Designing Greener Gadgets: A Competition

Video: Designs should seek to minimize the environmental impact of consumer electronic devices at any stage in the product lifecycle. Can they?

Last Friday, we gathered our crew together and went uptown to conduct a live video Webcast of the Greener Gadgets Conference. Organized by Jill Fehrenbacher, founder of Inhabitat.com and Marc Alt, president of Marc Alt + Partners, Greener Gadgets gathered industry leaders, entrepreneurs, journalists, and designers to discuss the business case for the greening of the consumer electronics industry.

At issue is the often toxic waste contained in gadgets ranging from televisions to cell phones to alarm clocks that are bought and discarded as commodities in the the hundreds of millions of items per year.

In this video, Allan Chochinov of Core77 runs a Greener Gadgets competition that highlights innovative materials, industrial design and thinking around a number of everyday gadgets and appliances.

As Core77 wrote in their design brief when they announced the competition:

Designs should seek to minimize the environmental impact of consumer electronic devices at any stage in the product lifecycle. Areas of sustainability to consider include:

  1. Energy
  2. Materials / Lifecycle / Recycling
  3. Social & educational development

Participants are encouraged to consider their designs as part of the entire product ecosystem, and should think as holistically as possible. Designers may choose to focus their entries on a particular area of human enterprise (learning, playing, communicating, etc.), or a particular context (work, home, school, etc.), a particular material, or a specific device. Entries may also seek to create new paradigms for products and services.

Ultimately, we are looking for “great gadgets” of the greener kind.

ScribeMedia.Org will be releasing video from the day-long event in conjunction with Inhabitat.com and Core77 in the upcoming weeks.

A full video archive of the Greener Gadgets Conference can be found here. There you’ll find Podcast subscription information as well.

Article and Video by Alexandra (Sasha) Lerman, Editor / Producer at ScribeMedia.org. She is currently watching the above video on Scribe’s gadget of choice, the iPhone. Neat stuff.