The Design Indaba changes more than the lightbulb

"Green Living: The Burning Issue" acknowledges the environmental responsibility of designers and trendsetters as the packagers of cool.

"Green Living: The Burning Issue" acknowledges the environmental responsibility of designers and trendsetters as the packagers of cool.

In the face of the mass-consumerism that characterises modern society, the newest edition of Design Indaba, "Green Living: The Burning Issue", acknowledges the responsibility that lies with designers and trendsetters. As the packagers of cool, inventors of function and demi-gods of the desirable, these are the people who shape future markets.

Celebrated United Kingdom designer Tom Dixon tells us that it is every designer’s responsibility to think about the sustainability and environmental impact of their products. Designer of the One Laptop Per Child, Yves Béhar, in turn points out that it’s not counter-intuitive, but deeply in touch with the humanist needs of society.

Acknowledging that Design Indaba, indeed no one right now, has all the answers to what could be a radical social revolution unfolding, the magazine does not take a fundamentalist approach. There is no easy solution in a Kyoto Treaty for Design, acknowledges Valerie Casey of strategic-creative consultancy frog design in New York. Indeed, will pop culture’s tendency towards fads and disposability have to change?

While highlighting challenging questions, the magazine offers tangible solutions and futuristic dreams. Quality-rejected condoms, last season’s fashion, army surplus, car seats and organic cotton, bamboo, bark cloth and cashmere are being mashed-up into a revolutionary catwalk look. In response to the petroleum-based car, we feature the electric Tesla. Crude oil sourced carpets are countered by Mary-Ann Williams’ biodegradable felt mats. Urban waste and plastic bags find use in Ryan Frank’s reconstituted furniture.

This edition of the magazine seeks to inspire designers and consumers to not only green their shopping trolley, but get excited at the possibilities. We don’t stop at replacing the incandescent lightbulb with CFLs, we take the next step to LEDs, solar panels and fibre optics. Fashion goes sci-fi with the possibilities of self-cleaning clothing, LED colour and pattern changes, and personalised bodymetrics over the internet.

Design Indaba announces that green and sustainable design is not a limitation, but an opportunity for greater creativity and innovation.

Design Indaba, Q307, "Green Living: The Burning Issue", will be available in selected Exclusive Books and other stores from September 14, 2007. Click here for a full distribution list.