Saturday 24 September 2011

Doing "More with Less" Initial Research

Part of my preliminary research for my 4Th year design project was looking at my role model Buckminster Fuller who's main principle was doing "more with less".

So I started asking myself who actually tries to do more with less? or who even does it unconsciously. Doing less with more is quite a broad philosophy but it generally can be encapsulated by being more efficient.

"Why has an oak tree not produce a leaf that is square?so that it can spread itself as far as it can. An average full grown oak tree has between 3-5 acres of leaf surface. Even though it only occupies a much smaller surface than that."
Mark Evans, Permaculture Design

Seen as the sun moves across the sky, the oak tree has worked out that maximum sunlight is achieved by having leaves in an irregular pattern rather than square, reduces over shadowing.
How we can stack a much larger surface into a small area by playing with pattern.

Electronics Industry:
"The electronics industry for example are constantly redesigning and reducing the size of microchips and controllers and gadgets are generally getting smaller and more efficient. This naturally reduces the amount of raw materials used, the amount of transport required, and the energy required to power the product is generally reduced. A few years ago lots of people bought satnavs and tom toms - shame when you can now have it on your mobile as an app for free!!! There are many examples of this."
Paul Taylor,
Partner Manager at Cloudapps (Sustainability Reporting Software reduces operational costs, enhances brand value and eliminates compliance risk.)CloudApps - Align. Engage. Sustain.


"We are constantly striving to reduce our impact on the environment both locally and globally. Until recently, all our carrier bags and some other plastic wrappers were degradable which meant they were not suitable for recycling as general plastic.

DEFRA commissioned a report that said that degradable additives in plastics offer no environmental benefit and therefore we have stopped using degradable additives in carrier bags, and we are running through the old stock.

The retail sector had an agreement with WRAP (a Governmental organisation that works in partnership with businesses and consumers ) to reduce carrier bags by 50% reduction over the last 3 years

The Co-operative have exceeded this target with 56% reduction.

We have light weighted 26 wine bottles, saving 273 tonnes of glass per year and 86 tonnes of CO2. This saves enough glass to make a further 600,000 wine bottles.

As the leading Ethical Retailer we need to reduce food wastage and the packaging enables the fruit and vegetables to have a longer shelf life. It is also less likely to be bruised or damaged when handled."

Jackie Evans

Customer Relations Officer

Buckminster Fuller general view:

"Solving the very complex problem of how we make Earth's finite resources and 'energy income' sustain a human population that could reach over 9 billion by mid-century, without destroying our ecosystems in the process, will require design innovations to re-engineer our world's life support systems. Just as this year's computer is higher performance and lighter weight than last year's, or compact fluorescent light bulbs use less energy and last longer than the comparable incandescent light, it is only by increasing the overall efficiency of our global infrastructure-doing more with less, as he observed nature doing constantly-that we can realize the dramatic potential of comprehensive success for all humans."

Fuller, R. B. Operational manual fo spaceship earth. Lars Muller Publishers. Page 10

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