Pendant light shade, 'Weblight', plastic / metal, designed and made by DesignbyThem, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2009
Weblight is an example of beautiful product that has been sustainably designed to minimise its negative impact on the environment. The light shade is made from recycled plastic bags and factory waste, and features an organic pattern of texture and holes that are the direct result of its unique forming process. Each light is hand made, with no Weblight being the same. The light's designers say that "by choosing to make the product out of recycled content, using a lightweight unconventional mould, using 100% renewable energy, and making the product both light and functional, we tried to incorporate energy and material efficiency throughout the product's life cycle".
DesignByThem has completed a life cycle assessment into the environmental impact of the design and manufacture of the Weblight. They also offer to repair and/or recycle any light shade returned to them at the end of its use.
Adoption of sustainable design is not a passing trend. It is fast becoming a mainstream way of thinking as we face more and more challenges in sustaining our food supply, water, and our environment. The throwaway mentality of modern day culture combined with the current environmental crisis puts a spotlight on sustainable design. It plays an important role in delivering products that have a greater lifespan, and a better efficiency in their use of materials and energy. Sustainable design is vitally important to help eliminate the negative environmental impacts of industrial production.
The Philosophy of Sustainable Design
Fan Shu-Yang, Bill Freedman, and Raymond Cote (2004). "Principles and practice of ecological design". Environmental Reviews. 12: 97-112
Assistant Curator, July 2009
'Weblight' was designed and made by DesignbyThem in Sydney, 2009.
It has been created from recycled materials, 70% from post consumer and 30% from factory waste. All of the energy used during the manufacture of the light comes from renewable resources.
DesignByThem is a young and vibrant design studio based in Sydney, formed by duo Nicholas Karlovasitis and Sarah Gibson. Their multi disciplinary approach is reflected in their projects including the designing of medical products, fashion hardware, furniture, lighting and commercial interiors.
Along with their consulting, DesignByThem produce their own range of furniture, lighting and accessories, available through selected retailers and online. Their designs are clean, experimental and combine a sense of fun with clear-cut function. All of their products reflect their understanding of Ecodesign which they teach at university. They are committed to local manufacturing and produce all of their products in Australia.
The 'Weblight' was displayed in 2009 at the Powerhouse Museum in the 'Eat Green Design' showcase as part of the Sydney Design 09 festival.
Created by Cilla Maden of Collaborate, Eat Green Design was a temporary exhibition, restaurant and theatrette, hosting diners, guest speakers, and the latest 'green' products. It encouraged participants to stretch the perception of what 'sustainability' means and challenged them to explore the ways in which they could incorporate the principles of ecologically sustainable design into their own lives.
The Eat Green Design installation was designed and purpose-built by award-winning architect Hannah Tribe of Tribe Studio, Surry Hills, and demonstrated best practice principles in sustainable architecture and interior design. It also showcased a selection of innovative, sustainable products from independent designers from around Australia
The Powerhouse Museum and Eat Green Design, invited designers to submit products to exhibit in a showcase during Sydney Design 09 festival. The display featured some of the best Australian product designs, highlighting the latest in sustainable, green design concepts.
The judging panel called for submission of products by designers, and chose the most outstanding entries. Criteria included the use of efficient design - designed to minimise resource use (materials, energy, water), Safe design - avoids the use of toxic or hazardous materials, and Cyclic design - can be reused or remanufactured; uses recycled materials; materials can be easily recycled. Products must have assessed energy, water, and material efficiency throughout the design cycle, and be designed to minimise negative environmental impacts.