:: Specific Design Brief

CAT 1:
Biodegradable Waste - further information


OPEN-ENDED BRIEF: There is increasing concern about the impact of putting biodegradable waste into landfill sites, mainly because of the methane it then gives off. Design a way of dealing with biodegradable waste in a way that does not cause pollution and has a useful product.

A: Design and make a compost bin suitable for disposing of bio-degradable waste produced in your school.

B: Design and make a compost bin suitable for disposing of bio-degradable waste produced in the home.

• Is the product something that people want and need?
• Will it always be wanted and needed? Is it subject to the whims of fashion? Is it economically feasible to make the product given the whims of fashion and the marketplace?
• Who would benefit the most from this product given their available income and their local environment?
• Will production (and any subsequent repair, recycling) provide work to help people earn money?
• Which raw materials will be used? Are they renewable?
• What pollution is caused by the extraction and processing of the raw materials?
• How will the product be manufactured?
• What other materials are needed in order to use the product? (eg fixings, surface paints or varnishes)
• Can the product be made locally using local skills and local materials?
• How much energy is used at different stages of the products lifecycle?
• How will the product be packaged?
• How will the product be sold / transported to the shops?
• How will the product be promoted / marketed?
• How will it be used? Will it only be used for its intended purpose? How many times will it be used before being thrown away?
• How will it be disposed of after use?
• Could it be repaired? Re-used? Re-cycled?
• Can the product be easily repaired using local materials? How many parts can go wrong? How likely are they to go wrong?
• Materials can be selected to minimise their initial environmental impact.
• The issue of balancing this against the product life can be explored – early replacement simply leads to increased environmental load.
• Structural analysis can be applied to ensure that the size of all components is appropriately minimised
• Styling needs to be explored. There is no point in extending the life of a product in a ‘technical sense’ if it simply becomes redundant in a ‘fashion sense’. For a long product life, a ‘design classic’ is the target.