Collette Swindells meets the founder of Eco Innovators.
March 3rd, 2010
With a little bit of initiative, and a lot of hard work, Melbourne eco design company Eco Innovators have transformed a Melbourne icon into an edgy, urban outlet.
Taking a disused CBD newspaper stand, and filling it with a ‘Showcase’ of locally made eco design items, company director Leyla Acaroglu says she wanted to raise the awareness of eco design in both consumers and designers.
Having studied Product Design and Development at the Enmore Design Centre in Sydney, Acaroglu moved south to integrate sustainability into her design practice, through a Social Science course at RMIT.
This led her to a job at RMIT’s Centre for Design, as a sustainable products and packaging consultant, developing a number of projects including an online LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) tool, and a ‘how to design’ kit for Design Victoria.
“I ran lots of seminars on eco design, but I still felt like there was still not a lot of opportunities for designers to actually engage with sustainability from an educational perspective.”
So Acaragolu set off to Europe to meet with some of world’s leading eco design practitioners.
But after three months working with various organisations including the Polytechnic University of Milan, TU Delft (Delft University of Technology), and the Eco Design Centre of Wales, she was disheartened to realise that sustainability was not yet a core principle of design in most places.
Returning to Melbourne, she launched herself into the ‘Showcase’ project, and various other pilot initiatives, including an upcoming CD swap meet, and an educational resource pack for Australian Higher Education students, that she hopes will educate people into making more lifecycle-based decisions in design.
The Showcase runs until late April, Monday to Friday 11-3pm, on the corner of Little Collins and Swanston Streets.
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