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Does business do enough to make consumer products fit for the future?

At Philips, our focus is on improving the lives of people through meaningful innovation. Recently, we’ve announced a link with the University of Brighton to research new design methods for sustainable lighting products that will have minimal environmental impact.

We are already one of the world’s leading producers of sustainable products and were aware of the University of Brighton’s pioneering research into sustainable design, making them a perfect partner to explore how we can enhance our sustainable design strategies beyond the focus of materials or energy.

The collaboration is also backed by the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council which has awarded the university more than £60,000 over three years for a PhD student to work between Brighton and Philips’ headquarters in Eindhoven.

Professor Jonathon Chapman has called for designers to work on products that encourage consumers to keep their belongings longer.

Professor Jonathan Chapman, the university’s Professor of Sustainable Design, has written books and has generated media interest around the world with his philosophy on designing products that can be more durable from an emotional perspective as well as a physical one.

He has called for designers to work on products that encourage consumers to keep their belongings longer:

We produce 40 tonnes of waste to make a tonne of products, and 98 per cent of these products are dumped within just six months. We can enhance resource efficiency and brand loyalty by designing things that people want to keep longer – building in emotionally durable design.”

One example produced by his students are shoes which reveal a hidden pattern when they fade with age – the longer you own them the more the design is revealed. Another is tea cups which reveal a pattern when staining takes effect.

Professor Chapman is internationally recognised for his pioneering work which already has influenced brands including Puma, H&M and Sony.

Professor Chapman said: “The new collaboration with Philips is very exciting and provides us with an opportunity to have a massive impact on the way products are designed and manufactured. Philips is a global company and this partnership could encourage other major companies to focus on helping preserve the world’s precious resources.”

The aim is to provide people with positive product and service experiences that are sustainable in all respects.

At Philips, we believe this is a great opportunity to explore the relationship and opportunities between the design and user experience of lighting with ‘circular business models’. The aim is to provide people with positive product and service experiences that are sustainable in all respects.

Like food and water, light is a basic necessity that no human being should live without. However, 1.3 billion people (20% of the world’s population) lack access to electric light. Solar-powered lighting could eradicate this light poverty, so Philips developed solar-powered lanterns that are not only cheaper (they can provide a single room with clean light for $10–20 per year, compared to $50 for kerosene to burn in candles or lamps) they also result in virtually zero carbon emissions. Because of sustainable solutions like these, Philips was the fastest riser amongst technology brands in the annual ranking of the top 50 Best Global Green Brands by leading brand consultancy, Interbrand in 2014.

These and other innovations are how we bring to life our vision to make the world healthier and more sustainable, meeting the social and emotional needs of people in their homes.

Read more about the project here.


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  1. angelaketty -

    nice