Studying economics has profoundly influenced my approach to design, extending beyond the inclusion of a bill of materials in my spec packs. I view product design as interconnected with social systems, efficiency, and accessibility. An excellent example of the convergence of design and economics is the facilitation of sustainability through consumer-friendly repair and recycling options.
Consumers make decisions for the end of the product’s life based on weighing the effort and costs involved. If the value they attribute to recycling or repairing a product outweighs the associated costs, it’s unlikely to happen regardless of the designer’s intention. Designers possess a unique opportunity to create better choices in consumption, use, repair, and disposal for consumers.
This philosophy of creating better consumer choices is evident in a roll-top backpack I designed a spec pack and a sample. I patterned the bag to minimize the total fabric waste. I chose cotton materials to allow for recycling at the end of the product’s life with minimal effort of cutting off the zipper and buckles.
Observing that the bottom of backpacks tend to experience the most wear and tear, often leading to the disposal of the bag, I incorporated an additional rectangular section at the bottom. It can be easily removed by seam ripping, revealing a fresh and untouched bottom, thus extending the lifespan with little additional material.

You may also like

Back to Top