The selection of ‘How it’s made’ videos we were required to watch were very interesting and relevant to us, there were seven in total. Designers need to have an understanding as to how different types of packaging are created to be able to utilize these objects and to be able to use them efficiently and most effectively. The construction of the following types of packaging was explained; cardboard boxes, packaging tubes, tetrapack, aluminum cans, glass bottles, and then plastic bottles and jars. Which is a wide array of the packaging types that are used today. I did know these processes and found it quite insightful. These videos are definitely a must watch any new designer looking to break into the packaging industry.
The next assigned series of videos to watch were titled ‘Giving packaging a new life” which consisted of 6 episodes. These explained the recycling process for the following materials: paper, tetrapack, tinplate, aluminum, glass, and plastics. There was also an episode on recycling sorting innovations. These videos like the first ones give a great overall idea as to how each material is recycled and the complexities of it. It was very interesting to know how they are mechanically sorted, broken down, and made reusable. It was also very insightful to me how different materials behaved in recycling, and which ones are easier and which ones are harder to break down, also what some recycled materials are used again in.
Watching both these series of episode provides a great insight to how products are originally made then how they are broken down and reused in the same product or something completely different. It also shows how long a product life cycle can be, and also how countries need to increase the levels of recycling needed and broaden there range of materials they can recycle to reduce the waste to landfill; with Germany setting the recycling benchmark.
The three main points I take away from watching all these mini episodes are; Firstly, designers need to be able to understand the processes of how materials and products are made and then recycled to be able to create the most sustainable and environmentally friendly designs. Secondly, that efficiency of the production and recycling of materials is very important, and is they key to making less materials being sent to landfill. The final point is that all designers should have a basic knowledge of production and recycling of most materials to not just help with making more ‘green’ products but also I believe industrial designers should just to have a mechanical understanding of these things as a foundation and background to our discipline.