GIGS.2.GO Disposable USB Flashdrive

As USB drives these days are really cheap so I think that is why Kurt Rampton and BOLTgroup have come to the idea of making this GIGS.2.GO, a credit card sized pack of 4 USB drives. Just tear a gig if you need and its recycled paper body makes easy for labeling. Slick and simple to use, this is a perfect gadget at business meetings.

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Window Solar Charger By XD Design

Be green and charge your phone by using the sunlight that streams through your window! The Window Solar Charger can be used to power your smartphone through sunlight from the window. The charger is a rechargeable lithium battery that holds 1400mAh of electric charge. Because it can stick to any window, it can be used at home, in the car, or at the office. The energy is completely green, as it is all collected through solar panels on the window-facing side of the device. USB and Mini-USB ports provided.

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PUSHit Toilet Seat by Hoe Yeong Jung

Plunging toilets is about the worst of bathroom duty you could have, but it has to be done in order to unclog the toilet.  The unsanitary plunger concept of handling a clogged toilet makes a highly unpleasant aroma, visual and spatial component to your bathroom. This design allows the seat to act as the plunger by unclogging the toilet with a simple push which in return makes it a pure thought of freshness.

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GiraDora – Human Powered Washer and Dryer

GiraDora is a human-powered washing/spin-dryer a user can sit on that increases the efficiency and improves the experience of hand-washing clothes. For under $40, GiraDora more than doubles productivity, increases health of women and children, and affords the opportunity to begin breaking the poverty cycle. The user sits on top of the drum-like appliance and pumps a pedal with her foot, which agitates, cleans, rinses, then spins-dries clothes. While providing a more comfortable, ergonomic, and efficient way to clean clothes, GiraDora also affords opportunities to generate income.

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Design For (Your) Product Lifetime Student Design Challenge

Develop a compelling new “smart” product that is repairable and designed to last and you could win up to $2,500 USD in prizes!

Products like electronics have components that can fail or need to be upgraded, well before the rest of the product needs to be replaced. As a result, we throw away millions of tons of electronics worldwide each year. Disposable, non-repairable electronic products put an enormous strain on ecological systems: they create huge amounts of e-waste and require a constant stream of raw materials and energy.

No matter how easy a product is to repair, however, it’s hard to keep it from becoming obsolete as new technologies roll out. Designers can intervene by making it easy for makers, users and recyclers to extend the lifecycle. In addition to overall product lifecycle, consider design strategies such as architecture and form, materials, connections and information, for consumers and end users.

Building on our successful first invitational challenge last year, Core77 is launching the second Design For (Your) Product Lifetime Student Challenge sponsored by Autodesk and iFixit. For students and recent graduates, this challenge asks designers to present a new “smart” product that’s also smarter environmentally: repairable and designed to last, even if some of its components need to be replaced. Examples may include household appliances, electronics, lighting, toys—any and all kinds of products are ripe for a lower-impact redesign.

Eligibility

This contest is open to students age 18 or older, from anywhere in the world, currently registered in an educational institution at the college/university level. See Rules for full eligibility information.

Submission Requirements

  • Tell the story. One-page storyboard. (This can be a one-page poster/graphic or 2-minute video). Tell a story, describing your user’s experience and the problem being solved. What environmental issue are you seeking to address? How does your design solve that?
  • Solution Description. Show off your design with at least 3 product images/renderings. These can be hand drawn or computer generated/rendered with Autodesk software (see Resources) or other design software.
  • Describe the details: 200-300 word written description of solution, including environmental impact improvement (with supplementary details if you have them).
  • Format: All submissions must be in English and packaged as a single PDF document, or zipped folder with PDF documents, video files if relevant and CAD files.

Judging Criteria (100 Points possible)

  • Design Concept (50 Points)
    • User benefit—How compelling is the solution? (evaluated with storyboard/video)
    • Environmental benefit—How much potential is there for improving the environmental impact of the design (specifically end-of-life)?
  • Design Communication (50 Points)
    • How well do your illustrations and/or renderings communicate your concepts? How compelling is the product appearance? (Evaluated with images and design files, if submitted.) Those submissions that include use of Autodesk software will be more favorably judged in this section.

The challenge entries are due by Wednesday OCTOBER 10th. Check out the full challenge overview here.

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A Call For Submissions to The Clerestory Lounge

I was recently notified with this art and design opportunity for undergraduate students by an email and wanted to share it with as many people as I could.

A Better World By Design and Clerestory Journal of the Arts have teamed up for the Fall 2012 semester to create a juried, pop-up exhibition of student artwork, which will run in conjunction with the 2012 A Better World by Design conference (September 28-30). This collaboration will merge Clerestory’s commitment to recognize and promote the work of student artists with A Better World by Design’s mission to foster innovation and exchange in the fields of sustainable and socially-conscious design.

They are inviting all undergraduate students to submit work in any form, including but not limited to: prose, poetry, sound, performance, video, installation, sculpture, painting, photography, architecture, furniture design, and serigraphy. Submissions should consider in some way themes, principles, or discourses pertaining to the relationship between design, society, and environment. They are especially interested in submissions that are cross-disciplinary or collaborative in nature to reflect the goals of our two organizations and the spirit of their partnership.

The top three submissions will receive cash prizes of $500, $250, and $100 respectively, and three honorable mentions will be awarded with attached prizes of $50 each.

E-mail up to three submissions to isabella@abetterworldbydesign.com with the following:

      Name
      Year and major
      Title of the work(s)
      Date of production

At least one image of the work, and/or links to video or other media.
Technical information, such as medium, dimensions, and duration.
Technical requirements, if any.
A brief description of the work (no more than 150 words)

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: August 15, 2012

Applicants will be notified of decisions by September 1st. Accepted works should arrive on campus between September 19th and 22nd.

Please direct questions to isabella@abetterworldbydesign.com.

Participation in the exhibit will increase awareness of the arts and provide great exposure for the student and to the relationship between design, society, and the environment, so I encourage any and all fellow students to take part and submit something.

For a PDF of the prompt, click here.

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The 5Rs of Great Design

You’ve heard of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle, But that’s only part of the story. Shifting from a world where we try to just do “less bad” to one where we are actually creating MORE GOOD — is the thought process behind a Restorative Economy.

To that end, designers in the o2-Global Sustainable Design Network tossed around ideas to see how we can use the old 3Rs we all know and love, and add just a few bits to it, to create an impact ranked list that will help bring us not only back from the brink of self-destruction, but put us on to the path that will take us to the next level.

To be sure there are WAY more Rs than 5, but the idea was to keep things simple but inclusive, and still be really useful.

Innovation Action-list: The 5Rs of great design

RESTORE
Use materials (and support firms) that help reverse damage or — add — to natural capital. Restorative Economics, the next step in sustainability evolution.

RESPECT
Examine impacts the item will have on stakeholders, as well as eco-systems — social plus environmental justice, look for the win-win-win scenario (triple bottom line). Fair trade, cultural respect, noise/light/visual pollution (the physical stuff of an industrialized society), clear property rights, accessibility issues, universal design issues.

REDUCE
Reduce the materials needed to do function, including: less materials used (includes product life issues [1 LED bulb = MANY incandescent]), less weight to transport (reduce fuel demands), less energy to manufacture, less energy to store (aseptic pack vs. refrigerated milk), less energy to use (LED bulbs vs. incandescent, coldwater wash vs. hot), reduced toxicity (reduce to ZERO).

REUSE
Reuse something already manufactured, and make item easy to BE reused with minimal or NO remanufacturing (packaging AS product).

RECOVER
Create item to be fed BACK into the resource loop (includes Cradle to Cradle), have a robust and easy to use system to RECOVER materials, and USE RECYCLED substrates to make the item (100% PCW paperboard) wherever possible. Under this R we would naturally tuck the old favorite — RECYCLE the things you recovered.

Looking at things in a Cradle to Cradle light for RECOVER and RECYCLE you can’t have one without the other. Recyclable has no meaning unless it’s been Recovered.

It must be noted in the cycles of a Cradle to Cradle model, RECOVER/RECYCLE is the most energy intensive of the Rs. Manufactured items should not be created with a one way trip, or even a virgin renewable resource manufactured good that goes straight to compost, as a first choice. This option should be the — last stop — as part of a well managed system that incorporates the other 4Rs as well.

Paper, paperboard, and pulp (wood, kenaf, bamboo, agripulp, etc.) are great examples of a renewable, biodegradable resource that makes many many useful reuse and/or remanufacture trips (Technical Nutrient) before it’s time to retire them as compost fodder for the next growing cycle (Biological Nutrient).

Sustainability means:
Never having to say you’re sorry.