"Sustainable design (also called environmental design, environmentally sustainable design, environmentally conscious design, etc.) is the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of social, economic, and ecological sustainability.

Some common principles are as follows:

  • Low-impact materials: choose non-toxic, sustainably produced or recycled materials which require little energy to process
  • Energy efficiency: use manufacturing processes and produce products which require less energy
  • Emotionally durable design: reducing consumption and waste of resources by increasing the durability of relationships between people and products, through design
  • Design for reuse and recycling: "Products, processes, and systems should be designed for performance in a commercial 'afterlife'."
  • Design impact measures for total carbon footprint and life-cycle assessment for any resource used are increasingly required and available.
  • Sustainable design standards and project design guides are also increasingly available and are vigorously being developed by a wide array of private organizations and individuals. There is also a large body of new methods emerging from the rapid development of what has become known as 'sustainability science' promoted by a wide variety of educational and governmental institutions.
  • Biomimicry: "redesigning industrial systems on biological lines ... enabling the constant reuse of materials in continuous closed cycles..."
  • Service substitution: shifting the mode of consumption from personal ownership of products to provision of services which provide similar functions, e.g., from a private automobile to a carsharing service. Such a system promotes minimal resource use per unit of consumption (e.g., per trip driven).
  • Renewability: materials should come from nearby (local or bioregional), sustainably managed renewable sources that can be composted when their usefulness has been exhausted.
  • Robust eco-design: robust design principles are applied to the design of a pollution sources."


"Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value."


Plastic Toy Makeover

I love how chic and fun these animals are. Once upon a time they were used as child's toys but now they add a sweet and spunky touch to any decor. I imagine they could also be used for a paper weight. I like the the shuttle colours but exciting patterns.

Gold Animal Book Ends

I love how simple this design is, but how much impact it makes in the area it is displayed. These book ends are made from old children's animals that have been painted with gold leaf to give them an expensive look, and are added to wooden blocks. I like the look and the function of this up cycled design.

Decoupaged Bottles

I like the idea of adding a new design element to an already usable item. These glass jars can now be used as flower vases with a new and fun look.

Plastic Bottle Container

Once a large water jug is now a smaller container due to heat manipulation and adding small holes to the plastic. I love the abstract look of it, and the way it was upcycled with a new purpose.

T-shirt Produce Bag

Reworked old t-shirt into a new functional item. I like that these bags have holes all over so it is easy to see its contents. This is a fun accent, but I like how the holes aren't too big because it still keeps the bag strong.

Upcycled Domino Clock

I think this is a really clever design, to upcycle domino chips into the numbers of a clock. Something like this has a lot of nostalgia to it, as some people can remember playing dominos as a child.

Animal Cork Stopper

I like this design because it incorporated two already used objects for an expensive and cute outcome.

Animal Lids

These lids have the perfect added touch with old animal toys glued to the top and painted over for an expensive look. I like that they are toppers for storage containers because it makes the containers more attractive.

Clark by Sam Johnson

"The Clork was developed for the Designmart ICFF show in New York 2006. Designed to be an interactive timepiece the cork comes with 12 drawing pins, these can be added by the user to fit their needs. It also encourages people to pin things to the clock, perhaps a reminder of a timely event!"

I like how the user can move the pins to add notes to it.


07 September 2017, 8:28
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