At last month’s PSFK SEATTLE event, we invited some of the city’s innovative people to discuss their latest projects and reveal the inspiration that lead to their creation. Two of those people were Jennifer Stewart and Gage Mitchell who are the creative minds behind renowned design studio Modern Species, a boutique branding and design studio based out of Seattle. The company specializes in sustainable design solutions for the organic food, beverage, and personal care product industries. Their creative prowess is only matched by their deep-rooted desire to help make the world a better place through the power of design.
PSFK recently had the chance to chat with these two creative minds about their design philosophy:
Do you believe that good design can influence people to live a more sustainable life? If so, how?
Gage: Absolutely. Beyond just making sustainable products more appealing, good design can also help guide consumers and make the sustainable option easier. Recycling rates can increase simply by putting “Please Clean and Recycle” on a glass jar of peanut butter. Why? Because if they don’t clean the jar, the recycling facility will send that jar to the landfill. Recyclers don’t have time to do the public’s dishes. So with just a little extra work, you can give consumers the power to make a big difference.
Jen: Every designer can have a hand in making sustainability easy, if not effortless. App designers can control how often their app requires a server check-in to save energy. Product designers can make products repairable by making replacement parts and also increase recycling by making it easier for recyclers to take remove reusable materials. Print designers can specify glues and paper treatments that work well in the de-inking process. Package designers can avoid unrecyclable materials like styrofoam and reduce the packaging to product ratio so that people aren’t forced to buy trash just because they want a product. All of this allows consumers to live more sustainably with virtually no change to their habits. It just requires better design.
Have a look at Jen and Gage’s full presentation from PSFK SEATTLE below: