What is the sustainable design?

Difference between eco-design and sustainable design

The complexity of a sustainable product is not only reduced to the use of recycled materials or energy reduction. Sustainability affects both the natural and social environment, so a more holistic assessment is needed.

First and foremost, the product has to be viable and provide a benefit to the consumer and the production components. If one section of the production chain loses or does not receive this value then the producers will stop producing. The same will happen with consumers who, if they do not perceive this value, will stop consuming the product and it will disappear from the market.

If a product wants to be competitive, it must be in constant evolution. Not only because of technological and methodological improvements that make the processes vary for other more effective ones, but also because of market changes that make it necessary to adapt the product to the demands of society.

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Sustainable design architecture

How would you like it if your phone could detect skin cancer? With the SkinVision app it would be possible. This smart app turns any smartphone into a medical scanner that using proprietary mathematical algorithms can calculate the fractal dimension of skin lesions and their surrounding tissue. If a mole or lesion looks irregular, the app alerts the user to visit a dermatologist.

Although consumers are increasingly aware of the problem of electronic waste, it is not always easy to find places to properly dispose of obsolete technology. EcoATM is an accessible recycling kiosk that provides an incentive to recycle electronics by giving money in exchange for unwanted electronic junk.

Sustainable and sustainable design

Use of materials: choose non-toxic, sustainably produced or recycled materials that require little energy during processing. Materials databases help find the right materials. With paid materials (such as www.materialmatters.nl) and free databases (such as www.idemat.nl) you can view, compare and discover their ecological aspects.

Energy efficiency: use production processes and make products that require less energy. Water-based ink, produced locally and marketed through fair trade in the Netherlands, is one example.

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Use/replacement similarity: change the method of consumption from personal ownership of products to provision of services for shared use. For example, instead of buying a private car, use a car-sharing service. Such a system promotes minimum resource use per unit of consumption (e.g., per trip driven).

A problem arises when the limits of a resource are hard to see, so increasing investment in response to diminishing returns may seem profitable as in the tragedy of the commons, but may lead to collapse. This problem of increasing investment in diminishing resources has also been studied in relation to the causes of the collapse of civilization by Joseph Tainter, among others. This natural error in investment policy contributed to the collapse of the Romans and Mayans, among others. Relieving overstressed resources requires reducing the pressure on them, not continually increasing them whether more efficiently or not.

What is eco-design?

Maybe the artisan can still polish a few things in his work process to reduce his environmental impact, but by collaborating with him, I am promoting the local economy and saving the planet the carbon footprint of transporting that product I wanted to bring from the other side of the world.

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Answering these questions, maybe you can go for recycled and chlorine-free paper instead of virgin fiber paper that has used bleach for its production. If it is not necessary, do not varnish it and if you need glues, ask for water-based glues, since it will be easier to recycle.