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Raphael Jung and Jan Sagasser at Intuity

Portrait of Marius Schnabel
Marius Schnabel


Lab Talk: How resource scarcity will change the way we design

For our last Lab Talk, Raphael Jung and Jan Sagasser visited us. The two Schwäbisch Gmünd University of Applied Sciences graduates presented their Bachelor project, “Product Design of Resource Scarcity”, to us. They were awarded the Ecodesign Award 2023 in the Young Talent category for their work.

As part of their bachelor's thesis, Raphael and Jan examined how the availability of resources will change the way we create (new) products. The result is a guideline for product designers that helps them to design in a resources-conserving-way. They recently visited us in the office to give us an insight into the guidelines they have developed and the exemplary product studies that they have created.

The guideline

Their work “Product Design of Resource Scarcity” focuses on the challenges and opportunities concerning resource consumption in the field of consumer electronics. However, it also clearly shows the difficulties we will face.

The Pd R guideline

Their extensive research, which also forms their theoretical work, deals with materials frequently used for production and the interdependencies between these materials. At the same time, they show how our consumer behaviour and overarching market dynamics lead to – planned and unplanned – practices that waste resources. They explain how designers can counteract these developments using the categories of material, construction and the semantic design of products. In the future, this should not only enable resource-conserving production but also promote more sustainable usage behaviour.

What does scarcity of resources actually mean?

Requirements for products of a new generation

Raphael and Jan then took on the challenge of designing and developing a series of products themselves, strictly following their guidelines. The outcome was...

  • DS01 Docking Station
  • HDC01 Hard Drive Case
  • TS01 Time Switch
Three exemplary products designed according to the guideline

The work is a great starting point to become aware of the challenge on the one hand and, on the other hand, to open up to a meaningful solution space.

Thank you, Raphael and Jan, for the exciting and inspiring insight into your work and the inspiring exchange on this undoubtedly relevant topic. It was a pleasure!

You can find the thesis as a PDF linked below this blog post.

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Do you also want to consider changing your future product range regarding materiality?