Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Learned that a chair is one of the most difficult things to design. In the photo, Jacques Treville, who runs the Stua boutique in the Village St Paul design area, holds a bar stool whose curved form is designed to make the bar still look good, even if all of the stools in a row in front of the bar are swiveled in different directions. Bartenders like stools with backs, you see, but the bar tends to look untidy unless the stools are all turned towards the bar. What else makes designing a chair so difficult? People come in all shapes and sizes and a chair has to be comfortable for all of them for an extended period.
Monday, November 26, 2007
This project captures methane from animal waste at three farms in Germany. Methane is 21 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.
In the project, anaerobic digesters and combined Heat and Power plants have been installed at three farms. The methane produced is captured in the CHP plants and used to generate electricity and heat. The electricity is sold ito the national grid and the heat is used on the farms.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Matali Crasset on Environmental design: looking at the bigger picture
In general, people view items as autonomous objects. Matali’s hypothesis is that an object is an interconnected part of a whole is an essential theme of experimental design. This philosophy brings forth what goes on behind the scenes of our environment, to visualize what has become more and more invisible in our world today. Removing the layers of history and technology that sometimes create a distance and autonomy between things allows the observer to see the interconnections. Matali’s example of Splight City illustrates the visualization of these interconnections: how the home, as a whole, is a hierarchical structure that exists out of three dimensions. Just as the leaf of a plant, a house has a nerve structure in which energy flows. These nerves can transmit energy to the entire home’s structure, diffusing such things as light, heat, and images. It is a genuine system of objects that are in constant evolution.
Céline S Cousteau on Lessons from the Indigenous Tribes of the Amazon
From an indigenous reserve in Brazil, to remote northwestern Peru, the lessons I learned from the original inhabitants of the Amazon jungle transcend country and culture and unite us in a common future. Their health assaulted by the petroleum industry for over three decades, the Achuar are fighting for their very lives. Between illegal loggers, a government occupied with other concerns, and hepatitis in alarming numbers, the tribes of the Vale do Javari in remote Brazil are hanging on by a thread. The Shipibo of the Peruvian Amazon, the Andeans living near the glaciers, and the others, each have taught me something about the impact we have on this planet. Their future is also our future -- we are all connected to the same destiny.
Henrik Otto on Thinking outside the Box: How to work with sustainable design
The paradox of sustainable design is that as soon as we talk about the subject, people immediately start thinking of timeless, iconic designs that will last forever. This is not how I interpret the concept. To me, sustainable design is much more than that. Sustainable design is about awareness of options and consequences. It is about communication – the communication of values and attitudes. And more importantly, it is about getting designers, consumers and manufacturers around the world to make conscious choices in their daily lives. Looking to the future, and we may not have to look so far, we will no longer have a choice between sustainable or non-sustainable design.
Jason Bradbury on Green Gadget: Making 'Eco' Sellable
(Updated November 26) The iPhone may be innovative but is it green? How is the design of mass consumables utitlising sustainable materials and practices? Can a gadget be cool - and green? Is sustainability the new black? The Gadget Show's Jason Bradbury offers a overview of some of the designs and technologies that have shaped and will be shaping our eco future.
In connection with the Electrolux Design Lab 2007 competition, the first International Forum on the Environment and Design will take place in Paris on November 27 (15.30 – 17.00 CET). Presentations will be made by all four Design Lab judges:
- Award winning French Industrial designer Matali Crasset,
- The UK’s best known gadget and consumer technology presenter Jason Bradbury,
- International Environmental Activist Celine Cousteau and
- Henrik Otto, Head of Global Design for Electrolux.
They are all pretty accomplished individuals and each brings a perspective on sustainability and how it relates to their own specialties, so this should be interesting. We're going to get summaries of what they’re going to be speaking on a bit later today, so stay tuned.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Hundreds of design students from around the world entered this year’s competition and were challenged to present their ideas on for eco-friendly and sustainable household appliances and solutions for 2020. Eight finalists have been invited to the final judging event and award ceremony in Paris, where the winner of Design Lab 2007 will be announced on November 28.
This blog will guide you through the event as it unfolds – you are invited to put questions to the members of the panel through the commentary field. You can expect more detailed information about the members of the panel shortly!
Watch this video for more information about the
Design Lab competition.