The Autodesk Sustainability Workshop is a free and vast online resource that aims to teach sustainability strategies, from micro to macro. The simple, easily-digestible series of strategy videos, tutorials and case studies can help students, educators, designers, engineers and architects not only learn about sustainability, but how to directly apply it.
Core77 asked 5 students to take it for a test spin, investigating the workshop and using Autodesk software to incorporate what they'd learned in a re-design of a commonplace object. In the second installment of our series of Autodesk Sustainability Workshop projects, we look at Massachusetts-based David Fustino (Wentworth Institute of Technology, Bachelor's of Industrial Design) and IRIS, his re-design of a desk lamp.
Core77: David, tell us about yourself.
David Fustino: I'm 22 years old, originally from Meriden, Connecticut and currently living in Framingham, Massachusetts.
What made you decide to study industrial design?
I always had a passion for art, particularly drawing and the way things worked. Industrial Design seemed liked the perfect combination.
Where did you decide to study, and why?
I decided to study at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. The Wentworth curriculum requires students to acquire two internships, a semester each, prior to graduation. I knew this was an opportunity to get real-world experience and develop my skills professionally. It broadened my professional network upon graduation and helped me more easily secure an entry-level position.
What areas of industrial design are you interested in focusing on?
I am always open to learning and experiencing different projects and intend on using what I learn in the industry to create a positive impact on the future of design in areas such as energy, transportation, purposeful consumer electronics and essential social needs/necessities.
Tell us about your project, IRIS.
IRIS is a magnetically assembled three-legged desk lamp that structurally displays the LED bulb and elegantly diffuses the light. When I designed this desk lamp at Wentworth, I took many thoughts into consideration such as environmental impact, manufacturing possibilities, alternatives materials, product performance and user interaction.
My Initial Intent/Design:
LED bulbs are structurally adorned with beautiful heatsinks to dissipate heat and are engineered to last up to 46 years. In such a "throw away society" this LED bulb delivers longevity in a market of rapid obsolescence. If a user will use a single bulb for more than three decades, how can the bulb be cherished? IRIS was structurally designed to display this wonderful balance of design & engineering rather than concealing it within a fixture.
A minimal base rises above clutter to co-exist with surroundings and magnets reduce the need for fasteners & hardware. The conically shaped underside lid evenly redirects and diffuses the light toward the users desktop surface. The lid is easily removable to service the bulb below.
What background do you have with Autodesk products, and how were you first introduced to them?
I've used SketchBook Pro extensively in the past and have recently been introduced to SketchBook Designer. I was initially exposed to the software at the Northeast District IDSA Conference in Boston, MA a few years ago.
Please describe which Autodesk products you use or used for this project, and what you like or dislike about them.
I used Autodesk Inventor Pro & Autodesk Inventor Publisher. The software was very easy to use and had a similar flow to Solidworks—avid users of Rhino/Solidworks should be able to pick the program up with ease. The interface was easy to digest: The icons were very clear and descriptive of function, the dropdown images and examples were great for quick reference, it's easy to navigate and not oversaturated with information. It didn't take long to memorize the tools and their locations.
As for the Eco Materials Advisor, I found it well-organized and easy to follow. It makes choosing materials easy, and enabled me to make decisions based on the relevant facts and information it provides. The realizations it gave me prompted me to make adjustments to the inventor model and better incorporate certain processes and materials.
I like that the Autodesk videos are informative and not intimidating. They're extremely helpful for a young designer with little experience in manufacturing. I like that they made it easy to understand complex systems, concerns and processes.
What things did you learn from the Sustainability Workshop that you didn't know before?
I learned about the positive and negative impacts that products, material and processes have on the consumer, environment and industry, from a number of different angles.
Please describe your entire design process, from start to finish, and any difficulties you encountered along the way.
I started off by researching existing designs of task lighting and desk lamps. Finding opportunities from research, I ideated potential lighting design directions. I then narrowed in on a few promising concepts, explored the selected concepts and constructed physical sketch models.
Next I chose a product direction/concept to pursue. I developed the chosen direction with further sketching, structural models, and works-like models. After identifying a desired physical, aesthetic and functional design, I modeled and refined the final direction three-dimensionally, helping to understand the proposed geometry.
Finally, I constructed a working prototype and made further realizations from feedback and user testing.
The major difficulties I encountered included electrical constraints, producing an acceptable fit and finish of materials and parts, and making sure the lamp emitted a sufficient amount of light on the working surface below. To solve these I created a sturdy structure with concealed connections and a form that embraced, emphasized and accentuated the LED bulb.
Which of the "Improving Product Lifetime" elements from the Sustainability Workshop did you use?
Low Impact and High Quality. The emphasis was on:
- Being designed to last
- Being durable and easy to repair
- Using materials that are easily recyclable and easy to reclaim
- Creating a physically, stylistically and functionally lasting product
- Incorporating the ability to disassemble with ease for a manufacturer, consumer, buyer or owner
- Making it easy to make and cheap to produce using quality materials
- Using a simple geometry of structure that can be made in many different materials
Please describe any significant technical details of your project that the Sustainability Workshop helped you to resolve.
It helped me resolve material alternatives and means of manufacturing with the products 'end of life' in mind.
The points of my object regarding Design for Durability:
- Resistant to damage and wear due to its context (It's a safe assumption, though I would need actual models to prove this)
- The user interaction strays from product influence over the consumer: It has a simple task, does it well, and refrains from being an obstacle
- Simple form, simple geometry, with a dynamic/relevant twist
- Can live on many tabletop surfaces
- Designed to live with other objects, doesn't get in the way
Regarding Design for End of Life:
- Easy to manufacture and disassemble
- Assembled with common, universal magnets (no fasteners)
- Structure is easy to replace in case damage is incurred
- Water-based glues for lamination of wood legs
- Low-impact, simple parts
- Self-explanatory to assemble/disassemble
- Certain parts can "find new life" after product deceases
- Depending on the materials used in a specific model, the desk lamp can be a valuable recyclable product
- The design is versatile, lends itself to many material combinations
- Certain materials/parts can be melted down, ground up, or reused
Regarding Design for Repair or Upgrade:
- Easy to repair
- Standardized dimensions and shapes
- Modular components
- Upgradeable design
What's next for this project?
I currently don't have the necessary resources to produce this lamp myself. I am hoping my design will spark an interest in the design community to help me achieve this. Initially, it was for learning purposes but I strongly believe the desk lamp has lots of potential, would have a positive impact and serve as a good example of sustainable design if manufactured.