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CultureCampus Review
Ecodesign: Design for Environment
Lee Eun-yeong  |  tnr1915@cau.ac.kr
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승인 2016.05.09  06:43:58
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 ‘We should protect nature.’ People generally agree with this concept. The victims of global warming and yellow dust, which are the results of destruction of the environment, are not only people who live on the islands in the Pacific or next to the desert, but now include you. Although many people know it, protecting the environment is not easy. The road is still filled with cars and disposable products are selling like hot cakes as much as ever these days. It’s because, although people know that we should protect the environment, it is really difficult to give up a more convenient lifestyle. However, there is a way to have both lifestyles through Ecodesign. What you need to do is to use only Ecodesign products for a better environment. If you wonder what Ecodesign is, read this article.

     The Environment and Design

The Academy Awards watched by the whole world took place last month. It is such a prestigious and popular event that it is televised live all over the world. Although it has received worldwide attention every year, the question of whether or not Leonardo DiCaprio would win a best actor award drew the attention of many international film fans this year. He had been nominated for the best actor award four times, but he had never won before. Finally, he won an Oscar this year. The whole world looked forward to listening to his Oscar speech. What would he say? What he said was totally unexpected. He mentioned climate change and stressed the necessity for protecting the environment. ”Let us not take this planet for granted, I do not take tonight for granted!” He ended his speech with this advice. One of the most famous actors spent his most honorable moment for the environment and it aroused people’s attention. Listening to his speech, we should think about what we are doing for the environment and what can we do for the environment. 

One of the obstacles that prevent people acting for the environment is a beautiful appearance. In other words, many people think protecting the environment and beauty are incompatible. They have a fixed idea that recycled goods are crude and unattractive. However, they are compatible. In fact, gorgeous and innovative designs are necessary for protecting the environment. Wonderful and useful Ecodesign encourages customers to buy the products with Ecodesign. In addition, recyclable materials and environmental materials are novel materials and offer a chance for designers to keep innovating. Therefore, each complements the other.

    Upcycling

Do you know about upcycling and recycling? You may be familiar with recycling because you usually separate trash before throwing it away for recycling, but many people may have never heard of upcycling. Even though you may know both words, it is difficult to discern the difference between recycling and upcycling. Usually recycling means remaking products by breaking down consumer materials such as paper, plastic and glass and making them into their base materials. On the other hand, upcycling is the process of creating something new and beautiful from worn-out products and waste. Upcycling is similar to recycling in that it also uses abandoned materials. However, its purpose is not making them fulfill their own functions, but giving them new uses and value. For instance, there are bags made from old automobile seats and a clock from a vinyl record. Recently, upcycling is emerging as a field of art. There are many art works made of garbage. These art works incredibly beautiful and meaningful.

     Self-Generating Electricity Design

From old times, many scientists have dreamed of creating a machine that does not need any supplying fuel. However, it is an impossible dream because kinetic energy always turns into another subsidiary energy such as frictional heat. Although we don’t have an infinite power machine, we have a self-generating electricity design. It works by using human-generated kinetic energy. The most basic example is a wind-up clock. This energy makes significantly fewer pollutants than other green energy sources. Of course, it is difficult to make enough energy necessary for the whole world by using human-generated energy. However, it can make the amount of energy required by one person in a day. Furthermore, as the technology develops, it can be a solution for environmental problems. The students of Carnegie Mellon University invented a special shoe insole named ‘Sole Power’ that can transform the kinetic energy of wearers’ walking movements into electricity. If you walk more than 4km wearing shoes with ‘Sole Power’ you can generate enough electricity for using a cellphone each day. In addition, there is a rocking chair which produces electricity. These self-generating electricity designs are useful in isolated areas where we can’t access electricity regularly, such as in a desert or in a jungle. It can be also used by people who live in developing countries where electricity supply facilities are not well-equipped or lacking.

     Nudge Design

The previous two examples are effective ideas but they are not popularized yet. Upcycling and Self-generating electricity design above are mainly made by experts and designers because they need particular technology. Therefore, most people think ecodesign is too difficult to make by themselves. However, it is not that every Ecodesign is made only by a few experts. Although you may not have a scientific or technical expertise, if you love nature and have a sparkling idea, that’s enough. These examples of nudge design will encourage you. The first example is a sticker that decorates switches and wall sockets. The stickers show a process of electricity production with simple pictures. In fact, the easiest way to protect the environment in daily life is saving resources. Nevertheless, we often forget to turn off the light when we don’t use it. The cute stickers will prevent forgetting, while making your room pretty at the same time. In addition, there is the case of tissues which show the fact that when you use a tissue, the Amazon rainforest is visually deforested. The switch which tells us the time of electricity usage and a faucet which shows the amount of water we use are also great examples of nudge design.

 

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