LONDON Designers are being urged to join a national effort to make their products longer-lasting and help bin the ‘throwaway culture’. A seminar is aiming to include designers the sustainability debate at the Design Council in London in on 11 April.
Some of the country’s top design researchers are due to come together to discuss the future of the profession and whether designers are victims or culprits in the battle to stem the nation’s appetite for short-lived disposable items.
The seminar is the first of its kind to target designers. It is organised by Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Sustainable Consumption and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).Tools and techniques for long-lasting design appeal and designing for durability should come under the spotlight.
Other topics include emotionally-durable design – making products that give consumers an attachment to them that will extend their use beyond normal lifespan – and Slow Design.
Keynote speakers include Nicole van Nes, sustainable design researcher from The Netherlands, industrial design Professor Brian Burns from Carlton University in Canada, Jonathan Chapman, author of Emotionally Durable Design. Alistair Fuad-Luke, founder of Slow and vice president of SlowLab will talk about Slow Design and James Lingard from DEFRA will also present at the event.
The event is one in a series of seminars as part of the EPSRC’s Network on Product Life Spans. It aims to improve understanding of issues relating to product durability and product life extension and promote the technological and behavioural changes necessary for sustainable development.