets.

2c) Redesign a product

A furniture company is looking to improve the sustainability of its product.  Look at their proposed design for a bedside cupboard and make any recommendations to improve the sustainability of the cupboard.

Your recommendation could include changes to the design, choice of materials and/or assembly of the furniture. Annotate your ideas of the design below.

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