Resources & Resourcefulness

Resources & Resourcefulness is a research project about designing with waste materials.

Increasingly designers like to respond to the impacts of waste: they are aware of pollution caused by landfill and incineration, the consequences of exploiting natural resources and the degradation of ecosystems.

Unfortunately, not all recycling is environmentally friendly. It depends on many different factors like: production process, use of toxics, treatment of materials, mixing of materials, whether the objects keep their recyclability, etc. Something can be recycled and made in a beautiful way, but a high amount of toxics or energy might be used. On the other hand, something can be environmentally friendly but poorly designed and made.

To consider what is good and what can be done better, we developed a framework with tools to analyze the design projects. The framework highlights five key considerations when designing and making products from waste materials: material, production, eco-credentials, craftsmanship, and narrative.

These tools are not only applicable for designing with waste materials but can serve as a guideline for a sustainable practice in general.