Products and Design

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Holonomic Brand Values: What Can We Learn from a Brazilian Gym?

Anyone with even a remote interest in design will know how the electronic products of Braun in the 1950s and '60s influenced the design of Apple’s iconic products. Much of these designs are the inspiration of Dieter Rams, who in 1961 became the Chief Design Officer at Braun until 1995. In the 1970s he became interested in sustainable design, and developed these 10 principles for product design:

Study Identifies How Companies Generate Business Value from Product Sustainability

Companies that have gained widespread business benefits from product sustainability share specific business practices, according to a new research report by sustainability consulting firm Pure Strategies.The Path to Product Sustainability is based on quantitative surveys of 100 global consumer product companies involved in product sustainability and qualitative interviews with heads, directors, and managers of sustainability at leading companies such as The Coca-Cola Company, Timberland, Seagate, RB and Henkel.

Cradle to Cradle Institute Receives Funding for Online Ed Program for Product Designers

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute has received funding from the Alcoa Foundation to develop a new web-based education program for product designers, according to a recent announcement.Available starting June 9, the course will challenge participants to explore and apply design strategies to ensure that the materials that go into each product can return safely to industry or nature at a product's end of life.

Walmart to Cut Store Lighting By 40% With GE LEDs

Walmart has announced plans to purchase energy-efficient LED ceiling lighting fixtures for its new supercenters in the United States, stores in Asia and Latin America, and Asda locations in the United Kingdom, that will use 40 percent less energy than traditional lighting sources.The retailer says the new fixtures will help to further its goal to reduce the kilowatt hour (kWh) per square foot of energy required to power Walmart buildings globally 20 percent by 2020. This is Walmart’s largest purchase of GE LED lighting to date.

Ryman Eco: The World's Most Sustainable Font?

“It isn't just what you write that can make a difference, it's how you write it,” declares the ad for Ryman Eco, a new font by stationary brand Ryman and ad agency Grey London.

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GE, Quirky Launch Consumer-Conceived, Connected Air-Conditioner

General Electric and idea accelerator company Quirky have launched Aros, an app-enabled air-conditioning unit that gathers information based on users' habits, cost of energy, and budget to automatically maintain the ideal temperature and maximize savings for the home. Much like Nest's Learning Thermostat, the unit gets “smarter” over time, ensuring that the environment is never too hot or cold.Aros was the idea of Garthen Leslie of Columbia, Maryland, who spent years helping to cut costs and conserve resources at the Department of Energy. Leslie said that it was his own dysfunctional air-conditioner that sparked the idea for Aros.

Timberland's 2013 CSR Report Highlights Continued Environmental, Community Impacts

Today, Timberland released its 2013 CSR Report, which reports the company’s progress against four key pillars identified as priorities for the brand: product, climate, factories and service. From closing in on its one millionth volunteer service hour to increasing the use of recycled, organic or renewable materials in its products, Timberland reports highlights the following areas:PRODUCT

Microsoft Embraces ‘Internet of Things’ with Windows in the Car

Microsoft recently introduced Windows in the Car, which helps car makers and suppliers capitalize on the Internet of Things by integrating computer systems in vehicles.Announced last week at the Build developer conference, the connectivity system builds on Microsoft's wide experience within in-car entertainment systems — many already available, such as Ford's Sync, run on the Windows operating system.

Philips' New 40W LED Bulb Designed to Sway Stubborn Fans of Incandescents

Philips has designed its new 40-Watt LED lightbulb to resemble a traditional incandescent bulb, while saving significant energy and lasting up to 25,000 hours.Traditional incandescent bulbs continue to be phased out, but many continue to argue that they prefer their light to that of LEDs. By producing a bulb that looks the same, produces the same kind of light, but uses an LED rather than a traditional filament, Philips hopes to win consumer holdouts over to the energy-superior alternative.

adidas Weaving Pharrell's Bionic Yarn Into New Originals Collection

On Thursday, adidas announced a long-term partnership with recording artist and producer Pharrell Williams on a new adidas Originals line of shoes and apparel. The first adidas Originals x Pharrell Williams products will debut this summer.Details of the collaboration are being kept tightly under wraps, but a teaser video released Thursday provides a glimpse:"Working with an iconic brand like adidas is such an incredible opportunity,” Williams said. “From the classic track suit, to growing up in Virginia wearing Stan Smiths, adidas has been a staple in my life. Their pieces are timeless. This is an exciting partnership for both me and for Bionic Yarn."

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Aspiring to Improve the World Through a Career in Sustainable Design, Part 3

In this three-part mini-series, Core77's Stefanie Koehler shares her experiences in bringing a sustainability focus into her work. Read parts one and two

Student Proposes Re-Designed, Origami-Inspired Toothpaste Tube

Those who have long-fretted squeezing out that last bit of toothpaste from the tube may soon be able to rest easy — a student at Arizona State University has designed a new origami-inspired toothpaste tube designed to release every drop of paste, according to FastCoDesign.

Aspiring to Improve the World Through a Career in Sustainable Design, Part 2

In this three-part mini-series, Core77's Stefanie Koehler shares her experiences in bringing a sustainability focus into her work. Read part one.

Aspiring to Improve the World by Crafting a Career in Sustainable Design, Part 1

A New Way of ThinkingWe all know the plight of the typical industrial designer: make (more) stuff; repeat. But with the nexus of vast technical abilities and support systems to deliver ideas, where does responsibility and "design sensitivity" come into play? How will we be able to design with an understanding that every design decision is connected in some way to everything else (either directly or indirectly) and will inevitably have a social and environmental impact (intended or not)? Is it even our responsibility as designers to think about the impact of our designs? Do we need to worry about what happens up or downstream of our products, or is that someone else's job?

Method Building C2C-Designed LEED-Platinum Factory in Chicago

San Francisco-based cleaning products company Method has announced that it will build in Chicago one of the few LEED-Platinum factories in the US, where it will produce its eco-friendly cleaning products such as soaps and laundry detergent.Designed by William McDonough + Partners, the state-of-the-art facility will be built in Chicago's historic Pullman district, where Pullman railroad cars were once built. Before beginning construction next year, Method says it will first clean up its 22-acre site, which used to be a Ryerson steel mill was and is now a brownfield.

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Elio's 3-Wheeled Car Could Change the Way We Commute

Elio Motors on Thursday unveiled a compact 3-wheeled commuter vehicle capable of achieving 84 miles per gallon fuel efficiency and engineered for an anticipated 5-Star Crash Test Safety Rating.With a sticker price of just $6,800, the high-mileage Eli Motors 3-wheeled vehicle was designed to make people rethink how we approach transportation in the United States.

Walmart Tractor Prototype Could Disrupt the Trucking Industry

Walmart has developed a prototype tractor designed to increase airflow and cut fuel consumption, which could dramatically increase the efficiency of one of the largest commercial truck fleets in the world.The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience (WAVE) is 20 percent more aerodynamic than the company’s current trucks and has a micro-turbine hybrid powertrain that can run on diesel, natural gas and biodiesel. The vehicle pulls the world’s first 53-foot carbon fiber trailer, saving close to 4,000 pounds that can then be used to carry more freight.

New Levi’s Production Process Uses 100% Recycled Water

Levi Strauss has developed a process for using 100 percent recycled water in parts of its jeans production — an industry first — to reduce its impact on the world's water resources, the Guardian reports.The process is the result of a new third-party water recycling verification that aims to reduce the impact of garment production on fresh water resources. It is being used in one of the company’s primary Chinese factories, which bleaches, dyes and stonewashes garments to achieve particular looks or feels.

Self-Contained Solar-Powered Toilet Could Transform Sanitation in Developing World

A team of Caltech engineers is working on the toilet of tomorrow — a self-cleaning, solar-powered toilet that turns human waste into hydrogen and fertilizer, according to FastCoExist. The low-cost, automated toilet could help to revolutionize sanitation systems in the developing world.

Cradle to Cradle Institute Launches Product Registry

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute on Wednesday launched a product registry designed to increase transparency from manufacturers.The Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM Product Registry allows consumers, designers and builders to make wiser, healthier decisions and calls for greater transparency from the manufacturer. Other features include improved overall site speed and the optional certification scorecard, which is a summary of levels achieved in the five categories of certification optimization: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy & carbon management, water stewardship and social fairness.

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