What: Design for Disassembly consists of considering the whole life cycle of a product, from cradle to grave. It is about choosing smart materials for the product that can easily be recycled or reused. It is also about considering the form of the product, that it is easy to disassemble and the materials are separate facilitating the recycling process.
Why: With the increased consumer behavior products have shorter and shorter lifespans, it puts emphasis on what happens to them when they are discarded. In the past little emphasis was put on what happens to a product at the “end of life” but with the increasing focus on the environment designers are becoming much more pro-active with this respect. This is a great strategy for product design and can have tremendous positive effects on the decrease of pollution.
How: By considering the cradle to cradle process of a product designers can begin to consider how much energy it takes to manufacture the product, which materials to use (ie which are more eco friendly to the environment and which are easier to recycle) and how to best separate these materials once the life cycle of a product is over.
An example of this is a chair designed by the Spanish designer Javier Mariscal. The green chair is made from recycled polypropylene plastic which can be recycled again at the end of life.
The chair is designed for disassembly, as you can see from the picture above, it is very easy to separate the materials which consists of three interconnected parts that have been screwed together: a plastic back/seat, four legs, and a set of metal connectors.
According to the Inhabitat website it is also “long-lasting, affordable, responsibly and inexpensively produced, and it has been certified under the UNE 150301 eco design standard”. The intended use of this product is for offices, schools, universities or “chic interior spaces”.
My opinion: I find the chair aesthetically very pleasing and the fact that it is economically friendly is also a great bonus. However, one always questions if this is a necessary product and if it should come to form in the first place. In my opinion yes, because schools, offices, universities will always need chairs and in a mass scale like that then one should consider what products to use. This chair is an excellent option as opposed to something which has no environmental consideration at all.
One should consider the responsibility you have in creating a product and the long term consequences. While this product seems ethical, this is one of the few if not the only product Javier Mariscal has designed with the environment in mind.