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Subject:

Re: Design, theory, marketing and environment.

From:

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Reply-To:

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Date:

Wed, 6 Sep 2000 15:11:15 -0400

Content-Type:

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text/plain (44 lines)



Ken,

Apologies for the overloading of my email with emotive and 'ambiguous?'
questions, but these issues are at the root of current design.

I work as a professional designer, I may be arrogant and lack considerable
knowledge, but believe that design agencies in general, pay only lip service to
green issues. They may feel very strongly about 'green design' but are
constrained by unit cost and their clients.

Again I place my challenge about the last 'green' injection moulding purchased -
have you found one yet? Injection moulding in plastics is inherently not a green
activity. Recycling plastics creates substandard parts, which is why it is
usually avoided by the manufacturer and the molding is nowadays often carried
out in countries with poor EPA control. Think of all the trash coming off
everyday from one aircraft - how much is actually recycled?

I am sure you can guess.

Moving to the design issue - I have a toaster, it is injection molded. I buy a
new one - the old one still works - why? (I even throw the working one away).

Design.

This worries me more than anything else. The toaster is not faster, more
efficient or actually better looking, it is more modern. Many say Dieter Rams
could not better his calculator for Braun, it is still modern, it is an icon to
aspire to. On my desk I have a throwaway calculator in plastic, made in China,
it will be thrown away sometime, I will try to wear it out first. I cannot fix
it (the root of my complaint)

Loewy is arguably the most successful designer this century (product design
being less than a hundred years old) in strict commercial terms. I have yet to
meet management that think this talent is outdated.

Glenn Johnson




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