I know these have been out for a while now. But I just wanted to add it to my blog for those doing searches for sustainable product inspiration. This one’s a pretty good example…
As a design thesis project at the University of Houston, Brenden Macaluso attempted to answer the question “What is sustainability and design mean?.” Recompute is the result of constant observation and asking questions that few had the answer to. Using a methodology that looks at the entire object life cycle, Brenden looked at all kinds of materials that would lead to a better solution. Cardboard was at the extreme end of the materials spectrum, but if it could be made of cardboard and it worked it would do two things: First, it would validate the methodology and concept. Second, it shows that more conservative materials could be substituted in place of cardboard.
A cardboard electronic device like this can make some nervous, but a combination of proper airflow, component placement and non-toxic UL tested flame retardant makes this product safe. Besides, cardboard as a material is extremely heat resistant. The ignition point of cardboard from heat is 800° Fahrenheit and most of the common plastics used in traditional designs melt at much lower temperatures.
This is an excellent example of how design coupled with materials and manufacturing can move a product in a completely new direction. Check out their website for additional information and videos about the materials and design process that went into developing Recompute.