16 January 2019

Sustainable Design

What to consider when Designing a product?

When it comes to designing a product there are a variety of factors to consider. The look, build, style, colour scheme, functionality and materials to name but a few. It is the use and application of the product that most companies need to plan in the formation of the design phase. When considering the design for a new product, all these factors need to be considered, especially in today’s society where there comes greater need for sustainability and more importantly how we can use resources more effectively.

product design k lamp

That is why when we consider the design phase of a new product, the method of future proofing and adapting that product to be sustainable is certainly at the forefront of our minds. Extensive research has been made into this area and a common theme emerges that can be applied in most cases.

Using nature as an example, everything works in cycles whether that be the seasons, lifecycles or the sun rising and setting each and every day. Applying this within industry, the impression is that we are no longer using materials per se but rather borrowing them.

In essence, waste materials for an old product can be used as “food” for a new product. This concept is known as a circular economy and using the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) is a system of resource utilization where reduction, reuse and recycling of elements prevails: minimize production to a bare minimum and when it’s necessary to use the product, go for the reuse of the elements that cannot return to the environment.

Similarly, using Herman Miller as an example whose Aeron chairs product demonstrated full compliance with the full recycling concept. They coined the term “cradle to cradle protocol” which meant that their chairs were very easy to take apart and even simpler to redeploy the parts and pieces onto their next “cradle”.

product design ki lamp

product design ki lamp

A good example in retail for these concepts can be seen with the clothing brand H&M. They work on the strategy of being 100% circular. The company collects old garments in the store and recycles them. They have gathered more than 55,000 tons of fabric to reuse for new garments. Whilst this concept is not new, using it for sustainable product design and use is something that is becoming more prevalent and helps considerably to reduce overall costs longer term.


Ki lamp

As an example of sustainable design in Bangkok, one of our recent projects with Ki lamp took these concepts and applied them into the design process. Ki is a timeless lighting system with a ‘respectful creations’ concept. Our objective was to achieve a long-lasting functional product that used the most environmentally friendly processes and materials available in our hands.

The main materials are bamboo wood (fast-growing, renewable) and cement (long lasting). Modular systems allowed any part that is broken to be easily replaced with only that part instead of replacing the whole thing. This not only saves costs for the company as a whole but is clearly environmentally friendly and a very unique selling point for this company.

Feel free to browse our current projects to learn more about how we’ve been working on this concept with our current clients or contact us directly to discuss how we could apply this to any of your products or brand.

Ki lamp

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