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The recipe for a sustainable design

The recipe for a sustainable design

Our compromise: Responsible production, durability and recyclable materials

The mass distribution of objects, which begun with the Industrial Revolution, allowed the integration of the traditionally disadvantaged social classes. Nevertheless, it is only at the end of the 20th century, with the advent of globalization, when people understand the real scope and consequences of the production processes.

Industrial production has always been based on material management processes similar to those of artisans. The objects are created using a raw material which is modified until reaching the target object. During this process there are residual materials, production wastes, which are basically treated as rubbish. The waste derived from a handicraft production could be disposed of with no problem due to its limited amount, whereas the waste generated by the industrial production is a real global issue.

Rise in environmental awareness

The green movements born in the 1960s are the result of a process of awareness raising, within the western societies, about the impact of the production processes on the environment. This awareness seems to have reached a general level of diffusion in the last few years, when the need for society to face this problem seemed to be inevitable.

A responsible consumption is nowadays a question of primary needs and not a radical attitude or a matter of airs and graces. The world of design cannot be indifferent to that. Its responsible practices must be based on two compatible and convergent strategies: recycling and responsible production.

Today's new keywords: recycling and responsible production

Recycling is based on the reutilization of the waste materials coming from the industrial production, both as production waste or as objects whose life cycle has ended. The solutions that include waste materials for the creation of design objects are not new. However, it seems that we are witnessing their moment of aesthetic maturity. They are no longer just green-conscious objects, since they have a real aesthetic and functional value. Plastic bottles, tyres, cans... they all are treated in a responsible way with a high quality target in mind.

Responsible production is not a new concept either, even if the new thing is the level of integral awareness reached nowadays. We could say that a responsible production is an activity based on a traditional quality production, always aiming at high aesthetic and functional standards, which allow the resulting objects to last longer and the consumption to be minimalized. Even if it is obvious that a person's economy and needs establish certain limits in the choice of the things he or she buys, it is also true that a person can be taught how to consume, in order to establish a higher level of need over the object to acquire.

The meeting point of the two positions is the awareness of the need to close the materials' circle. In other words, the production will have to consider the availability and the impact of the extraction of the materials to use; their usage in the production phase, including the waste they create; the design and the durability of the object created, in order to maximize its life; and the subsequent recycling of the elements composing it, so that they can be integrated again into the production system.

These principles are also the core of Vistosi's identity: local production, timeless designs, maximum durability of the materials (glass, steel, copper, all 100% recyclable), minimal use of plastic, development of energy saving versions (fluorescent, LED, etc.)


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