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How Green Issues Impact On The Design Of A Company’s Products (On The Example Of IKEA Company)

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Since the concept of design is known to the public, people find that good design can help solve many problems in many fields. New materials can help us to buy better quality products at a lower price. The good appearance allows us to have a better experience in the use of the product. Excellent functions can help users to use the product. More convenient, green design can help to promote the recycling of resources.

There are some examples of the effective design, many years ago, Coca-Cola’s pull-ring can have been fully designed to be embedded, which makes the ring not detached from the cans, not only is it good for the recycling of the material, but also reduces the user’s being hurt by sharp edges.

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Apple Corp encourages more users to recycle their old equipment through the Apple Renew program. After that, the Apple Corp uses a self-developed production line to dismantle the recycled mobile phones. The recycled iPhone6 aluminum metal fuselage can be used to make the Mac mini-computer for the iPhone assembly plant, and the recycled iPhone 6 motherboards will be transported to a professional recycling organization to collect copper, tin, and precious metals.

Due to the varieties of design strategy, it contributes more to the world and the company benefits from the design as well, Coca-Cola Co and Apple Corp have made the great accomplishment.

WTO had issued a document advocating that enterprises should reduce environmental damage while producing products, and consumers have enhanced their awareness of environmental protection.

This essay will evaluate how green issues impact on either the design or branding of a company’s products. And by listing the design concept of IKEA, it stresses that what aspects will improve the product after paying attention to the green issues.

Green Concept reflected in the strategy of IKEA

In 1995, outside the Milan Design Fair, which is the most prestigious exhibition fair in the world for furniture designers, a sign proclaimed: “Democratic Design”. The sign pointed to a building that housed the IKEA exhibition outside the fair.

In developing the notion of “democratic design”, the founder of IKEA, had asked: “Why must well‐designed furniture always be so expensive? Why do the most famous designers always fail to reach the majority of people with their ideas?”. In his view, well‐designed products were only for the rich and privileged; the multitude of people with less money, were excluded. Furniture was no exception. Kamprad’s idea with IKEA is to offer a wide range of home furnishings of good design and functionality at a price low enough to be affordable to most people. This is a “democratic idea” that had originated from IKEA’s roots in the poor farming communities of the County in Sweden.

The three aspects of “green design” are form, functionality, and low price. No other furniture manufacturer can produce designed home furnishings that featured all three of these elements. With respect to the third dimension – low price, IKEA designers are always asked to decrease prices through design instead of increasing them. In effect, the price tag is “designed” first, beginning with a decision on what price the majority of people can afford to pay. A production line is then designed to produce furnishings that satisfied the other two dimensions. To achieve this, designers work on the factory floor with production staff, rather than in a prestigious office in a distant city.

The proclamation of “democratic design” at the Milan Design Fair in 1995 provoked outrage among organizers of the fair, designers, and furniture companies. In contrast, the members of the public flocked to the IKEA exhibition, the Italian media provided them much publicity, and consumers visited IKEA’s stores in unprecedented number to buy “green designed” furnishings.

It should also be observed that these values were communicated in a particular manner that challenged the established views and habits of the people. There seems to be the distinct set of values behind the way in which the values were communicated.

As noted above, IKEA intend to design the price tag first. The company decides how much a product should cost to make it affordable the most consumers. The product is then designed to achieve this low price while maintaining excellent function and good quality. The designer works on the factory floor to find the best solution at the best price.

An example of this process was the company’s “LACK” range, which was initially a door produced by a manufacturer in Poland. The door was placed horizontally on a trestle to become a table. It was then cut into pieces to produce shelves. These were then subdivided into coffee tables. The pieces were then placed horizontally and vertically to become bookshelves. The resulting “board‐on‐frame” construction used only 30 percent of the energy and materials required to produce tables. Moreover, it could be packed flat, was light, and saved space for transport. This combination of qualities was considered environmentally friendly, and the product was placed in IKEA stores.

The price to the consumer of a “LACK” table is now only about 30 percent of its original price in 1990. The production volume in the past 15 years has increased approximately ten‐fold.

IKEA believes it can produce as many products as possible with the least amount of resources without adversely affecting their functionality or appearance. The main raw materials used in IKEA products are wood, cotton, metal, plastic, glass, and rattan. They use renewable and recyclable materials whenever possible.

Many devices in the family need batteries, such as remote controls and alarm clocks. The special battery designed by IKEA can be recharged about 1500 times, with a service life of about 5 years, which reduces the waste, saves the expenses, and ensures that the battery in the home can be used at any time.

IKEA’s natural color bath towel, its production process and color, clean and no pollution, is a healthy and environmentally friendly product of IKEA, this flannelette towel is very soft, strong water absorption, 100% natural plant fiber (cotton), no use of fluorescent brighteners. No chemical additives were used in the manufacturing process. All cotton used by IKEA products are provided by more sustainable sources, from recycling or by less water, fertilizer, and insecticide, to ensure that the income of cotton growers can be increased.

IKEA’s new ISTAD plastic bag, which uses renewable and recycled bioplastics, helps keep food fresh and preservative. It is a rare treasure in the home. On the one hand, most households throw away as much as a quarter of their food a day and store it in sealed bags at a glance to reduce food waste. On the other hand, it can also reduce the pollution caused by plastic bags.

IKEA is actively taking measures to reduce production waste. Wherever possible, waste of the production process should be used to make other products, such as cardboard boxes, paper, wood, metals, and glass. Most IKEA stores provide customers with collections points for waste products, including electronic and electrical products, waste packaging, used batteries, and low energy efficiency. IKEA tends to repair products rather than simply discard products. These products can be used as spare parts or discount sale in designated areas of shopping malls.

Conclusion

In a word, design plays a very important role in human society, designed to help improve productivity, to help change ways of life, and to help to beautify the world, and for enterprises or brands, product design is good for solving green problems, and the brand of IKEA is very good at setting up products to improve the competitiveness of products. IKEA blend the design with business through controlling the cost of the productivity to decline the price of the goods, actually the key point show the designers in IKEA have made use of the creativity, meanwhile the pollution of the industry is also decreased badly.

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