Teaching Sustainability

Teaching Sustainability

Last week, I participated in a webcast for Sustainable Minds on using their tool for teaching and, non general, how we teach sustainability to our students. Creating Knowledge Workers for the Greener Product Marketplace, Part 12: Creative innovation educators championing lifecycle...
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...
Consumerism is a Fail

Consumerism is a Fail

The image quality on this is terrible because it’s so dark but this was a talk I gave at SCAD in Savannah at their fantastic Design Ethos conference in 2012. The topic was about how Consumerism has been a fail for the US economy and both designers’ culpability in this as well as a call-to-arms for designers to step in to help make the...
DriveNeutral (naming and decal designs)

DriveNeutral (naming and decal designs)

In 2007, some colleagues from Presidio Graduate School started a company to offset carbon emissions of cars. They asked me for help and I named the company and designed the first decals. We did a luggage tag for offsetting air travel as...
EarthPack label

EarthPack label

When the software utility TypeView was ready for distribution, the options available for packaging were meager, wasteful, and unacceptable. We designed a small package that could be used to ship and display the software and manual in one piece. This package design also gave users a way to store the manual and diskette on a shelf with other reference resources (mainly books) and kept the materials and waste to a minimum. We have published the specifications and suppliers for these materials in several forums and make them available free to anyone who inquires. 1993 Participants: Nathan Shedroff: Design, Production J. Sterling Hutto: Production Ken Fromm: Writing The design of the Earthpack is based on a squares piece of standard letter-sized paper. This is done to shorten the height to fit more the height of shelves commonly used to store manuals, and to echo the shape of the NeXT computer for which this software was written. The grid system has been designed to work with both two and three columns of text as well as a radial grid for chapter opening pages that orients all elements to the center of the page. The typography makes use of the typefaces in the NeXT operating system and on the keyboard. Whenever a button, menu command, or feature is referred to, a screenshot of the feature is used. This helps identify the items and familiarize users with them. The manual specifications were built around the need for a simple manual and diskette (or CD-ROM) holder. We used recycled materials for all parts but the cover and kept the ink use to a minimum in...