What's Wrong with the "Green" Design Revolution

In an interview with the British inventor James Dyson, Ben Schiller discusses the future of engineering and design in America and the fallacies behind much "green" design.

James Dyson has a few ideas about the relationship between engineering and efficiency, and rightly so – over the past twenty years, his company has garnered international attention for a small collection of products built on highly innovative designs.

For one, he sees serious problems with academic trends in the West, claiming that American universities produce nine times as many lawyers as engineers. "Other nations have lower manufacturing costs, and generally lower expectations of profit," he explains. "They can make me-too products much more cheaply than we can. So, we've got to produce products with better design and technology."

Moreover, Dyson calls out superficial attitudes about green design as "lazy engineering": "People install a small motor and say, 'This is green, it's good for the environment.'... But that's just a cheap marketing trick. It's not answering the real problem..."

As Schiller suggests, we don't "need a design revolution if we want to cut energy use and conserve scarce materials. We just need to go back to making durable products, and get people interested in engineering again. The rest should take care of itself."

Full Story: James Dyson on the Lazy Engineering behind Fake Energy Efficiency

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95