Making Sustainable Design Fun

How could humans become their own renewable source of energy? This is only one of the many questions Myriel Milicevic explored while heading-up the Human Powered Workshop during the Interaction Design Workshop Week in Belgium earlier this month.

Projects participants designed at the workshop include the Dirt Annihilator, a street-cleaning trike, Energy on Wheels, a shopping cart that generates power, and an energy generating rocking chair. The objects were inspired by from a Colombian eco-village and electricity-generating turnstiles in Japanese train stations, among other things.

Organizer Milicevic recently spoke to the folks at the interactive design blog, We-Make-Money-Not-Art. She claimed “there is not much difference between politics and play.” This realization was the outcome of a workshop she collaborated on with artist and designer Amy Franceschini, called The Politics of Play. (For another example of the intersection between politics and play, you also might want to check out Amy Franceschini’s project, Victory Gardens 2007, currently at the SF MOMA.)

The essence of the Human Powered Workshop and the Politics of Play can be summed up in Myriel Milicevic’s statement, “I like to remind people that they can make their own observations, share them,…and see grass-roots movements evolve. People can come up with very powerful and creative solutions even with very limited resources.”

You can read more about Milicevic’s socially and environmentally concerned design projects on here.

–Rose Miller