Wasteful ways are here by design. Meet one of the crusaders fighting to change the ways we design and build.
Every item we use in our daily lives started the same way – as an idea in a designer’s mind. Unfortunately, decades of commercialism have resulted in products that are often designed to be short-lived, difficult to repair, impossible to upgrade or simply destined for a trash bin.
CAN CRAFT SAVE THE WORLD?
The Zero Waste Conference is pleased to welcome Katie Treggiden – a woman who’s devoted her career to designing out waste. She’s a writer, speaker and published author with a recently released book profiling designers, makers and manufacturers that are turning waste streams into raw materials. This includes broken bricks becoming ceramics, athletic shoes creating floor mats, and ocean plastics remodelled as stools.
Katie’s work is all in pursuit of the overarching question: “can craft save the world?” As she recently told ICON magazine:
“I’ve always been motivated by the fact that design solves problems and that hand knowledge is often as valuable as head knowledge, and yet all too often underestimated. Craft, design and creativity have an incredible power to bring about positive social change, and perhaps nowhere more so than when it comes to the existential threat to the environment currently facing the world’s population.”
Designing Waste Out of the System
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation defines the circular economy as “designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.”
Design is always the first step – the way that we create the products to meet our needs, from shelter, clothing, personal care and beyond can be harnessed to drastically reduce the amount of resources we consume and waste we produce.
PREVENT AND REPURPOSE “WASTE”
Design has two critical roles to play in the shift to a circular economy. First and foremost, products can be designed to never become waste at all. This is most commonly done through design for disassembly or modular design, principles that can be applied to everything from mobile phones to apartment buildings.
Second, designers can choose to create products out of reclaimed materials – examples abound of recycled plastics as raw material for clothing, shoes, yoga mats and even pet collars. Useful materials can be recovered from any stage of the supply chain, such as offcuts from the textile industry becoming new rugs.
DESIGNING A WASTE FREE FUTURE
Join us at #ZWC20 to hear from Katie Treggiden to explore the part that design will play in creating a global circular economy.