When I started my course at the University of Dundee I hoped that one day I might work for a major car company like Lamborghini design supercars powered by some V16 quad-turbo that does half a mile to the gallon! That dream is long gone now. I’m a changed person.
After a year of learning about the importance of environmental design I’ve had to rethink my priorities. My whole design thinking has been re-vamped to the point where I’ve come up with this idea I like to call the Cherry Tree Method. You see, when a cherry tree blossoms it produces cherries without depleting the environment. The cherries feed scores of different birds and animals and the ones that are left over fall to ground, decompose and actually release natural minerals into the soil. Some may even grow into new cherry trees! The point is, the cherry tree benefits the environment without taking anything away from it. On top of that, its even beautiful to look it. This is how design should be!
Of course this is easier said than done. However, Caterpillar (CAT) have taken a positive step towards this kind of approach. They believe strongly in upcycling. I mean, why not? If an engine is damaged beyond repair, is it necessary to scrap the whole car? There must be hundreds, maybe thousands, of working parts waiting to be salvaged. In 2007 CAT recovered 60,000 tonnes of product converting 93% of it into new products. Their business has doubled in six years.
Surely this is enough for the rest of the world to follow suit?