Sustainable Mobile Phone Charrette

Sustainable Mobile Phone Charrette

In July of 2012, I and my colleague, Susan Worthman, led a group of experts from all over the mobile phone industry through a series of exercises, over two days to imagine how mobile phones could be more sustainable. Our frame for sustainability included not only materials and recycling but social and cultural issues as well as new business models. The charrette was hosted by the Lowell Center at the University of Massachusetts University of Massachusetts at the Santa Clara University campus. Participants were selected from a broad cross section of the cell phone industry, including manufacturers, service providers, and suppliers, along with representatives from NGOs, waste disposal industries, and other sustainable design experts. They collaboratively explored opportunities for increasing the sustainability of mobile phones, and the business and social ecosystems that surrounds their design, manufacture, use and disposal). The participants identified many challenges and potential solutions throughout the mobile phone life cycle and across a wide array of stakeholders. The synthesis of these observations were combined into three sets of concepts that might be achieved, grouped across three time periods: within 2-5 years, 5-10 years, and more than 10 years. Common themes that emerged include: the need for more explorations of this type and across the variety of domains touched here (and not merely the standard manufacturers and NGOs). user-configurable phones that allow customers to choose only the options and services they want and need (dubbed the “Lego phone” by the participants ) phones that are easier for customers to disassemble, replace parts, update, repair, and recycle. I think that many who attended were pretty skeptical, in the beginning, that there...
AIGA Revival: Annual Conference

AIGA Revival: Annual Conference

I’m really excited to get back to New Orleans, finally (after almost 13 years!) and the AIGA annual conference is as good a reason as ever. This year, I’ve been fortunate enough to program and moderate the GAIN track at the conference on business issues. I get to reprise a couple of the themes from last October’s GAIN conference in New York and include at least one speaker who couldn’t make it. In addition, we’re exploring some new themes that relate to the redesign of business and how designers can play a more strategic and active role in business. At the very least, it will be an opportunity to catch-up with smart, fun people, eat some great food, and be outside, at night, when it’s warm! Come join...
Brand Futures Scenarios white paper (writing)

Brand Futures Scenarios white paper (writing)

I lead the initiative, with Davis Masten, within the AIGA Brand Design community to apply Scenario Planning techniques to the area of branding. In particular, we have published a Brand Futures White Paper (PDF) that summarizes our findings so far. This material is also being presented to both the IDSA (at their annual design conference in July 2002) as well as the AIGA Expeirence Design community (at their annual summit, also in July 2002). A proposal to make this materials into a visual and inspiring book ahs been completed and awaits a publisher’s interest. This material is an ongoing development process and the scenarios explored so far in these meetings (and described in the white paper ) include the following: Economic Nirvana In world economies, whether due to new priorities, technologies, understandings, or cooperation, the vast majority of people are now able to meet all subsistence needs (shelter, food, healthcare, work, education, etc.) and have, for the first time for many of them, something called leisure time and new opportunity to pursue other interests. How does this effect the development of global brands? Or, local ones? Do brands face more competition or less? Does everyone become more or less brand-conscious? Does increased prosperity increase the quantity of brands? What about the quality? Economic Peril The world economy suffers a tremendous collapse. Whether due to lack or resources (or accessibility), too much demand, insecure speculation, or political conflict that destroys the carefully balanced and orchestrated coordination of trade between countries, all monetary systems are severely devalued and a majority of people have problems meeting subsistence needs. Do people even worry about “brands”...