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Jeremy Faludi

The Core77 Design Blog

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Posted by Jeremy Faludi  |  28 Jan 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Halfway through its second year, Minneapolis College of Art & Design (MCAD)'s Master of Arts in Sustainable Design program continues to represent the leading edge of advanced design studies. This year, four companies—Cascade Designs, Hamilton Beach, Anthro and Rayne Longboards—all had their products analyzed and brainstormed for sustainable redesign.

MCAD's entirely online program gives students from around the world two years of training in analysis and creativity for sustainable design, from packaging and graphics to products. This past semester, I once again taught collaborative product design, which brings groups of students together across different industries and time zones to redesign consumer products. They start by video-chatting their product tear-down, to perform life-cycle assessment and determine top priorities for sustainability. Groups redesign their products using the Whole Systems and Life-Cycle design method created for the Autodesk Sustainability Workshop. This structures and unifies their ideation over the weeks, which spans energy effectiveness, design for lifetime, materials choices, biomimicry, and persuasive design.

The students did a fantastic job, deftly showing the companies which aspects of their products were the biggest concerns and which needn't be bothered with, based on both LCA and green certification systems, showing companies a larger context around their products and generating a plethora of great ideas, from subtle tweaks to radical re-envisionings. Below are some samples of their work (click to enlarge in new window/tab).

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Posted by Jeremy Faludi  |  29 May 2009
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Last week in San Francisco was the Greener by Design conference, which we've already noted was well-covered by Reuters. But if you want the short version, here are some personal notes.

Greener by Design 2009 was actually the best conference I've been to in a while. Not so much because of the speakers or format--though they were definitely great--but because of the conversations with other people between talks. How does that happen? Maybe it was just coincidence; it was a standard-format gig, not an unconference like foo camp. Maybe it was that Joel Makower did a good job of getting interesting people to attend, and had decent-length breaks between sessions. In any case, it was well worth the time. Here are a few notes from the event.

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Posted by Jeremy Faludi  |  17 Apr 2009  |  Comments (2)
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There's a difference between green engineering and green design.

Green engineering reduces people's ecological impact without requiring them to change their habits--for instance, replacing coal power with wind power; the consumer still just flicks the light switch, and their lights turn on just the same.

Green design reduces people's ecological impact by changing their habits--for instance, better urban design lets people walk to work rather than driving to work. Everything has a user interface, even cities. How easy is it to find transit, how close does it go to where you want and when you want? Is there a corner store a block away, or just a big-box store five miles away?

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Posted by Jeremy Faludi  |  20 Mar 2009  |  Comments (0)
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This past quarter, a new green product design class debuted at Stanford--ME221, "Green Design Strategies & Metrics." We had a fantastic group of students--eager, engaged, and sharp as tacks. Below is a sampling of the fun ideas they came up with for class.

The goals of the class were to get them to know the priorities of sustainability (so they can tell whether they're greenwashing or legit, tell whether they're wasting their time or really going after the big game), and then getting them acquainted with the most powerful strategies for green product design: energy-effectiveness, dematerialization, longevity and service-systems, green kaizen, laws and labels, good materials, biomimicry, systems thinking, persuasive design, even a dab of green business thinking. The students weren't just designers, either--lots of mechanical engineers, a few MBA's and a couple other miscellaneous majors rounded things out. Couldn't have asked for a better crew. Because of the large breadth, they did a slew of tiny projects--some hardcore analysis, but mostly conceptual design sketches. Here are examples of them, showing the great variety and depth of thinking that managed to happen in just a few days per project. (Click on an image to see a high-res version of it. Since the projects are about the ideas, not the aesthetics, the text is where most of the meat is.) Enjoy!

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