Technology Designer Gadi Amit on What’s Wrong With Green Design

I can relate to what this article means by today’s designers being “computer minded.”  I can relate because my generation is the one he is referring to.  If you think about it, everything these days is computer based (automotive, electronic, manufacturing, etc.).  One can hardly use any product now without a computer being involved somehow.  Even businesses do less on a piece of paper than they do on a computer.  Due to this obsession with computers and computer systems controlling other products, I believe that it greatly contributes to the issues with e-waste.  It all starts with the designer.




8 thoughts on “Technology Designer Gadi Amit on What’s Wrong With Green Design

  1. Ana Maria

    Technology is part of the evolution of humankind and as such has helped in achieving the well being and ha brought excitement to our lives. However, it has also brought many issues not because of the technology but because of the behavior of its users and misuse of it.
    Important is to device ways we can continue using technology for the well being and less for the unsustainable behaviors technology has been involved in.

    1. Courtney

      I definitely agree, we are bound to evolve one way or another, we just have to learn to adapt our environment to these changes.

  2. Erinn R.

    This article’s discussion on object beauty and prolonging life of objects was interesting. While I agree with most of it, I thought it was interesting that it is saying the opposite what was said in one of the case studies; sustainable products can be affordable and pretty. I like the idea that there is room to enhance the beauty and sustainability of products. However, I think beauty can backfire just has efficiency has (with the rebound effect). The demand for buying a “pretty” or “trendy” item may result in a continued purchasing cycle to have the latest and great look-rather than just keeping and enjoying the original object. Balancing form, function, and user needs is definitely difficult!

    1. Courtney

      I am not sure that it can be helped. We are basically programmed to want the newest and greatest look. Instead of trying to change the users of a design, change the design to fit the user. Designers can also look into making products that can be disposed of in a few years, when a “prettier” model comes out. And these replaced products do not have to wind up in a landfill, they can be remanufactured, redistributed or even made of materials that do not hurt the environment so much.

    2. Yuri K Fukamati

      I’m afraid I have to agree with Courtney. I believe most if not all of human behavior comes from culture. We, our parents, and the people around us were born in a capitalist society where we are surrounded with reinforcements that we should “buy, buy, buy” in order for someone to profit. And that’s when it gets tricky, because there is a lot of companies that don’t want to use a sustainable approach because it costs more. It’s extremely complicated to go “against the grain” but that’s why I think design is so important; we can instigate behavior change and make it look “pretty” too and hope that people will start processing that information and become more aware.

  3. Sandra

    Great discussion. His statement about the object having a “behavior” was very interesting and relevant to what we have been exploring in class. Objects taking on a life of their own is what we try to do as a designer, but I think in order to get to that point in the design, we as a designer, have to put ourselves into it too – not just doing it to make money or because we are “told” to.

    One of his last statements, “But I don’t define sustainability as everything but plastic, or never painting an object. In my opinion, these are immature approaches. If we really measure the merit of the product — how much good it does versus how much bad it may create — then you get to a really interesting sustainability issue.” – I thought was a great way to sum up the meaning of the SLA tool – as a designer, it’s the trade-offs that may help make our decision. I found his example of the recent Dell computer that they designed as only performing to meet the needs of the consumer very interesting – why does it have to have “everything” when the consumer doesn’t need all of it? Isn’t that also a sustainable decision? Interesting points.

    1. Michele Goe

      This designer has a really interesting perspective on sustainable design and technology – the discussion on electronics having brains, head, limbs, etc. makes me think about how we need our electronics to be similar in shape to human form in order to have an attachment with them. But Erin’s point is poignant : is more attachment for electronics better? Maybe, if it is designed to be recycled in 2 years than attachment is not good. Maybe we are asking the wrong question, maybe we need to ask : can increasing attachment decrease consumption? So, if we make a beautiful object that is meant to last – how can we make sure the user keeps it for the intended lifespan? If the designer can not extend the life – why increase attachment?

  4. Joe Lapke

    I recently had a final for History of Craft, and one of the questions on the test asked what level of workmanship are we at in society and how it could affect the future. There is workmanship of risk, certainty, and absolute. Today we would be on the level of absolute because everything we make would have a computer involved performing the manufacturing process, but would be perfect every time. If everything was on a level of risk and people were back to making things by hand, then maybe e-waste wouldn’t be such an issue. However; we live in too fast of a society where everything is needed now and needed fast. Unfortunately machines are filling the gap to fix that and contributing to the e-waste problem


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