Ecodesign- The New Cheese. Or: Meaningful Inspiration Comes Forward.

We’ve got some bad news: Things are no longer what they used to be. Resources are more scarce, social injustice is growing, and global competition is increasing. With this, though, there is one good message: nothing is more constant than change. And nobody is more successful than those who adapt to changes over time.

From the book “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson, we know: “The cheese is always in another place tomorrow. Always.” And from Albert Einstein we know: “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking by which they are created!”

As obvious as these findings may seem, it can be difficult to heed them. We know that up to 80% of a product’s environmental impact is determined during the design phase. We know that thinking in terms of resource efficiency helps companies save on costs and inspires revolutionary thinking. We know that consumers strive not only to fulfill their own needs, but also search for a deeper meaning. We know that funding pools for ecological product design are full. And yet we continue with our old ways, repeating the same motions but with slightly lower CO2 emissions.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” One side stares at the other, waiting for the other to make a move, hoping to gain a the upper hand. While waiting, none the few have already begun to search for the new cheese, and are ready to relish it. And, they whisper of their “catalysts” only behind closed doors.

These “catalysts” are creatives, who do not waste time with mere discussion of the role of creative enabler for an ecological revolution, but have simply gotten to work. Thus, they have gained a competitive advantage while the others are still discussing. If they keep a cool head, they can expand their skills as a product designer to include environmentally conscious skills and /or develop strategic alliances with engineering companies, in no time at all. Mixing creative minds with agile companies creates competition for the classic sustainability consultants, and allows them to play with the rest of the market like the hedgehog and the rabbit.

Ecological design doesn’t necessarily mean “unsexy”- it can also be beautiful.  A few bright spots can be found on the WILDDESIGN Pinterest-Board Ecodesign.

eco-design on pinterest
eco-design on pinterest

However, ecodesign is not a passing trend. Ecodesign is an urgent need in a changing world and a modern market. Ecodesign creates new added value. Ecodesign is good design- and good design saves the world- so save with it, and take advantage of the new market opportunities.

About the author: Susanne Volz is the owner of ecocircle concept, consultant and partner for ecologically friendly product design. With the the program ecodesign-to-go she shares her environmental science expertise with product designers (such as those of WILDDESIGN) and offers training to become a certified Ecodesigner.

-> Go to the course ecodesign-to-go

WILDDESIGN appreciates this learned expertise. In connection with the appropriate design support programs (such as the JUMP tool, an efficiency agency in Duisburg) ecodesign has become a hot topic for us, although we have sought to apply such principles for many years.

-> More interesting articles about funding opportunities

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With a diploma degree in Business Law and master of science in Environmental Sciences, Susanne Volz runs her consultancy ecocircleconcept in Freiburg/ Germany. She is passionate about Good Design.

Originally written by Susanne Volz, 02. March 2016. Last updated 15. May 2023


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