De Verborgen Impact
As a consumer, what can you do to lead a more sustainable lifestyle? In her book ‘The Hidden Impact (everything you need to know and everything you can do to live in an eco-neutral manner) [Dutch: De verborgen impact (alles wat je wilt weten en wat je kunt doen om eco neutraal te leven)], designer Babette Porcelijn explains that consumers can make a bigger difference then they usually think. To illustrate this, Porcelijn cooperated with CE Delft to identify the top ten items in our daily lives which can have a significant impact in this area. The result is surprising: ‘stuff’ (possessions) heads the list and meat comes second. The book is full of tips and ideas about how you can reduce your impact on the environment. The highly readable text and more than one hundred infographics paint a clear picture of our impact on the planet and present possible solutions. Industrial designer Porcelijn’s personal passion for design inspired her to create this book, which she financed through crowd funding. She also involved various experts and institutes in her research.
The committee explicitly recognises the research carried out for this project and the effect that the designer wants to bring about. The design aspect in this project focuses on designing for behavioural change. Even though the committee has some reservations about the graphical design, any minor flaws in this area do not detract from the quality of the research and the intended effect, which are the most important criteria in this category. The committee finds it refreshing to see that Porcelijn has avoided the pitfall of designing a new sustainable product and instead focuses on changing people’s behaviour. Furthermore, the book retains a certain humility. This contrasts positively with the many lecturing academic manifestos that have been published on the subject. The way in which the designer makes it possible for people to shape their own living environment through this book, and explains how you can tackle this in a more sustainable manner, is highly commendable.