Is it possible to create without destroying? The Finnish architect Alvar Aalto argued that “man cannot create without destroying simultaneously”, but the paradigm shift is here, already. An example: the German Federal Environmental Agency indicates that 80% of the products environmental impacts are committed during the design phase. This is where sustainable design comes into play.
We need beauty but also minimal environmental impact. That’s where the concepts of eco-design and green sustainable design come into play. Because, in the same way, not everything ecological is sustainable.
Sustainability addresses the social and economic implications of product manufacturing, production and design as well as the environmental implications. In parallel, eco-design only takes into account environmental sustainability.
Sustainability is the use of raw materials and natural resources, meeting the needs of present generations without compromising attention to future generations in their own needs.
Thats why, sustainable design manifests itself as a symbiosis between concept and feasibility.
The conditions for a design to be sustainable, and to enter the category of green economy, are based on the variable E3: Equity, Ecology and Economy or P3: ‘People’, ‘Planet’, ‘Profit’. These are:
It was at the exhibition The Green Design organized by the Design Council of the United Kingdom in the 80s of the 20th century that the technological and production needs to design and manufacture a product in a sustainable way were raised.
More than 40 years on, the proposals are more than justified in the face of the environmental impact of human activity.
With the intention of preparing professionals for the strategic management that facilitates the transition and redefinition of companies, businesses and services, the Foro de Economía Circular y Diseño was created under the auspices of Agencia Valenciana de la Innovación (AVI).
It is one of the meetings that seek to deepen, not only the need to adapt the economic model, but also the competitive advantages that this implies. Another that we found to move forward in this direction is the Foro Medioambiente y Sostenibilidad. The stakes, however necessary and juicy, multiply.
But what is understood by circular economy? One fact: the world population will exceed 9 billion people by 2050, and to meet the demand for resources, three planets will be needed to supply the water, food and energy needs, among others.
Faced with this is the circular economy as a strategy to address global challenges, such as climate change, which aims to reduce both the input of virgin materials and the waste production. This involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, renovating and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible. It is in this strategy where aviation biofuels, SAF, are developed, which any particular user can access from Avikor to reduce CO2 emissions from their air travel.
Reinventing spaces using the principles of the circular economy is the latest in strategy and operation from architecture or furniture design, among others.
The Italian architect based in Barcelona, Carmelo Zappulla, proposes to apply 3D printing techniques using polylactic acid thermoplastic (PLA), generated with renewable resources such as corn starch. This polymer, of biodegradable nature, allows easy subsequent recycling or rapid decomposition.
This new technology reinvents spaces and reduces waste that is disposed of in the construction process. And Zappulla uses it to create decorative forests in three-dimensional printing. A 3D-printed artificial forest that produces oxygen and an interactive tree that reacts to the sustainable habits of the public that were taught from the exhibition spaces of the Spanish Pavilion at the Expo Dubai 2020.
But the innovative architect, founder and director of the External Reference studio in Barcelona, does not stop there. For Barcelona’s Modernista building, Casa Sayrach, the furniture worked like trees. Some of the new furniture used PLA combined with the natural compound PureTech. The result was able to mineralize and capture some of the major greenhouse gases and pollutants in the atmosphere, such as CO2.
Let your imagination run wild!