Does going green interfere with design aesthetics?

The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products we use every day affect our person and our well-being. But only well-executed objects can be beautiful.


Striking A Balance Between Going Green and Aesthetics

When designing products the designer has to ‘juggle’ with a large number of factors and attempt to organize them in the design solution in a way that satisfies the design brief and specification. A professional designer with many years of experience will be able to balance the factors intuitively.  A product should do the job it was designed to do. It should work very quickly and efficiently. It should be very reliable and durable. Cost will be a secondary consideration, as will size and weight.

The designer has the ability to create products in any style. It is possible to design products that merge well with their environment or alternatively those which stand out in stark contrast to their surroundings. Products which harmonize with their environment are pleasing to the eye but can be considered to be boring and not stimulating.


For example a designer may choose to design a something that match the surrounding architecture. This approach would blend in well and probably would be acceptable to the majority of people. However this ‘safe’ approaches to design can create an environment which is monotonous. Alternatively the designer may choose to design something that is contrast by producing a design with modern materials such as steel and plastic.

This bold approach to design can be shocking and often attracts controversy particularly in relation to architecture. Such an approach can be interesting and exciting to some people and offensive to others. The designer then has to make a decision concerning the impact that the design will have in order to ascertain whether or not it will be acceptable to society.

When designing products the designer must consider the effect on pollution levels that their design will have. The product and its manufacture may also be influenced by legislation which controls pollution outputs. This is further complicated by the fact that pollution controls vary from country to country There has also been a major shift in public interest in environmental issues and many people will take this into account when purchasing a product.


The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.

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