Green designers take heed: ‘Sharing’ a tidalwave 2009 trend

28 05 2009

A dispatch.

Here and there in 2007, I saw the idea of the ‘share economy’ pop up.  In 2009, car sharing, bike sharing, vacation sharing and even, clothing sharing seem to have more clout as tidalwave trends as opposed to mere passing trends.

From conference keynote titles like “Is the Share Economy the New New Economy?” at the May 5-7 Next09 Conference to the hit $40 annual fee Smart Bike Program in Washington, D.C., sharing is on the rise amongst even ‘mainstream’ consumers.

Sure, when times were high, the idea of car-pooling with the guy next door who grows petunias seemed like a nuisance best avoided (“I have to get to my superimportantmeetingnow!”).

Now, it seems that it is OK to not be that ultra-self-reliant-working-superman or superwoman. In other words, it is OK, even sexy and trendy, to ask for help and start coordinating personal schedules (i.e. lives) with people you don’t even know yet. But people that just might end up becoming your friends.

What does this mean for designers and savvy branding firms? Designers take head from Steve Gutmann, Senior Commercialization Manager at EcoSecurities on what next ‘experiences’ to design for:
“…what we need is greater than the sum of these pieces — we need to rethink our needs. He cited car sharing services as a perfect example of the type of rethinking that will drive sustainable innovation. Cars take up 50 percent of urban real estate and are used on average for a mere 50 minutes a day, hence we don’t all need our own cars. This is an example of a shift from heavy material needs to simple access to experiences. Gutmann advised that “Designers should focus on how can we share the benefits of a product without everyone having to have that product.”

Land sharing and car sharing, hmm. Simple things that our grandmothers and grandfathers did decades ago but that spark sexy PR campaigns today.

This seems like an intellectual’s version of “So, you think you can dance?” (e.g. “So, you think you have a new idea? Look back about a 100 hundred years ago and I bet that it’s not”).

Designers, set your mark….



One response to “Green designers take heed: ‘Sharing’ a tidalwave 2009 trend”

31 05 2009
printers (18:59:06) :

I completely agree with this!

Leave a comment

You can use these tags : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>