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www.greenbuildermag.com 06.2013


LIFE-ALTERING DESIGN


14


“Looking


Designing products to encourage sustainability is no easy task, but one pathway may be to “hack” existing products to change their life expectancy.


E BY MATTHEW POWER


ACH YEAR, I attend several conferences, including one at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), called A Better World by Design. The most recent conference, held last fall, although a bit weaker than


previous iterations, did yield a few new ideas. Most notably, a presentation by Dawn Danby of Autodesk off ered thoughtful tips on where eco-conscious product design needs to go next. Danby’s thesis is quite radical: “We can’t


make some things that much more effi - cient,” she says, “but if we get them to last longer, that’s a real effi ciency gain. What


we’re looking for is hacks. How to hack into the current lifecycle and extend it.” At the same time, she notes, some goods actually last too long, such as certain medi-


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