Assessment 2, Task 5; Cradle-to-Cradle Thinking

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Given that it is the goal of every designer to adapt current technology to a continuously evolving world in a cultural, political and social context, the terms design and sustainability have become binary for most professionals. The need to create with a social conscience however, is arguably not enough according to McDonough and Braungart (2002), who state that “destroying the environment a little less does not protect anything” (van Hatturn, 2007). They outline five steps that every respectful organisation/designer should consider. At first, merely recognising what harm your products are doing is fine, but following that, action should be taken to reduce the wastage and toxicity of every product.


The ‘cardboard surfboard’, developed in collaboration by Ernest Packaging Solution and Signal Snowboards, embrace some of the ideas put forth by McDonough & Braungart (2002). The board “improves the existing product in increments, without fundamentally re-conceiving the product” in order to create a waterproof, sturdy and aesthetically pleasing design. It follows point three and four of the manifesto; avoiding ‘X-list’ (harmful) materials and attempting to ‘activate the positive list’ of natural, compostable and nutritious textiles. As such the product does away with much of the styrofoam which defines the typical surfboard, as this material can often contain hidden toxins and instead replaces it with a strong cardboard weave. In addition a fibreglass coating provides strength and water-resistance. It’s success lies in achieving being an ecologically focused product that exerts capable hydrofluid properties and a unique design.



McDonough, W. & Braungart, M. (2002). Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way we Make Things. New York: North Point Press. (Chapter 6: Putting Eco-effectiveness into practice)

Retrieved from.

van Hatturn R [Director], (2007). Waste = food (Future focus). SBS TV.

Lisa A, (2014) .This Super Durable Cardboard Surfboard Won’t Disintegrate When it Hits the Ocean. Inhabitat.

Lukach M, (2007). Danny Hess and the Search for a Sustainable Surfboard. Inhabitat.



One thought on “Assessment 2, Task 5; Cradle-to-Cradle Thinking

  1. Analytical thinking: Very good
    Making an effective argument: Very good.
    Clear well-edited English expression: Excellent
    Using APA citation for in-text citation and referencing: Very good. Missing references
    Needs improvement: image caption and references


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