Rhode Island School of Design

"Sustainable Minds LCA provided the students a tool to test and evolve their concepts backed by metrics for real life environmental issues. The product design results were creative and in many ways inspiring. They clearly understood the importance of LCA and are ready to embrace a responsible approach towards innovation and design."
Craig Provost
Adjunct Faculty, Industrial Design

We asked 68 RISD Industrial Design sophomore students to do a rapid deep dive design project utilizing the Okala curriculum and Sustainable Minds LCA software. It was clear this was the first time the students had been asked to consider all phases of a product's life cycle during their design process.

At first the ‘conceptual RISD design students’ balked at the requirement of using Sustainable Minds LCA software. They complained it would limit their creative process and subdue the range of their concepts. In most cases these were the same students who at the end of the process had gone above and beyond using the LCA software to create sensitive and elegant design solutions. These were the students that will become creative ‘lynch pins’ within the evolving movement towards sustainable global culture.

Through this project it became clear the students are willing and eager to embrace the challenges of becoming a collaborative generation of sustainably focused designers. They seem to understand and not be intimidated by the complexities of creating truly considered products designs. Their overall optimistic vibe and ability to easily learn new software technologies are a timely combo.

An additional unexpected result of having the RISD ID students use Sustainable Minds, was that it provoked them to begin fiercely researching existing and emerging materials and manufacturing technologies.

Sustainable Minds CEO, Terry Swack, went to RISD and gave 68 sophomores SM’s example toaster project. Craig talks about his approach to teaching sustainable product design and tells the toaster project story showing examples of his students' greener toaster designs.