POST : SUSTAINABILITY
Along with the increasing concern for what that their design is promoting, many Graphic designers also make an effort to use environmentally conscious methods in the production of their design. In an industry that is used to consuming large amounts of material such as paper there are a variety of options available to designers who are concerned with sustainable production processes. From recycled materials to carbon offsetting it is becoming increasingly more feasible for designers to offer their clients services and solutions that leave little or no footprint of their environmental impact.
Materials -using less material (lightweighting), fewer materials (making it easier to recycle) and if possible avoiding toxic substances and choosing renewable or recycled/recyclable.
- Dematerialisation – could include some of the above, lightweighting for example, but also designing things to be multifunctional, or finding a different way to deliver the same benefit through a service or product-service combination, variously referred to as selling performance or results, or ‘product service systems’ (PSS).
- Design for disassembly – making things easy to take apart so they can be repaired, serviced, upgraded, remanufactured, or recycled, such as through modular design, or smart materials which can self-disassemble when needed.
- Energy – both in production (which would mean looking at the manufacturing process), and in use and disposal. This includes minimising energy use, moving to the use of renewable energy, and extracting energy from waste in some cases.
- Life extension – keeping a product, or its parts or materials, in productive use for their optimal lifespan, so slowing or preventing the linear flow of materials from extraction and processing to disposal.
- Transport – minimising it, that is. Sourcing a renewable, impeccably green material which you ship four times round the world may not be as sustainable as something a little less clean from down the road.
Nevertheless, a ‘green product’ could actually be unsustainable. Let’s imagine you make something that uses recyclable and renewable materials, but you use child labour so nobody wants to buy it, and it ends up being dumped anyway, driving you out of business. You would have thrown the environmental ball up in the air for a moment, but you’d have dropped the social and economic balls, with the environmental one following soon after.
Choose a best practice scenario where the graphic designer uses materials, technology or processes in a sustainable way. Make a post of 300 words with 5 relevant links and 5 relevant images.