For a long time, adults have been the ones who made the rules and kids were raised to follow them, that’s how it’s been for a long time. But we are going into a new era of student-led learning and things are starting to change, and with the new pressing issues of climate change, this is how HZCIS tackled the plastic waste issues in their community.
The bigger picture of the project was: Examine single-use plastics in your school community leading an appreciation of sustainability and consideration. You will develop a wide range of detailed and appropriate design/marketing specifications which justify the requirements for the design of a solution. You will produce a design which is a creative and innovative solution to their design brief. enjoy the design process, develop an appreciation of In the Hangzhou Chinese International School, an idea was proposed by Mr Murphy, my design teacher. The idea was to get the students to come up with solutions on how to solve this design challenge: “How can we reduce the reliance of single-use plastics in our community?”. Before this, HZCIS had been promoting sustainability for a long time, by doing various projects and implementing various rules about recycling and energy usage. This project was not the beginning of something but it was the next step of sustainability in the school community.
It’s elegance and power. You will develop knowledge, understanding and skills from different disciplines to design and create solutions to problems using the design cycle. You will use and apply technology effectively as a means to access, process and communicate information, model and create solutions, and to solve problems. To develop an appreciation of the impact of design innovations for life, global society and environments.
The students not only learned design skills but are now more aware of the modern issues of climate change. The project started by students researching and investigating plastic waste issues in their community and using that knowledge to brainstorm ideas. With their new ideas, students developed semi-functional prototypes that could potentially solve issues in the school community.
As a student at this school, I was interested in working on this project. I teamed up with another student who had many skills in design technology. At first, I couldn’t think of an idea, but as we began our secondary research and investigated some issues in our community, we had started to come up with some ideas. Some issues we had investigated include Yogurt cups, Plastic cups (bubble tea), food plastic waste and so on. The first idea was to create reusable yoghurt cups. This was a big issue because the cafeteria would buy lots of yoghurt in disposable plastic cups. Although finding a solution to this would have been great, we decided not to go with this idea because it was quite an uninteresting idea and it would be hard to implement as the school had already bought many yoghurts. For the food plastic waste issue, we couldn't think of an idea that everyone would want and/or that would be simple to implement (it would require the school to step in and modify how they buy different foods).
Eventually, we came up with Klik, a drinking bottle that can be rearranged and reshaped into separate containers (Cups, Bottles, Bowls, e.t.c). This would solve the issue of plastic containers (mainly drinks like bubble tea, which many students buy). The idea was not only interesting but was simple to implement as we could just give it out to students. After the brainstorming period, we started to finalize our design and hopefully create a functional prototype.
The final product of Klik will have multiple segments which are interchangeable and can be easily assembled using the neodymium magnets on the rims of the segments. The final design plan for Klik is to use bamboo as the main material and body of the product. This is because bamboo is a fast-growing grass that creates a wood-like material that is easy to produce under almost any climate. Unfortunately the bottle cap could not be made out of bamboo, and instead, we will use (PLA) and 3d print it. Another material we are using is neodymium. Neodymium has a very powerful magnetic force and will be used for efficient and sturdy connectivity between the segments of Klik.
Klik is a very sustainable product due to its materials and also its usage.
When thinking of our product we thought of a large issue. For me, having gone to many places in the world, a massive problem is all the different types of packaging and plastic waste. I’ve seen many people trying to be sustainable by bringing around a drinking bottle but that's not enough, if you spend a whole day out of home, you're probably going to need more than a bottle. Eventually, you’ll end up needing a coffee cup or a milkshake cup with a straw or even small food containers. With Klik, all of this can be achieved with one bottle. Since Klik can be rearranged into multiple different styles, you can make it into almost anything you need. If someone were to have Klik, they could carry around the bottle and a small box, when they needed to change their containers. They could take off a few layers and put them in the box, and grab a different cap and they would be done. With multiple bottom segments, you could separate one drinking bottle into a smaller bottle and a cup, or attach a different cap and get a coffee cup with it.
If this product were to hypothetically become commercial, we would have to consider the cost of the product. According to Alibaba.com, 1 piece of bamboo costs around 0.015 - 2 USD based on the size. The bamboo we need is roughly the average of its thickest piece and thinnest piece, therefore averaging the price to 1.015/piece. Neodymium magnets in the final product should be roughly 1cm by 1cm. On Alibaba, the only neodymium magnets rods we could find were 1.5cm magnets which cost 1 USD/100 piece. In each product, we need 40 (48 if we add extras) neodymium magnet rod which equates to 0.4 USD/40 piece (plus around 0.08 for extra pieces). Add up all the costs and the final price for one product is 1.5 USD plus the cost of production. Of course, there are still many factors we haven't considered and we would also raise the price significantly to gain profit.
The project assigned was rather ambitious, therefore we had to come up with many ways to access our progressing work. During this project we engaged in group discussions, interviewing, feedback, worksheets, online questions and also sketches. At the end of this project, I feel like I have learned a lot about design thinking and integrating design into sustainability. During the project, I had come up with many ideas that could potentially help the environment and people as well. One major thing I learned from this project is that if anyone works hard enough they can come up with ideas that benefit their communities and the environment. I believe that if anyone else can do this project they can help people and change lives.