Young eco-designer gives second birth to furniture with 3DEXPERIENCE

By Zoe

Welcome back! :-) This is our third installment in the Leapfrog Project series.  Today, we’ll take a look at a project called “Reborn” and its main lead designer, Hong.

The Reborn Project is a collection of living-room furniture created with up-cycled materials, and produced by Beautiful Company. The Reborn Project has been led by Hoang Thu Hong, one of the Sustainable Product Innovation (SPIN) project designers (you could see her being interviewed as part of the video in the previous post).

The Company

Beautiful Company is a small Vietnamese wood company making products for domestic market. To differentiate themselves, they wanted to make sustainable products out of up-cycled products. The challenge is as big as, culturally in Vietnam using brand new products is better seen than recycling, as it is a sign of wealth and prosperity.

The Reborn Collection

Hoang Thu Hong, Designer of the Reborn Collection

The Reborn collection aims on balancing aesthetic and function, creating beautiful furniture out of upcycled and recycled material.

Firstly, the concept is based on customers’ need to create functional and time-saving products. As Hong explained:

They want products to organize their place in a smart way, with a good atmosphere, relax and easy-clean. Besides, they tend to choose objects with multiple functions.

Secondly, the designs are based on up-cycling principle which is to reuse object or material in a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original. Hong used secondhand discarded furniture and collected pallet wood from import/export industry to recreate innovative and modular designs.

Sustainable Design Methodology

Based on Design for Sustainability (D4S) methodology of the SPIN project, Hong, and Beautiful Company worked with 3 sustainable design dimensions:

  • Recycled material
  • Local material
  • Longer Lifetime of the products

Local material

“There are variety local materials which could create better quality products using good skilled Vietnamese craftsman.” Hong said. Furthermore, using local materials reduces the environmental impact of transportation and preserving the local eco-system.

As an example, using pine wood from pallet wood in Vietnam instead of wood imported from South America (which is often the case in Vietnamese furniture production), we estimated a reduction of the environmental footprint from 6 to 12%, depending on the indicator.

SOLIDWORKS Sustainability results on localizing material

Recycled material

On the first hand, Hong used pallet wood from the import/export industry in which she chose the most adapted to re-design.

Different types of Palette wood

On the other hand, Hong went hunting for old furniture to recover some useful parts of them, such as these bed heads.

Bed heads before up-cycling

Hong used SOLIDWORKS apps to design the new products based on the second-hand product design, on which she design the new parts, such as making a sofa with storage units.

Redesign of the Bed head in SOLIDWORKSRedesign of the Bed head in SOLIDWORKS

We estimated that using 100% recycled material, like pallet wood reduce the environmental footprint from 48 to 76%, depending on the indicator!

SOLIDWORKS Sustainability results after choosing recycled material

Longer Lifetime of the products

Finally, by creating products that up-cycled instead of thrown away, their lifetime is extended. With a longer lifetime, we consume fewer products and reduce the environmental impacts.

The reborn sofa during manufacturing phaseThe reborn sofa during manufacturing phase

 

Results

Finally Hong and the Beautiful Company created a collection that has an average of 40 to 90% of carbon footprint cut-off, depending on the products. “Now the collection is displayed in Hang Xanh (Green Street) showroom where awareness and education is provided about how to up-cycle old products to give a longer life-time”, Hong said.

The Reborn SofaReborn sofas in Green Street

Inspired by the Reborn Project, Hong continues to create innovative designs out of pallet wood, hoping to produce them soon.

Palette Wood Collection SOLIDWORKS ModelPalet Wood Modular Chair & Bed SOLIDWORKS Models

If you are interested by other use cases, educational materials, and news about the Leapfrog Project, stay tuned and follow the frog

Leapfrog Project series

Zoe BEZPALKOZoé BEZPALKO is an Eco-Design Specialist at Dassault Systèmes

Introducing the Leapfrog Project: Building Next-Generation Eco-Imagineers in Emerging Countries

By Zoe

In a previous post, we introduced the concept of Leapfrogging for Sustainability as the ability of emerging countries to skip less-efficient and more-polluting practices to directly jump to the most advanced green technologies. With these concepts in mind, we came up with an innovative initiative in Vietnam named the Leapfrog Project.

Leapfrog Project

Why Vietnam?

Today many emerging countries are among the most vulnerable countries to climate change, and Vietnam has recently being ranked the 13th country as “extreme risk” in a recent study, with dramatic effects on the people and the environment.

Maplecroft's Climate Change Vulnerability Index 2013

Furthermore, Vietnam has a big industry of textile and garments (40% of its GDP) which supplies and exports to western countries: from bamboo lamps to soft toys , and as companies and customers are more demanding for better products and cleaner supply chains, it is becoming necessary for Vietnam to lead sustainable innovation.

Sewing Room in Softtoy factory in HCMC

Finally, with a GDP growth at an average of over 7% annually during the past 10 years, and a highly educated and motivated population, Vietnam is part of the “innovation learner” countries ranked by the Global Innovation Index (GII), among the most efficient global innovators, demonstrating rising level of innovation results.

The Leapfrog Project

In 2010, we connected with one of these innovative projects funded by SWITCH-ASIA European program, called SPIN which stands for Sustainable Product INnovation. Their objective is to increase the social and environmental quality of the products made in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia by deploying eco-design methodologies and clean technologies in local businesses. Watch the video below to learn more about SPIN and examples of sustainable products they are working on:

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In 2012, we asked ourselves the question whether the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform from Dassault Systèmes could accelerate the leap, for this upcoming generation of designers and engineers, to sustainable innovation practices.  And that is how we build together a partnership with SPIN stakeholders called the Leapfrog Project.

A Jump ahead in Sustainable Innovation

At the beginning of the project, we provided Dassault Systèmes’ solutions to the SPIN designers and engineers, in order to help them taking the right decisions at the right time, and improving their design processes: selecting the right material, simulate while maintaining the mechanical properties and protecting the environment. We supported them with local partners and trainings, as well as specific materials that were adequate to their needs and methodologies, to bring their ideas to life.

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By connecting the SPIN team, to experts, designers, and sustainability passionate worldwide, we created a community in which we can all share ideas and 3D models to collaborate and foster sustainable innovation.

Local support of the Leapfrog Project - SPIN training

Finally, with local companies’ capacities, and the SPIN designers supported by the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, we designed and re-designed more than 40 different products, manufactured in Vietnam, and reduced their environmental impacts from 10 to 80% off their initial carbon footprint!

The Cabinet - Leapfrog Design from 3D to real

In the upcoming weeks, we will post more information, use cases and educational materials about the Leapfrog Project and sustainable innovation, so follow the frog

IF WE leap to collaborative eco-design, we can live in a cleaner world… Take the leap with us! :-)

Zoe BEZPALKO

Zoé BEZPALKO is an Eco-Design Specialist at Dassault Systèmes

What is Leapfrogging for Sustainability?

By Aurelien

What is leapfrogging? The first thing that could pop up in your mind is the game we all played as kids:

Leapfrog

In the theory of innovation

In the theory of innovation (and in particular in Schumpeter’s) however, leapfrogging refers to the ‘breakthrough innovations’ leading to the ‘creative destruction’ cycle, as opposed to smaller, incremental innovation steps. The new breakthrough innovation often comes to swipe away the previous technology consequently becoming obsolete. In most cases, the new breakthrough comes in at a time where the current technology has already saturated the market: think of electrical locomotives replacing steam locomotives, or mobile phones replacing landline phones (in developed countries).

Innovation LifeCycle

But with leapfrogging, the breakthrough comes in even before the current technology has reached market saturation or has even been introduced at all. A typical example is the adoption of mobiles phones instead of landline phones in emerging countries, such as Vietnam shown below (click on the picture to enlarge):

Fixed line vs mobile penetration rates in Vietnam

Leapfrogging in sustainable development

In the context of sustainable development and in particular for developing countries, leapfrogging refers to “skipping inferior, less efficient, more expensive or more polluting technologies and industries and move directly to more advanced ones” (source: Wikipedia article on Leapfrogging). Because there is an opportunity to learn from mistakes of the so-called “brown economy”,  the green economy is a “chance for emerging and developing economies to leapfrog unsustainable and wasteful production and consumption patterns” (source: OECD report on ‘Green Growth and Developing Countries’).

Less efficient, more polluting technologies

Worldchanging.com founder Alex Steffen clearly explained this concept in his TED talk as a fundamental and preliminary step among others on the route to a sustainable future (jump at 8″36′):

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Introducing… the Leapfrog Project

With these concepts in mind we started the Leapfrog Project, an innovative approach to boost the leapfrogging potential of the next generation of eco-imagineers in emerging countries. For this matter, we’ve partnered with best-in-class organizations: the TU Delft University (Netherlands), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and instances of National Cleaner Production Centres (NCPC).

The Leapfrog Project

In the coming weeks and months, we will drive you through the journey and backstage of this project with a series of blog posts. So bear with us and… follow the frog :wink:

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