Learning about Eco- Centric Design was an important moment in my life. Meeting Jaime Salm opened my eyes to more possibilities of making the world a better place. There was one statement in the lecture that I thought was different from most wealthy or underprivileged people’s thinking. Salm said “making money is easy but making it with as little negative impact on the earth as possible is hard’.
The next challenge that Salm dealt with was thinking as a designer and business man. There are three points that join a successful designers and business persons together; coolness, marketing, and sustainability. Coolness is an important factor in creating designers, business persons, and products. The products need to be cool because the consumer needs to say I need this product. When dealing with design in America most people are unwilling to try new ideas because so many people rely on “things have always been done this way”. So our product must be the coolest product to entice buyers. People must get away from thinking “If it’s not broke don’t fix it”. Instead let’s ask if this product is the best option for the present and future.
Another point Jaime Salm mentioned for designers and business persons is marketing. It doesn’t matter how cool your merchandise or product is. If no one knows about your product it will not sell. Salm pointed out that communication and making products simple are an important aspect of marketing. He talked about how his solar lights that he created for indoor and outdoor use were not communicated well with Target. The solar lights are an interesting design because they have the solar panels on the top but the lights can also be turned over to use as votive lamps. One of the most important elements of any project is communication and making things simple. Most people don’t want to waste time figuring out a project; they just want it to work.
The last point I learned from Salm is sustainability. We have to ask three questions when it comes to sustainability. Will it last? Can it be reused? How will it affect the world around us? Consumers want to know they are paying for longevity. There is a reason so many people are buying Hondas and Toyotas. They are known for lasting a long time in car years. The next question that consumers are not asking about is can the product be reused. Whenever a product can not be reused it has a clear destination. People should know if the product is going back to the manufacture or a landfill. The last question is how it will affect the world around us. If the product is not going to last forever and it’s not able to be reused, then it should not be allowed to be created. A product without sustainability is future trash. Every designer has to be accountable for their products. It must be able to return to the manufactory. Salm has helped with my awakening because he has taught me that designers can make money, but designers need to make a better and cleaner world.