Nov. 11, 2021

Understanding Design Means Understanding Manufacturing | Ep 70


When you focus on manufacturing, you learn about the materials and processes behind a product, and this knowledge only makes you a better designer at the end of the day. Brandi Parker, Head of Sustainability at Pearlfisher, joins us to talk about how her experience on the manufacturing side has influenced the way she thinks about sustainable design. Brandi’s role at Pearlfisher has taught her about the deep connection between sustainability and design and we start our chat by hearing more about what this means to her. From there, we talk about certifications such as Dolphin-Safe and FSC, unpacking ideas around corruption, consumer awareness, and brand superficiality. Our conversation moves into some of the most exciting trends Brandi is seeing in sustainable design right now, where she highlights fungus and the amazing ways it is being put to use as a material. Toward the end of our exchange, we explore what true design is really about. Brandi drills down on the importance of reading the most current literature, getting involved in real projects and, of course, getting more clued up about manufacturing! We wrap up on the role of problem-solving in great design, and Brandi shares a few golden nuggets that you definitely do not want to miss!

 

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Sustainability through design and what Brandi’s role at Pearlfisher entails.
  • How broad the topic of sustainability is and what it means to be an expert in it.
  • The corruption in the Dolphin-Safe Certification and whether FSC is worth it.
  • A lack in consumer understanding of FSC; whether they should care about it or not.
  • Why fungus as a material is interesting from a sustainability point of view.
  • Learning about sustainable design through books, projects, people, and manufacturing.
  • Three questions designers should ask about the ‘what’, the ‘why’, and the price before using a material.
  • Lessons Brandi learned during her time in a competitive problem-solving team in high school.
  • The value of challenging a problem by turning it on its head to find effective solutions.

 

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Brandi Parker on LinkedIn

Pearlfisher

Cradle to Cradle

Package Design Unboxd

Evelio Mattos on LinkedIn

Evelio Mattos on Twitter

Package Design Unboxd Q&A on Clubhouse

Intl. Direct Packaging

People of Packaging Podcast

Sustainable Packaging Podcast

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