Rethinking design for the new Age of Sustainability

I’ve been working on an essay for the past several months, and I’m posting it today for your reading pleasure and critical review. When I arrived at Stanford in 1978, the industrial design school was in its infancy, and “designers” were regarded more artists than engineers. With some early notion of potential post-graduation return on investment, I opted instead for a degree in mechanical engineering. Regardless, I have always had an interest in product design, and I later found my creative muse in the field of soft goods design (aka, “bags”). When I attended my first TED conference in 2005, I met William McDonough, and was introduced to his Cradle To Cradle methodology, and the more general conversation regarding sustainable design and manufacturing. Since that inspirational meeting, I have completely changed the way I think about my approach to design and manufacturing. This essay, “Form, Function, Footprint: The “3-F’s” of Product Design for the New Age of Sustainability”, is my first attempt to put some of my thoughts into words. Please click on the “Form, Function, Footprint” tab to read my essay. I look forward to your comments.

-Mark

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