a rambling on the responsibility of industrial designers

February 5, 2019

I thought I should share what my notes look like from a very thoughtful lecture on Circular Product Design by Conny Bakker. This topic not only challenges a mindset but the whole concept of being a product designer. Are we adding too many unnecessary things to the planet in the name of innovation? Do we really consider the amount of waste we are creating by promoting disposability of products for higher sales, greater revenue, bigger businesses, basically more money? Do you know how much plastic packaging from the supermarket goes into your dustbin each week and is it really recycled or does it end up in the ocean? Do you know that fashion brands have 52 seasons a year as a marketing gimmick to make their own clothes ‘out of trend’ and sell more? Do you really need a new smartphone every year for for the sake of having that latest feature? Is this really what design should be about? I don’t think so and I’m going to ponder upon these questions for a long time and find answers before working on my next project. From the lecture and from the discussions I’ve had in the past couple weeks, I feel there is an incredible responsibility on every designer and we should really look at where the world is going, what we’re doing to it, and what we can do about it. If you’re interested to discuss these issues, hit me up if you’re in Delft and we can get some coffee (not in a paper cup though haha. This is where it starts.)