DBA addresses challenges of sustainable design

With all the recent media coverage about plastic in our oceans and single use coffee cups, the Business Design Association has devised a series of seminars to address the design industry’s impact on sustainability.

The first event kicked off on 25th April and discussed the aspirations of designers and clients to create more sustainable design but also the practicalities of delivering this. And it considered whether meaningful change is now taking place as brands get to grips with their Corporate Social Responsibility commitments.

As an agency that designs for both permanent and temporary spaces, we are all too aware of the challenges of designing concepts that use sustainable materials. Many of the materials suppliers strive to create products that contain a high level of recycled content and can be re-used when they reach end of life.

One of the least sexy, but very useful, materials that is used extensively in the shopfitting and exhibitions world is MDF. It’s only recently that the technology has been developed to recycle MDF and it will take a bit longer for the infrastructure to be put in place. This will please many in the design industry and I’m sure that consumers, if they get to hear about it, will also be pleased that their old MDF chest of drawers doesn’t end up in landfill along with all those single use coffee cups.