A Question Of Design

Listen up this is something that we humans need to read and understand in Depth! And consider it more seriously if we ever want wilderness to survive.

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Before we begin a quick disclaimer if it is too much to read & implement! Just skip this article, as it is a waste of your time.

A couple of hours ago I picked up this book called Cradle to Cradle, although it has been lying on my desk for days together, I finally managed to put it to use. This is something I have believed in and questioned quite often. Hence I couldn’t help but stop everything and start writing all it has to say.

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How and Why William McDonough & Micheal Braungart talk about Remaking the Way We Make Things

What Goes into Making of Things?

We are all familiar that there are some of the chemicals used in making of the things. Let us take the simplest of examples given and study them in-depth. Here are a few.

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For Example computer, it is made out of thousands of different kind of materials, example toxic gas, metals (cadmium, lead & mercury), acids, plastic, chlorinated & brominated substances and other additives. Imagine you inhaling theses toxins, for some time. Yes, it is true we need these substances to build a computer but the problem arrives when you and your family outgrows it.

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Here’s another one. You went shopping and picked a carpet made from recycled polyester soda bottles. Sorry downcycled, the carpet was designed with no further use in mind and reformed into the carpet that has taken much more energy and has produced more waste than a brand new carpet. Something to consider I am sure. I can go on giving thousands of examples like these that would make you wonder the lifestyle you chose to live and the home you leave behind for the ones to come. Mind you I wouldn’t have considered these examples, myself but it is so important to know.

New Industrial Revolution

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We have accustomed to thinking of industry and the environment being at odds with each other. Looking at our conventional methods of extracting, manufacturing and disposal have been destructive to the natural world.

This a brief History of Revolution that the book is taking into consideration of all the negative consequences, caused during the Titanic. It was the only product of the industrial revolution, and its destructive ways of production and function, where it pours waste into the water and smoke into the sky.

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Let’s look at this in another perspective. If we had to talk about designing its system production this is how it would sound.

  1. Puts billions of pounds of toxic material into the air, water and soil every year
  2. Produces some materials so dangerous that will require constant vigilance from future generations
  3. Resulting in gigantic amounts of waste
  4. Puts valuable materials in the hole all over the planet
  5. Measures productivity by how few people are working
  6. Erodes the diversity of species and cultural practises.

The list is long. It is true that this was born gradually over the years, but not taken into consideration the long term effects it would have, but the short term opportunities.

This got me questioning about how faulty our entire system is, on which our economy is built.

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There is a concept called Cradle to Grave which is explained quite beautifully. It simply means that the materials and products made from these valuable materials extracted land up as waste, only to see it pile up in landfills. These materials are assets which created billions of dollars of projects to get it to make one. It is cheaper to buy a new pair than repairing the existing one, which is triggered by lifestyle choices.

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One Fits All

This theory was given to talk about how manufacturers reduce the expenses and waste by creating a single formula for the entire country/nation/world. One example here is the detergents. Different countries have different kinds of hardness in the water which causes the product to be harmful. As geography is not taken into consideration nor the practices of various people across the world. If I had to explain this better, some people wash their clothes next to a lake, river. This would result in destroying the Natural Habitat of the place. I wish this could end here but there is more. It is so true that to make the detergent work miraculously they would consider the worst-case scenario to make it even more harmful for the environment. This study shows the relation between Human industry to the natural world, taking into consideration the ideology of worst-case scenarios that nature is the enemy.

There is so much much more to these wonderful concepts explained in this book. Well, there are still so many questions unanswered, this is not the end.

What role does the 4 R’s Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, & Regulate play?

How can we become Eco Effective?

How can we design our products to be less harmful?

Stay tuned if you think that this helped you open a one-way door to the ways and choices of our being on this Planet.

If you wish to buy this Book here is the link, its worth the read.



Did you Know the book printed is waterproof?

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Mansi Shah

Indulged in design thinking for over 4 years. I wish to mark my grasp on topics covering art & Sustainibility. https://salvagestudioin.com