less by design

Glowee: lighting the way towards more sustainable illumination.

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By Josh Henry.

The concept of bioluminescent lighting has forever been toyed with. From children catching fireflies in jars to backyard algae kits, there has been the idea that light can be achieved through living organisms.

With recent advances in genetic engineering, could biological light solutions be commercialised and mass manufactured?

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A green consumer checklist.

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By Lorrin Windahl.

Sustainability is a complicated beast. Even for the most well-informed designer it can be confusing. So how can we, as consumers, make better decisions about our purchases and their impact on our planet?

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The magic mushroom.

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By Lorrin Windahl.

Did you know that you can now grow your own product? I know, it sounds a bit backyard hippy meets mad inventor yeah? But it’s exactly what Ecovative are offering with their GIY Mushroom Material Kit. You can either place the material in your own tool or simply mould it like plasticine into your desired form and then watch it grow in density. And perhaps the best part is that, at the end of its useful life, you simply break it into smaller bits and place it in your home compost bin.

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Oil Slicks Be Gone!

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By Alex Fleming.

A very creative new way to clean up oil spills has been invented here in Melbourne, Australia by scientists at Deakin University. The technology has been in development for several years and is now ready for trials by industry, according to Professor Ian Chen and the research team.

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Have We Reached Peak Minimalism?

Today, this could be anything from a media centre to a faucet.

By Joseph La Delfa.

For the best part of a decade, minimalism has reigned supreme. Straight lines, rounded corners and golden ratios have found their way into every nook and cranny of product design. During this period of stylistic restraint, the default has been conformity over standing out, and subtlety in place of the overt. Impressive materials, highly accurate manufacturing and software interfaces have been achieved through the uncluttered looks of today’s products.  Unfortunately, there have been some losses in the way in which products communicate their purpose to users. This post explores how minimalism has changed the way we interact with products, and asks whether a design counter-reformation of “new-baroque” will sweep iPhones and their ilk from their minimalistic thrones.

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Social Design is Slower Than You Think

A doctor with the D-Rev Brilliance unit, photo from the D-Rev website.

By Joseph La Delfa.

Realistically, in the product design world there are any number of logistical concerns that can hamper a design. A designer will dodge, clear and sometimes run straight through these obstacles when taking an idea from design to production, all in the name of the coveted deadline. Be it for a trade show, an EOFY fancy dress party or above all Christmas, the good designer will roll with the punches to get their product finished as D-Day looms.

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Personal vs. Mass Production – The Impact of 3D Printing

By Chris Morrish.

In 2013, 3D printing experienced a sharp increase in public interest.A barrage of click bait articles created a one-sided discussion, focused on what could be made for us in the comfort of our own homes. Learning from the past we now know to ask “what effect is this advance going to have on the environment?” Historically (with few exceptions) this question has been asked only after the damage is done and long after it can be repaired.

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