The choices we make as designers have wider consequences. In particular our material decisions dictate many of the aesthetic, performance, cost and sustainability attributes of a product. Knowing this, Nike came to us with a question – how do we de-couple successful design from the degradation of nature? Their identified areas of concern included: chemistry, energy and greenhouse gas intensity, water and land intensity, and physical waste.
The Sustainable Business and Innovation team at Nike spent eight years developing the Materials Sustainability Index (NMSI). This extensive data set presents an amazing opportunity to drive industry change when integrated into design language and practice. We set out together to create conditions for osmosis to take place between technology, data and the human skills of creativity, co-operation and discovery.
We brought together designers, scientists, coders and students to hack the material system. Using problem-based techniques and the NMSI data, we developed, tested and launched a digital tool that drives innovation, reforms design thinking, and informs better choices for a better world. The first version of the Making app was launched in July 2013 and you can download it here