CZEKAJ, Jakub

THE LIFE CYCLE CONCEPT AS A POTENTIAL STRATEGY FOR A DESIGN PROCESS FOR SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS

The work is based on the assumption that design should search for environmentally conscious solutions through a broader understanding of responsible production and consumption, as well as the quality and function of all relevant aspects of our life. As most societies need improvements in both quantity and quality, the development of future strategies for design should restore the lost relationship between consumer and product. This possible approach to design leads to identifying people's needs rather than only creating demands.

The aim of the project is to integrate into the creative design process two inter-related environmental factors: eco-sensitive and eco-rational; the one tries to ask the right questions through defining problems while the other tries to answer these questions through linking creative thinking whit knowledge.

The case study - "the process and the products involved in preparing coffee" - has been chosen to examine, illustrate and support the appropriate choices throughout the work. The case, as socio-cultural context, gives the possibility to look at both sensitive and rational perspectives through design, and to identify possible areas of concern which should be addressed during the design process. The project involves three basic steps: analysis of the problem, synthesis of the new product designs and evaluation of these new designs. The case study has been developed as two sample scenarios for a life cycle of a product: the first taking a sensitive and subjective approach; and the second, taking a rational and objective approach.

The outcome of the project is in the form of an operational tool and its application in design. As a result, the environmental requirements are developed in a design direction for "coffee at home" products. The operational tool, as a guideline for the design process, gives the opportunity to compare the two perspectives and facilitate a relationship between them, in order to define a new dimension for the system, as well as different physical expression.