Design is, and always has been, an incredible part of engineering a product. For as long as we can remember, design has been static, and that’s something General Motors is working towards changing. GM, along with other industry leaders from architecture to fashion, gathered to discuss the future of design at Eco-Chick and EcoCult. Here, they laid out some cornerstones for the future.
The largest is embracing the circular economy, which tosses out the idea of the make, use, dispose model. Instead, it relies on transparency and the idea of transforming the design throughout its life to keep it relevant.
To do this, a complete rethinking of how design works is needed. It starts with responsible manufacturing, which involves zero-waste processes and renewable energy. Those steps are already being implemented. But, it’s the idea of materials being cost effective and flexible that requires work.
Buildings should be multi-purpose or have the ability to convert from residential to commercial as needed, said Ammr Vandal, an associate principal of Brooklyn-based nARCHITECTSSome. Architects are even considering how their materials can serve as a resource for the building’s next phase.
Furthermore, the panel discussed the circular economy and the sharing of ideas for a greater impact. The future processes industries innovate shouldn’t be used totally for a competitive advantage if self-sustainment is the end goal.
GM has already taken small steps, but as the panel notes, bold moves will be needed to really begin ushering change into the future of design.