REFLECTION: VALUE THE OBSOLETE

"Can a localised product or system work to both liberate our environment of post consumer plastic and change the way consumers perceive plastic?" 

In short, yes.

Through my research and material experimentation I believe that it is possible to utilize the plastic found within our environment by working together with local clean up groups to transform it into something that has value and resonates with consumers. It however comes with many challenges I hope to resolve in the future, as this topic and project are essential to how I as a local, small scale designer/maker can make a positive impact to our environment with my craft. 

    The response and support I have had surrounding this project has also been encouraging and shows me that my local community are willing to get behind the system and future product. 

    FUTURE DIRECTION:

    • I would like to invest in designing and fabricating machinery to help me streamline the sorting, shredding and melting process and up my production
    • Have set methods for melting with examples of each finish and pattern.
    • Produce a product/s that educate consumers and carries the story of the material process

     

    Find my final presentation PDF here.

     

    WORKSHOP: REFLECTION

    Through the semester I have established the basic process and understanding around melting and machining the plastic. 

      Fig 1.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Plastic Melting area. Photograph [author’s own}      

    Fig 1. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Plastic Melting area. Photograph [author’s own}

     

     

    SORTING:

    I have been sorting and using HDPE and LDPE plastics to varying success. Due to some failed melts where a foreign plastic has found its way into the tile and not fused, I have come to the conclusion that, if the category is not clearly labeled or recognizable, I should leave it out of the batch as it ends up ruining melt which takes a fair bit of time and effort to prepare. There are way to melt the plastic with things like a burn test, however this would make the sorting process even more time consuming as I would have to test each piece individually, becoming even more unlikely when applied to the tiny shards and scraps that environmental plastic waste is found in. 

      Fig 2.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Sorting the Plastic into categories ready for shredding. Photograph [author’s own}      

    Fig 2. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Sorting the Plastic into categories ready for shredding. Photograph [author’s own}

     

     

    SHREDDING:

    Each plastic piece is hand cut with scissors. For the future I will have to invest time into fabricated a shredder as the time I spend hand cutting plastic would be more fruitfully spent in the melting process. There is currently a rigid plastic shredder available at the State Library in Brisbane, however because my plastic experimentation ventured toward using soft plastics, this type of shredder will be something to use in the future when I am branching out to different plastics. I have been given a contact of a person who open to allowing me access to a soft plastic shredder with a hot plate, I very interested in using this machine to see weather or not the hot plate could be added to my process.

    MELTING:

      Fig 3.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Clamping down press. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 3. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Clamping down press. Photograph [author’s own}

      Fig 4.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. sanding down tiles to reveal pattern. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 4. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. sanding down tiles to reveal pattern. Photograph [author’s own}

    The addition of lining the mould is essential as I have lost a few melts due to not being able to release it. Between 160 and 140 degrees Celcius has been the most successful range for heating the plastic, any higher and I have charred the plastic. The time limit is something I haven't been able to pin point, as each of my melt has been a different amount of plastic and I must add additional plastic throughout the melt. For each melt I have just checmk in avery 20 mins or so and adjust accordingly.  For future, I hope to streamline this step by weighing out exact amounts of plastic and note down exact times and temperature so I will have an exact method for melting. I would also like a larger amount of plastic to produce bricks rather than tiles which will rely on sourcing more waste plastic and streamlining the shredding process. 

    MACHINING:

     After the I melt process I been sanding back the tiles to finish into a more uniform shape and also to reveal the patterns created. I have tried to make sure that I am collecting any dust or waste produced by sanding and cutting, which can go back in to use producing an interesting speckled texture. I have just begun reworking the tiles and mixing them together to produce different effects and experimenting with different surface finishes and this will be helped with addition of more tools to assist in the reworking of the material. 

    I have only touched on the texture and pattern ability of the material and wish to take this much further. However, I believe the resolution of this process is showing that this once obsolete waste material can be transformed into aesthetically pleasing forms reminiscent of natural materials. 

     

    WORKSHOP: MATERIAL EXPERIMENTATION

    I have been beginning to rework to first melt tiles to create another tile made up of a collection of plastic slices that will are then be re-fused together. I cut previous tiles into strips and then arranged them into the mould ready for melting. Once melted I added 4 small washers to keep the level and then pressed shut mould shut with clamps. I left the plastic in the oven for too long (60mins) and on too high (170) as there is a slight char to the color. Due to only have half the mould covered the plastic stretched further then I intended when pressed shut. For  next time I shall endevour to fill the full space of the mould which will hopefully keep a more rectangle shape. 

      Fig 1.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Plastic cut to re-fuse in a different pattern. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 1. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Plastic cut to re-fuse in a different pattern. Photograph [author’s own}

      Fig 2.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Melting plastic pattern waiting to be pressed. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 2. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Melting plastic pattern waiting to be pressed. Photograph [author’s own}

     I also utilized a silicone mould gifted to me by Alex Murphy filled with the plastic dust collected from the sander. I applied a release agent to the mould and packed in the plastic particles as much as possible. The mould was then put into the oven and for 20 minutes and then an addtional amount of plastic was added and pressed by hand on top.

    The result is effective I would like to give this a try with other colours. the silicone mould also gives the plastic a waxy finish which I will have to do some market research on whether people enjoy. There were also some faults appeared in the mel, try as I might to clean the vacuum I believe there were some foreign materials such as wood that found their way into the mix (being a shared workshop vacumm this is to be expected). There were also some air pockets that could be rectified with a second melt and the addition of more pressure. 

      Fig 3.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. silicone mould waiting to be put in oven. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 3. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. silicone mould waiting to be put in oven. Photograph [author’s own}

      Fig 4.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. silicone mould out from the oven. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 4. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. silicone mould out from the oven. Photograph [author’s own}

    SUSTAINABILITY WEEK: MARKET RESPONSE

    Showing my process as part Griffith University Gold Coast Sustainability Week fair was a great opportunity to gauge a local audience respond to the process and possible products.

    People that were intrigued enough to venture over were generally people with invested interests in environmentally friendly products and systems. None the less it was good hear that they believed in the system and would get behind a future product. Even though the tiles were set out with the process information their initial responses were very surprised and impressed that this smooth and rigid material came from plastic packaging and excited for the product to follow.

    With one 3D design student seeing the display and assuming the tiles were made from resin and paint I am confident that the waste plastics transformation has already exemplified how such a process has adding value and an elevated material perception. 

      Fig 1.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. QCA tent. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 1. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. QCA tent. Photograph [author’s own}

      Fig 2.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. My plastic recycling display. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 2. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. My plastic recycling display. Photograph [author’s own}

    WORKSHOP: MATERIAL EXPERIMENTATION

      Fig 1.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Shredded plastic ready for melting. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 1. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Shredded plastic ready for melting. Photograph [author’s own}

    As of yet I haven't consciously been choosing colours from the plastic. My aim for this melt was to intentionally choose and arrange the colours to see how much control I can have.

    This tile was specifically from one postage parcel bag (which I have found to melt excellently). I layerad the shredded plastic with yellow colour facing down to see if that would work at highlighting the yellow with the tile. the mould was then heated to 160 degrees Celsius for 60 minutes. 

      Fig 3.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Melted plastic with washers to keep press lid level. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 3. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Melted plastic with washers to keep press lid level. Photograph [author’s own}

    Once melted the plastic would create to thin a tile so I folded the molten plastic in half and in then in half again to increase it thickness and then added it back to the oven to re-fuse the folded parts for another 20 minutes. Before pressing and clamping the plastic I added 4 equal sized washers to the mould to ensure that it would be pressed level. 

    The end product has fused nicely creating a three colour psychedelic pattern. The washers worked well, but for next time I will need to leave ample room for the plastic to spread. 

    WORKSHOP: MATERIAL EXPERIMENTION

    I have fashioned a very simple mould from timber that will also act as a press. I will line it with baking paper to ensure the plastic doesn't stick to the timber and once the plastic is melted and up to quantity I will add the lid and press down with clamps leaving it to sit until cool. 

    This was a much more successful melt, the plastic is better fused (should have had more time under heat), the plastic faces although not level (which can be solved with the addition of level blocks within the corners of the mould) are set straight with no warp and plastic colours have merged together and are making randomized patterns that look could be mistaken for intentional artwork. 

      Fig 3.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Shredded plastic ready for melting. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 3. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Shredded plastic ready for melting. Photograph [author’s own}

      Fig 5.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Un-level tile. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 5. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Un-level tile. Photograph [author’s own}

      Fig 6.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Bottom side of pressed tile. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 6. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Bottom side of pressed tile. Photograph [author’s own}

      Fig 1.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. timber mould with baking paper lining. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 1. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. timber mould with baking paper lining. Photograph [author’s own}

      Fig 2.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Timber mould lid.  Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 2. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Timber mould lid.  Photograph [author’s own}

      Fig 4.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Melted plastic. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 4. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Melted plastic. Photograph [author’s own}

      Fig 7.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Top side of pressed plastic. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 7. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Top side of pressed plastic. Photograph [author’s own}

    WORKSHOP: MATERIAL EXPERIMENT

    I now have a toaster oven to use to melt down the plastic, Once again, I have shredded down the plastic to better fit within the mould and applied some release agent and weight to assist holding it down whilst heating. 

    I am still experimenting with applying the right amount of heat and for some reason, contrary to my exemplars approximately 120 degrees Celsius recommendation (Wael Seaiby and Carter Zufelt) I chose a higher heat here. Perhaps taking into account that the toaster oven isn't as reliable as full size oven and accounting also accounting for the thick walls of the glass mould. 

    After 30 minutes in the oven more plastic must be added as the plastic shrinks down.  Even with the addition of mould release the plastic is still sticking the the glass (see Fig. 4).  

    After the addition of more plastic I leave the mould in the oven for another hour. Once additional plastic is melted I decide to push the mould with the pressure of a gloved hand due to not having ample weight on the plastic whilst melting. The Plastic is still sticking to the glass so I decide remove the plastic before becomes to hard to remove (see fig. 5).

    This experiment, although a failed attempt, shows me the elements that are working here. I can see that the plastic is fusing and melting, it just needs more pressure whilst in a melted state. Due to the plastic sticking to the glass I must take it out whilst still malleable, which means the plastic doesn't set flat and uniform, I will need to fashion a new mould. The oven is a more successful heat source I just need to work at getting consistent heat, time and plastic amount ratios. 

      Fig 1.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Piling plastic into mould ready for melting. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 1. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Piling plastic into mould ready for melting. Photograph [author’s own}

      Fig 2.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. applying release agent to glass mould. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 2. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. applying release agent to glass mould. Photograph [author’s own}

      Fig 3.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Ready to place mould into oven. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 3. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Ready to place mould into oven. Photograph [author’s own}

      Fig 4.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. example of what the plastic melts down to . Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 4. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. example of what the plastic melts down to . Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 5. Dennis, Natasha. “Sorting + Shredding Plastic” Vimeo. n.d. Accessed October 23, 2017. https://vimeo.com/235132404

      Fig 6.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Failed melt. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 6. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Failed melt. Photograph [author’s own}

    WORKSHOP: FIRST SORTING AND MELTING

    Fig 1. Dennis, Natasha. “Sorting + Shredding Plastic” Vimeo. n.d. Accessed October 23, 2017. https://vimeo.com/235132404

    Prior to sorting and melting the plastic it was essential to first research the material safety data sheet (MSDS) and apply a risk assessment for working with HDPE and LDPE plastics. Considerations for workshop include:

    • PPE must be worn at all times, leather gloves, eye protection, filter mask, apron.
    • Melting and machining plastic within an exhausted booth to allow for good ventilationin case of harmful fumes.  
    • Dust and off cuts are collected with vacuum whilst working to ensure material does not enter environment. 
    • Melting plastic well below 300 degrees Celsius.

    PROCESS

    Initializing an environmental waste processing system will take some time so, I would first like to a experiment with different effects and shapes I can create with the plastic waste collected from my family home. I will begin experimenting with high density polyethylene (HDPE) and low density polyethylene (LDPE).

    Fig 2. Dennis, Natasha. “Melting #1” Vimeo. n.d. Accessed October 23, 2017. https://vimeo.com/235131431

    1. Sort plastic into different categories (the different types of plastic will not be mixed to ensure re-recycling at the end of the products life)
    2. Shred plastic down into finer pieces making sure to remove glue and paper residue (making re-fusing more successful).
    3. Place shredded plastic in a mould with weight applied to the top.
    4. Place mould in heat source.
    5. Once melted remove mould from heat and allow plastic to cool. 

    Fig 3. Dennis, Natasha. “Melting #2” Vimeo. n.d. Accessed October 23, 2017. https://vimeo.com/235131164

      Fig 4.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Failed melting attempt. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 4. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Failed melting attempt. Photograph [author’s own}

    Initially I would have liked to use an oven source to melt the plastic, however I was provided with a microwave to use within the workshop. The first issue I had was with the plastic sticking to the glass as it melted which I tried to rectify with a release agent, second, was that microwaves do not work at heating the plastic to the point of re-fusing. 

    Moving forward I will need to source a different type of heat source which will resolve the issue. However, looking at the parts that did fuse, the piece gives an insight into the great textures I can create when the melt is right. 

      Fig 5.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. interesting finish and colours. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 5. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. interesting finish and colours. Photograph [author’s own}

      Fig 6.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. interesting finish and colours. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 6. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. interesting finish and colours. Photograph [author’s own}

    ENVIRONMENTAL COLLECTION:

    COLLECTION EVENT

      Fig 1.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Sea Shepherds waste collection bags. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 1. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Sea Shepherds waste collection bags. Photograph [author’s own}

      Fig 2.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. meeting point. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 2. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. meeting point. Photograph [author’s own}

      Fig 3.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. community vollunteers. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 3. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. community vollunteers. Photograph [author’s own}

    The Sea Shepherd Marine Debris Campaign, running across Australia organizing local waste collection events. attending these collection days is a great way for me as a designer to connect with my local community, generate a bigger collection than what one person could and also get a better feel for what type of plastic is sitting in our environment. 

    The days clean up was held at Pratten Park, Broadbeach and according to the events organizers it was the most prolific amount of waste collected at a gold coast event. Each persons collection is gathered together and then sorted into waste categories to be properly disposed of. 

      Fig 4.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Sorting out collected waste to be disposed of correctly. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 4. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Sorting out collected waste to be disposed of correctly. Photograph [author’s own}

    I ended up only taking a partial amount of some rigid plastic to begin with as the plastic category was easily identifiable being bottles. I have given them an initial clean to eliminate the odour until I am ready process.  

    REFLECTION

      Fig 5.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Washing waste after days collection. Photograph [author’s own}

    Fig 5. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Washing waste after days collection. Photograph [author’s own}

    The amount of plastic waste was overwhelming but it gave me a better picture of what to expect from the type and condition the material is in and the hurdles a I have to overcome if I were to use the waste plastic in my products. Issues to overcome:

    - Plastic is soiled and will need thorough cleaning

    - Majority of plastic is in shards or scraps and thus hard to categorize

    - As the group sorts the waste item such as foil and paper end up in the plastic sort, which will mean as I eventually sort through the plastic I will have to manage disposal of other materials. 

    Integrating the waste plastics into a closed loop system will be challenging. I believe I can eventually address the problem of removing foreign contaminants from the plastic by fabricating a drum that could spin and clean the plastic, working off a washing machine model. However, the plastic would then need to be dried as water will effect the remelting stage. This also bring up another question, once I have a shredder in place should the plastic be cleaned before shredding of after? As I believe foreign contaminants could be problematic to the shredder mechanism over time.

    The event organizers are also disposing of the plastic correctly taking that plastic is correctly recycled. If this is the case, then I have to ask myself how am I a better solution to recycling the waste as compared to an industrial recycling plant? 

     

    PLASTIC RECYCLING PROCESS:

    This is a general review of how plastic is collected, separated and processed into plastic pellets ready for use in new products. By understanding a large scale industrial recycling system, will assist me in creating a space on a small scale to sort and process the plastic,

    COLLECTION 

    Fig 1. Sorting Your Recycling. Planet Arc (2013). video.

    In Australia most city councils have a waste management program that collects both general and recycled waste. The video below explains how the recycled waste is sorted, once collected from our kerb side and then sorted into recycled waste categories.

    SORTING

    Depending on the recycling facility, automated plastic sorting machines, have the ability to shoot light through plastic pieces to identify and sort into categories 1 through 7 which are then collected into bales.

    PROCESSING

    Fig 1. Material processing at Eco-plastic & Recycling Ltd.. EcoParTV (2013). video.

    The bales are then bought and sent to companies that remelt the plastic down and process into plastic pellets to be used in products once again (see fig.4). 

    SURVEY RESULTS:

    Here are the results from the survey I posted online. The results are in no way conclusive with only 22 respondents, but give a general idea on how we view waste.

    It is no surprise that packaging and plastic were found to be the items that respondents throw away the most with the top reasons for why, showing that they cannot find a purpose for the waste. My hope is that the product I create, will show just how important it is to utilize waste plastics to keep it from entering our environment and sustain our precious resources. 

    As for valuing products, the function of a product rated top of the list with the story/meaning of the product coming in second. When paired with the second top answer from the last question regarding product preference I discover that yes the story and meaning is important, however it will be overlooked if the product features and function are lacking.    

     

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    RESEARCH UPDATE: PRESENTATION

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    This presentation outlines how the research and exploration has shaped my question into one that encompasses how localised, small scale, design initiative can work to combat plastic waste in the community. With a set mission statement I can begin to envision and sketch what the product will actually be and look like.  

    The two exemplars listed here and in previous posts have also shown me that I can tackle soft plastics as well, as they have shared their manageable, small scale processes to transform the soft plastics into solid form. 

    In the coming weeks I will be attending clean-up days with the two groups listed in the presentation slides. This will address what plastics are being collected from the environment, in what quantity and be my first experience with working out the steps to the material collection and processing system. From there I will then begin to experiment with melting and forming new shapes with this waste material.

    EXEMPLAR: MULL

    Alarmed by statistics on the amount of trash found in the environment, Carter Zufelt created Mull a process that transforms plastic bags into beautiful, one off, designer, furniture pieces (see Fig 1. and Fig 2.). His technique reworks and remelts the plastic several times before finishing the material with traditional wood working tools and techniques.

      Fig 1.  Carter Zufelt.  Mull  2016. HDPE plastic bags, timber. 

    Fig 1. Carter Zufelt. Mull 2016. HDPE plastic bags, timber. 

    Fig 2. Carter Zufelt. Mull 2016. HDPE plastic bags, timber. 

    EXEMPLAR: PLAG

    Wael Seaiby tackles the environmental issue of wasted plastic bags and turns this obsolete, free material into a resource and creation of Plag (see Fig 1., Fig 2. and Fig 3.). The perceived value of the plastic is transformed from cheap and tasteless into a bespoke object that is reminiscent of glass or ceramic craftsmanship. 

      Fig 1 . Seaiby Wael,  Plag  2014, HDPE Plastic bags. 

    Fig 1. Seaiby Wael, Plag 2014, HDPE Plastic bags. 

      Fig 2 . Seaiby Wael,  Plag  2014, HDPE Plastic bags. 

    Fig 2. Seaiby Wael, Plag 2014, HDPE Plastic bags. 

      Fig 3 . Seaiby Wael,  Plag  2014, HDPE Plastic bags. 

    Fig 3. Seaiby Wael, Plag 2014, HDPE Plastic bags. 

    Wael Seaiby's process of making Plag informs how I will actually transform this waste I am collecting from the environment into something beautiful. The process also has a mixture of hand made and randomization that works together to create a natural aesthetic beauty. 

    ACADEMIC SOURCE: 'IT'S FROM MY GRANDMA' HOW JEWELLERY BECOMES SINGULAR

    Ahde-Deal, Petra, “It's From My Grandma.' How Jewellery Becomes Singular,” The Design journal 20, no.1 (2017): 29-43.

    This article is concerned with objects that are kept within families for generations, questioning “how these objects become so significant that they become irreplaceable parts of what Russell Belk called the core self, and how they define the selves of their possessors.” Rather than looking at production or point of purchase to create meaningful objects the paper considers how meaning is created after purchase outside their design and consumerist value. The paper studies two groups of women and their cherished jewellery connected with their sense of self. Each group was from different demographics and aimed to compare their stories surrounding their jewellery, self and family. The women from both groups gained strength and power from the knowledge of wearing the jewellery and the memory and history it stood for.

    I relate this paper back to how I can embed story and connection to self and family into my product, to create an object that will transcend consumerist behaviour. Exploring empathetic design to create a product that becomes singular in importance, an object to be kept and passed on to generations. Elevating a material once obsolete into one that is cherished.

    ACADEMIC SOURCE: BEYOND FORM AND FUNCTION: WHY DO CONSUMERS VALUE PRODUCT DESIGN?

    Kumar, Minu, “Beyond form and function: Why do consumers value product design?,” Journal of business research 2, no.69 (2016): 613-620.

    This paper aims to better understand how consumers interpret product design through a value-based lens, addressing;

    “Why do consumers value product design when they first interact with it? What is the nature and potential dimensionality of product design value to the consumer, and how can each dimension be measured?”.

    Through two qualitative studies, the results found that along with the two value dimensions of form and function (consistent with previous literature of product design), a third self-expressive (social and altruistic) dimension emerged creating what was termed a SAFE (social, altruistic, functional, and aesthetic) value scale. The study also presented the importance of discerning consumers of low/high design acumen as the difference in perception of product design value for products embedded with greater (lesser) design value (SAFE) will be greater (lesser) for individuals with higher (lower) design acumen."

    All information is provided into how the studies are conducted to allow the reader to apply the theory, I however, found the scoring system from the studies difficult to follow but understood the basic results through in text explanation. This paper is important to how product design is received and what value is perceived by the consumer. It outlines that products wanting to communicate altruistic value should carefully consider how their target audience (consumers with high design acumen) reflect on the dimensions of products. As I hope to embed my product with more than just better from and function but with dimensions of social and altruistic value, by applying the theory presented in the paper my product design will better communicate these values.

    FUTURE METHODOLOGIES:

    For future research, I will continue to take surveys online and from my local area to get a fuller picture on the psychology that goes behind what people waste and what we hold onto. 

    Another interesting method would be to utilize image comparison between the two opposing waste and keep items from survey individuals to gather information on what links them and what products can be addressed with a new product. 

    I would also like to circulate some of my own ideation sketches and concepts, to begin to get a feeling from my local community of whether these ideas are on their way to a solution.

    METHOD: SURVEY

    I have my own assumptions on why we throw away objects, but I thought it imperative to the research to conduct a survey and get a better understanding of the relationship others have with plastic. This will also help with the design of the product. Here are the questions I will be asking:

    1. What objects do you easily throw away?

    2. Why?

    3. What objects do you value and keep?

    4. Why do you value these objects?

    5. Would you buy product that is locally produced and made with environmental waste plastic, over a product that is mass produced overseas with virgin plastics?

    If you are interested in helping my projects, take the survey here.

    RESEARCH POSTER:

     
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    WORKING QUESTION

    Can a product or system work to both liberate our environment from post consumer plastic and change the way society use and dispose of products?

    My topic question has moved away from waste in general and is becoming more specific to post-consumer plastic as it is the most prolific type of waste presented through the research. My research is also moving toward products that link with community and story. For me that will entail connecting with my local gold coast community, and making a product that connects to them, to their story. All to ensure the product system successfully collects harmful plastic from our environment.