This post is an addition to a post I read on Co.Exist some time ago. In this post, Sarah Krasley talks about 5 cutting edge trends that will (according to her), change the way we design products. First of all I want to share the post with you because it’s a great post, but secondly, all of these trends are directly related with sustainability! If you look at the article this way, the big trend (and let’s hope it’s more than just a trend) for the future is sustainability.
You can read the post here, I’d like to discuss the 5 trends with a focus on sustainability.
1. Circular economy
A topic I’ve been working on with Plan C the last year is product-service systems, or selling the use of a product (as a service) instead of simply selling the product. My collegue Peter made the infographic below that shows the different types of Product-Service Systems and their environmental potential.
2. A connection between producer and consumer
Local production leads to a better connection between buyer and seller. In a sustainable economy, based on stuff like the new materialism, being connected with what you buy matters greatly. The strongest way to connect with what you buy is to connect with the maker of that product.
3. Sustainable materials
I don’t think I need to explain how sustainable materials can be used in sustainable products.
4. Design at the molecular level
One of the most interesting trends in sustainable industrial design (in my opinion) is biomimicry (copying nature and evolution in design). A lot of the things copied from nature have to be applied on a molecular level.
5. More information means better decisions
Open source is essential when talking about better information on the full chain and life cycle of a product. Transparency is more than just a hype. It will turn out to be essential for connecting with your customers (see point 2). Check also this previous post on open-innovation.