EcoDesign in Handcraft Product Development

From the beginning of 2002 to the end of 2003, the Academy of Design of the Chamber of Craft in Aachen together with econcept carried out the project “EcoDesign in handcraft product development“. The project was promoted by the federal Ministry of Commerce and Technology and the Ministry of Commerce and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia. Furthermore, 15 craft companies were involved from the following areas: carpentries, metal processing, glaziery, glass painting, textile workshops, goldsmiths, turneries and interior design.

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Project goal

The aim of the project was to integrate ecological criteria into the daily routines of product design. This means that ecological aspects have to be considered by the customer service, in sketches, material selection, design of the production and sale or distribution process. It also means to think about and to design the total life cycle of a product in such way that it contributes to sustainability as much as possible: resource and energy efficient, ecologically compatible, recyclable, long-life and customer-friendly from extraction to disposal.

In order to reach this goal, a training program specifically for participating crafters was drafted and conducted. The aspects learned through training, were put into practice by the involved crafters through 10-15 pilot projects. Along with the training program, econcept developed specific craft EcoDesign tools and a data bank {LINK}, which show traditional crafts and used materials and evaluates their sustainability.
The Academy of Design worked out the additional auxiliary concepts for the marketing of sustainable products and services.
The results of the project were shown in a fair in 2003/2004.

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