Stage 2 SPD students took part in an intensive three-day workshop last week with Tracy Sutton, founder of Root Innovation. The course consisted of a developed insight into the world of sustainable packaging, including the entire process from cradle to cradle and how inclusivity is becoming a large part of the future of sustainable design.
Tracy introduced herself on the first day as a part of the community of Falmouth University alumni, describing her working experiences with clients from Unilever to Waitrose. She continued the lecture by outlining the process of consulting brands and developing innovative packaging with a sustainable and inclusive mindset.
The students were then presented with three brands; Mr Muscle, Dr. Oetker and Molton Brown, alongside one example of each of their respective packaging. In assigned design teams, the students were set the task of not just redesigning the packaging, but rethinking its concept entirely to fit around a decidedly difficult persona, conceived separately by each team. Empathy-testing was a requirement in the process, attempting to gain first-hand experience of a range of physical impairments, with kits that simulated disabilities from cataracts to arthritis. Tracy continued to support the students on the second day, and gave business advice where needed, as work developed in the studio in a range of different forms. The ideas ranged from liquid products changing to powder to assist an easier, more inclusive delivery, to fiddly jar caps being refined into wide-grip containers that allow more purchase from a persona suffering from arthritis.
Tracy guided the students on the third day by giving them concepts that were integral with each company, such as logos, colour-schemes and brand values, ensuring that they were carried over with the new designs that were to be presented. Packaging concepts were then refined into their final stages, assisted by sketch models and CAD renders, and presented to Tracy and the rest of the groups. The students now have the task of continuing these concepts individually in their SPD201 module Inclusive Design, using the group workshop as a kick-starter to fuel their design direction, with the sustainable business mind of Tracy Sutton for assistance.