Brian Carter
BFA Industrial Design
The University of Kansas (2003)
Bachelor of Fine Arts - KU

Sustainable Design

Brian Carter

Sustainable Design

This project is an exploration of low energy, renewable, and potentially sustainable materials that can degrade without causing damage, the processes used to make those materials, and how those materials can be utilized within a design. A developed identification system (taxonomy) helped organize 44 created materials. These are material concepts having physical properties that vary from hard rigid to soft flexible traditional plastics, and some have a textile-like appearance. Material properties and possible use were noted during development. Design concepts utilizing developed materials also consider what materials are used within a design, how those materials are used, and what can be done with the product or part after its current useful form. This process of goal, research, and observation lead to a wide range of material property based application possibilities presented on the following pages.

Sustainable Design

A non-linear user-centered process involving goal, research, observation, and implementation led to a wide range of material-based application and design possibilities for several of the developed materials. Research along the way covered where we obtain materials and methods of how we process those materials, including such topics as the industrial use of native tropical bamboo forests and the equitable trade of carnauba wax. Throughout this exploration, material processes and properties were fundamental. Design concepts utilized such materials as shown here: an aesthetically and texturally pleasing material that dried with low heat in a few minutes without warp. Later, certain material parts for the following design concepts were prototyped using moderate heat and a computer-milled aluminum form (SolidWorks).

Application possibilities from chemical-free coverings for balsa wood gliders (shrinking covering tight) to rigid burlap 'cardstock' packaging, impregnated with seed, for lawn and garden attachments (just throw on the lawn and water using your new garden hose attachment) to biodegradable cell phone face plates and even larger compostable electronics are discussed, documented, and explored in the original entry, in detail.

Sustainable Design

Based on developed material properties, this cell phone design includes a flat keypad made from fabric and flexible circuits similar to those used inside computer keyboards. The top, battery, and circuit board are designed to be inserted into two halves of formed material #0706.F45.S0.01-FRS. Before assembly, the keypad wire is fed through a small hole to connect with the circuit board. Features include a recharging jack and volume control, (on top) microphone (side of top), speaker, and areas for brand and service marks. The design of the top and bottom enables a snap-on/in assembly. When the battery is ready for recycling, the bottom pulls off for composting, recycling, or reuse. Bottom dimensions are: W: 1-5/8 in. H: 2-1/2 in. D: 3/4 in.0706.F45.S0.01-FRS

Sustainable Design

This personal printer concept explores the life-cycle of materials and product. The base contains modular: power supply, USB connection, electronics, and power on/off switch. The mechanical printing assembly attaches onto this with two thumbscrew bolts, allowing easy disassembly or replacement without tools. The cover has large, smooth radii for forming processes (MIN 0706.F45.S0.01-FRS), and a removable front panel (MIN 0300.B01.P3.00-RS) allows for the removal and refill of the soy-based ink cartridge. A small supply of letter-sized, 8.5 x 11 in. paper made from corn-stalk residue is also included (bleaching does not require chlorine). An embossed branding area is located directly above the on/off switch for high visibility.

IDEA2003 Gold Award
for Sustainable Design


"The Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) are dedicated to fostering business and public understanding of the importance of industrial design excellence to the quality of life and the economy and showcase the best industrial design from across the US and around the world."

Innovation Magazine ’03

 

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