About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4663-4671
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain

METACYCLING, AN INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATIVE PROJECT PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE DESIGN

M. Racine1, P. Lalande2, C. Colby2, A. Joyce2

1Concordia University (CANADA)
2Université de Montréal (CANADA)
Introduction
The scope of this paper is to present an innovative research project developed in collaboration with Design professors and students from universities around the world, including Canada, the United States and China.

Metacycle is a web 2.0 project (please visit www.Metacycle.ca for details), which aims to allow designers, and also the general public, to share their creative ideas about the possibility of giving a second life to obsolete products. The general objective behind this project is to limit the negative environmental impacts created by the discarding of objects that we use on a daily basis, such as electronic devices, sports equipment, toys, etc. More and more of these devices and objects have reduced life spans. This is partly due to technical evolution, but also due to other factors such as aesthetic obsolescence, difficulty in repairing or simply loss of interest (Chapman, 2005). A majority of those technically advanced and sophisticated products end up in landfills after a short time, as they are usually not recyclable. This model of production and consumption is obviously not sustainable. How can designers affect a positive change to this negative scenario? Can we propose an alternative?
It is with these questions in mind that a group of design researchers from two Montréal universities have oriented their research with the objective of proposing new avenues to the current model. Their research, entitled Metacycle, proposes an interactive web site that exploits the creative potential of a concept known as “crowdsourcing”(Howe, 2006). The implementation of this project has been made possible through the collaboration of a number of design schools, which have accepted to participate in the beta version of "Metacycle" and who were willing to test and evaluate the interface of the web site.

Methodology
The project is based on models of collaborative and participatory design (Arias et al., 2001). Throughout the site are reminders of the three main principles of Metacycling : to revitalize functionality, to maximize reuse and to minimize waste and energy. The interactive area of the site, labeled “Design Lab”, is divided into three sections. The first invites visitors to explore a catalogue of "Metacycled" objects. The second section calls on designers to “solve challenges”.

A simple process leads the visitor to post a design proposal. This idea will then be included in the first “Explore Ideas” section. The third and last section displays solutions selected as the most successful expressions of the three Metacycle principles.

Results
The initial pilot launch of the Metacycle project has involved the participation of several Canadian, U.S., and Asian design schools. The participating students have contributed to test the interactive components of the site, and they have made important suggestions which have lead to the improvement of the web site. Thanks to this exceptional international collaboration, the Metacycle web site has been successful in attracting a growing number of participants, who now can vote for the best ideas. An international design competition has been organized and has been won by two young Portuguese designers. Many developments for the Metacycle site are currently in preparation and thanks to the international network of participants, the outcome of the project is more promising than ever.
@InProceedings{RACINE2010MET,
author = {Racine, M. and Lalande, P. and Colby, C. and Joyce, A.},
title = {METACYCLING, AN INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATIVE PROJECT PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE DESIGN},
series = {4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-5538-9},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {8-10 March, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {4663-4671}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Racine AU - P. Lalande AU - C. Colby AU - A. Joyce
TI - METACYCLING, AN INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATIVE PROJECT PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
SN - 978-84-613-5538-9/2340-1079
PY - 2010
Y1 - 8-10 March, 2010
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2010 Proceedings
SP - 4663
EP - 4671
ER -
M. Racine, P. Lalande, C. Colby, A. Joyce (2010) METACYCLING, AN INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATIVE PROJECT PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE DESIGN, INTED2010 Proceedings, pp. 4663-4671.
User:
Pass: