The New Design Focus – Eco Spirit

by Eric Tsai

I remember when I was a kid my family used to recycle bottles and cans all the time and my mom would take us to the local grocery store monthly to the ‘recycle machine’ for some pocket change.  Back then I always felt that money was the incentive that drove people to recycle even though it’s not going to make anyone rich doing it.  It just seems like the right thing to do especially in the early 90s but it was not yet a way of life, it was just recycle.

After Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth and President Obama’s focus on alternative energy and sustainability, there has been a steady increase in both awareness and momentum in the environmental friendly design category.   Having done product design previously I’ve came across some real creative concepts being developed in the area of sustainability and eco friendly space.

c77dd_logoOne of my favorite weekly newsletter/ blog, DesignDirectory has some real cool designs and innovative concepts.   Since last year I’ve started thinking about creating more ‘green’ designs and it can be as clever as the  biodegradable bag – 60 Bags or as fascinating as the PeePoo Bag:  a plastic bag-cum-toilet for the developing world.  What’s up with all the bag?

While eco green is the ‘hot’ new thing now, it still carries the same design principals as with all successful design solutions – connecting users to products and aesthetic is just one intrigue part of the overall objective. Good design speaks modern languages, communicates solutions, and addresses problems.

I am excited about the opportunities to contribute in solving a world problem, in many ways eco designers will require to be more embedded in the business strategies to drive success for this market. This will involve collaboration, new working methods, knowledge transfer and a new attitude to design research.