Exploring Materials: Creative Design for Everyday Objects by Inna Alesina and Ellen Lupton


Few words from the book: “Materials are like words. The richer your design vocabulary, the more distinctive the design solutions you can express. Sketching ideas with a pencil or rendering them with computer software are useful experiences, but there is no substitute for confronting physical forms and materials directly.”

See some sample spreads here or check it out on amazon

Sketching with materials and overcoming the fastener problem/paper


Many products get disposed of because the fasteners do not enable the product to be easily repaired. Designing for durability, disassembly, repair, and upgrading can extend the life of the product, yielding a more sustainable solution. Mechanical fasteners, such as rivets or stitching, tend to be more repair-friendly than glue.
This paper examines ways to focus the design process on the type and placement of fasteners in order to generate robust solutions

The Medium is the Message: Reinvesting in Environments and Communities Changes Habits – Station North Arts and Entertainment District Case Study by Inna Alesina and Lori Rubeling


In response to the Unmaking Waste 2015 conference theme “Transforming Production and Consumption in Time and Place,” Design professors Inna Alesina and Lori Rubeling presented design projects where the Station North Arts and Entertainment District is a subject for addressing how systems-based approaches create change.

Design students from the Maryland Institute College of Art and Stevenson University were challenged to consider emergent sustainable values in their practice of designing messages, objects and environments. Several design scenarios asked students to utilize design thinking methodologies as they partnered with community stakeholders, helping them re-imagine their environment. This paper presents a variety of systems-based approaches that have been tested to re-imagine production and consumption assumptions, behaviors and opportunities for actualizing change.

Download full paper here UMW2015 Conference Proceedings