ETech 2009: Amazing Adobe Tools for Sustainable Design

photos by Jaymi Heimbuch

Adobe's CTO Kevin Lynch presented some great tools the company is working on to help designers be a whole lot more sustainable while creating products, as well as some other great tools for sustainability - including one 3D tool that is pretty incredible. Click through to watch the video. Adobe wants to help designers create things more sustainably. So they're coming up with a range of tools that will made green design a cinch. Here are a few examples:

A tool that makes optimizing how a product is manufactured more visible to the designer. For example, showing the layout of a box pattern so the designer can optimize it to use the most paper with the least waste.

A tools that shows the toxicity of their choices. For example, in choosing colors, designers don't necessarily have insight into chemical impact of the colors. So this tool would show them which colors have what impact, and the designer can choose more eco-friendly options.

A tool that helps designers see the impact of their design as they create it. They could choose what standards they want to stay within during design (such as Greenpeace, Society of Concerned Scientists, and so on), and the tool can show where the design goes out of the standards. For instance, a flag will go up when the design uses too much paper or wastes too much during manufacturing.

Another idea is a tool that shows what kind of impact your materials have, such as a certain paper choice will mean X number of trees or soy plants.

And perhaps very practically, a tool that will raise a flag and ask, "Are you sure you really want to create this?" An example given is a company wanting to put out a report are. The tool can bring in a little perspective and suggest an online version instead of printed version.

Beyond design, Lynch showed off some tools in the works for looking at multiple data points. Here's a video of a few:

Also - check out this crazy technology that makes media a whole lot more interactive, and holds potential to be very useful for engaging people about sustainability:

And finally, Jeremy Faludi from WorldChanging asked what Adobe is doing to eliminate paper from daily use. Here's the response:


More on ETech 2009:
ETech 2009: New Materials for Sustainable Products
ETech 2009: Eco Cities Are Already Here, We Just Need to Cut & Paste
ETech 2009: AMEE, Your Energy Identity, and Scary Futures to Avoid
ETech 2009: Ending Obsolescence with a Post-Consumerist Economy (Video)
ETech 2009: Population Boom, Wealth, and 6 Ways to Stave Off Environmental Collapse (Video)
ETech 2009: Tim O'Reilly and Our Reality Bubble Burst (Video)
ETech 2009: Lilypad Electronic Fashion

Tags: Appropriate Technology | Computing | Designers | Electronics