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April 30, 2008

Designing for sustainability

LONDON, England – Yesterday we caught up with Joeske Schellen, designer of the soon-to-be-launched N78 and she told us a pretty interesting story about how sustainability impacts her design decisions, and in some cases, even drives them to be changed.

Joeske is based in the new Nokia Design Studio London and the N78 is the first time she’s been responsible for the overall design of a device, having previously worked on elements of N-series devices.

During pre production, Joeske had the opportunity to visit the factory where the phone was being made. Observing the process, she noticed a small component, the silver earpiece, was creating unnecessary waste, which had to be removed before the component could be installed.

The offending earpiece is no more than half a centimeter wide, and forms part of the outer cover for the speaker on the device. Rather than allow the waste to be created during production, Joeske went back to the drawing board and together with the engineers, redesigned the component to produce zero waste.

According to Joeske, her responsibility as a designer “isn’t just about being green, it’s about understanding how these things are made and influencing that for the better”.

We’ll have a full interview with Joeske coming up later on, along with an interview with Daniel Dhondt, the designer of the all-new N96 which is due out later this year.