Values

Engage by design

When we started on our journey we found that the world of sustainability was really confusing. Not only was it ambiguous, meaning different things to different people, but it also felt huge and most of the time incredibly overwhelming.

To help us look at how we could make a more positive impact in our work, on our society and to the world we live in, we developed four lenses or ‘Values’ that can help us talk about different aspects of sustainability making it a bit more palatable.

These 4 Values; Innovation, Balance, Meaning & Culture; have helped us frame the work we do.

Innovation

Innovation

Innovation in today’s society is mostly seen as developments in technology.    

However, when we start to look at what is actually considered as innovation it falls under two interesting categories. Firstly Disruptive Innovation; innovation that causes a social or commercial disturbance. Think of the iPhone, when it first ‘appeared’ it created a huge disruption in the telecommunication market and pushed the boundaries of the smart phone further than they had gone before. However, since then Apple has released 4 new iPhones. The question we ask is ‘Is there really that much difference in the iPhone 1 and the iPhone 5?’ I’m sure a ‘techie’ would say yes, but this is really the second type of innovation, Incremental innovation; where products are developed every year or so to produce only more profit rather than pushing the boundaries of the discipline they work in.

So, what's the answer? We believe we need to not only change the way we ‘practice’ innovation but change our mindsets, enabling behavioural shifts changing the way we see things and look at the world around us.

Want to know more? Watch the video here.

Balance

Balance

The Circular Economy. What you take you must put back.

Quality of growth. GDP is an outdated metric for measuring a country’s value. In the U.S. the national happiness peaked sometime in the 1950s. (McKibben, B. 2007)
Human happiness does not quantitatively increase through fiscal gains or materialism; spiritual goods cannot be bought. Capitalism today focus on achieving growth without concern to the ethical, both environmental and social, reactions this might have in its wake.

Finding balance is no easy task, but our aim is to highlight the importance of this value as a measure of growth.

Want to know more? Watch the video here.

Meaning

Meaning

The designer of the 21st century and the new designers in years to come have a big responsibility to re-learn the way that we construct products or services. The new designs need to connect with people and are devices with “content”. Many designers; industrial, product, graphic, web, interior, architects and fashion are still working within the mindset of industrialisation and capitalism with the aim to produce higher quantities cheaper, faster and ultimately with no regard for the disposal of them.

Designing the creation of stronger connections between subject and object is not currently a huge part of the designer’s paradigm. Using meaning as a tool to generate outstanding objects, artefacts or experiences based on a paradigm of circular economy is one of the requirements we must embed within our design practices if we wish to preserve our planet and our species.

Want to know more? Watch the video here.

Culture

Culture

Shared cultures. Respectful and mindful of the environment and social differences.

Currently respecting shared and individual cultures is not seemingly high on any agenda within the design community. There is no doubt that without respect for our individual backgrounds we are unable to truly translate our products and services. What is a “good life”?  In the Green Imperative the author Victor Papanek explains how Aristotle thought that men form communities not for justice, peace, defence or traffic, but for the sake of the “Good life”.

Want to know more? Watch the video here.

The selection of social and cultural constraints is fundamental for the creation of meaningful innovations. Both are the place where human centred design happens.