Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sustainable Rotterdam Blog

Currently the city of Rotterdam is exploiting its cultural and creative character with the aim to position itself in the knowledge economy. Therefore, the city is an excellent ground for innovations in the field of sustainability related disciplines like mobility, urban planning, social cohesion, architecture etc. The Design for Sustainability program is involved in many of these new sustainability initiatives by graduation projects, PhD work, alumni etc...
The City Innovator of Rotterdam (also known as Prof B.), Onsustain and DfS took the initiative to organise an interactive exploration tour through Rotterdam. The outcome is available at the blog from the event.

Visit the Blog "Sustainable Rotterdam"

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Electronic Vampires

How much does your DVD player consume in standby power?
Intuitively you would say almost nothing, actually some estimates put the proportion of residential consumption due to standby power as high as 13%.
Check it out in the "Technology Quarterly" in the latest issue of the Economist.

Wind Turbines: history repeating?

Do you have in mind the design of wind turbines with their old-fashioned windmill-shape? Probably they will be history in the near future.
The common wind turbines have blades rotating about a horizontal axis.Instead, TMA, a company based in Wyoming, announces the production of new wind turbines with blades that rotate about a vertical axis.
The advantages of the vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT) ?
  • TMA claims that its system harvests 43-45% of the wind's available energy (conventional turbines, 25-40%).
  • It will work in extreme wind conditions (the conventional ones need to be shut).
  • It is less expensive to produce, because the cross-section of the blades do not vary from top to bottom, unlike the conventional ones
  • it is even less noisy.
However, the TMA's idea is not new: Simple VAWTs have been around for centuries, and were being used in Persia thousands of years ago. What is different now is their application, not on land but offshore. It seems that off the coast VAWTs may become commercially very attractive.
Check out the "Technology Quarterly" in the latest issue of the Economist for more information.

Friday, March 10, 2006

TimeOut goes green

Lately, several mainstream magazines are publishing special "green" issues. First it was fashion magazine Elle, then Vogue, Vanity Fair, and now it's the turn for TimeOut London. Issue #1855 reads the following "The good life explained, with 100 ways to spring clean the capital and your conscience. Including how to recycle your old beds, glasses, fridges, faxes and phones; eco-friendly clubbing and Londoners who can work wonders with waste" So, if you plan to have a romantinc weekend with your partner visiting The City, don't forget to get a copy of TimeOut to make it a bit green.

TimeOut Green Issue

Vanity Fair

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Timberland footprint

Timberland is coming out with a new box for its footwear, which is supposed to be much moreenvironmentally friendly than the old one. Furthermore they are going to put a 'nutricion' label on it stating the 'footprint' that was created by making the product.

“For the first time in the footwear industry, every Timberland box will feature a “nutrition” label that reflects the footprint we make in creating the product inside,” states Timberland promotional copy regarding its fall 2006 launch of a one-piece corrugated box that might be called the “eco/envirobox.”

Much like a nutrition facts label on food packaging, the pressure-sensitive shoebox labels will include:
• An “environmental impact” section defining energy needed to make the shoe.
• A “community impact” section detailing the company’s stance on child labor hours and community service.
• A “manufactured” section identifying country of origin and factory name.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Best Dutch design of the century

After the example set by the British, Dutch Newspaper NRC has started a quest for the best Dutch design of the last century. At the site http://www.nrc.nl/kunst/bnd you can see the suggestions made by the paper. Looking through the list one does not see a lot of Eco-Design. As it is possible to make your own suggestions until Sunday the 12th of March, here is an opportunity for us. Nominate your favorite Dutch Eco-design product!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Turning nature's design into scientific breakthrough

How nature inpires the design of technological breakthroughs like super efficient fans for laptops, low energy waterpumps and more!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


CHANGEX is an annual design exhibition taking place in Sydney that address issues of sustainability, environmental responsibility, social equity and community. Now in its third year, the exhibition will be complemented by an expanded series of events of interest to young designers, professionals, and community members alike.