GreenHouse Effect

The GreenHouse Effect is a collection of 10 product concepts by Orcadesign exploring the approaches to sustainability through design. What could green design be? Beyond statistics, technology and sacrifices? How can the (green) product sincerely and meaningfully connect with people, making it a truly more appealing alternative to other (not-so-green) products?

Designer: Orcadesign

This integrated dustbin concept is designed to promote the idea of reusing plastic bags, which is all you need to get this ‘floating’ rubbish collection point ready for use. While providing greater convenience to the users via the ‘trapdoor’ design, it also eliminates the structural aspect of a dustbin simultaneously, saving material and energy.

The Bottleneck saver is designed to be attached to liquid soap dispenser necks and restricts the amount dispensed in order to reduce unnecessary wastage in consumption. This is especially pertinent as the manufacturers of shampoos, liquid soap, lotions, etc. have an incentive to encourage more rapid usage. A standard depression of a nozzle may indeed yield more lotion/shampoo than is really necessary for the user. The Bottleneck becomes a subtle mark of defiance in the face of more copious consumption patterns.

The Cup Lasso retains the functionality of a convenient and simple product for ferrying drinks. In addition to being durable, it also give rise to awareness among the public – conveying a message of ‘I am environmentally responsible’ to anyone using it.

Made out of industrial wool felt, Façade vase is derived from the archetypical form of the vase to hide the raw look of a plastic water bottle. What we get is essentially a beautiful façade and a vessel for the flowers.

Drawing on the familiar nostalgia of the pull‐string musical toy commonly found in baby cribs, the form and usage are designed to be natural and intuitive. By simplifying the timed‐charging process to a restrained and simple interface, the usage process becomes effortless and delightful, while saving electricity and gives users a peace of mind at the same time.

The fact that it gives a leathery, almost‐luxurious appearance, as well as the somewhat elaborate design may cause some to wonder whether old newspapers even deserve this. This, in fact, is a point the designer wishes to address. To the extent that we treat these newspapers as waste, recycling would forever be entrenched in a position where they are an optional, if responsible, thing to do. Having an intentionally well‐crafted vessel for these newspapers, however, turns the perception: the newspapers are indeed treated as valuable resources – an input for a future process rather than merely the byproduct of a previous one. This also allows it to be placed within the living room (rather than say, be relegated to the store room), which makes it more convenient for the users.

Post‐it Notepad is an exploration of a product with a second life planned out at the initial design phase. In its first life, it works as a note pad and upon reaching the last page, flip over the notepad and it is reincarnated as a post‐it pad, thereby eliminating the typically wasteful single‐page usage of the Post‐it pad.

It is common to see people utilize objects around them for unintended purposes, e.g. using a notebook as a mousepad. These spontaneous acts are prompted by a real need for such articles in our daily lives; but due to procrastination/ reluctance to acquire them, we make do with makeshift substitutes. These substitutes are often selected through trial and error, hence are able to perform their new tasks competently.

These behaviors actually promotes sustainability values as people are reducing consumption of products and reusing existing objects in different ways, extending their product lifespans and giving them new leases of life. The Sticker Identity series enables users to apply them to suitable substitutes, giving a clear indication of the additional function/ identity bestowed onto the original product, affirming their new identities as they are used in a new and different way.

Black‐out Lamp allows the table lamp to double up as a torchlight when a black out occurs. It seems only natural that you will reach out for the lamp during a black out and you do not have to ransack the house for the emergency torch at such inconvenient time. Eco products need to relate to our way of lives to be sustainable. Eco for eco’s sake may no longer be enough.

20 Comments

  • TH says:

    Just goes to show that you can (try to) market any junk just by calling it green…

    For the table+dustbin, I think this is a stillborn idea. What’s wrong with a separate dustbin? Would you re-use your supermarket plastic bag in a system that makes it so visible and integral to the aesthetics? Rather have a cheap bin and reuse plastic bags as bin liners. And buy a proper wooden table and not that plastic contraption.

    The bottleneck saver seems like a good idea, but at the same time ineffective and unlikely to ever offset the “cost” of manufacturing and distributing it with the benefits it might have.

    And, I really don’t get the point of this cup lasso? What an earth is it for?

    The felt-cover for a bottle is a nice idea, although it doesn’t change the fact that a plastic bottle is very light and unstable.

    The dangling ring for switching off sockets is simply a bad idea. The tilt-switch that comes with most of them (at least in the UK where they use that three-pronged system) is much handier and safer, and I bet even easier and cheaper to manufacture. And have nothing dangling from the socket, to lure pets or babies. Plus this string and ring -system is probably much more fragile and thus has a shorter lifespan and only adds to waste.

    I’m not sure about the merits of the newspaper box or the flashlight-thing, but I’m pretty sure that treating people as total idiots like in the notebook-designs isn’t going to go through too well. This is, if anything, design veiled in green ideas, in a most patronising way possible.

    Of these, only the notebook/post-its seems like an interesting idea, provided that the covers fit around the pad well enough to prevent the pages from flying off too easily.

    I realise designers want to do new stuff, and it is good that they think about the environment when doing that. But I must admit I find it very hypocritical to peddle useless junk that only adds to our carbon footprint and claim to solve some minuscule (or even non-existing) environmental issue while doing it. People need to start seriously thinking about their consumption and stop trying to buy their way out this situation, to tackle climate change with pseudo-aware consumption. First step to seeing effects in proportion would be to start thinking about the whole life-cycle of products rather than just some “green gimmick” added to them in the marketing department. Second step would be to start re-using and re-claiming and re-cycling. And this is where designers come in, start making new stuff out of the old stuff, and make sure your new stuff is durable and can be made into new stuff rather than discarded when people are done using it.

    I hope you don’t read this as an aggressive rant or think I’m being partronising, because I try to be neither, just open a conversation here where many design-minded people meet. :-)

  • bystander says:

    I can see that a lot of effort was put into this project and appreciate designers are trying to come up with responsible design but in the end solutions lies in educating the mass about consumption and how it affects the world.

  • SSG says:

    May not be a green design but the dust bin table rocks! Being a designer and all, I sketch all day long and the eraser crumbs can easily disposed with a single hand slide motion now!

  • Avi says:

    These are nice products but I think they leave something to be desired in terms of Green or Sustainability. I think there is more to conservation then just recycling.

  • moburkhardt says:

    yea the cup lasso evades me too

    all in all nice to look at but not very eco friendly in the long run

  • AG says:

    Interesting. The table garbage can is useless. Maybe I will add a toilet on the surface of my dining room table? Or a compost bin on my car’s dashboard?

  • Christine says:

    Well the garbage bin/table idea is an already existing product, it’s still a good idea for efficiently saving space and brushing off eraser shavings, but it’s such a stretch to say it’s “GREEN” just because it removes the structural aspect of a dustbin. That’s such bullcrap.

    The Bottleneck saver is a terrible idea. Producing this accessory product makes more waste and exhaust to the environment. It’s highly unnecessary.

    Cup Lasso? Seriously? Dangling a boiling hot coffee cup in midair speaks stupidity. How is this in any way environmentally friendly. I’d like OrcaDesign to explain that one for me.

    Now converting a table lamp into a multi-use flashlight is not a bad idea. The flower vase is pretty neat as well.

  • Zino says:

    I agree with the curmudgeons… these ideas are hardly green, just more sleek costumery for consumptive excesses that try, at least, to remove the guilt one might otherwise have.

    On the other hand, there are ideas for the DIY crowd… I could, for example, use rubber bands to restrict the pump-bottle over-dispensing, and not worry that it’s getting gunked up by cosmetic goo. I already have a combination night-light emergency torch.

    And, just to rub it in, why go out and buy something that’s PRINTED! just to have a note pad? Has nobody but me got an endless source of scrap paper?

    This is just a disingenuous design suite. At least a 12-cylinder Lamborghini is honest about being defiantly NOT green! The dishonesty here is what prompts me to post.

  • igreenspot says:

    totally nice idea to help our environment, but most of those ideas are not new, we actually already do that in our daily life

  • Great design! Good design don’t has to scream. Looks good beside an apple product.

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