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February 27, 2006

Green Box Design: mending and caring

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The challenge of this project is to explore and learn what I as a designer can do to an ordinary box that can become effective in terms of eco-friendly designing.

Describe your creative process:

First coming up with more than 50 ideas of what this box can turn into, I narrowed down to five ideas that I thought could possibly be expanded upon. The ideas were: 1) post-it notes, 2) postcards, 3) doll showcase, 4) plant pot, and 5) a sewing kit. I choose the sewing kit idea for the box, because I saw that it might have potential in green design as well be something fun to do. I wrote some more ideas on the sewing kit to expand more than just a sewing kit. Eventually I came up with the concept of reusing old things and keeping it for later use.

Describe your solution:

The kit was to become almost like a recycled box, salvaging old patches and buttons. In order to do this, I sketched out some thumbnails of how I pictured the box to be like. I knew I wanted to get some old buttons and old patches of cloth instead of buying it, so I asked my friends who I knew were interested in sewing. I bought some threads and needles as well safety pins and pins as part of the kit. I also wanted to include an instructional booklet of steps-by-steps and give the purpose of the kit. Originally I had the box covered in cloth, but after the critique, it was mentioned if I best approached it with something else besides covering it and try to unify the whole kit as one, meaning in color and materials.

List the box contents + design elements:

The kit includes: 8 threads in colors of gray, red, brown, black, light blue, white, yellow and pink, safety pins, different colored buttons, assorted needles, pin wheel, an thimble, cushion, needle threader, a measure tape, pair of small scissors, 6 small patches of cloth in different prints, and an instructional booklet.


Outline the green design features:

The mending and caring kit's green design features is it's purpose, in which the user or the person who is going to buy this product, should be aware of the reuse of old things and recycling. Besides the booklet that is handmade, by using the buttons and fabrics it becomes eco-friendly, because it promotes the idea of living waste free without having to always buy new things when we can still take old things and renew it.


List specific eco-friendly materials used in this project:

Although there isn't much eco-friendly materials that are being used within this project, besides the instruction booklet that is hand made, the idea of it is to promote the use of reusing and reducing materials, especially the ones that we wear.


Please include name of material / where you can find it / how much it costs

o Paper Daisy; UMD Store (upper level), cost: $0.29
o Threading kit: Michael's, cost $3.00
o Tin bins; Michael's, cost $4.00
o Buttons; friends and myself, cost $0.00
o Fabrics; friend, cost $0.00
o Wood box; UMD Store (upper level), cost: $3.00

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February 7, 2006

Green Design Research

In the process of ordering some sample papers, I came across some interesting facts about how I can support and promote eco-friendly materials. First, I should choose products/packaging that use recycle materials, second, buy locally, because the products they sell probably didn't travel too far meaning less fuel, also meaning less polution, and third, don't encourage manufacturers that don't use eco-friendly materials. I guess that I never really looked at what I buy usually, but now after doing some research, I feel that maybe I should start looking for eco-friendly materials and that way I can become an active citizen.

To incorporate some eco-friendly ideas into my box project: my sewing aid kit, I'm thinking of using tree-free papers for my booklet, finding old buttons that people don't want anymore and put it into the kit, old patches or swatches of cloth, and spools of unwanted threads. For now that's kind of the basic idea that I'm sticking with. I plan to keep researching and ordering samples so that I can know more about what it really means to be eco-friendly.