Anyone who has cross-threaded a bolt whilst attempting to forcibly pair Imperial and Metric threads, would find themselves, rather like a child attempting to drive a square peg through the proverbial round hole frustrated as to why such intrinsically similar things are so incompatible?
Within the lighting industry there has been a long-standing president for a less multifarious relationship between key components. The interchangeable lamp (bulb) to light fitting (luminaire) relationship was established thanks in some way to common sense standardisation; with the Edison screw in Europe and Bayonet fitting in the UK. The obvious requirement to replace the lamp without having to scrap the entire light fitting has its basis in the relatively ‘short-lived’ existence of the ‘light source’; candles, wicks and more recently the incandescent bulb have all played their part in defining the nature of this relationship.
The inevitable emergence of LEDs as the ‘light source of choice’, due to their energy efficiency has challenged this relationship. Given the service life promises of 50,000 hours for LEDs, the need for a standardised approach to interconnectivity would appear to have been sidestepped. The proliferation of luminaire embedded LEDs (conjoined) bears testament to this, with the impact on premature product obsolescence largely unquantified.
In the last week we responded to two Welsh Government consultations – one on the Innovation Strategy for Wales and the other on the Sustainable Development Bill.
To support these consultations, we produced a position paper on how these policy areas are linked and what role ecodesign plays in these links.
I presented at Business In The Community’s annual Mayday Summit last week. The key message I wanted to communicate was the value of creativity, through design and innovation, in delivering a Zero Waste Wales. The evolution of Orangebox’s product portfolio clearly demonstrates design as both a tool and a strategy for waste reduction across the lifecycle of a product.
Have a look at the agendas for our ‘Zero Waste by Design’ event series.
The series starts on Wednesday morning, February 29th and finishes on Thursday afternoon, March 1st at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff.
There are still some places available on http://zerowastebydesign.eventbrite.co.uk/
We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on the day.
This week I was delighted to attend the launch event of the Materials for Living exhibition, which is showcasing the work of selected RCA materials research at parliament. The exhibition is on display at the House of Commons, is sponsored by Coca Cola and run in conjunction with Policy Connect‘s APDIG (Associate Parliamentary Design and Innovation Group) and the APSRG (Associate Parliamentary Sustainability and Resources Group). The event was hosted by Barry Sheerman MP with speeches from Dr. Paul Thompson rector of the RCA and Patrick McGuirk, Recycling Director at Coca Cola.
On the 8th and 9th of September I attended the EPDE conference in London and presented a paper on strategic questions for design education for sustainability. The buzzwords that came up quite often during the conference were; change, empathy, cross-disciplinarity and transnational collaborations.
‘We are in a world of rapid change’ was the opening statement of the keynote by David Hughes and he argued that in this world, design helps customers in getting their jobs done by being functional and emotional. Design and innovation can be seen as strategies to change the techno-system. But to my understanding of Peter Childs’s keynote, if creativity and empathy feed into design, we can innovate the socio-cultural system. Peter Childs presented his own figure, but this is what I doodled. Would you agree with this model explaining two meanings of the outcomes of design and how empathy and creativity are key in changing the socio-cultural system?
A one day workshop-seminar discussing “Material opportunities” and “Resource efficiency in manufacturing” was organised by BI-D (bic innovation-design) and WRAP Cymru.
The morning session started with the first speaker Chris Lefteri. He demonstrated the benefits that can be generated from switching a project’s approach from a traditional one, where material is chosen in a later stage, to a material centered approach, where the project starts with the material. In fact this approach; starting from an understanding of materials’ properties and qualities, can lead to unusual and unexplored project solutions and applications, re-contextualising materials into new and different sectors.
To build on Simon’s previous post, I agree with “we need to bring clarity around the definitions we use for what we do but more importantly we need to start focussing on what is actually important i.e. purpose, process and impact.”
We see that the terminology we use around ‘innovation’ is becoming a blur. Eco-Innovation, Sustainable-Innovation, Social-Innovation and Technological-Innovation are commonly used at the Centre. With our new Interreg-project KARIM, we can add ‘Responsible Innovation’ to our glossary.
Rather than clarifying the glossary, we want to clarify our story on innovation. Aiming to get all the words correct would bring a boring story. Stories should build on people’s imagination and therefore bring tacit knowledge across. We started to develop an overview of the spectrum of innovation.
The stories are not finished yet and it would be good to see how different people interpret it according to their tacit knowledge.
I know that most people struggle with definitions. They either put too much rigidity on a term without understanding its underlying meaning or they don’t really understand the term and just apply it to lots of things it isn’t. Design and Innovation are two areas where this is rife. We have some people thinking they know what they are talking about when they don’t and lots of people thinking that others know what they are talking about when, in fact, they don’t.
It has been another week of definitions for me and it started out with an interesting and insightful ecodesign workshop with EDC, a Welsh manufacturer and a plastic supplier. The workshop was led by Sharon and was linked to her PhD. The workshop, unintentionally, largely revolved around Cradle to Cradle and the limitations of how it is currently applied and understood. I got the sense that too much focus on the definition of Cradle to Cradle created barriers to exploration of the important questions. What everyone was really interested in was impact and outcome and we needed a new way of thinking on how we achieve that.