Home » On Design: Time for a change?

On Design: Time for a change?

HERE is Designboom’s preview of Milan’s furniture fair – arguably the best, most prestigious event of its kind in the world.

While we’re looking forward to the beautiful objects by emerging young designers, we’re a little uncomfortable.

Now that the ideas behind Bruce Mau’s ahead-of-its-time exhibition MASSIVE CHANGE are filtering into public consciousness and ‘cradle-to-cradle‘ is becoming a more popular, and recognized term….


Not a good thing. Image: earthfirst.com

…VoCA wonders whether furniture designers shouldn’t shift the definition of their work a few degrees.

Is it possible to – with a clear conscience – design objects for purely aesthetic reasons now that our environment is so immediately under threat?

Design isn’t simply design any more. It’s an object – more often than not made from new materials – that one day, is going to have to be disposed of.


Biogredable coffin and Ash tree seeds. Image: crossroadsmag.eu

William McDonough is an authority on ‘cradle-to-cradle’ design:

“The destructive qualities of today’s cradle-to-grave industrial system can be seen as the result of a fundamental design problem, not the inevitable outcome of consumption and economic activity. Indeed, good design—principled design based on the laws of nature—can transform the making and consumption of things into a regenerative force. […]

This new conception of design—known as cradle-to-cradle design— on the other hand, offers a framework in which the effective, regenerative cycles of nature provide models for wholly positive human designs. Within this framework we can create economies that purify air, land, and water, that rely on current solar income and generate no toxic waste, that use safe, healthful materials that replenish the earth or can be perpetually recycled, and that yield benefits that enhance all life.”

HERE is a great blog about what is – and isn’t – cradle-to-cradle design.

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